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Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, December 6, 2019, Music

When KGSR debuted its live, locally recorded Broadcasts series in 1993 with Austin's Darden Smith performing "Trouble No More," a single disc of 17 singer-songwriters including Joan Baez, T Bone Burnett, and Butch Hancock benefited the Travis County Children's Advocacy Center. Today, 1,011 tracks later, contemporary music finally caught up to the rebranded frequency's annual mixtape. No longer do full-length albums and CDs constitute the standard in our playlist age, and indeed, Vol. 27 – either a 2-CD, 34-song compilation or a double vinyl set with 11 songs on each record – plucks salient 2019 touchstones: Maggie Rogers, Sam Fender, Barns Courtney. Amongst the conversions and discoveries, such as King Princess' lustful "1950," Alice Merton's instant mantra "No Roots," and strident local standout Max Frost's percussive "Good Morning," segues still rule the roost. Stirring harmonies from Strumbellas and Local Natives bridge Canada to Southern California and then dovetail perfectly into songmen Matt Nathanson and Austinite Hayes Carll. On disc two, a triptych of Courtney Barnett, Jade Bird, and Patty Griffin trills the age of woman. Lone Stars hog the spotlight behind the Texas Gentlemen's what-are-they-smoking ditty "Habbie Doobie," Walker Lukens' millennial techno-pop "Baby," Wild Child's hippie-folk "Back & Forth," and Robert Ellis' delicious closer "Topo Chico." The wax cannily re-sequences the highlights without any omissions. ACL Radio's mixtape No. 27: Austin Spotify.


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