Jenny & The Mexicats Showcase Mar Abierto at Austin’s Continental Club

It’s been a momentous two years since Jenny and The Mexicats released their highly acclaimed second album, OME. The multicultural quartet consisting of British frontwoman and trumpeter Jenny Ball, Mexican flamenco guitarist Alfonso Acosta “Pantera,” bassist Luis Díaz “Icho” and Spanish Cajon player David Gonzalez has spent the period since touring the globe and rocking crowds with their bilingual blend of rockabilly, jazz, flamenco and cumbia. So, when it came time to record their third independent album, Mar Abierto, the band took a well-deserved break from touring to reunite once again with producer Juan Garcia Alvarez at Valenzo Studios in Mexico City.

All of the band members agree the constant touring helped them mature as musicians, and felt like getting back to the studio was a reward for all their hard work. “It’s like a prize after so much time on the road to get to go back in the studio and create something new, something up to date and something that represents us 100%,” admits Jenny.

Recording the conceptual Mar Abierto presented a new challenge for the polyrhythmic Mexicats. “We’ve realized that with the change in the music industry, people pay attention to singles, focusing on one or two songs,” states the vivacious frontwoman. “We are all fans of hearing an album from start to finish, where one song ends and you start humming the next track before it even begins. We have found a way to connect all the songs on this record, with a running theme throughout.”

Mar Abierto’s fluidity springs from the guitar-driven opening of ‘La Primera Despedida’ and flows unhindered through the celebratory finale of ‘Agradecimientos’. The album offers an eclectic mixture of seven Spanish and six English compositions each diverse as the next in genre and resonance. The Anglo melodies of ‘Boxes’ and ‘Born in the City’ kick with uplifting pop and jazzy trumpeting while ‘Why Why’ represents the band’s first foray into English layered cumbia. Jenny has reached a confident maturity evident within the isolated vocals of ‘Lion’ and ‘Under My Skin’ and shares the harmonious spotlight during Spanish duets ‘Aprendimos’ and ‘Tanto Tiempo’. The saucy merengue of ‘La Diabla’ and reggae infused ‘Amplefire’ add extra spice to The Mexicats genre-bending catalog while the speedy flamenco riffs of ‘Ausencia’ and folky ‘Fantasmas’ should soothe fans with traditional Mexicats flavor.

Mar Abierto is the band’s most adventurous album to date incorporating a conceptual theme within its unique diversity. As much as Jenny and The Mexicats have enjoyed their time in the studio, they’re excited to present this new album to their fans. The band is currently touring America showcasing Mar Abierto to their adoring fans. Track Rambler had the luxury of witnessing Jenny and The Mexicats deliver a sensational performance at Austin’s Continental Club. Check out the spectacular images below captured by photographer Demetrius Judkins.

Jenny and The Mexicats video for ‘La Diabla’



Photos by: Demetrius Judkins


WHY? Addresses His Mortality With ‘Moh Lhean’

Poetic enough to make you want to write a love letter to your ex and melodic enough to fill your shower-singing needs for the next month. Somewhere between contemporary folk and alternative hip-hop exists WHY?’s newest work of art, Moh Lhean, and it is here to indie-rock your socks off. With an unforgettably grainy voice, an arsenal of programmable sounds, and a truth of hopefulness and acceptance that yearns to be told, we journey through vocalist Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf’s recent transformation from cynicism to the ability to live in the moment.

Fans of WHY? have been eagerly awaiting a new album since 2012’s Mumps, Etc., and Moh Lhean has been met with open arms and acquiescent ears. Yoni had been busy with other musical endeavors (Divorcee, Yoni & Getti) during WHY?’s hiatus, but the project has been brought back to life and his time spent away seems to have only matured his signature genre-bending sound. Although this album is quite different than what WHY? fans have been used to, Yoni’s musical transition to less conventional methods and song structures has provided his fans with a timeless album that flows perfectly. Yoni’s deadpan drawl has remained through the band’s discography, but it speaks of a very different message through this album. Moh Lhean is the first album in over a decade to be self-produced by Yoni and his brother Josiah. This freedom has given Yoni the opportunity to speak of his reconciliation with his own mortality, as a non-specific health scare has proven to be his most recent muse.

A few doctors that treated Yoni during his health scare are even sampled in “Proactive Evolution”, a song that exemplifies his new outlook on life. Much of the album is driven by an acoustic guitar and a melodic keyboard, with a powerful bass drum providing a constant beat. Yoni experimented with as many instruments as he could lay his talented fingers on in order to create a truly unique one-of-a-kind album. With an ear made for harmonies, Yoni layers every instrument perfectly and allows room for his tender and ariose lyrics to authentically resonate with the audience. “One Mississippi” is notably the most optimistic song on the album, with a hyper-positive backing track and buoyant lyrics that tell us to focus on the finer things in life instead of dwelling on what’s missing. The whole album plays a beautiful story of a man that knows where he is in life, and is figuring out where he wants to go. While we don’t know what “Moh Lhean” means, we do know that this album marks the powerful and prominent return of WHY?



Written By: Sawyer Click

Grounded In Music 10 Year Anniversary Photo Review

Austin nonprofit Grounded In Music held their 10 Year Anniversary Benefit Wednesday evening at the Gibson Brands Showroom on S. Congress. The evening was hosted by Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee Kathy Valentine and featured spectacular performances by several GIM students, soulful urban folktress Suzanna Choffel and Bastrop blues prodigies The Peterson Brothers Band. Track Rambler photographer J. Alan Love was on hand to capture the evening’s neon-lit highlights.

Photos by: J. Alan Love


Hand Drawn Pressing 2017 Record Store Day Exclusives: Old 97’s, Analog Sessions: Vol. 2 & The Texas Gentlemen

Last week, North Texas-based vinyl pressing plant Hand Drawn Pressing announced the manufacturing of its first 2017 Record Store Day (RSD) Exclusive in the form of a limited edition vinyl by Dallas bred American alt-country band Old 97’s. Available in record stores nationwide on Saturday, April 22, the exclusive vinyl will be released by the act’s label ATO Records. Featuring two unreleased B-sides from the sessions of their new 2017 album “Graveyard Whistling,” the limited edition 12” EP titled “Off My Mynd,” features two tracks pressed to wax at Hand Drawn’s new state-of-the-art vinyl pressing facility. Listen to “Off My Mynd” and “Terlingua” this April on Side A of an opaque white vinyl with the band’s logo etched on Side B.

“We are big fans of Old 97’s, so when we heard we had the opportunity to press their record, we were pumped!” said Hand Drawn Pressing’s CCO Dustin Blocker. “The vinyl came out great, very proud of this one.”

Fresh off the heels of this RSD announcement, Hand Drawn started manufacturing on Dallas-based alt-country super group the Texas Gentlemen’s debut album “Outta the Blues” on vinyl. With artwork designed by local artist Matt Cliff, each limited edition copy will be hand-numbered and signed by Cliff himself. The title track, “Outta the Blues” was written the night of the 2016 election by Texas Gentlemen member Daniel Creamer, and recorded by Creamer and Bedford at Dallas’ Modern Electric Sound Recorders the following day.

Texas Gentlemen Outta The Blues

Texas Gentlemen ‘Outta the Blues’ Cover Art

“Thanks to HDR, local is going national! We feel lucky to have Hand Drawn Records and their new vinyl machines in our backyard,” said Beau Bedford. “The Texas Gentlemen are proud to partner up with HDR for our limited edition 45 RPM debut release.”

A match made in local music heaven, the new four song 45 RPM will feature two tracks recorded specially for Hand Drawn Records’ new “Analog Sessions: Vol. 2” vinyl. Vol. 2 features 11 cover songs recorded by North Texas’ top talent, including the Texas Gentlemen, Vincent Neil Emerson, Wesley Geiger, Cut Throat Finches, Andrew Tinker, Luke Wade, War Party and more.

“It was amazing to be in the moment with Daniel as we were able to capture the raw emotion he, along with so many others, was experiencing that day,” said Bedford. “Music is about communication of emotion through sound, and art is about revealing the deeper layers of truth in the artists’ spirit and mind.”

Catch the Texas Gentlemen on stage and purchase a copy of their debut album on vinyl Saturday, April 22 at the 10th Annual Record Store Day & Good Records 17th Anniversary Party from 7 a.m. to midnight.

“We are super excited to finally release ‘Analog Sessions, Vol. 2,’ exclusively on 180 gram audiophile-approved vinyl!” said Blocker. “Made with a lot of love and help from our friends around Dallas & Fort Worth (Modern Electric Sound Recorders, Big Acre Sound, Kirtland Records, Good Records Recordings and Dreamy Life Records), this is one of our most exciting collaborative compilations to-date!”

However, if you’re eager to get your hands on it, you won’t find “Analog Sessions Vol. 2” in stores. Instead, the vinyl will only be available at special events such as the recently announced Do214 Pop-Up Record Shop on Saturday, April 22 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Off The Record in Deep Ellum. Sponsored by Tito’s Vodka, Deep Ellum Brewery, Club Dada/Off The Record and Hand Drawn Records, the event will continue a weekend of vinyl record love by offering related vendors on-site from 5 to 10 p.m. with DJ sets by DJ Sober, Tyrone Smiley and PICNICTYME until close.

“It’s truly a treat to give the gift of vinyl, so we are elated to partner with Hand Drawn Records to surprise our fans with their Analog Sessions: Vol. 2,” said Stephanie Wallace, General Manager at Do214. “What better way than to close out a day of local, music, records and shopping than with a party?! Even better, it’s free to everyone thanks to our rad partners & our friends at Off the Record.”

Record Shop & Show




‘Southside Still Holding’ With SUC Legend ESG

It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since ESG dropped Shinin’ n’ Grindin’…one of my all-time favorite SUC classics. Just thinking of ‘Realest Rhymin’’ immediately takes me back to hazy neighborhood voyages in the Pathfinder shaking the block with a trunk full of Orions. The hip-hop industry has progressed…or regressed, a great deal since the SUC ruled the south in the late 90’s-early 00’s. Even worse, it seems each year we lose yet another legend from Houston’s southside. Thankfully, there’s still a handful of SUC originators putting it down for the southside of H-Town. ESG’s latest banger, ‘Southside Still Holding’, is an instant classic that struts with timeless SUC swagger. The grimy twang in his voice has aged slightly, but this is the ESG from nearly two decades ago back to let the world know he’s still sailin’ da south on an ocean of funk.



Photo courtesy of Houston Press


Elohim Gets Dark and Introspective With ‘Skinny Legs’

Elohim continues to dazzle with one lush electro-pop gem after another. Already a top artist to watch in 2017, the Los Angeles-based producer is a game-changer in forward-thinking electronic music, twisting the genre and its live execution in ways few others have dared. She struck gold with 2016’s mariachi-pop flavored ‘Hallucinating’ and recently debuted an enchanting collaboration track with dance-pop duo, Louis The Child.

Elohim’s latest release, ‘Skinny Legs’, is a riveting, 5-minute arrangement looming with ominous undertones and flashes of exuberant pandemonium. Gone are the instantaneous opening hooks of Elohim’s previous work, replaced by a haunting intro that flourishes into pulsating bass drums and elusive speaker vocals. Frantic and fuzzy electronics fill the instrumental chorus creating a calm and crazy contrast with each verse all culminating in an airy outro of levitating vocals. Think Lorde with a luscious coating. This enigmatic track lingers on the conscience and will leave you pining for Elohim’s next hit…which if history repeats, shouldn’t be too long.

Elohim will hit the festival circuit this Spring/Summer with major festival dates as follows:

April 14-16 // Indio, CA @ Coachella (Do Lab)
May 5-7 // Todd Mission, TX @ Middlelands
May 20 // Los Angeles, CA @ Skyline Festival
May 24-29 // Bradley, CA @ Lightning in a Bottle
May 26-28 // Chillicothe, IL @ Summer Camp Festival
June 10 // Bethel, NY @ Mysteryland
June 15 // Dover, DE @ Firefly
Aug 3 // Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

Brielle Von Hugel talks ‘Naked’ and her tour in Europe

You might recognize Brielle Von Hugel’s face, but maybe you’re not sure where from. The 22-year-old Staten-Island-Native was all over your TV screens back when she was just 16 years old, or maybe you’ll just recognize her voice. Her angelic hue isn’t something easily forgotten.

An American-Idol-veteran, dips in pitch transitioning from low to high define her songs – showcasing the talent that reaches far beyond her years. You’ll find yourself questioning her age as you question why she didn’t win.

Currently, on tour across Europe, Brielle has taken to the wrong side of the road in a double-decker tour bus.

“[The bus has] been our home! I sleep in a bunk every night and we drive from venue to venue. Some drives are 4 hours long, some are 12. It’s crazy, it’s fun, it’s thrilling! What a life!” she gushed. “My family misses me a lot, but they’re ecstatic for me. Especially, my mom, she’s my best friend! “

She’s spent the past six years running around, chasing her dreams and it seems she finally caught up with them. With her recent single ‘Naked’ soaring past one million listens on Spotify, she’s showing no plans of slowing down.
“I have future plans to release an original album and go on my own headlining tour! Yay!”


Girlish, and growing in confidence, Brielle’s love for music has taken her far from Staten Island.

“It seriously is a dream come true. I first auditioned for Idol when I was 16, I then got cut and my passion and determination only grew stronger. So, I decided to go back the following year and made it to the Top 12 girls, at 17 years old! Now I’m touring the World and singing all over, that’s all I ever wanted to do. It’s glorious.”

“From the audition stage to the live show, I grew so much! I learned a lot about myself, the music business and about my artistry. I’m super grateful for the experience.” Comparing the youthful, gentle voice she had to the cascading unapologetic ripples of well-honed talent that she’s grown into, ‘Naked’ tells you a lot about her and her journey. Soft to start, with a definite emotional crescendo, she doesn’t hide the ocean of her voice behind technology.

“I want my lyrics and my voice to be heard by the heart. My single, Naked, is just so raw and real and I’m in love with the message. It’s about learning to love yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.”

“I’ve grown a lot in the past few months.” She shares. “On our day off in Antwerp, Belgium, I actually decided to get a small tattoo of a lotus flower on my wrist. I love the meaning behind it. It’s a symbol of growth and I thought it would be perfect to get, this year.”

“The sky is the limit. I’m passionate, I’m hungry and I’m ready for it!”
Listen out for Brielle’s silken tones in her latest release, ‘Stronger’, with B.O.B – available on her SoundCloud (


Author: Megan Matthews
Photo credit: F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Records

LA’s Trapdoor Social Debut ‘Winning As Truth’ Video

A classic tale involving knights, men in fancy coats, a money-tree, and a caterpillar, oh, and of course you can’t forget the major-league catchy tune that engulfs your ears in the most blissful way possible. In a scene dying for a breath of fresh air, LA’s Trapdoor Social is here to satisfy all of your indie needs with their newest single ‘Winning As Truth’.

With a heavy rhythm, intoxicating melodies, and a smooth flow, the 5-piece’s new single off of their self-titled album is the anthem that you didn’t know you needed. Reminiscent of Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, and One Republic, TDS is bringing in the new wave of alternative music that has been craving fresh blood. Merritt Graves, the singer of the power-pop group, delves into the song by telling us that it “takes aim at the idea that successfully gaming the system makes someone ‘right’.” A strong sense of true integrity flows not only through the band’s songs, but through their beliefs as well. With a keen concern for the environmental degradation, TDS weave community and charity into their schedule, often participating in fundraisers to aid environmental causes.

Director Matt Walker (Skepta, Saint Pepsi, GRMLN) takes the audience on an adventure that breathes in perfect sync with the song’s structure and meaning. We meet our hero as he is thrust on a noble quest, and we follow his Iron-Age story to the climatic end. Tension builds throughout each chapter of the tale, and a cool wave of relief washes over the audience with every turn of the page.

After watching this video, I’m torn between watching Game of Thrones and screaming the song’s lyrics at the top of my lungs on a top-down road trip with my best friends.


Written by: Sawyer Click

Katie Buchanan Shares ‘Floating’ From Upcoming LP

NYC-based singer-songwriter Katie Buchanan’s recent release of ‘Floating’ has me in awe. The first single from her guitar-driven sophomore album Who We Are When We’re Standing, to be released on June 9th, showcases her rich vocals in a very minimalist fashion that leaves her standing in a room alone, with little else than a guitar to accompany her.

Born into music, her oaky vocals are telling of the emotion behind this track. A coming of age story from the Kansas-native, her heavy lyrics seem to express her desire to escape. It’s easy to fly, with no hand holding you down, after all.

Floating’ has all the heart of that hometown in Kansas combined with the grit of New York City’s streets. A sweet but salty combination, you can almost taste the concoction of her feelings that make up the lyrics; so strong that you wouldn’t believe they’re not your own. It feels real – reverberating in your mind and calling up memories of when you flew.

She captures that feeling we’ve all had, that post-break up realization, that you’re free. The independence is unbearable, almost, and the opportunities are terrifying.
Perfectly balanced as a song, she offers up a country vibe to the gritty-yet-pop counterpart that leaves you feeling as though you need to listen to it again, because she understands you. It’s bittersweet and leaves her naked with her strength on show, in the bluesy-vocals.

Who We are When We’re Standing Tracklist:
01. Oh Lord
02. Floating
03. Stand With Me
04. Doubt In My Mind
05. The Song About You
06. Time Is Not A Plan
07. I Can Be
08. What Breaks A Heart
09. Beginnings and Ends


Written by: Megan Matthews

Photo Credit: Lexi Lambro



April 19 – 30, 2017

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA opens April 19 – 30, 2017 with Austin’s premiere engagement at Bass Concert Hall. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “Having received great critical acclaim in the U.K. and North America, I am really pleased that Laurence Connor’s new production of PHANTOM will continue to tour the U.S. playing in tandem with the Broadway production which soon celebrates 30 years.”

Cameron Mackintosh said, “With PHANTOM still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 28 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I’m delighted that this spectacular new production of PHANTOM has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 2.5 million people across North America since it opened in November 2013. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson’s amazing costumes, the new PHANTOM is thrilling audiences and critics alike all over again.”


-The Philadelphia Inquirer

-Chicago Sun-Times



-Roy Leonard, Chicago Now

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is presented by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, and NETworks Presentations. Directed by Laurence Connor (who co-directed the new production of Les Misérables that just finished a hugely successful two and a half year revival on Broadway and will start a North American tour in the fall of 2017, directed the award-winning new production of Miss Saigon coming to Broadway in 2017 and national tour in 2018, and also directed the stage version of the movie School of Rock now playing at Broadway’s Winter Garden and opening in London’s West End at the New London Theatre this November), with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter, and musical supervision by John Rigby. The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe); book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber; orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Cameron Mackintosh’s brilliant original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA continues performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world.



1. How is the new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ‘new’?
Following the 25th Anniversary of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, producer Cameron Mackintosh chose to honor PHANTOM’s worldwide success and its many fans with a new production. He chose a new creative team, including director Laurence Connor (co-director of the New 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables) and allowed them the freedom to tell this beloved story utilizing advances in theatrical wizardry. The production retains the beloved music, script, lyrics, and the Tony Award winning costume design by Maria Björnson. Critics have hailed this new PHANTOM as “bigger and better than ever before.”

Theatrical technology has advanced significantly since 1986, when the original production of PHANTOM began. This new production was an opportunity for the creative team to utilize these innovations that were not available or imagined in 1986. These new advances can be found in the lighting, scenic design, pyrotechnics, sound and more!

2. Is this new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA still the PHANTOM I know and love?
Absolutely! The show, from original producer Cameron Mackintosh, retains the beloved story and score by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The sets, lighting, and sound have been redesigned for this new production, while retaining the original Tony Award-winning costumes. This PHANTOM is as grand and enormous a spectacle as the original and brings a fresh, new design to the stage. This production travels in 20 trucks with a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest touring productions of a Broadway musical.

3. Is there a chandelier? What will it do?
YES – There is a chandelier which incorporates advances in theatrical technology since 1986, when the original London production opened.
The chandelier and the scene where the Phantom exacts his revenge have been conceived in an exciting new way, utilizing elements on the stage and in the theater house.

4. Are there other special effects in the new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – such as the boat, candles, etc?
Christine’s journey into the Phantom’s lair has been completely redesigned and will incorporate a boat and candles in a brand new way. The new set design is by Paul Brown, a well known opera designer. He has created an authentic Paris Opera House environment with unique surprises and thrills for the audience, including the use of pyrotechnics and theater magic throughout the show.

5. What will the music be like in this new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA?
The entire original score and all the songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber (including “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade”) remain completely intact – no changes have been made. The orchestrations have been updated with a fresh and modern feel.


Official show site:





For more information on the production and a video sneak peek, please visit: