If it's local buzz you're seeking, Fort Worth native Hudson Moore moving here is a good start. His debut, Fireworks, shoots off Texas alt.country rock just as warm and appealing as a Friday in the park.
Ha Ha Tonka
Bloodshot Records roots rockers Ha Ha Tonka delivered one of the year's best in April's Death of a Decade. The Missouri natives take Midwest muscle and wrap it around the bones of country and rock with the kind of panache Texans appreciate.
Bobby Long's thoughtful indie folk comes naturally, a muse he's been chasing since his teens. The British singer-songwriter's debut, A Winter Tale, captures his sometimes wistful, always affable vocals with style.
Winning the UK Beatbox competition and having an intriguing name are good starts. Having the style to back it up is even better. Brit genre-bender Beardyman is a master at manipulating sound technology as live MC, comic, and looper.
Gary Clark Jr.
Yet another musician who cast a tall shadow at ACL Fest's first year, the hype on Austin native Gary Clark Jr. is as authentic as it comes. Last year, he was one of few young newcomers chosen by Eric Clapton to perform at Chicago's Crossroads Guitar Festival.
When in doubt, cite addresses: 20-year-old Texan Tyler Bryant now divides his time between L.A. and Nashville, honing the 1970s classic rock sound found on his spring My Radio EP.
The Kingston Springs
The Vacation Time EP debuted charming indie rock from this Tennessee-based quartet. They quest for their place amid layered harmonies and a naked love of classic rock.
Jon Pardi's brand of country comes naturally to the Nashville-based singer-songwriter, working his craft since age 3. That makes him a veteran in his mid-20s, which gives his music substance as he works toward his EMI debut.
Wanting a more original approach to hip-hop, Nashville native Chancellor Warhol turned to electronica and dance beats. Translating his vision into a stylish hybrid he calls "cyber-rap," he's wielded the weapon with mighty force at South by Southwest.
A role model in funk-based rock & roll since fronting Sister Seven in the 1990s, Austin's Patrice Pike turned into our hometown hero and festival queen of Lilith and HORDE Her latest live CD, Live and Then Some!: Brushwood Lounge Volume 2, is solid testament to her varied Texas influences.
Nothing like a few hyphenates to hype a band, but Austin's MilkDrive calls itself an alt-folk-progressive acoustic string band, and that works. Their spring CD, Road From Home, was produced in Nashville, Tenn., with Bil VornDick.
Seth Walker once attached "from Austin" to his name, having spent 15 years woodshedding his roots blues here. His choice of Nashville as new digs is interesting; it's not thought of as a blues town but is sure to imprint his music.
Last year's The Exotic Sounds of Courtney Jaye captured the charm of Hawaiian-flavored 1960s country, but without the treacly kitsch. The Nashville resident only keeps a hint of her island influence in her more recent pop-flavored disc, Love and Forgiveness.
We Are Augustines
If We Are Augustines' indie rock sounds vaguely familiar, think Brooklyn's Pela. That edge dulled around 2009, but this compelling trio rose phoenix-like, with digital-only release Rise Ye Sunken Ships appearing earlier this year.