Amy Atchley, Carley Wolf, Teri Joyce, and Julia Magness & the Original Bells of Joy

Girlie action

Texas Platters

Amy Atchley entertained local audiences in the pop trio Fabu while attending the University of Texas in the 1990s and has since put her pure voice to successful use in commercial ventures. Her tender heart still lies in the crafting of delicate, folk-flavored pop with a distinctly modern edge, however, as evidenced by her latest, Pretty Muse (Cherrywood Records). No overkill on this 7-song CD, just the sweetness of Atchley's lovely singing, yearning lyrics, and wistful melodies ("Orphan Girl," "Just for a Minute"). The eye patch in the drawing of Carley Wolf on her new Set Sail might raise hopes for a few yo-ho-ho's, but there's no bottle of rum here. Wolf's self-styled gypsy folk with a pop spin – cultivated right here in Central Texas since birth – is strong and promising. There's nothing with serious radio punch, but her "Run Into the Sun" has been dance-mixed as a bonus track and adds gypsy violin over a pulse beat effectively. Ex-Tearjoint Troubadour Teri Joyce would have fit right in with the female country singers of the 1970s. Honky-tonk weepers and tears in yer beer? Yep ("Bluebonnets for My Baby"). A tip of the Stetson to A-town? Oh yeah ("Austin, Texas, U.S.A."). Divine duets with Roger Wallace ("Fifteen Minutes of Shame")? Check. Kitchen Radio is 14 tracks of fine-tuned, classic calico country and denim rhythms. The Original Bells of Joy knew they'd found a good thing when they passed the microphone to Julia Magness at one of their shows. Born and raised in Austin, she answered back with one of those rich, smoky altos and Julia Magness & the Original Bells of Joy's The Bells Ring On was born. Though her pretty face decorates the cover, she's not always the lead voice, as on "Running for Jesus." That's correct for gospel, which relies on the response to be as potent as the lead, and they are on this joyous collection of favorites, from the rockin' "Saved" to the grace of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Recommended for when you're ready to heave the radio after the 50th rendering of "Sleigh Ride" and it's not even Thanksgiving.

More Amy Atchley
Phases & Stages
Amy Atchley
Where You Go (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, May 16, 2014

More Carley Wolf
Rock & Roll Books
Seduced by Sound: Austin
Seduced by Sound: Austin – 100 Musicians on Why They Make Music

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 9, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Crack Pipes
Beauty School (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Oct. 20, 2017

Texas Platters
Milligan Vaughan Project
Milligan Vaughan Project (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2017

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


Amy Atchley, Carley Wolf, Teri Joyce, Julia Magness & the Original Bells of Joy

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)