Antone's Present's: Highbilly Happy Hour!
The Hard Pans, Union Specific, Eagle Eye Williamson, Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs
2015 East Riverside
Austin, TX, 78741
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
The Hard Pans
Shed Rock. Low/No Budget Music for any alignment.
A couple Gourds, a Gourds sound guy and some other dude.
Union Specific began in the summer of 2008 in Sherman TX,
where singers/songwriters Tyler Wallace and Gregg Maher
attended Austin College, a small, liberal arts university. The two
had long known of each other's songwriting endeavors, but they did not begin making music together until late in their junior year, when
Tyler approached Gregg to play with him in a talent show. The two soon realized that they had a palpable combination when they put their talents together. What came out was a medley of hard driving country roots mixed with thoughtful indie melodies - a combination resulting in bona fide Americana. The boys got together a group of friends and were soon playing every dive in North Texas. The joints were rough, but the two developed a love for the grungy, smoke-filled venues and wished to incorporate such an essence into their sound.
Union Specific's debut album, Murderlights, was recorded in January of 2009 in Denison TX, with Kevin Couch producing and engineering. The album was featured in a live performance with John Aielli on KUTs podcast, Aielli Unleashed. The decision was made upon graduating to relocate to Austin and begin pushing the album.
It was not long after the move that Kim Taruc and Mickey Satterwhite, Austin musicians and masters of the upright bass
and keys, respectively, entered the picture. With the new line
up, Union Specific has ushered in a sound that is more authentic, focused, and fun.
The influences are as wide as the genre of Americana. Their work is largely a collision of three influences: the reckless abandon of the early days of Rock and Roll (The Supremes, The Beach Boys), the roots and soul of some of the early progressives (The Band, Neil young, Graham Parsons) and the thoughtfulness of indie sup pop contemporaries (Elliott Smith, Jeff Tweedy) . The band has managed to mold this into cohesive live sound that is fast paced and energetic yet thoughtful, complete with three part harmonies.
To give credence to how hard they work, the group has adopted
the slogan, Building Americana, a play on the Union Pacific
railroads slogan. Band members see themselves as laying the
tracks for a genre that connects the fans of the many genres that they mean to represent.
And true enough, the band's hard work has paid off for them in just 2 short years. They have developed a following in some of Austin's most esteemed venues. They can be found playing the Saxon Pub or Momo's, and have shared the stage with the likes of Seth Walker, Tom Freund, and Deadman. They have even toured around Texas making stops at prominent places, such as the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. But they never forget their roots, always making time to get back up to Sherman and play the smoky dives and haunts where they began not so long ago.
Eagle Eye Williamson
Imagine a room thick with sound. Dense walls vibrate with reverberations from a distorted guitar; floors shake with each kick of the bass drum. Each intricate layer combines to create a distinctive composition; excitement grows within. Expecting to see three people on-stage performing, this forceful sound instead lies within the workings of one, passionate man. Eagle Eye Williamson creates a uniquely raw and gritty sound reflecting his nature as a simple, work-a-day man. The organic quality of the music produces an unlikely raucous; it's hard not to become intrigued when listening.
Watching Williamson play can at first be distracting. An unassuming man sits behind a small drum-kit configured to his liking. In his lap a guitar, perfectly positioned. As he begins to play, his feet tap the drums that construct the rhythm of the songs. With his left hand, he works the fret board of his electric guitar as his right hand switches between striking the snare drum and cymbals. Each layer expands as Williamson begins to sing. The experience, at first fascinating soon turns to exhilaration.
Williamson, 34, a proud sixth generation Texan, lives in Austin. At the age of 15, a bike accident severed his optic nerve, rendering him unable to see through his right eye. Not long after, Williamson began to notice differences between he and his friends. "I could find a needle in a haystack," he boasts. "I have a million stories where I've spotted objects long before my friends or family." For 19 years Williamson went by the nickname Eagle Eye. When it came time to choose a name for his one-man-band, Williamson realized a common theme among the names of his favorite blues singers. Many of the blues musicians he admired formed their monikers by combining their nicknames with last names. With this, "Eagle Eye Williamson" came into existence.
Williamson's inspirations like John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed occupy his rough, unprocessed sound. "Those musicians faced struggles to be who they were in that time period," says Williamson, "you do your own work and no one does it for you." Williamson's life reflects such feelings. A hard-working man with a humble demeanor, Williamson aspires to evolve as a musician. Working diligently, Williamson writes and composes each song, combining the worlds of creative song writing and flawless execution. On top of that, each track is recorded on a single microphone in a single take. The songs on the album sound the same as attending an Eagle Eye Williamson show.
A little over year ago, Williamson began playing in Austin. In that time, an increase in his regular performances and special opening slots demonstrate that he is well on his way. Williamson also held a residency at Lamberts, known in Austin for its first-rate barbeque and live music. By performing at well known Austin venues such as: Club DeVille, Hole in the Wall, The Scoot Inn, Mean Eyed Cat and more, Williamson continues to introduce his unique brand of music to the Austin scene.
Though Eagle Eye Williamson may initially give an impression of a rough and tough whiskey-blues band, quite the opposite is true of his character. "I enjoy sharing my talent with people," he says with a warm smile. "People care because they see I care." Such crude talent won't stay hidden for long.
Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs
Wild Bill has been keeping Austin weird since 2005, playing and writing for a variety of some of the most interesting underground bands in town. He now plays rowdy accoustic outlaw-indy shows with a little help from his everchanging/always rotating band, the Lost Knobs. With a commanding stage presence, Wild Bill keeps the crowd on their toes with an open-ended set that can go from cosmic country straight over to a full-on dance party from out of nowhere. Representing his roots of folk, country, and punk, Wild Bill adds humor and hip hop beats that make his music standout in a city known for unique individualism.