Showing posts with label Leon Bridges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leon Bridges. Show all posts

Aug 21, 2019

Black Pumas Are The Next Great Import From Austin, Texas

By Robert Dean

Ask anyone in Austin who the best band in town right now is, and you’re likely to get the same answer each and every time: Black Pumas. 

While there’s no disrespect to the plethora of bands who are amazing in Texas’ capital city, what Black Pumas are doing is taking the state, and the world by the throat and demanding that we all pay close attention to them. And you know what? Those red marks are ok. 

Comprised of singer Eric Burton along with guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, who also happens to be the man behind the Grammy-winning Grupo Fantasma, Brownout and the Black Sabbath worship act Brown Sabbath, the Black Pumas haven’t just dropped a new record that people can’t get enough of, the band is suddenly finding themselves in some strange, new places, too, namely at the top of plenty of tastemakers lists across the country. 

On their ATO Records self-titled debut, The Black Pumas aren’t just that little band from Austin any longer, but instead are now labelmates with groups like the Alabama Shakes, Old 97’s, and Lucero. 

The songs are dirty, funky and bluesy with a deep Texas groove that shares the same DNA with Gary Clark Jr, Leon Bridges, The Suffers, acts which cross barriers by not only race but sound, style, and pure fury. 

While singer Eric Burton isn’t a Texan, he was a California beach bum playing for change on the boardwalks, but once he got to Austin, dove into the scene, he’d realized he’d found a home in Texas’ capital city. When he hooked up with Quesada, everything changed. And now, thanks to their partnership we’ve got the Black Pumas. 


The record is lush, it’s old school. There’s some Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Al Green, Otis Redding, the soul of Black Pumas is on full display. If there’s any band you need to get on your radar, it’s these guys. There’s an unaffected cool about the songs, the vibe of the group, that despite their present-day existence, that they should be played on 45 in a jukebox in bars around the world. 

“Colors,” “Black Moon Rising,” and “Fire” all are slinky, night time tunes for rooms with low light, they’re moody, brooding and precisely what you want to put on over a Jameson neat or a glass of Merlot. Whatever your poison, the Black Pumas are the next big band out of Austin since Gary Clark. Believe that. 

Jul 12, 2016

Album Review: C.W. Stoneking - Gon' Boogaloo

C.W. Stoneking - Gon' Boogaloo
A Review by Robert Dean

This record is amazing.

You know what’s awesome about the Internet? When you randomly stumble upon music, and it gives you pause, and you’re like, FUCK. HOW DID I MISS THIS?

This was me today, discovering C.W. Stoneking – randomly, I saw the cover of his 2014 record, Gon’ Boogaloo and was instantly intrigued given my natural adoration of all things Depression-era southern blues and or country.

What I was just privy to learning is the aforementioned Gon’ Boogaloo is just gathering steam on this side of the Pacific. C.W. Stoneking is an Australian and while his music is loved down under, he’s yet to find his audience here in America.

So, the record is just starting to get noticed in the States, almost two years from its release. I ain’t complaining... because what I stumbled on by way of an Instagram photo (totes follow me: @RobertDeanNola) I fell in love with Stoneking’s music instantly.

Gon’ Boogaloo is a hodgepodge of classic Americana that’s got the intensity of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but mixed with notes of Son House, Elmore James, and Leadbelly. It’s jangly, poetic; it’s got some Tom Waits moments, and then, it can turn classic country on a dime.

The production is low and straight-ahead. It feels genuine in its adherence to being honest about what it is: it’s straight ahead creepy blues that sounds like it should be played at a Halloween party. Sure, the songs are rough and tumble, but they feel… haunted. If you’re a fan of JD McPherson, The Bellfuries, or Leon Bridges, C.W. Stoneking is in your wheelhouse.

There are some hand clappers, foot stompers and moments where you need to holler out to God, but all of the emotions we’ve so sorely needed are here and it feels good to hear someone ignore what’s cool and go for the heart, to play what’s honest.

The guitars are filthy, and the vocal harmonies sound pre-war. The music sounds used, worn – and that gives it soul – gives it light.



We’re just up to our ears in shit that is just so awful, that tries too hard to have a soul. So much bad fakery is abound with people who want to achieve C.W. Stoneking’s sound, but fall very, very flat. His persona and image reminds me of Pokey LaFarge, and I hope the two become pals and drink many weird beers together.

Word on the street is C.W. Stoneking is embarking on his first US tour – if it’s not, who cares, either way. This is one artist worth your ticket money, worth your body in the room, worth the bucks on a shirt. Having discovered him just today, I managed to order Gon’ Boogaloo on vinyl, purchase tickets for the show in Austin in a few weeks, and write a review to spread the word. That’s how much I believe in this music, this record, this artist.

Maybe it’s the cover art imagery that offers a sepia tonality to the whole record that you can’t escape, but whatever demons C.W. Stoneking summoned for Gon’ Boogaloo they came out with their best rock and roll dancing shoes on, cause brothers and sisters, this record is here to party.

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Gon’ Boogaloo is available on Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes, etc.

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