The Austin Chronicle

Watch This: Kicking Americana Quintet Restos’ Debut Single “Ain’t Dead Yet”

By Doug Freeman, April 5, 2023, 11:00am, Earache!

Last summer, the Chronicle premiered a new song from country rockers Western Youth called “Wild Heart,” their tribute to late songwriter Chris Porter.

That would turn out to be Western Youth’s final song, as the band was put on ice shortly after. Now, the members have regrouped under the name Restos. Led by Graham Weber, the quintet has released their first single, aptly titled “Ain’t Dead Yet,” which reunites Mark Nathan’s guitar and Sammy Powell’s keys with the pumping rhythm backing of Brian Bowe and Chris Spencer. Jaimee Harris, currently rocking the release of her new sophomore LP, Boomerang Town, also works into the mix on vocals.

“At its core, Restos is made up of five of the six members of Western Youth,” notes Weber of the new outfit. “Jaimee is part of the band, and appears with us whenever she is available.”

“Restos is a more dynamic sound with more space, and a true collaborative project. All of us contribute to the songwriting process, and while we still can fit into the overtly wide net of the Americana genre, we are now writing music that would fall into various categories. Still focused on rock & roll but … we are not holding tight to one style or genre. It's music that we like, and hope that audiences feel the same.”

The debut single certainly pockets well next to their previous work together, with an easy but kicking melody worthy of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Weber and Harris’ harmonizing vocals tinge the tune with a hefty dose of earnest yearning in their defiance to hang on. As for the name of the new band, it also strikes an apropos note, translating from Spanish to “remains.”

“When we had to find a new name for our band, this seemed to fit,” offers Weber. “Western Youth had its run, and when it ended, the five of us still wanted to make music together. Plus we are all veteran players at this point, we've all been in a lot of bands. A lot of folks we know have stepped away from playing as the years have gone on, but we are still here, still creating, and we're not hanging it up any time soon.”

“Ain’t Dead Yet” is the first of several planned singles from the band, in anticipation of their debut album coming this fall. The recording was done with Charles Godfrey at the helm at Austin’s Public Hi-Fi, with Harris adding her contributions cut with Ray Kennedy in Nashville. The video for the song, premiering below, was created by eclectic local artist Annie Bradley McCall, who animates the tune with a gorgeous impressionistic swirl of western psychedelics.

Meanwhile, Restos is gearing up for a Summer Series at Central Machine Works, playing the last Saturdays of the month. The first date (May 27) will feature Jaimee Harris opening, with Jordan Matthew Young setting up in June and Harvest Thieves pairing in July.

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