The Austin Chronicle

Lonesome Heroes

Can't Stand Still

Summer Platters

Many bands claim Gram Parsons and Big Star as influences, but few compare to such time-tested landmarks. The reconfigured Lonesome Heroes fill the bill by drawing as much from Seventies pop ("Sunshine Come") as they do from a potpourri of country rock ("Throwing Dirt Into the Wind"). The ear-pleasing results make for one of Austin's best discs of 2015. Full of sun-streaked melodies ("Love Is Contagious") and inventive arrangements ("Whole Heart"), we'd expect nothing less from an LP produced by Li'l Cap'n Travis' Gary Newcomb.


KCRW Top Picks!

"Cosmic Austin-based band The Lonesome Heroes' album Can't Stand Still creeps under the skin, right into your bloodstream. Western Americana fans will delight in Today's Top Tune, "Steel."

Post To Wire

SIX STRINGS: The Lonesome Heroes

Austin, Texas band The Lonesome Heroes have been on tour in Australia for the last few week, making friends and fans along the way. They played the inaugural Dashville Skyline festival as well as shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Though their name may be new to many alt. country listeners in this part of the world they’ve been building a great reputation as a live band and as practitioners of a brand of Americana that takes in melodic and carefree cosmic country with some of the traits of indie rock. Their latest album Can’t Stand Still came out at the start of 2015 and was preceeded by the LP Daydream Western (2011) and a couple of EPs.

Rich Russell kindly took the time to answer a few questions for our Six Strings Q&A.

Full Interview Here:


Rhythms Magazine


The Lonesome Heroes are ready to fit right in Down Under.

“Wired” is the only way to describe Rich Russell’s state of mind. The Lonesome Heroes mainstay has just made a mad, thousand-mile, eyes-pinned-to-the-road-drive to get home to Austin, Texas. Bed beckons but, being Austin, there’s a show to see and beer to drink. “I feel I fit Austin way better than I ever did in Brooklyn, where I grew up,” Russell explains. “All everyone does here is swim, play music and go to shows. It’s a slacker musician paradise. And not everyone drives a pickup truck with a dog in the back.”



Forte Magazine

  • Lonesome Heroes Q&A


    Drawn to Australia for our kangaroos and tales of the music scene, the Austin, Texas natives Lonesome Heroes have finally hit our shores and are set to play Pistol Pete’s in no time.

    Full interview Here:


Austin Chronicle

Recommended Show:

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Steve Grady, the Lonesome Heroes


Sun., Sept. 6, 10pm

Hole in the Wall


A lineup change re-energized this longstanding local outfit. Now a quartet fronted by Rich Russell and featuring guitar wizardry from Gary Newcomb, their new release Can’t Stand Still slots them between the cosmic cowboy strains of Gram Parsons and the guitar pop of the Bottle Rockets. A recent gig demonstrated the Heroes’ ability to capture that same spirit of the two-step meets roots rock. Labor Day Monday negates any excuse not to stay out late on the Sabbath.

Planet Jackson Hole


MUSIC BOX: Heroes can’t stand still

Psych-country quartet have two-night run at Silver Dollar Showroom


The Lonesome Heroes say they’re ready for their annual Teton pilgrimage.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Not only do The Lonesome Heroes have the most stellar band name of the saturated Austin music scene, its namesake inspiration is a glove that could fit no tighter—borrowed from the Leonard Cohen tune, “A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes.” The song contains searing jaunts of electric guitar with a bed of froggy jaw harp, carried by a strumming acoustic guitar and Cohen’s singular voice: “A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes were smoking out along the open road / the night was very dark and thick between them, each man beneath his ordinary load / ‘I’d like to tell my story,’ said one of them so bold, ‘Oh yes, I’d like to tell my story ‘cause you know I feel I’m turning into gold.’”

Much of the same impression is conveyed via the quartet that currently embodies the Heroes. Resilient troubadour Rich Russell (vocalist/songwriter/acoustic guitar) barely skipped a beat when longtime musical partner and girlfriend, dobroist Landry McMeans, parted ways with the band in 2013. While McMeans provided the signature psychedelic riffs, it is Russell’s Beck-ish vocal prowess that painted the cosmically wistful country songs adorned with hooky melodies and an indie rock edge. This earned the band an Independent Music Award for Pop Vox in 2012. He also plugs a vintage Gibson acoustic into a 1970s Fender Super Reverb, a 4 by 10-foot combo amplifier not generally associated with acoustic instruments. It gives the music a dreamy reverb and high-end sparkle that further distinguishes the rhythm bed.

The restructuring of the band includes the addition of frequent collaborator and monster guitarist Gary Newcomb, thoughtful drummer Dave Sims Jr., and longtime bassist Nick Lochman. The band soon entered the studio with the finished product coming in the form of “Can’t Stand Still,” released in January of this year. A month later, WhatBand Records released the album on vinyl. The killer album art features a Teton backdrop with paragliders in the foreground, the work of local painter Travis Walker. More than 1,000 shows in 28 states, the Heroes bring a veteran sound that still breathes enthusiasm, making their staple trip up Highway 287 from Texas to Wyoming for the eight straight year.

“I think that our first show in Jackson was at The Granary in either 2007 or 2008,” Russell said. “Oh to go back to the sweet days of Myspace and driving around in a battered old VW van. It has been so great to be a solid, steady lineup for three years now. The band is road tested and ready to rock. We are super excited to make our annual summer pilgrimage through the Tetons before we embark upon our next big adventure to Aussie land. We can’t wait to check out the new and improved stage at the world famous Silver Dollar Bar.”

Come September, the band will lift off to Australia for a 22 date run that includes the Dashville Skyline Americana Festival.

The Lonesome Heroes, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Silver Dollar Showroom. Free. 732-3939.


The Weld


The Weld Birmingham, Top Pick of the Week!
Taylor Hollingsworth Country Western
/Blackfoot Gypsies/The Lonesome Heroes

The Nick | Friday, May 29 | 10:00 p.m.

Taylor Hollingsworth plays guitar with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and along with his wife, Kate Taylor, is a member of the duo Dead Fingers. He’ll be performing a solo set at the Nick on Friday, where he’ll be sharing a bill with Nashville blues-rock group Blackfoot Gypsies and the Austin, Texas indie folk group the Lonesome Heroes, who are described by KUTX FM as “the soundscape that occurs when indie rock and country artfully cross paths.”



Love Is Contagious

Austin Music Minute


Who: Check it. There’s a bounty of country-psych awesomeness from this Austin band that cites Graham Parsons, The Magnetic Fields and Walt Whitman as influences. The Lonesome Heroes release Can’t Stand Still revels in that groovy cosmic American indie-pop vibe, speckled with dusky shades of golden FM road trip sounds.

What: First, get a copy of that album already. Secondly, enjoy their sounds live at their May residency.

When and where: Wednesday nights at The White Horse, 500 Comal, starting tomorrow night. Sharing the bill with The Lonesome Heroes this week are The Casa Loma Playboys and Doug Strahan. The music kicks off at 8 p.m. Gonna be good times with great music. Recommended.

KUTX Austin

The Lonesome Heroes: “Long Time Coming”

Song of the Day


Photo by Christopher Paul Cardoza

Can’t Stand Still is the name of the Lonesome Heroes’ second album, but it’s also the state-of-mind for frontman Rich Russell. Russell formed the band with Landry McMeans in Austin seven years ago, and the duo traveled around the country in an old trailer that perfectly captured their old-fashioned aesthetic. McMeans and Russell parted ways in 2013, but Russell soon reformed the Lonesome Heroes as a full band. Recorded at Public Hi-Fi here in Austin, Can’t Stand Still is more sprawling and bittersweet than the golden sounds on the Heroes’ debut. “Long Time Coming” recounts the past few years with more than a hint of sadness, matched note-for-note by the band’s wistful country touches.

–Art Levy

Ghetto Blaster Magazine

The Lonesome Heroes (photo by Christopher Paul Cardoza)


Can’t Stand Still is the sophomore full-length of Austin, Texas indie/psych-country band The Lonesome Heroes.

Russell grew up in New York City, packing into small clubs to see bands like Sebadoh, Luna, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth.

“However,” says TLH’s Rich Russell, “I was always drawn to things that had some sort of country influence like Beck’s One Foot in the Grave, or the Silver Jews, long before I knew about country music.”

Can’t Stand Still is set for release on CD and digital formats on January 27th, with a vinyl release on Whatbang Records scheduled for February 27. The album was tracked at Spoon’s Public Hi-Fi in Austin by Brad Bell and Z Sound Recording in Austin by Ben Galloway, produced by Gary Newcomb and mastered by Grammy-winning mastering engineer Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering (Black Keys, Beck, Arctic Monkeys).

The Lonesome Heroes have played with countless bands over the years, including Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Deer Tick, Phosphorescent, Jim James, Mariee Sioux, Shovels and Rope, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, The California Honey Drops, Black Joe Lewis, and Gregory Alan Isakov, and will be back on the road this February with their new album.

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing a stream of the record, which you can enjoy below.


Pop Press International




Song Premiere: The Lonesome Heroes – “Long Time Coming”

Cosmic folk band The Lonesome Heroes are an Austin institution. Though they’ve made plenty of appearances alongside popular indie-rock bands on some of Austin’s most distinguished stages, their real claims to fame have been quietly amassed while most of the city looked the other way. They’ve shared the stage with artists like Jim James and Phosphorescent and had their music featured on the television show Nashville. They’ve packed Hole in the Wall on many a night. Over the past several years, the group’s core members have been Rich Russell and Landry McMeans, but the band’s upcoming record marks the split of these romantic partners. A new full band, assembled by Russell, toured throughout much of last year and recorded the songs that comprise the band’s forthcoming album, Can’t Stand Still, due out next week.

The Lonesome Heroes create ambling folk grooves that recall Wilco or AA Bondy but possess a spaced-out Austin flair that makes the group’s aesthetic distinct. Today, we’re proud to premiere the band’s new song “Long Time Coming,” taken from their forthcoming album. Carried by a plodding, somber tone, the song utilizes sparse bass notes as Russell’s vocals unfold wonderfully. The chorus embraces both the pain and possibility of a relationship’s end as Russell sings, “It’s been a long time comin’ / But change is bound to find us soon / Been living like long distance lovers,” over high octave guitar strums and steady drums. Russell promises that Can’t Stand Still isn’t a breakup record, but more of an exploration of his recent years. He’s got his eyes focused on a point on the highway far down the road, even if he’s glancing in the rear view mirror on occasion.


Premiere: The Lonesome Heroes – Future Ghost Town (Song of the Day)

by  on 16 JANUARY, 2015


We have a top premiere today from Austin, TX psych-country/Americana band The Lonesome Heroes with their newest single Future Ghost Town taken from their forthcoming sophomore full-lengthCan’t Stand Still.

The band underwent major changes in 2014 when they reformed from dobro/acoustic guitar duo to a an expanded 4-piece incorporating electric guitar, bass and drums. Needless to say, those changes transform their sound as you can hear on Future Ghost Town. Pedal steel, vibraphone, horns and organ also feature on the album, a sure sign that a new musical chemistry is at play. It all makes for a compelling listen that left me wanting more, but fear not, Can’t Stand Still is set for release on CD and digital formats on January 27th, with a vinyl release on Whatbang Records scheduled for February 27th.

Click Here to stream Future Ghost Town:


DO512 25 Local Bands to Watch at SXSW.


With thousands of artists from all over the world heading to Austin to perform at South by Southwest from Tuesday, March 11th to Sunday, March 16th, 2014, planning which shows to attend can be incredibly overwhelming. Although you’ve likely already got some favorites you’re dying to see, here are some Austin acts you’ll be glad you added to your list. From our hearts and ears to yours, be sure to catch these incredible musicians in action during SXSW.


The Lonesome Heroes: “An institution of Austin’s psych-country scene,” The Lonesome Heroes came to life in a ‘78 Volkswagen van over the course of a 100,000 mile journey of music making across the country. Their passion for classic Country and Americana is as pervasive as their live performances are captivating.

Las Cruces Sun

The cosmic American sounds of band The Lonesome Heroes are back from Austin touring through the Southwest and sharing their new folk country, indie rock music. On Aug. 31 The Lonesome Heroes will be sharing the stage with Alister M and The Pioneers of Prime Time TV at The Game Sports Bar and Grill, 2605 S. Espina St.

Originally from Brooklyn, front man Rich Russell moved to Austin with the intention to play country music. Spending his first year in an old abandoned nursing home that served as a housing co-op for musicians, Russell then connected with Landry McMeans to form the original duo that named themselves after Leonard Cohen's song "Lonesome Heroes." After traveling around the country covering 27 states and creating three albums, the two split up last spring.

"Landry and I were the core of the tour for the last six or seven years," Russell said. "This is a totally new band and new players."

The 2013 touring band is comprised of Rich on vocals and guitar, producer Gary Newcomb on guitar, Nick Lochman with vocals and upright bass and Dave Sims Jr. on drums.

"We've written a whole bunch of new songs," Russell said. "It's more rock 'n' roll than it used to be."

Not quite country, but not quite indie rock, the band has struggled with a way to define what exactly their genre is. Being from Austin, the band has been put into a "Texas country" category, but that is not their sound, at all.

"Sometimes people think they're not going like it because they don't like country, but we're more than that," Russell said.

Once calling their music "psychedelic country music," Russell knew that title didn't do their music justice. He called their music more sunshine sounding rather than connotation that "psychedelic" provides, which is a darker vibe. It's a little bit of country, folk and rock.

Russell said this is about his tenth time in Las Cruces and has known local band member Steve MacIntyre of Alister M for a long time now.

"I sit in and play drums with him sometimes," Russell said.

The two did a mini tour last year performing in Marfa and Fredericksburg, Texas. Some of Russell's most memorable performances in town have been at house parties, El Patio in Mesilla and High Desert Brewing Co.

The band's usual guitar player couldn't make this tour, producer Gary Newcomb will fill in for the ten-day period.

"I feel super lucky to have him coming on," Russell said. "It's gonna be like a pre-production to what we will do in January."

Ringing in the new year, the band plans to hit the studio to record a new album January 2014.

After spending time in the Southwest, The Lonesome Heroes are off to California for three weeks.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Lonesome Heroes



The Texas band has a sound that's incredibly popular right now. But unlike some of the other acts out there, they plan to still be playing the country-folk-indie blend long after the fad dies.

The Lonesome Heroes have been playing a soulful blend of country, folk and indie music for years.

"We are going to be playing it for years after it isn't popular again too," said singer Rich Russell.

And he is probably serious about that: Russell's band certainly plays it better than most of those trying to cash in on the Americana craze anyway.

Based in Austin, Texas, the group's sound finds similarities in the likes of Gram Parsons, DeVotchKa and Leonard Cohen. Lonesome Heroes is actually a reference to the latter's song, a soaring Western ballad Cohen released on "Songs from a Room." But Russell insists his group is not a tribute band or an obsessed group of Cohen fans.

"I love him and his work. But, I mean, in a lot of ways, that is more of a reference to the open road," Russell said. "That's what we want to show and talk about with our music."

The Lonesome Heroes are part of an impressive lineup at the WhatFest this year. The free festival in Riverside features plenty of Wyoming's top talent like Jalan Crossland along with great bands from Colorado, Utah, Texas and many other states. Carter Parks, the festival organizer, said the lineup includes plenty of variety in terms of genres and has a different goal than most other festivals.

"We don't have a Journey or Kansas headliner-type act on here," he said. "Instead, we want to showcase an eclectic group of musicians and do it for free so everyone can enjoy it."

The festival has been going for 10 years now, originally starting in Cody as a way to host bands in a city with few local venues. When new managers took over the venue up there, the event headed south, eventually landing in its current home of Riverside, a town with a population of 50, according to the 2010 census.

The Bear Trap Café and Bar serves as an outpost for the festival, which Parks said is funded through grants and volunteer work. Overall, there are two outdoor stages and one indoors. Seating is general admission and fans may bring their own chairs.

"We sort of think of it as a great break to the craziness that is Cheyenne Frontier Days. This is a great chance to get out of town when the tourists hit and see some music that is probably not going to be on those stages anytime soon," he said.

The Lonesome Heroes served as the house band the first time they played WhatFest. That was back when it was still in Cody.

"We had played a lot in Wyoming and started to know a lot of people. That led to us getting invited to play the festival and now I would say I know pretty much everyone who organizes it," Russell said. "It's a great little festival, especially with all the support for local bands."

While there have been some changes to the lineup, Russell said the group was planning on recording in the winter. He said he was sure the sound of the record would still be a mix of genres and styles, reflecting his own growth, from listening to bands like Yo La Tengo to discovering country through Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline."

"A while ago, we would have fit that alt-country title, but now that title is given to people who mix pop into their records," he said. "Now I guess you could call it cosmic country. I suppose that's as good as anything to call it for now."

The Missoulian

Lonesome Heroes bring ‘cosmic American’ sound to Top Hat

The Lonesome Heroes, a band from Austin, Texas, describe their music as “cosmic American,” and fans of Gram Parsons should know what that means: Some light psychedelic pop and folk brightening the country grit.

Their latest album, “Daydream Western,” has strong country-folk leanings with some poppier touches inspired by more recent dream-pop obsessives like Yo La Tengo and the Magnetic Fields. However, there’s a heavier emphasis on the twang thanks to Landry McMeans’ slide work on the Dobro.

McMeans, who also contributes some of the finest vocal performances on the album, forms the core of the band with her partner Rich Russell on guitar. They sometimes duet, as on the chugging rocker “Seeing is Believing,” and other times step up for a solo turn on vocals, such as McMeans’ nicely restrained singing on “AM Radio.”

Supporting all those mournful songs about hitting the road, moving on, or finding escape is a gorgeous production job by Austin steel guitarist Gary Newcomb. The album is filled with tasteful details that never overwhelm the songs, such as a short kick from a horn section on the end of “Highway 287.”

The Lonesome Heroes hit the highway for a performance at the Top Hat, 134 W. Front St., on Saturday, Sept. 1. The cover is $5.

Flagstaff Live

Las Cruces Sun

Tunes: The Lonesome Heroes, Alister M to play show Thursday at High Desert

   Tracy R. Patrick/For Pulse
The Lonesome Heroes describe their own music as "Cosmic American music." The band's twangy, folk sound was described in one review as "a cross-pollination of rock, folk and country with psych and indie pop." "We actually have a lot of trouble figuring out what to call our music. We used to call it psychedelic country music. But it wasn't quite right," said Rich Russell, one half of the duo that makes up the band. "The instrumention is more like indie rock. We're not trying to be a Texas country band. We have a more modern sound. It's always kind of a battle. If people think we're a country band, they expect us to play Garth Brooks songs, which we don't."

The core of The Lonesome Heroes consists of the shared songwriting and vision of couple Landry McMeans (vocals/dobro) and Russell (vocals/guitar). The band is on a three-week tour of the Southwest dubbed "The Lonesome Heroes Nouveau Western Art & Music Tour" that began in Santa Fe, followed by stops in Arizona and California.

"We love the Southwest, in general. We always talk about the green chile. Through New Mexico, up through Colorado, and into Wyoming, that's where people get our music the most," Russell said.

During this current tour, the band showcased both its music and McMeans' art, which consists of cardboard reliefs, that culminated in a week-long art show for McMeans in Los Angeles at the Echo Country Outpost from May 21 to 27 and a live performance by The Lonesome Heroes on May 26. To see some of her work, visit Landry works with reclaimed cardboard and acrylic paint to create abstract reliefs and landscapes of the American West. Her work utilizes a Southwestern-inspired color palette and natural contours to create works reminiscent of minimalist '50s art, while also maintaining a modern aesthetic.

"This is the first time we've brought the art with us on tour. She sold three pieces (at the show)," Russell said. "(Her art) fits our music really well. It's got a dreamy western feel to it, which is what we try to sound like."

McMeans' latest piece has been commissioned by Texas Music Monthly and the Viva Big Bend Festival in Marfa, Texas, to be used as the commemorative poster for the 2012 festival.

The Lonesome Heroes' debut, full-length album "Daydream Western" has been nominated by The Independent Music Awards for album of the year for 2011. The group, which has been together for more than seven years, also has two previously released EPs. The band initially released the album during the summer of 2011, but wasn't quite happy with it (despite selling the first thousand copies out of their car), so they remastered it and rereleased it in January.

The band is working on a new album, which they will be recording throughout the summer. Of course, they will continue to tour in the meantime.

"Every summer in July, we do the same tour. Up Highway 287 through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana. It's kind of like an epic camping trip," Russell said.

They'll make another stop in Las Cruces in late July.

Sharing the stage with The Lonesome Heroes tonight will be Alister M, a Las Cruces music scene mainstay from 2006 to 2011. Alister M is headed by MacIntyre, who is now based in Austin, Texas. The group played Vans Warped Tour in 2009 and South By Southwest in 2010 and 2011. Alister M has been compared to the sounds of Bright Eyes, Red House Painters, Ben Kweller, Silverchair and Elliott Smith. The band has released three independently-released albums to date.

MacIntyre said half of tonight's show will be a solo performance and the other half will be a full band show, with Las Cruces artists Stephanie St. Amand on backup vocals, Chris Yarrison on bass and Mike McDowell on drums.

Alister M and The Lonesome Heroes met a couple of years ago, oddly enough during a mutual showcase at a metal bar called Headhunters. Since then, Russell said, the two groups have played many shows together. MacIntyre will be flying in to reunite with The Lonesome Heroes for the Las Cruces show, and then ride back home to Austin with the band, playing shows in Marfa and Fredericksburg, Texas, along the way.

If you've never heard of The Lonesome Heroes, McMeans says you can expect a sound that's not too country, not too folky and not too poppy, but just the right combination of all of those sounds.

"We're just a duo, but I feel that we have a really full set. We can play a lot of listening songs, but we can also make people dance," she said. "We start slow and then start rocking. There's really good chemistry between me and Rich. Even people who don't like country music will like us. We definitely have a little more going on than just the twang."


For those of us who frequent Red River and the Eastside, there is just not a lot of country music in our lives. And yet, the Austin music scene was built on people like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Joe Ely, Lucinda Williams, and so many other strong country artists. Hell, there’s a whole subgenre of country called Texas Country and Austin is a mecca for it. I’m not saying you have to like that music, but it’s part of the rich mosaic that makes up this wonderful place we call home, and we should respect and appreciate that.

All of that long-windedness is meant to introduce The Lonesome Heroes – one of the only pure country bands that has managed to infiltrate the Red River scene. At its core, the Lonesome Heroes consists of Landry McMeans (who is also an accomplished visual artist in her own right) and Rich Russell. Though the duo cite the Flaming Lips, Lou Barlow and Galaxie 500 among their influences, they have found a voice on their recently re-mastered 2012 release Daydream Western that is much more in line aesthetically with Neko Case, Gillian Welch, or a countrified Wooden Birds. As the album title indicates, they evoke the dusty expanses of West Texas in their music through soaring lap steel guitar lines and lyrics the “road.”

The Lonesome Heroes - 'Something Reckless'

  From the opening track, “Something Reckless,” they offer up memorable song after memorable song, often led by either Russell or McMeans. The Russell-led tracks (“Something Reckless,” “Seeing is Believing,” “Ocean”) feel a bit darker both lyrically and musically than the McMeans-led ones (“Highway 287,” “Am Radio”), but at all times, the two offer up catchy melodies that help make the record accessible even to those who may not be country connoisseurs. I think their frequent use of onomatopoeic or nonsense syllables (like on “Something Reckless” or “Aspens”) helps to that end. I mean, who hears a good “bah-bah-bah” chorus and doesn’t sing along?

While much of it is comprised of an indie-rock interpretation of country music, Daydream Western ends on one of the most straightforward country songs you’ll hear – “Don’t Play to Lose.” Over the course of their album, The Lonesome Heroes show that they’re following their own advice. And in the process, they remind us that there is a whole lot of Texas out there for us to love.

The Santa Fe Reporter

Return of the Authentic Heroes

Don't be afraid to like good music

By MatthewIrwin

Lonesome Heroes give us the confidence, again, to value authenticity in music. Yes, confidence, because their desire to create equals their ability to do so.

Hold on, stay with me. For those of us who live in the West, music is not a phenomenon; it’s not a trend coinciding with a Cohen brother film or hipster notions in Brooklyn. Good Americana is difficult to achieve, and it’s not about lo-fi effects, buckets for percussion or recordings made like warehouses. It’s about living in this country, on this land, detaching from the machinations of official culture (aka consumerism) and actually interacting with people we know and love.

I’m not going to pretend that Americana is my favorite genre of music—I tend toward sometimes strange and often outwardly emotional recording artists, plus hip-hop—but I love that Russell and McMeans first set on tour a number of years back with a desire to discover this country for themselves. They decided to tour, first, and then became a band, with McMeans learning how to play the dobro on the road. 

At this point, you might be thinking that every college kid from Colorado to Tennessee thinks he’s a country-folk musician, busking on spring break or those first 90 days out of school. But I’m telling you that they can play; they can write a tune; and McMeans, she can sing. When she does, I think of home; not my hometown in the post-industrial Midwest, but the American West—the New West, where young people have returned, turning off their televisions, turning off the interstate, and turning off the cynic.  



Country heroes of psychedelic

Pondering the term “psychedelic country,” I think of The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty era, and Austin’s The Lonesome Heroes. Not that they eat acid every night and play shows (or maybe they do), but the combo of Landry McMeans’s reverb-drenched electric dobro against Rich Russell’s Beck-esque draw paints a desert-Texas scene not unlike McMeans’s recent art pieces shaped from cardboard. The dynamic duo brings a slightly different lineup each time they roll through Teton County. This round will feature none other than the two of them (as if you need more), digging into tunes from Daydream Western.

Flagstaff Live



When it comes to summing up the Lonesome Heroes, their young aesthetic and vocals agree with indie music, but their artillery of instruments including a fiddle, lap-steel guitar and Dobro harmonize with their love of classic country music and roaming the West via its open roads. The duo’s latest album, Daydream Western, came out in November 2011. They toured with their band exclusively on Hwy. 287 from the Gulf Coast to Montana following the album’s release, paying homage to a song on the album named after the roadway. Back on the road, the Lonesome Heroes are returning to an old haunt, Mia’s Lounge, 26 S. San Francisco, for a free show with special guest, Kalihoochie Slim.

KUT 90.5 fm Austin Music Minute

Landry McMeans and Rich Russell formed The Lonesome Heroes in 2005. As they progressed in their songwriting, it became apparent that they weren’t confined to an alt.-country comfort zone. And with the release of their new album last summer, it seemed as though the duo had written the perfect soundtrack to a faraway dream on a long stretch of highway.

Daydream Western feels as though it’s tailor-made for that kind of journey, sweeping across the desert, haunted by past loves, making its way toward an unknown destination. It’s Western Americana, a cross-pollination of rock, folk and country with psych and indie pop – influences from their Texas and Brooklyn backgrounds. It’s the soundscape that occurs when indie rock and country artfully cross paths, rich with acoustic guitar, steel, and vocals from McMeans and Russell.

Check out The Lonesome Heroes when they play at 11 p.m. tonight at the 29th St. Ballroom at Spiderhouse, 2906 Fruth St. Hello Caller follows at midnight. Very cool double-bill indeed. Recommended.

The Austin Chronicle

 An institution of Austin's psych-country scene since forming in 2006, the Lonesome Heroes are only now releasing their debut LP, but then primary duo Rich Russell and Landry McMeans have always been more experiential than archival. The three years since sophomore EP Crooked Highway have been spent in characteristic road-work fashion, and Daydream Western reflects that wanderlust at every turn.

  The album serves as soundtrack to rolling westward: barren highways and open horizons, leading with restless purpose on "Something Reckless" and carrying through both lighter revelries ("Wrinkles") and thoughtful reflections ("Visions of Yesterday" and "Sparrow Horse"). Russell and McMeans operate as opposite yet complementary poles, the former more grounded in voice and vision, the latter providing an airier twang trained on finely woven narratives. They're at their best when combined in harmony, as with Gary Newcomb's "One of the Wild Ones" or closing favorite "Don't Play To Lose." ***

KUT 90.5 Song of the Day


The Lonesome Heroes: “Don’t Play To Lose”

November 29, 2011 5:00 am by: Art Levy

The Lonesome Heroes might call Austin home, but their eyes and ears are always firmly trained towards the Western horizon. Since 2005, the duo of Landry McMeans and Rich Russell have cultivated a sound that’s rooted in country music but dream-like in its execution.

Earlier this month, the group released their sophomore album, Daydream Western. Recorded in Austin by steel guitar musician Gary Newcomb, the album gets its laconic feel from the many miles of touring the Lonesome Heroes have logged. Some songs draw inspiration from specific subjects, like “Highway 287,” a road that stretches 2,000 miles between Glacier National Park in Montana and the Gulf of Mexico. Other songs are hazier in their subject matter, but the group’s dual harmonies serve as effective signposts along the way.

The Lonesome Heroes are wrapping up a month-long residency at the 29th Street Ballroom tonight at 11 PM. And for today’s song of the day, we’re going back into the vaults for a song the group recorded at KUT’s Studio 1A back in 2008. Here’s “Don’t Play To Lose,” by the Lonesome Heroes.

KUT Austin NPR 90.5FM

The Lonesome Heroes’ Tuesday Night Shows at 29th St. Ballroom November 22 - December 27th.

Landry McMeans and Rich Russell formed The Lonesome Heroes in 2005. As they progressed in their songwriting, it became apparent that they weren’t confined to an alt.-country comfort zone. And with the release of their new album last summer, it seemed as though the duo had written the perfect soundtrack to a faraway dream on a long stretch of highway. Daydream Western feels as though it’s tailor-made for that kind of journey, sweeping across the desert, haunted by past loves.

It’s Western Americana, a cross-pollination of rock, folk and country with psych and indie pop – influences from their Texas and Brooklyn backgrounds. It’s the soundscape that occurs when indie rock and country artfully cross paths, rich with acoustic guitar, steel, and vocals from McMeans and Russell.

The Lonesome Heroes have a couple of shows remaining in their Tuesday night residency at the 29th St. Ballroom, 2906 Fruth. That’s where you can see them tonight at 11 p.m., and on November 29th. It’s a late show but well worth staying up for. Recommended.

Denver Thread

The Lonesome Heroes make two Colorado stops

as an add-on to the Daydream Western tour

Austin’s (by way of Brooklyn) Lonesome Heroes made a 1,974-mile-long art project out of their latest record, Daydream Western (due for worldwide release on November 8th, 2011), by commemorating its centerpiece song “Highway 287″ with a tour along the largely two-lane road that shares the singles’ name. they drove a 1967 Shasta camper from where 287 begins at the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to Glacier National Park in Montana, and showcased their own sweet alt-country-meets-indie pop all the way.  Their sound invokes a Malkmus/Reed feel that runs sweetly through a Jesus & Mary Chain influence – if the Reid brothers had grown up somewhere along the Utah/Idaho border rather than in the UK.

This Friday, September 30th, they’re adding another stop at Avogadro’s Number up in Fort Collins ($10 cover), with opening performances by Rosewood Divine & Alycia Kraft, Jen Korte (apparently sans The Loss) and Bevin Luna. Then, on Sunday, October 2nd, they’ll take up residency for a night at the venerable Lion’s Lair ($5 cover), along with The Magic of Colfax, The Symbols and Good Neighbor. Take a look (below) at a clip from last summer’s stop in Avogadro’s Number to get a sample of what you’re in for.

The Noise, Flagstaff, AZ.

Daydream Western: 3 Jalapeños  

 This is easy. Archers of Loaf as a country band. Throw in a little Oh, Inverted World or .The Biz again as heard through slow country twang. Landry McMeans sounds a bit like  The Cowboy Junkies Margot Timmons, or maybe Crystal Gayle.

   Songwriting and vocals are split pretty much right down the middle between Landry & Rich, with a song by producer Gary Newcomb.

  Daydream Western is perfect for cruising down the I-17. Smooth sailing the whole way. When saguaros start creeping up over the hills there, and you start to get excited, the album starts wrapping up, and there's a pretty good chance you'll just let it play right back through. 


If i were to guess, I'd think Waylon might think they're pussies, but Willie might toss it a sincere  thumbs up.

Fairfield Sun Times

 On Tuesday, July 19th Austin Texas’ very own Lonesome Heroes made a stop in Choteau, MT to shoot footage for a YouTube documentary of their tour up highway 287 to Glacier National Park. 
Departing from Port Aurthor, TX in late June, immediately following the release of their latest CD, Daydream Western, the four full-time musicians and filmmaker made the trip North in a 67 Shasta camper they pulled behind a van. 

    “We love camping out as much as we love playing music,” said Landry, whose voice resembles a young Lucinda Williams.

    Since their inception in 2005, the band has played in 27 states, released two EPs, and their debut full length Daydream Western. 
The young musicians, two of which were adorned in I ♥ TX t-shirts, spent two hours on the lawn of the Choteau Courthouse and in front of a nearby Hwy 287 sign shooting multiple takes of their song Visions of Yesterday

Oklahoma Gazette

Hero worship

Rewriting the rules of alt-country, Lonesome Heroes are so awesome, we could cry.


When Brooklyn native Rich Russell decided he wanted to be a country singer after years of drinking up indie bands in hip, New York City neighborhoods, he knew the perfect place to go: Texas.

“Austin is a really hip, indie-oriented city, but everybody still likes Hank Williams,” he said. “It made perfect sense for me to move out there.”

Russell soon found more than a receptive town, with a writing — and romantic — partner in Landry McMeans. Both independent songwriters, they played a few shows together, but their styles didn’t work well together.

“Then we started going out, and six months later, Landry learned steel guitar,” he said. “Our housing situations got a little perilous, so we decided to go on tour, and it was awesome.”

Russell’s affection for vintage Western music found a perfect counterpart in McMeans’ folksy background and authentic Texas upbringing, and The Lonesome Heroes were born. He was forced somewhat to compromise his vision of totally pure, old country music for something that accommodated the indie-rock influences of Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth that kept creeping through.

“The core of what we do still sounds like what country music used to do,” he said. “We just added a little indie sound sphere over that, and it felt right.”

It’s opened up doors they might not have expected, as the band’s appeal goes across the board.

“Our key demographic is 15 to 75,” Russell said. “That’s really cool to me. We can play anywhere.”

And they do. The Lonesome Heroes make their way back and forth across the country almost constantly. Playing in the underpopulated state of Wyoming has become a favorite.

“We just played a show in Wyoming where there were maybe three hipsters in the entire town, and it was a mostly over-60 crowd, and they really seemed to love it,” Russell said. “It helps that everyone there seems to be half-cowboy and half-hippie.”

Their penchant for touring up that way became a theme for its latest jaunt behind their forthcoming, full-length debut album. Stretching from Port Arthur, Texas, to Glacier National Park in Montana, the “Highway 287 Tour” gives them the opportunity to relive how they got started.

“We kind of feel like this is our life and lifestyle, so we try not to do the traditional route of driving nine hours to hit the most popular market every day. We take our time and see a little bit of the country, stay around the town and make friends,” Russell said. “We started out wanting to get out of Texas because it was hot, figured we’d play some shows and camp in between. The more we did that, we were touring to go camping, as opposed to the other way around.”

Pop Rocket (Prescott, AZ)

On a lonely highway of broken-down, genre-bending country acts, it's more difficult than ever to trust bands to deliver the authentic country experience-which is sorely lacking. Whether it's big-name superstars continually watering-down their music or upcoming acts that are afraid to take chances, much of country music doesn't connect with fans the way it did just a few decades ago.


Luckily, the Lonesome Heroes are reinventing the heart of country music, and it resonates so deeply. With their unique approach and airy vocals, the Lonesome Heroes blend inviting, indie music with a tingle of recognizable bluegrass elements that older fans can still appreciate. Like Iron and Wine and Wilco before them, the Heroes challenge themselves, and their audiences, by experimenting with a wide range of instruments and arrangements that unite alternative country and Indie rock into one cohesive, unique sound.


"We both love to play steel guitar and create an atmospheric bed... and reverb for the songs to sit atop," the band stated.


Hailing from Austin, Texas, the Lonesome Heroes (Rich Russell and Landy McMeans) have been together for five years, but didn't come into their own until refining their skills as a guitar and dobro duo. While Russell's guitar was well developed from the beginning, the band blossomed after a friend introduced McMeans to the basics of playing dobro.


"Within the first strum we knew that was what we needed to create our band," added Russell.


They soon embarked on their first tour, and carved out an impressive niche of fans in a very short period. With a busy schedule of live shows over the following years, heartfelt lyrics of love, and loss - the group is now poised to make a huge splash with their first full-length recording, titled Daydream Western.


Russell explains, "It has been the best musical experience we have ever had, and we have grown more from this record then anything we have ever done. We took the better part of the fall off to write new songs after two years of constant touring and playing..."


With help from some of the most prolific artists in Austin, the Lonesome Heroes understandably have high expectations for their album. From the production skills of Gary Newcomb to the instrumental support of the band's touring accompaniment, their effort is sure to results in a musical tour of America's heartland, all through impressive vocal harmonies that play off of each other magnificently.


While constant touring doesn't offer them the simple pleasures of ample time with friends and family back in Austin, the Lonesome Heroes are appreciative of their careers to this point. They believe their hardworking, diverse lifestyle is an extension of their music, fueling their artistic expression further.


"We have a very strange sort of migrational lifestyle that pulls us to different places at different times of the year. We are very lucky," said Russell.


You can hear the Lonesome Heroes at Prescott's Raven Café on May 12-consider yourself lucky to catch them in an intimate setting before they move onto grander pastures in the country music scene.

Austin American Statesman

Planet Jackson Hole


"Not the square kind of country, nor outlaw country, or even contemporary country would fit what The Lonesome Heroes from Austin bring to the stage. Reverb-heavy electric dobro underneath a playful boy-girl vocal blend from Landry McMeans and Rich Russell often pushes the indie rock quintet into psychedelia—but not without the songwriting sensibilities of classic country and folk."

Flagstaff Live

With Great Music Comes Great Responsibility.

  "Experimenting with their big-city-meets-country-roots style, Austin, Texas, duo the Lonesome Heroes add a psychedelic twist to the standard alt-county genre but with the heartfelt poignancy and lyrical sensibility of a road-weary crooner. Their rhythmic vocals layered over acoustic guitar and reverb-heavy steel is a chance meeting between Yo la Tengo and Patsy Cline.”  

Best Of Texas: NX35 Show Review.


While this past March’s edition of NX35 in Denton featured far more acts that weren’t from Denton than last year’s inaugural edition did, the majority of the conferette’s line-up was made up of artists from Denton, and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, understandably. With that said, it was one of the bands from outside of the Mean Green surroundings of Courthouse Square that provided me with my most pleasing unexpected surprise of the musically packed weekend.

The Lonesome Heroes  out of Austin, turned their set in the comfortably crowded, stale but cozy basement of J & J’s Pizza in Denton into their own little living room concert.

They refer to themselves as “psychedelic country”, and they really aren’t joking. The groovy elements that helped make up a good chunk of the great 1970’s country rock that came from the Golden State are put to use here, as well. In a live setting, the not-so-lonely band mates, Rich Russell and Landry McMeans, come off as quaint and folksy. As they chatted ever so neighborly with the enamored group of spectators, I almost expected one of the performers to offer to serve up the pizza that was coming out of the kitchen.

It was when McMeans told the crowd that, for their last song, they wanted to bust out a “spacey, hippy song”, that I finally heard the substance to back up their lofty claims of being more than just your average country rock band from Austin. “Constant Vacation” was in fact, a dreamy, trippy ode to their life on the road. McMeans even dropped down practically to her knees in order to finagle a little distortion from her Dobro. Now, that’s, trippy, bro.

Flagstaff Live

The Superman Blues.

 Like a hooker at the church bake sale, Austin, Texas, duo The Lonesome Heroes don’t quite belong solely in the country scene with a sound that walks the line between psychedelic rock and alt-country. Songwriters Rich Russell and Landry McMeans merged their New York and Texas roots to form a style they equate to Pasty Cline meets the Velvet Underground. See the pair in Flag as they tour to promote their upcoming debut album at Mia’s Lounge, 26 S. San Francisco, at 9 p.m.


The Austinist


"The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Magnetic Fields, and The Flaming Lips. The group clearly has a wide range of musical interests, perhaps only surpassed by the number of instruments you could hear on any given track. The 7-plus band members bring everything from pedal steel to saxophone to fiddle to melodica into their twangy indie Americana."

Planet Jackson Hole


Just when you thought country-rock’s boundaries were maxed-out, Austin’s Lonesome Heroes added a psychedelic-indie edge defined by reverb-soaked electric dobro and the songwriting duo of Rich Russell and Landry McMeans. Evidence of restless honesty and a road trip never quite ends, the free-spirited Heroes are a diamond in the saturated buffet of what people are calling country these days.

The Austin Sound

"Few young artists have done as much to promote the local music scene as the Lonesome Hereos. There are touches of cosmic country and Sweetheart of the Rodeo in their psychedelic tinged, restless country tunes, but the real draw of the Heroes is excellent melding of Russell and McMeans in spirit and sound. McMeans dulcet twang and expansive dobro, and Russells’ more grounded drawl and guitar combine for a mesmerizing and beautiful exchange, while their songs evoke the open west Texas expanse of road and possibilities. With their latest album, Crooked Highway, they have assembled a stellar band of local luminaries."

The Austin Sound

Crooked Highway, EP. Self Released.


 “The group flourishes in its ability to be a guiltless revelry that extends beyond alt country. Evoking sounds from the Cowboy Junkies to a twangier version of Alison Krauss the album draws the listener in with ease. An excellent offering from a talented duo that intertwine their talents to perfection.

The Austin Chronicle

Feature Article on Lonesome Heroes Wednesday Night Hole in the Wall Showcase.

Lonesome Heroes: (l-r) Jeff Johnston, Jim DeGregorio, Chuck Fleming, Rich Russell, Sarah Millenary, Landry McMeans

Don't Look Back The Lonesome Heroes Rewrite the  Rules of Alt. Country.

Since taking up residency at the Hole in the Wall last September, the Lonesome Heroes' nights have become one of the most popular weekly events in Austin. As a genre, hardly begins to characterize the eclectic lineups that Russell and McMeans put together, where the experimental textures of Friends of Dean Martinez fit in as easily as the insurgent attitude of American Graveyard, hellbent bluegrass of the Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang, or the honky-tonk swing of Doug Warriner. All musical directions ultimately converge in the Lonesome Heroes' easy psychedelic twang.

The Wednesday bills draw crowds mixing Mohawk punks and country kickers, as well as some of the town's top musicians and producers. Behind Russell and McMeans' infectious energy and their intent on building a collaborative environment, it's a scene that recalls the days of Doug Sahm holding court at the Soap Creek Saloon......

Austin Chronicle

"Crooked Highway moves in more focused, if experimentally flourished, directions. Russell's playful drawl shading Lyle Lovett. McMeans' soft trill on "Canary" and "Stardust" lifts the album into airier climes that balance Russell's earthier tones, like Alison Krauss with a Texas twang, the best songs marrying the two vocal impulses in duet."

Austin Chronicle


Texas Platters

"The Heroes sad and forlorn country cry walks the dirt road from West Texas desert to a poor man's urban dwelling. Singer Rich Russell's Brooklyn upbringing marries Willie Nelson to Will Oldham on the Heroes' debut EP, and when McMeans' delicately airy voice opens up "Oyster," tears roll."

The Austin Daze

Don't Play to Lose, EP, Floodwater Records.

“The Lonesome Heroes are on a mission to make a different kind of country music. With its Grapes of Wrath era feel soaked in reverb, you get the feeling you are listening to a long distant echo of something that once was. The drifting melancholy and bittersweet style is beyond the range of their youth, and yet it seems totally natural to them."

Americana UK

"A sixteen minute psychedelic steel trip. The eerie, liquid noise that Landry McMeans pulls from her lap steel and dobro is the defining sound on this five track EP. It’s a desert sound, reminiscent of what the late great Rainer Ptacek might have produced if he’d taken a little more peyote."