Toronto native Jake Langley may be the busiest and most valuable guitarist working in Austin today. Whether taking on pickup country, blues, or Western swing gigs, or playing residencies with jazz organ trios Church on Monday or Dupree, he brings a rock & roll energy, attitude, and wardrobe to superb jazz chops, without lapsing into fusion. Langley goes band leader in this return to one of Austin’s best live jazz rooms.– Tim Stegall
Too Short rapped that he was “a true blue West Coast pioneer” back in 1995. That label fits just as well on E-40. The prolific rap legends share a spot in the all-time Best of the Bay debate and a poetic pronunciation of “be-yotch,” but their styles couldn’t be more different. E-40 sprays syllables like an assault rifle, while Short’s no-nonsense flow rolls pure pimp swagger. The pair teamed up for a set of 2012 albums (History: Mob Music and History: Function Music) and continue to get in where they fit in. Sprinkle me, beyotch!– Thomas Fawcett
Mayfield’s music might be sonically enthralling on its surface, but the 24-year-old’s effort comes from some place far deeper.
“You have to have an outlet for all the terrible things inside you in order live and not kill yourself,” the Ohio native assures. “I find ways to express myself. Without music, I don’t know where I’d be. I use songwriting to express things that I can’t talk about.”
Mayfield’s last record, 2011’s Tell Me, featured production from Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, but it only hinted at the tempestuous direction she’s taken. This time, she and her husband, bassist Jesse Newport, were on their own.
“If I was working with Dan, or anybody under the same circumstances, there was always a time cramp on your creativity,” she says. “I never felt like I could do things for as long as I wanted. I’d say ‘I can do that vocal better,’ and be told ‘Yeah, but I don’t have time.’ This time it was all day and all night. I could stay in the studio for 20 hours if I wanted to. I just felt that this was the record that I always wanted to make, hear every sound I wanted to hear, and try every idea that I had and say yes to one.”
Her music may come across haunted and raw, but that’s the way the songs sound in her head.
“For the first time. I felt: ‘I have the canvas to myself, I don’t want to share.’” – Jim Caligiuri