Crooks: “The Rain Will Come”
It’s hard to fault Austin’s love affair with Crooks. The local quartet is a direct line back to the city’s past when it was the epicenter of the outlaw country movement of the early ’70s. Yet with Crooks’ latest album, they’re looking to break out of the city limits and take their sound to the wider world.
While their sound is something of a throwback, their sentiment is darker. Country music has a long tradition of tears-in-your-beer sadness, but Crooks have a way of taking their music out of the honkey-tonks and putting it on the dusty plains and arid deserts of the mind. Their self-titled debut introduced Austin to the musical world of Crooks, but it was their 2010 EP, Lonesome, Rowdy and Restless that brought broader attention. Even slicker outlets like Country Music Television heaped praise on the foursome.
And that praise is well-earned. In the live setting, the band can shift effortlessly between country, rock, and Tex-Mex. Lead singer Josh Mazour sells the sound with his creaky voice. All the members supply harmony vocals, giving these hard-luck tales a particularly eerie vibe. Crooks’ new album, The Rain Will Come, adds the accordion of Flaco Jimenez to the mix along with touches of fiddle, banjo, trumpet, and slide guitar. The extra instrumentation adds more power to these classic-sounding songs.
Crooks recently stopped by KUT’s Studio 1A to give us a taste of the new record in a live setting. They finished up with the album’s title track, a dark ballad that’s as dry and dangerous as the Texas sun they sing about.