Austin’s outlaw country heroes Crooks have big things on the horizon. The group is releasing their debut album, “The Rain Will Come,” this week and they’re throwing a blowout record release party at Antone’s on May 19th. Best known for their stripped down country-blues that harkens back to Hank Williams Sr. and Townes Van Zandt, Crooks has managed to establish a large and growing fan-base. In the last year, the band has played Fun Fun Fun Fest, shared the stage with Deer Tick and Gary Clark Jr., and was chosen as “Best New Local Act,” by the Austin Chronicle Critics’ Poll.
Front man Josh Mazour started out playing bass in a garage rock band, but was not writing songs at the time. He walked away from music for several years before returning with a renewed focus in country music. The original incarnation of Crooks was a two-piece, but the band has now evolved into a four piece made up of Sam Alberts (guitar/trumpet/mandolin/banjo/piano), Rob Bacak (drums) and Andrew Vanvoorhees (stand-up bass), with an accordion player joining sometimes. Mazour says his songwriting continues to grow, and the debut album reflects that. He talks about wanting to write more traditional country songs, but he says his attitude about his music changes frequently. “That’s the whole thing with songwriting — you can do whatever the hell you want.”
Also on the bill is another band with major buzz of late is local indie-folk outfit Wild Child. The band consists of six players who all play off each other, accenting soulful vocals and folk-infused instrumentation with lush strings, keys, bells, banjo and percussion. Wild Child recently graced the stage at the Do512 Lounge for an unforgettable performance in which you can watch a clip of below.
Opening the show at Antone’s is Wood & Wire, a trio featuring mostly bluegrass & Americana with swing elements and original music. The band’s live show features everything from three part harmonies to ripping fast instrumentals. They mix an array of bluegrass traditionals along with original music written by Matt Slusher and Tony Karmel.
So come out to Antone’s this Saturday, May 19th for a stellar lineup of some of the city’s finest country and bluegrass artists. Click “I Like It” for the chance to win one of three pairs of free tickets!