Song of the Day

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July 14, 2022

The Western Express: “Honky Tonk Saints”

By: Jack Anderson

When you think of Texas music, you think of Willie, you think country. But despite being the one-time home of Armadillo World Headquarters and current harbor to dance halls like Broken Spoke, White Horse, and Little Longhorn Saloon, there’s just not a ton of straight-up country coming out of Austin nowadays. As a matter of fact, the two core players behind today’s feature originally came from Houston. Multi-instrumentalist Phillip Brush and singer-guitarist Stephen Castillo first met through Craigslist in 2018 and quickly hit it off over a mutual love of ’80s/’90s country radio. After cutting their teeth with a few other musicians, Castillo and Brush cut back and capitalized on their interpersonal chemistry by forming The Western Express the following June.

Despite practically zero connections in Austin, The Western Express chugged along with up to twenty gigs a month. Ultimately the duo caught the attention of producer-engineer JT Holt, songwriter David Ramirez, and eventually rockabilly legend John Evans. Recently Evans linked up with The Western Express to produce their debut album Lunatics, Lovers & Poets, a non-stop nine-song direct route to authentic cross-country twang. Its title derives from Willie Nelson’s mid-century radio program, and although the songs were penned solely by Castillo during a 2018 solo trip, the strands to Evans, Brush, and the backing band make for a rounded out group experience. Lunatics, Lovers & Poets drops August 5th, with the lead single’s music video already on the tracks and steadily rolling out. Today we got the first half of that special delivery from The Western Express – the album opener off LL&P that tips its hat to the pioneers of southern style, “Honky Tonk Saints”!


Episodes

April 12, 2024

Tagua Tagua: “4AM (Acústico)”

Feliz sexta! Today we’re talking about Tagua Tagua, the passion project of São Paulo songwriter-producer Felipe Puperi. Now, Brazil is an enormous country, full of fervent creators; it takes a ton of traction to get towards the top. But in the seven years since Puperi launched off, Tagua Tagua’s become one of the nation’s most […]

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April 10, 2024

Faaris: “Taken Not Given”

As our ever-evolving hip-hop scene steadily expands, so does the representation of nations, cultures, and identities from its contributors. And for some truly refreshing cross-cultural flavors that have made their way into the ATX hip-hop melting pot, look no further than Faaris. Brought up in a Pakistani household right here in Austin, Faaris brings a […]

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April 9, 2024

Adam Sultan: “The Great Divide”

They say, “write what you know”. And in music, if you know something well enough to perfect its performance, that usually means you’ve absorbed the material enough to build upon it and make it your own. So let’s talk about Austin’s Adam Sultan. Sultan started off a singer-guitarist in the ’90s with Poi Dog Pondering […]

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April 5, 2024

Flicker Vertigo: “Midnight Fantasies Upon Prospect Hill”

As an unabashed Pink Floyd fan, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to firing up the Atmos mix of Animals on my home theater setup when the BluRay drops next month. Sure, the full record’s been etched in my memory forever now, but through the lens of the latest mix an full […]

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April 4, 2024

Mountains in Stars: “Hazards of Loving Creatures”

You’ve heard it a million times before: a picture is worth a thousand words. But go ahead and try it out if you dare. Pick a picture and start verbalizing. Yeah…you’ll give up far before you get anywhere close to a four-digit word count. Music on the other hand? Each chord carries various connotations, which […]

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April 3, 2024

Nané: “Always On My Mind” (Live in Studio 1A)

As with any active artistic community, the Austin music scene has suffered its share of too-soon tragedies. And the passing of Daniel Sahad – the flamboyant frontman of Austin sextet Nané who left us in April ’22 – still feels especially fresh in our memory. Thankfully Daniel’s legacy still lives on through his music, Nané’s […]

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April 2, 2024

The Watters: “Set to Cruise”

Prayers for rain resonate all throughout the Lone Star State year-round…even in April with a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse on the horizon. So without wanting to entice a cosmically inconvenient drench, let’s dip our toes into The Watters. This Americana soul love affair is teeing up to hit the two-decade mark, but the bond between husband […]

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April 1, 2024

Reyna Tropical: “Sauvecito” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

Don’t you love those unexpected brushes with old chums during South By South West? Sure, for us native Austinites they feel less like chance encounters and more like the inevitable kismet of living in a metropolitan area as small and dense as ours. But there’s still nothing quite like finding an old friend return to […]

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