HAAM Benefit Day Salute to Willie Nelson hosted by Graham Weber w/ Akina Adderley, Carson McHone, Christina Cavazos, Colin Gilmore, Cory Reinisch, Jacob Jager, James Steinly, Jaimee Harris, Jane Ellen Bryant, Jonathan Terrell, Leo Rondeau, Mayeux & Broussard, Mike Schoenfeld, Monte Warden, Nellie Clay, Raina Rose, Shad Blair, Suzanna Choffel, Wendy Colonna, Western Youth
Carson McHone’s 2015 debut full-length, Goodluck Man, established the native singer-songwriter as one of the capital’s rising country stars, but she’s got broader sights set for her follow-up. She began working with producer Mike McCarthy almost two years ago when he still lived here, and recently finished recording at his new Nashville studio.
“I had this negative idea about Nashville as this well-oiled machine that’s not very edgy,” she admits with a laugh. “I was taking a chance by working with a producer, which I’d never done before, but you’re trusting this person to have perspective. I’m excited about it, so I want to take my time and just treat it as a debut to the rest of the world.
“Some of these songs I’d written four or five years ago, and they mean completely different things to me now,” she continues. “It breathed new life into these songs, which pushed in all kinds of different directions. It doesn’t sound like throwback country, because I didn’t want to make that kind of record. Yet it’s not a departure, really. I think it just sounds a little more mature.”
Although focused on earning national attention, McHone keeps her boots firmly heeled in Austin, returning to play two events for HAAM Benefit Day. The pioneering Austin nonprofit proved its necessity again last year in the aftermath of Chris Porter’s fatal accident that also killed McHone’s bassist, Mitchell Vandenburg, and left her drummer, Adam Nurre, severely injured.
“Everybody I know uses HAAM,” she attests. “Adam came straight back to Austin because he needed that help, and it was there for him. Having it be my hometown, I’m just really proud there’s an organization like that to help musicians out.”– Doug Freeman