SXSW Music Review: Nine Mile Records & Touring Serves Up Tacos, Lone Stars, and Roots Galore at the Continental Club

Welcome to the Virtual Live Music Capital of the World

Matinees at the Continental Club blot out the sun to spotlight Austin music: loose, literate, roots-bound. The homies at Nine Mile Records & Touring loaded into the South Congress speakeasy – shuttered all this time – for virtual tacos and Lone Stars at 11am Saturday. The brand’s four acts in 55 minutes stoked real thirst, too, amongst the 160-plus online.

Carson McHone (Photo by Raoul Hernandez)

Local siren Carson McHone actually kicked off the proceedings inside a dreamy Fifties-chic studio in Toronto, where the homegrown singer-songwriter remains holed up throughout all this. Backed by double guitars, Rickenbacker bass, congas, drums, and keyboards, the whole shootin’ match pivoted her sound. Though she broke out through country music, that genre’s inherently relative to any Texan, and here she leaned into indie rock from a forthcoming full-length.

McHone’s husky voice still lends the new material a subtle Western undercurrent in the larger Waylon Jennings sense – that you can’t take the country out of a Lone Star … – but given her home away from home, urban roots anthemics Blue Rodeo come to mind, or Maria McKee crossing over in Lone Justice. When the band died down, the tender edges of her dreamy bedroom vox popped in “Spoil on the Vine.”

Greyhounds (Photo by Raoul Hernandez)

The Deer (Photo by Raoul Hernandez)

Greyhounds followed those 20 minutes with 10 of their own. Keyboardist and singer Anthony Farrell and guitarist Andrew Trube, backed by a second guitar, drums, and a conga/tambourine on the sacred Continental Club stage, emanated cool Southern soul rock. Farrell’s voice, a big airy burble of Seventies woke, soothes like the venue’s plush velvet curtain behind the bands. The duo’s peak 2020 LP Primates swung the material, including closer “Stay Tonight,” all lava lamps, Persian rugs, and soft buzz.

The Deer, a fivepiece transitioning from folk-pop to indie folk, rollicked behind mandolin, fiddle, double bass, and frontwoman and keyboardist Grace Rowland. She still sings within the lines, but with rich, dove-y harmonies, the group melts into one sound. At the beginning of “Winter to Pry,” Rowland began nearly a cappella and, as with McHone, her avian cry came into sharp focus as the song’s fiddle bridged the icy highs of its titular season to the uplift of spring.

Finishing up the brunch in troubadour mode, Kevin Galloway, accompanied by Mark Williams on cello, circled the proceedings back to the beginning: a singer, their songs, a legendary stage the world over. The tart spruce sound of the latter’s instrument brought a low contrast to Galloway’s rich tenor, and suddenly all of us found ourselves in a UK pub somewhere – London, Edinburgh, Galway. Only it was Austin, a scene thawing from its “Virtual Live Music Capital” designation.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Music Review: NPR’s Tiny Desk Charms & Swaggers
NPR’s Tiny Desk Charms & Swaggers
Coziness tipped into the sublimely surreal

Doug Freeman, March 20, 2021

SXSW Panel Recap: Live Music in Venues – What’s Next?
Live Music in Venues – What’s Next?
Summer’s up in the air for many venues, but the fall looks bullish

Greg Stitt, March 20, 2021

More by Raoul Hernandez
Nemegata's Folkloric Futurism Boosts Austin's Budding Colombian Music Scene
Nemegata's Folkloric Futurism Boosts Austin's Budding Colombian Music Scene
Local trio powers up its magnetic roots fusion in new release Voces

Sept. 29, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Molly Burch, Arooj Aftab, and Mobley lead our recommended shows

Sept. 29, 2023


Nine Mile Records & Touring, SXSW Music 2021, Carson McHone, Greyhounds, Andrew Farrell, Andrew Trube, The Deer, Grace Rowland, Kevin Galloway, Mark Williams, Continental Club

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle