Mixing the Austin Soul Stew
I say that songwriter Kurt McMahan knows a lot about music from Texas, but actually, his knowledge is vast on a wide range of styles and not just the Texas variety. You could chat with the man for days about Stax Records alone.
McMahan is a true Southern boy, originally from Montgomery, AL, but his knowledge of Texas tunes and music legends is practically encyclopedic. His appreciation for Austin’s history runs quite deep, and you hear it’s tremendous influence on his own songwriting. He performs with three bands in town: Blues band King Biscuit, honky-tonk group Cactus Fuzz, and Southern soul outfit King Corduroy, which just released a new album, the aptly titled Austin Soul Stew. The liner notes read like a who’s-who of local talent: guitarist David Jimenez, Treavor Nealon providing keys, Kate Priestly and Emily Gimble on vocals, trumpeters Ephraim Owens and Derek Phelps, Stephen Beasley bringing the sax, drummers Tom Risher, Jr., Damien Llanes and Barry Smith… And it doesn’t stop there. McMahan knows the best of the best, and found a way to bring all of it together .
Make sure you catch McMahan when he performs tonight at the Hole In the Wall, 2538 Guadalupe. The bill includes sets by roots band Shawn Nelson & The Good Buds and multi-genre sextet Moneywell Spunt. Get there around 10 p.m. Check it out.