I feel like I've been adrift in an endless sea of just full-on musical EHHH lately, but I think that is finally coming to a close. We're tantalizingly close to the release of Something More Than Free*, and just as importantly, Hayes Carll and Alejandro Escovedo are both coming to town!
*You can actually stream it on NPR now, but that doesn't excuse you from buying it. Support your artists.
If you're not already an Escovedo fan, you're missing out. It's tough to pin down this mid-60's troubadour (I'm sorry, I hate that word but it's the only one that suits him). Paste once ran a review of 2012's Big Station that compared him, at different times, to: Forever Young-era Bob Dylan, acoustic Neil Young, a hipster Tom Petty and Tom Waits. All people I love, but what in the ever-loving fuck? Rather than repeat past mistakes, I'm going to advise you just go to the Hamilton on Saturday and sort it out for yourself. Get on it.
Hayes Carll wrote one of my favorite sad country songs of all time, the soul-crushing "River Town," but he also puts on a great live show that won't make you want to curl up in a tiny ball and cry for all the loneliness and complexity of everyday living. He's got kind of a honk n' holler style that isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think he's a fantastic songwriter and just a big weirdo, and I love him. Get your tickets for Hill Country July 18. He plays an early and a late show.
The rest of the summer is looking a little quiet, but things heat up once we get into the fall: Frank Turner is playing 9:30 on Oct. 4 (YASSSSS) and the Heartless Bastards will be there Sept. 12. Slaid Cleaves comes to Hill Country on Sept. 30, Bama Shakes hit the Merriweather with DBT on Sept. 18 and Waylon Jennings heir-apparent Sturgill Simpson is playing Sept. 23 and 24 at the Lincoln. As if I wasn't already impatient for summer to end.
Here's a round-up of some new stuff from the last few weeks and some old Sara Watkins because she's a baller and the Watkins Family Hour's debut streets July 24. (They'll be at the Birch Sept. 8 and 9.) I've been looking for an authoritative fucking female cover of Hartford's "Long Hot Summer Day" for my whole life and Watkins delivers. Also of note on here: The Chris Stapleton cover of "Tennessee Whiskey" is a panty-dropper and the new Turnpike Troubadours single is bangin'.