Vol. 5: Back to the Armadillo

Texas Platters

KGSR's earliest Broadcasts thrilled with live, local, one-time-only covers, mash-ups, and acoustic whisperings peppered through by (inter)national all-stars legitimizing Austin's musical El Dorado. Mixtapes, if you will. Proliferated in this digital millennium rather than fading like so much analog tech, thematic collections now thrive online but never more so physically than All ATX's annual health care fundraiser.

Fully realized into a homegrown time capsule alongside Jody Denberg's collectible comps at his former frequency, Vol. 5: Back to the Armadillo ranks third in the franchise. A 2013 bow pivoted on native pairings, 2014 exploded the British Invasion, 2015 segued perfectly into psychedelia on All Along the Moontower, and last year stabilized the concept with prime bits of all its predecessors.

Reinvention rules the roost beginning with Fastball's leadoff home run on ZZ Top's "Tush," now a dirge ratcheting the high/low entwining of the trio's dual vocalists, and Charlie and son Marlon Sexton's narcotic buzz astride 10CC's "I'm Not in Love." Bold move, too, Ray Benson Westernizing Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic," and even Patrice Pike's noble failure on "Africa" (Toto) generates genuine respect.

Fealty to the classic rock canon works notable wonders for A. Sinclair ("Bell Bottom Blues"), Leopold & His Fiction ("Only the Lonely"), and big bopper Monte Montgomery ("Love Is Alive"), but genuine surprises pop: Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison recasting "Dirty Work" by Steely Dan as country-soul, My Jerusalem repaving Guy Clark's "L.A. Freeway" in the shade of alt-noir, and Jon Dee Graham and spawn William Harries Graham giving the Sextons a run for the money on an equally sticky "Faithless Love." Solid gold.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More All ATX
Playback: The New Face of Austin Music Festivals
Playback: The New Face of Austin Music Festivals
Taking stock of Austin’s festival landscape a week after the conclusion of ACL Fest

Kevin Curtin, Oct. 20, 2017

More Music Reviews
Review: Tearjerk, <i>Face to Face</i>
Review: Tearjerk, Face to Face
Face to Face (Record Review)

Kriss Conklin, May 12, 2023

Album Review: The Stacks
Album Review: The Stacks
Lay Me Down to Rest (Record Review)

Mars Salazar, Feb. 17, 2023

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
A farewell party for Jim Eno, Rock the Park with Rosie Flores, and more recommended shows

June 2, 2023

S.L. Houser’s Earnest “Wind in the Door” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
S.L. Houser’s Earnest “Wind in the Door” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Rod Gator, BLK ODYSSY, and Cloud Companion

June 2, 2023



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle