Song of the Day

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December 14, 2023

Kam Franklin: “Byrd And Shepard”

By: Jack Anderson

Admirers of modern Texas soul-funk-R&B ought to already be well acquainted with Houston outfit The Suffers. And if you’re hip to that group, you’re also aware that part of what makes them so special is frontwoman Kam Franklin.

This powerhouse can make just about any subject matter sound groovy as hell, so as a performance artist, orator, and activist, it’s no surprise that Kam’s comfortable broaching some tough topics as well. Within her solo saga that really started picking up steam at the turn of the 2020s, Franklin’s recently tackled two notorious United States hate crimes, that of James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Shepard on her aptly titled latest single “Byrd And Shepard”.

The weight and pain of all-too-real bigotry history doesn’t stop Franklin from soaring on “Byrd And Shepard”, in which a simple percussive pulse and tortured key-and-six-string pairings support Kam’s championing of checking facts and protecting poignant books that policymakers want to ban. Behold Kam Franklin as she joins the star-studded lineup that wraps up KUTX’s 10th Birthday Concert Series with Walker Lukens’ The Last Walt tomorrow night at The Paramount, and give “Byrd And Shepard” a few extra spins not only in the name of preserving our painful-yet-important past, but also because it’s a powerful ballad that could’ve been a Whitney Houston/Tina Turner-Highwaymen collaboration.


Episodes

April 24, 2024

Rett Smith: “Sunsets”

In terms of musical association, at least outside the world of film soundtracks, U.S. southwestern scenery often gets associated with country. But there’s a certain psychedelic quality to our regional deserts that we just love to see artists embrace. Folks like Rett Smith, based here in Austin, but bred out of West Texas, so you […]

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April 23, 2024

Ruel Thomas: “I Am Today”

Any profession requires quotas…whether that’s how many tickets you write or how many kids pass your class. And when music is your source of income, the obvious metric to measure by is quantity of shows played. But as with any creative endeavor, there’s an opportunity to move the needle in many directions, which makes “success” […]

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April 22, 2024

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors: “Suffering”

The very nature of Americana is rooted in traditional music. But it also lies at the crossroads between folk, country, and rock. So if an Americana act decides to veer into new lanes, the choices are limited and somewhat predictable. And yet it’s still such a joy to hear an artist explore new sonic territory, […]

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April 19, 2024

Melotheory: “Breathe”

When you have roommates, at least good ones you get along with, group activities naturally arise around the house. For most folks, it’s watching TV, recreational smoking and drinking, or maybe the occasional board game. For musicians, however, having a practice space within eyeshot of your bedroom door is too good of a scenario to […]

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April 17, 2024

Rhythm&Truth and Sakari: “Bring It All Back”

We won’t say that successful collaborations should mandate a solo artist’s trajectory. But if something built together leaves people wanting more, it’s not a bad idea to get back together and sate those desires, right? Because what’s unachievable on the individual level often just needs to get catalyzed by some good collabo chemistry. So let’s […]

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April 17, 2024

Myia Thornton: “Never Good 4 Me”

Unlike the legendary machines of Stax and Motown who relied on a ton of well oiled cogs to make any R&B singer into a star, these days the new blood has to do everything themselves, talent agent or not. And while not everyone can be Prince or D’Angelo in terms of multi-instrumental discipline, bringing something […]

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April 15, 2024

Felt Out: “Crash Inside It”

When we last geeked out over Austin’s Felt Out, we broke down their foundation as that of auto-tune innovators on the cutting edge of alt-pop. And following the first anniversary of their second full-length Until I’m Light, that’s clearly still the case for these multi-instrumentalist-producers. They still sound like a next generation Imogen Heap. Their […]

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April 15, 2024

Tone Royal: “Alone” (feat. Daddy NAT)

When rappers claim to be “the best on the mic”, they’re talking about verbal skills, not their technical prowess with any specific equipment. Clearly that’s the case, since you’ll see those same people spend a whole set cupping the SM58 ’cause it turns out their mic technique actually sucks. But in terms of intimate familiarity […]

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