Texas K.G.B. Welcome Home Release Party at Mohawk

Welcome Home, the third album from Austin’s ‘Original Americana’ band, The Texas KGB, immediately asserts itself with the anthemic opening track. Anticipation boils from the reminiscent, Folsom County chords rolling steadily off the fingertips of KGB bandleader Kelly Green before bursting into a captivating arrangement of folk-rock harmonies. There’s no subtlety hidden within the seven tracks of Welcome Home. It’s a bold and innovative take on contemporary Americana that unapologetically twists through a southern whirlwind of classic rock, country, blues and funk.

The album was produced by Omar Vellejo and The Texas KGB (Kelly Green Band) and was recorded at Vallejo’s 512 Studios. The Georgia-raised, Austin-based Americana quartet consists of Kelly Green on the lead and slide guitar and vocals, Jace Cadle on the rhythm guitar and vocals, Kody Lee on drums, saxophone and vocals and Violet Lea on bass and vocals.

Welcome Home lives and breathes through Green’s sophisticated vocal range. Whether softly crooning with a sugary-sweet twang or overpowering with a heart-wrenching ruggedness, Green enchants on nearly every track aside from ‘The Way’ where Cadle’s rustic gravel shines over the emotive country ballad. The nostalgic title track is an alluring arrangement that builds and cascades in melodic momentum with sweeping vocals and a chanting chorus while the smoky blues-drenched ‘Frangela’ howls with southern country-rock bravado. The deeply personal ‘Burnt Spoons’ represents the albums most poignant track detailing with candid openness the emotional turmoil and collateral damage caused by addiction. The album swings in conclusion with the blues-guitar heavy enthusiasm of ‘Funk 69’.

Make no mistake about it! The Texas KGB is not your grandpa’s ol’ timey Americana band. Their diverse interpretation of the genre combined with jaw-dropping live performances make for an Americana band that must be experienced. Welcome Home should catapult The Texas KGB to the forefront of new-age Americana in the Live Music Capital.

Check out some of the highlights below from The Texas KGB’s Official Welcome Home Release Party last Friday at Mohawk.

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Photos by: Valerie Riels @photo.atx

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Shy Beast Release Debut EP at Swan Dive

Austin’s dreamy, indie-pop outfit Shy Beast celebrated their debut EP Friday night at Swan Dive supported by a powerhouse local lineup. The self-titled debut represents a natural maturation for the spirited pop band who previously rocked Austin under the moniker of MCG and is reflective of their growth towards a sophisticated pop outfit of anthemic proportions.

Produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River, Bright Light Social Hour), the debut EP features three infectiously uplifting, synth-layered tracks that meaningfully illustrate a common experience about human nature.

The band consists of singer and keyboardist Mariclaire Glaeser, rhythm guitarist and vocalist David Tenczar, lead guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Andrew Bennett, bassist Jay Cesak (aka Jayzilla) and Drew Silverman on the drums. Gleaser may lead the band…however, each member contributes to the creation process as Glaeser, Tenczar and Bennett each wrote one of the three tracks of Shy Beast.

Last month, leading up to the album’s release, the band premiered the video for lead single “Back With Me”. “The video, uses movement, replacement, color, and light, to explore a woman’s transition from the feeling of being trapped in an apologetic spiral, to a deepening trust and confidence in herself,” states Glaeser.

At the EP Release Party, it became evident why the band chose the new identity. Shy Beast is a particularly fitting name for the outfit’s leading lady, Glaeser. She’s a self-described, “relatively shy and certainly awkward person.” But, on stage, the towering frontwoman comes alive with a commanding presence and seductive confidence that alludes to her internal beastly nature.

The EP Release Party began with a lavish, dance-inducing set of soaring synths and ambient vocals form homegrown electro-pop songstress and resident Swan Dive starlet Dossey. The Austin product’s performance featured the entirety of her latest EP, Electric, along with several favorites from her debut effort, Diamond. Dossey is the electro-pop alter-ego of artist, songwriter, enigma Sarah Dossey, who is also a member of Austin-based folk/bluegrass outfits The Reliques and Indian & The Jones.

Next up was local indie rockers Slomo Drags. This nostalgic, four-piece considers themselves equal parts pop gold and noisy guitar irreverence. The band shimmers and crunches in melodic, transgressive power pop harmony with diverse song structures that are tight and crisp while also colorfully loose and flexible. This is boisterous rock with a surreal pop twist that culminates in damn-fine entertainment.

The evening also featured experimental electronic-pop and folky trip-hop trio Fort Never who took the crowd on a transcendental, digitized fantasy. The trio consists of producer and songwriter, Timothy Ruch, singer Chantell Moody and drummer Deano Cotè. The eclectic, avante-garde band pulls from a huge range of influences and genres to defy categorization with their forward-thinking and innovative approach towards music composition and direction. For a wild trip take a gander at Fort Never’s latest video for “Paradigm”.

In the meantime, check out some of the highlights below from Shy Beast’s EP Release Party captured by Valerie Riels.

Shy Beast

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Fort Never

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Slomo Drags

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Dossey

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Photos by: Valerie Riel @photo.atx

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