soul rock

Wendy Colonna: “Inspired”

Concerning attempts to beat the heat, we’re guessing all Texans are giving it their best shot right about now. And huge kudos to the creatives making content that at least invites a cool mindset, even if we’re physically still melting.

In that vein, we especially appreciate Louisiana native Wendy Colonna for returning a favor to her current HQ. See, Colonna moved here to Austin at the turn of the millennium pretty much immediately after soaking up the beloved Barton Springs ambiance. And since embracing our city limits as her home, Colonna’s become a staple of the local scene thanks to her luscious soul-informed vocals, eagerness to form new bonds, and undying enthusiasm to collaborate.

Speaking of the latter, for her next collection The Paradigm Project, Colonna recruited some of Austin’s finest both for the in-studio arrangements and live performances. The roster includes The Belle Sounds frontwoman Noelle Hampton, Willie Nelson collaborator Matt Hubbard, and horn section leader Kevin Flatt, all of which you can see share the stage for a double single release show 7-10PM this Thursday at The Pershing alongside Suzanna Choffel, whose also a contributor to this Central Texas supergroup. So while Barton Springs remains the only public pool with a price this summer, Colonna looks back at two decades-worth of memories filtered through Edward’s Aquifer with “Inspired”. The music video puts you right on the waterfront, availing the rest of your senses to cool down with this heartwarming, horn-driven, Hampton co-penned piece of blue-eyed disco, no hula hoop required.

Steady Legend: “Bad Boy”

Think about all the musical milestones that have come with the introduction of a new lead singer. There’s AC/DC with Brian Johnson, Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio, Pink Floyd with David Gilmour and Roger Waters, and Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick. Now, Austin soul-rock outfit Steady Legend isn’t quite as well-known as those groups…at least not yet. But they are fixing to pass the torch to their new head vocalist, Analysa Gonzalez, whose choir and church band background have given her the chops to wow a packed house without breaking a sweat. The sweltering passion of Gonzalez’ singing style led Steady Legend to re-tool their sound more towards funk and soul, and after two years of careful tweaks, they’re ready to make that transition official.

Steady Legend just announced the inauguration of Analysa Gonzalez through their next EP, Say Hey. Say Hey was written entirely by Steady Legend guitarist Michael Mancuso, and produced and mixed by Incubus, Matchbox Twenty, and U2 engineer CJ Eiriksson. Say Hey drops July 1st, and Steady Legend celebrates with a release show Saturday, July 2nd at The Green Jay along with Shaws of Awe. Today Steady Legend shared Say Hey‘s debut single, “Bad Boy”, whose defiant horn-laden energy and confident strut flips the script on the traditional “breakup song”.

Seratones: “High” (Luck Reunion Pop-Up)

A lot of anniversaries follow somewhat of a sequence along a rule of fives; after the first one’s done, you make sure the fifth year’s a big blowout…and by ten it’s typically amplified even more. For Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion, their ten-year anniversary this past March was an absolute blast, thanks in no small part to an expansive, diverse lineup that included Shreveport soul-rock outfit Seratones. Founded in 2013, this ferocious five-piece celebrates their first decade together next year, but with an abundance of inspiration and material, avoided a purely commemorative release in favor of their third full-length Love & Algorhythms. Love & Algorhythms dropped last Friday and includes the full-band studio rendition of the track below. But in a reversal of that one-to-five escalation, the acoustic pop-up version of “High” focuses solely on the quintet’s frontwoman A.J. Haynes, who’s accompanied only by a super slick Fort Lonesome suit. Its earnestness and intimacy will no doubt lift your spirits, and have you looking forward to another decade of great Seratones.

Frederico7 “Missing My Children”

We might’ve just kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook Spanish’s distant cousin, Portuguese, and subsequently the music of Brazil. Enter Frederico7, the Austin-based Brazilian soul-rocker who first captivated the Live Music Capital with a Latin-leaning vatapá of South American sounds on his 2019 debut LP Exótico Americano.

Frederico7 brings o calor to the stage tomorrow night at Far Out Lounge for South Americano Fest, celebrating two new singles that dropped this morning, which are both produced and engineered by the legendary Beto Martinez and tease an upcoming all-English album for 2022. If you’re feeling more of an ’80s-pop vibe, you might want to check out “Truth is Power” first, but if you’re like me and enjoy combating the sun with some sweltering dub reggae, you’re gonna want to blast “Missing My Children”!