EP Review — Khruangbin & Leon Bridges’ ‘Texas Sun’

Khruangbin and Leon Bridges are not exactly two acts on paper you would picture teaming up together to make music. The former is a modern instrumental trio who really don’t fit into a particular genre or sound, while the latter is a soulful artist who sits comfortably within throwback R&B. But they both hail from Texas and through touring came to know each other, leading to the EP Texas Sun. And I’m just going to throw out my biggest complaint right up front: why is there only four songs? I want to hear more!

The opening title track instantly puts you in mind of driving idly down a hot Texas highway in the middle of summer with it’s warm guitars, rhythmic drums and the subtle chimes floating in the background. Of course I also love the introduction of the pedal steel guitar mid-way through, as you can’t forget country influences when it comes to Texas. Bridges proves too that his voice can easily shine beyond soulful sounds, as he can pretty much fit his dynamic voice into any sound.

“Midnight” is about Bridges recalling a passionate romance of days past and I love all the little details of the relationship that Bridges packs into the song. The chorus in particular is just fantastic, not just for all the details (the midnight black of the car, the leather seats, the passion), but the way Bridges delivers the lines so smoothly that matches both the mood and lyrics. Throw in the swanky guitar tones of Khruangbin and I feel like I’m right there watching the scenes of this song play out. This is the first song of 2020 that has “wowed” me.

“C-Side” is another love song oozing with passion and charisma in both the lyrics and instrumentation. In particular I enjoy how the instrumentation in this song has this sweaty, swaggering, jungle-like vibe. Being an instrumental band, it’s not surprising how great Khruangbin is at creating a particular atmosphere for the listener. Bridges always nails the vibe on these type of love songs in his delivery with an almost flawless sense (listen to his latest album Good Thing to hear it for yourself).

The EP closes with “Conversion,” an indie rock meets gospel song about a man having a come to Jesus moment with a woman in their relationship. It’s about seeking forgiveness and learning the errors of your ways to appreciate the love you have. After the Saturday night feel of the previous two songs, this is the Sunday morning response and these two nail the other side of the coin too. The reflective nature, appropriately driven by the organ, tugs at the heartstrings and creates this genuine sense of remorse and redemption within as you listen. It’s what truly great gospel songs do.

Texas Sun is a truly brilliant little collection of music. As I said in the beginning, man I wish this was a full album instead of an EP. Khruangbin and Leon Bridges go together so well and come together to create a vibrant and colorful set of songs. It’s a true homage to the many sounds of Texas music that is fresh and invigorating. Do yourself a favor and listen to this exciting EP.

Grade: 10/10

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [September 28]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love [Up 1]
  3. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time [Up 1]
  4. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10) [Down 2]
  5. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour
  6. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10)
  7. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain 
  8. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours (Grade: 10/10) [Up 3]
  9. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 1]
  10. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold [Up 5]
  11. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats [Up 3]
  12. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) 
  13. Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler [New]
  14. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Down 5]
  15. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves [Down 2]
  16. The Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club [New]
  17. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 7]
  18. Uncle Lucius – The Light [Down 2]
  19. Wood Brothers – Paradise [New]
  20. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Down 2]
  21. Don Henley – Cass County [Up 9]
  22. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Up 10]
  23. Richard Thompson – Still [Down 6]
  24. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Up 1]
  25. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10) [Down 6]
  26. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Down 6]
  27. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color [Down 4]
  28. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [Down 4]
  29. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio
  30. Waifs – Beautiful You [Up 1]
  31. Kevin Gordon – Long Gone Time [Up 3]
  32. Jackie Greene – Back To Birth [Down 6]
  33. Shawn Colvin – Uncovered [New]
  34. The Deslondes – The Deslondes (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 6]
  35. Jason James – Jason James [Up 5]
  36. Leon Bridges – Coming Home [Down 3]
  37. Sam Outlaw – Angeleno (Grade: 10/10) [Down 1]
  38. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind (Grade: 9/10) [Down 11]
  39. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie (Grade: 9/10) [Down 4]
  40. Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues [Down 18]

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [September 21]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10)
  3. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love [Up 10]
  4. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time [Up 2]
  5. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour [Down 2] 
  6. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10) [Down 1]
  7. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain [Down 3]
  8. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 1]
  9. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Down 1]
  10. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 1]
  11. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  12. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) [Down 2]
  13. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves [Down 2]
  14. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats [Up 6]
  15. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold [Up 19]
  16. Uncle Lucius – The Light [Down 2]
  17. Richard Thompson – Still [Down 2]
  18. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Down 1]
  19. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10)
  20. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Down 4]
  21. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams [Down 3]
  22. Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues [Down 1]
  23. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color 
  24. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [Up 5]
  25. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Up 7]
  26. Jackie Greene – Back To Birth [Up 1]
  27. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind (Grade: 9/10) [Down 5]
  28. The Deslondes – The Deslondes (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 3]
  29. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio [Down 1]
  30. Don Henley – Cass County [Up 1]
  31. Waifs – Beautiful You [Down 1]
  32. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Down 6]
  33. Leon Bridges – Coming Home [Up 3]
  34. Kevin Gordon – Long Gone Time [New]
  35. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie (Grade: 9/10) [Down 11]
  36. Sam Outlaw – Angeleno (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  37. Underhill Rose – The Great Tomorrow [Down 2]
  38. Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town [Down 5]
  39. Whitey Morgan & The 78s – Sonic Ranch (Grade: 10/10) [Re-Entered This Week]
  40. Jason James – Jason James [Down 2]

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [September 14]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10)
  3. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour 
  4. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain 
  5. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10)
  6. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time [Up 3]
  7. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 1]
  8. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Down 1]
  9. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 1]
  10. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) [Up 5]
  11. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves 
  12. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours [Up 24]
  13. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love [New]
  14. Uncle Lucius – The Light [Down 1]
  15. Richard Thompson – Still [Down 5]
  16. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Up 3]
  17. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  18. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams [Down 6]
  19. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10) [Down 2]
  20. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats [Up 1]
  21. Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues [Down 1]
  22. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind (Grade: 9/10) [Down 6]
  23. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color [Down 1]
  24. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie (Grade: 9/10) [Down 10]
  25. The Deslondes – The Deslondes (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 2]
  26. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Up 9]
  27. Jackie Greene – Back To Birth [Down 1]
  28. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio [Down 1]
  29. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [Up 11]
  30. Waifs – Beautiful You [Down 6]
  31. Don Henley – Cass County [Up 3]
  32. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Up 6]
  33. Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town [Down 8]
  34. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold [New]
  35. Underhill Rose – The Great Tomorrow [Down 7]
  36. Leon Bridges – Coming Home [Down 6]
  37. Sam Outlaw – Angeleno (Grade: 10/10) [Down 8]
  38. Jason James – Jason James [New]
  39. Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Ruffian’s Misfortune [Down 8]
  40. Samantha Crain – Under Branch & Thorn & Tree [Down 3]

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [September 7]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below. [Note: If you’re wondering why the chart was later than usual being posted, it was because of the holiday. I didn’t forget!]

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10)
  3. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour 
  4. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain 
  5. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10) [Up 2]
  6. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet 
  7. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Up 2]
  8. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) 
  9. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time [Up 14]
  10. Richard Thompson – Still [Down 5]
  11. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves [Up 7]
  12. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams [Up 1]
  13. Uncle Lucius – The Light [Up 1]
  14. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie (Grade: 9/10) [Down 3]
  15. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) 
  16. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind (Grade: 9/10) [Down 6]
  17. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10) [Down 5]
  18. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  19. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Up 1]
  20. Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues [Down 4]
  21. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats [Up 4]
  22. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color [Down 5]
  23. The Deslondes – The Deslondes (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 1]
  24. Waifs – Beautiful You 
  25. Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town [Down 4]
  26. Jackie Greene – Back To Birth [Up 4]
  27. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio [New]
  28. Underhill Rose – The Great Tomorrow [Up 10]
  29. Sam Outlaw – Angeleno (Grade: 10/10) [Down 3]
  30. Leon Bridges – Coming Home [Up 2]
  31. Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Ruffian’s Misfortune [Down 3]
  32. Sugarcane Jane – Dirt Road’s End [Down 3]
  33. Whitey Morgan & The 78s – Sonic Ranch (Grade: 10/10) [Up 2]
  34. Don Henley – Cass County [Down 1]
  35. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [New]
  36. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours [New]
  37. Samantha Crain – Under Branch & Thorn & Tree [Down 1]
  38. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [New]
  39. Dwight Yoakam – Second Hand Heart (Grade: 10/10) [Down 12]
  40. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [New]