I can’t imagine that the headline to this post caused anyone to be overly shocked or terribly surprised. For any paying attention, The beloved Old 97′s recently released The Grand Theatre Volume II, the follow up to last year’s excellent first volume.

For my money, the second album actually exceeds the first volume. Not sure that’s the prevailing consensus, but oh well. For me, the high-points of Volume I; “Champagne, Ill”, “Every Night is Friday Night” and “The Magician” were really lofty points, to be sure. But, there’s a pleasing consistency that seems to flow with Vol II. The straight-forward alt-country of the new record creates an imminently listenable experience. It’s one of those self-assured albums that just knows exactly what it is and isn’t making any excuses for it.

Turns out, many high-profile outlets seem to dig the new Volume. Check out what some others are saying about it…

So, there’s what a few have had to say. If, like me, you’ve heard great things about the free show the band did in Austin’s Zilker Park a couple of weeks ago, you can check the WHOLE THING out on video, below…

For years now, Centro-matic, a band that began in Denton well over a decade ago, has been known as a prolific group that has risen to a rather lofty status in the world of American Indie-rock. Led by Will Johnson, now an Austinite, the band hasn’t yet put out a record that one would consider anything less than stellar.

The band members themselves are highly sought after when it comes to contributing their individual talents to other’s projects, even. Johnson was the touring drummer for the massive Monsters of Folk project, and he also played guitar on Patterson Hood’s (Drive by Truckers) last solo album. Of course, that’s aside from his many producing projects. Drummer and sound engineer extraordinaire Matt Pence has toured with Jason Isbell while multi-instrumentalist Scott Danbom has played with Slobberbone and Sarah Jaffe. See? In-demand!

Their new album, Candidate Waltz, has reawakened many to the greatness of this band and has already began earning more than its fair share of rave reviews and predictions of the album finding its way onto a solid amount of year-end-best-of lists (Hint: There’s no way it’ll avoid landing on this blog’s list of 2011′s Best Texas Albums. Not a chance).

Enough of me blabbing. Since it’s always nice to see fellow Lone Star dwellers win praise from outside of our own borders, I’ll just let you see for yourself, OK?





So, there. Centro-matic might be a band from our state, but it’s clear that their appeal lies beyond the Red River. Still not sure? Check out the tour schedule for the guys. There aren’t many corners of the great 48 they wont be hitting soon, if not later…