For nearly a decade, American Aquarium has spent the majority of their days on the road, burning through a sprawl of highways during the day and playing hours of raw, rootsy rock & roll at night. Sometimes, the job is a grind. Most times, it’s a blessing. American Aquarium’s songs, filled with biographical lyrics about last calls, lost love and long horizons, have always explored both sides of that divide. For every drunken night at the bar, there’s a hangover in the morning. For every new relationship, there’s the chance of a broken heart. It’s that kind of honesty – that sort of balance – that makes the band’s newest album, Wolves, their strongest release to date.
Kyle Park is a country singer-songwriter and music producer from Austin. After two years of study at Texas State University, he took the money that was supposed to pay for the last half of his education and recorded an album, releasing it on his own record label. He writes and produces his own music, and performs more than 175 shows a year with his band. His singles have regularly settled in the Texas Music Chart’s Top 10, with his 2013 single “The Night Is Young” reaching No. 1 and his Fall EP peaking at No. 1 in 2010 on the Billboard Heatseekers South Central list. Kyle has opened for artists such as George Strait, Gary Allan, Clint Black, Eli Young Band and other country headliners.
Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, he is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and smallminded thinking. Carll connects with music lovers across genres lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo, Stones Fest, SXSW and NXNE, he and his band merge a truculent singer/songwriter take that combines Ray Wylie Hubband’s lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider’s brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people. After releasing Flowers & Liquor in 2002, Carll was voted the Best New Artist of 2002 by The Houston Post. He would go on to release Little Rock on his own Highway 87 label, which became the first self-owned project to the top the Americana charts. Each album expands on his already extreme vintage country, extreme thumping bad road boogie, extreme heartbroken ache – and finds new ways to take on the fate of the nation. Whether it’s the GI protagonist in the propulsive title track of KMAG YOYO, the train wreck objet d’amour of “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” also recorded by Hubbard, the road warrior of both “I Got A Gig” and “Little Rock” or the stoner liberal and the uptight Republican vixen of “Another Like You,” Carll paints vivid pictures of humanity as it really is. Thickheaded. Avaricious. Squalid. Hungry. Angry. Getting by.