20 Essential Texas Albums From 2012
Classy as ever, Lovett ends his 25-year-plus relationship with Lost Highway/Curb Records, using the old Ray Price weeper as the title track (a k.d. lang duet here). Otherwise, he cleans out the vaults with Sara Watkins and Kat Edmonson duets, as well as Chuck Berry and Townes Van Zandt covers. A fitting capstone to a distinguished career with the one Nashville label that truly understands country music -- so what next, Lyle?
Kat Edmonson, Way Down Low
Second full-length by helium-voiced Austin chanteuse; a fetching suite of tunes that strikes a feather-light balance between classic pop, jazz and swing.
Bart Crow Band, Dandelion
Shiny set of Texas country-rock that will scratch the itch of anyone who thinks Eli Young Band has gone a little bit too emo.
Gary Clark, Jr., Blak & Blu
Years of incubating in Austin clubs led to much anticipation for Clark's coming-out party, teased by 2011's Bright Lights EP. Blak & Blu delivers with an eye-popping array of blues-related looks that make the past come alive, from frenetic boogie-woogie to psychedelic soul. My favorite Texas album of 2012, probably my favorite album of the year, period.