Austin Lucas at Blue Moon Cafe (Shephedstown, WV 8/26/11)
I discovered Austin Lucas a couple years ago, but I had yet to see him live. When I heard he was going to be at the intimately set Blue Moon Café in Shepherdstown, WV, with his brilliantly talented back-up band The Bold Party and opening acts Matt Kline (of The Fox Hunt) and Marcellus Hall (from Brooklyn), I packed up my ’89 Honda Accord (with pop-up headlights!) for a road-trip north to see some awesome music (oh, and my sister too).
I am very much a voice and lyrics person. I often say that if I can’t understand what someone is singing, I’m not likely to be very interested in what the singer has to say (although there are, of course, exceptions). While initially drawn by the overall tone and sorrowful beauty of Lucas’ voice, I came to find bluegrass, country (the real kind), mountain, and Old Time influences in his music – some of my favorite genres. But that’s not all I found. On his new full-length album, A New Home in the Old World, Lucas has employed the use of electric guitar, as can be heard on one of my new favorite songs by him, “Thunder Rail.” Some of my other favorite songs he performed that night included “Somebody Loves You,” “Go West” (below), and “Wash My Sins Away” (also below), all of which can be found on both Somebody Loves You and Live from the White Water Tavern.
Austin Lucas is by and large one of the alt-country genre’s unsung heroes. He not only has a beautiful, soulful voice that propels along a story, but a knack for constructing and writing songs that are both emotive and smart.
Recently coming off a tour with Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown, Austin Lucas is currently headlining a tour with The Bold Party as well as touring as support for theReverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. If Lucas is performing within a few hours radius of where you live, see him (and definitely see him with The Bold Party, if you can). It won’t be long before he’ll move from intimate saloon settings to theaters, and you’ll regret not seeing him when.