Cheer Up Charlie’s consecutively scores “Best of Austin” awards, and deservedly so. Within downtown’s highly competitive Red River District, this renowned venue has maintained staying power thanks to its all-welcoming attitude, calculated curations, and unique use of natural landscape. So unsurprisingly, most concertgoers in Austin have made fond memories at Cheer Up Charlie’s, no matter how hazy they may be. And concerning the creative community, we suspect Cheer Up’s has probably inspired more art than meets the eye.
Case in point, a modern tale of allure set against Cheer Up Charlie’s iconic neon lights from our April 2020 Artist of the Month, Hey Cowboy!. Since moseying down here in 2018, these three Dentonites continue to lasso listeners into their synth-pop posse. Less of a Mexican standoff and more of a guitar-verboten Wild Bunch, Hey Cowboy! corrals the best bits of vintage film scores, psychedelia, and even some punk, all sans-six-string. Their sandy, lambent arrangements plant you right in the saddle and entrance you towards a grainy horizon of mid-fi harmonies.
Like a steel plate beneath a poncho, Hey Cowboy!’s kept the new stuff under wraps, but promise their third full-length for release some time in 2023. Today, ahead of a live gig at Volstead Lounge 10pm on Valentine’s Day opening for fellow KUTX favorites Sun June and Star Parks, Hey Cowboy! casts a spell with their first jingling spur of the year, “Mesmerize”. Fastened by a hypnotic drum strut and intriguing, sedative intervals (both vocal and instrumental), it’s tough to resist Hey Cowboy’s command to dance in this misty recollection of a Cheer Up’s tryst.