Crooks

The Rain Will Come

Phases & Stages

Crooks

The Rain Will Come

Every few years or so, there's a surge of noteworthy new bands in Austin's bottomless wellspring of roots rock. There's another revival happening currently, and the most sonically adventurous act emerges as a young quartet calling itself Crooks. On debut full-length The Rain Will Come, Josh Mazour remains the group's driving force and lead singer, with his nasally vocal canter and scrappy delivery. Yet Rain's secret weapon is Sam Alberts, who's listed on six instruments, including guitar, mandolin, and organ. He's particularly adept at trumpet and banjo, imbuing "Pull Up" and "Bar Stool" with an unexpected twist: a Southwestern air reminiscent of Calexico. Other alt.country touchstones include Austin's own Gourds and the Old 97's, especially on the two-stepping "Your Boots" and sprawling "My First Gun." Warren Hood lends sweet fiddle throughout, and accordion king Flaco Jimenez adds Tex-Mex flavor on a couple tracks, including the deceptively sunny "Heart Achin' Town." Crooks hasn't reinvented anything except the quartet's personal measuring stick of here-and-now Texas twang. (Crooks' CD release slots in high Saturday night, May 19, at Antone's.)

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