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”!


May 16, 2024

Stephanie Rodd: “Stronger Than Ever”

For us uncultured Americans, we tend to invent a caricature when we hear about a “French songstress”. Yes, we let our assumptions automatically paint a picture of a smoky nightclub against a traumatic war torn backdrop, a slender figure in haute couture wardrobe, cigarette in one hand, microphone in the other, and lyrics toutes en […]


May 15, 2024

Wild Wren: “I’M A BIRD”

Back in the day, if you were to walk around downtown, you’d hear one predominant sound spilling out of at least every other 6th Street venue: blues rock. But as the landscape of the “Live Music Capital of the World” has evolved and diversified, frankly, so has the state of blues rock itself. And if […]


May 14, 2024

Genuine Leather: “Getting Used to the Feel”

For a lot of self-made bedroom producers, lo-fi isn’t just a creative choice; it’s a necessity. Yeah, not everyone has the technical prowess, access to equipment, or funding to match the pristine masters of their commercial radio contemporaries. But when lo-fi folks like that gain the resources to make the leap up, it’s hard to […]


May 13, 2024

Big Bill: “Emotions”

If you’ve kept posted on Austin quartet Big Bill, you know they’re in somewhat of a post-pivot position. Yeah, after years of establishing their space in the oddball-deadpan-art-punk sector, Big Bill pulled off a risky switch to more of a ’90s-style indie rock sound with their Summer 2022 full-length Public Freakout Compilation. And while we’d […]


May 8, 2024

Honey Luck: “Red Line”

Summer’s just over a month away. And with the birds and the bees still bringing new life into Spring, it’s a great time to appreciate fresh acts. So let’s stick a dipper into one of the latest projects to come out of Austin, Honey Luck. This Americana trio was born out of an auspicious meeting […]


May 8, 2024

Jomo & The Possum Posse: “La Quinta”

Short-term shelter ain’t just part of a discreet routine for affairs and flings. Naw, as an integral piece to any touring musician’s itinerary, lodging has found a cozy place in the songwriter space, ranging from themes of post-breakup lifelessness (“Heartbreak Hotel”), raunchy encounters (“Chelsea Hotel #2”), and tour torpor (“Holiday Inn”) to whatever the hell […]


May 7, 2024

Steel Gemini: “Only Freak”

If you’re a fan of that synth pop section of indie electronica in the ilk of Goldfrapp, Grimes, and CHVRCHES…there’s a relatively recent artist right here in town that’ll absolutely scratch that itch. And that’s Steel Gemini, the Austin-based project of singer-songwriter-producer Joy Baldwin. Ever since her December 2022 debut, Baldwin’s been a real joy […]


May 5, 2024

Jana Mila: “Somebody New”

In an environment as dense and competitive as Americana, a unique set of lens can really help you stand out. But if that habitat appears even remotely unnatural to others, every little bit of local color improves your odds of surviving in the long run. Meet Jana Mila. Mila’s Amsterdam upbringing was spent in the […]