THE LONESOME HEROES

OVRLD

"The Lonesome Heroes initially caught on by following in the cosmic cowboy tradition of legends like Gram Parsons, leaning on the lonesome end of their name in particular with their song stories about the hardships of the travelling life. But this year, they’re tweaking their sound, revitalizing it with elements of Texas boogie rock and smoky ’70s sessions by gangs of musical outlaws trying to avoid the spotlight. Their new single “Cloak and Dagger” invokes Warren Zevon more than it does Gram Parson, with its ramshackle vibe and throaty vocals. Meanwhile, B-Side “Hope” recalls the band’s more lonesome roots but with the addition of peak-era Laurel Canyon elements, like a lost collaboration between Stephen Stills and the Byrds. Both tracks are dazzling displays of the Lonesome Heroes wide ranging alt-country, and as a treat today we’ve got them both available to you for free for downloading! So give them a listen, then head out to Cactus Cafe tomorrow, July 1st, to see the band in action!"

The Gazette - Colorado Springs, CO

 

Austin's The Lonesome Heroes stop at Front Range Barbeque in the Springs

"It's tough to pin The Lonesome Heroes to any one music genre. The Austin, Texas-based band calls its brand of music Cosmic Americana, which takes it beyond a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll into the territory of indie music.

"The term comes from Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers - hippies starting to play more country," said Rich Russell, the band's vocalist and guitarist. "Cosmic Americana music is not hugely different from notion of Americana in general: Country, blues and rock 'n' roll all came from the same place. So it's cosmic and slightly psychedelic."

The Lonesome Heroes will play a free 3-hour show Wednesday at Front Range Barbeque.

Alt-country is a term also used to describe them and is plain in their sophomore album "Can't Stand Still," released in January 2015, in the twang of songs such as "Sunshine Come" and "Steel." Their music also crosses into indie territory, as evidenced in the ballad-y "Long Time Coming" and upbeat "Constant Vacation." "Western Style Saloons," with the lyric "I need a Western-facing highway and a town to start over again," was featured in the final season of the Netflix original thriller "Bloodline."

On Wednesday, they'll play songs from "Can't Stand Still" and a single from the album set to come out in late fall/early winter, Russell said.

"We put that ('Can't Stand Still') out a couple of summers ago now, and toured all over the U.S.," he said. "We did 100 something shows in the U.S. and Australia. I didn't have time to write, I was so busy."

The current tour is geographically compact to allow for more downtime.

"I basically tried to throw it down so we could focus on a new record. This tour is fun - two shows in the Springs, two shows in Boulder and two shows in Laramie," Wyo., Russell said. "The idea is to go on tour and be able to go swimming and hiking, too. So we're not just sitting in a car or a bar all the time."

Russell, 37, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native, grew up listening to indie rock, which has influenced the band's sound.

"We've definitely played our share of honky-tonks and can play country music, too," he said. In Austin, the band has played the famed SXSW festival.

How did they hook up with Front Range Barbeque? "That's just sort of a venue that a lot of Austin bands hit. You tend to have a lot of Texas expats in Colorado, and that's about the closest venue we can get to in Colorado from Texas," Russell said.

The Lonesome Heroes will be back in the summer on a second tour through these parts. In addition to Russell, the lineup is Georgia Parker on bass and vocals, Jackie Myers on keyboards and vocals, Eddie Baty on drums and Steve Carlson on lead guitar.

"The thing that we've noticed is this will be our 10th tour through the mountain states, so this has just become part of our life to head to the mountains. As soon as we get about 10,000 feet, we just have so much fun," Russell said. "Austin, Texas, is where everyone Two-steps. All the cool kids do it. Colorado is more free-form."

Marfa Public Radio

 

West Texas Talk:
The Lonesome Heroes & Whippoorwill

"On this edition of West Texas Talk, a double dose of music live from the Marfa Public Radio studios  – Provided by The Lonesome Heroes (Austin) and Whippoorwill (Colorado)."

The Register-Guard - Eugene, OR

 

A fair Welcome

Lonesome Heroes to experience Oregon Country Fair for the first time.

"Many of us were probably too young to remember a lot of firsts. Our minds have most likely wiped clean the memories of our first steps or our first ice cream cone. Hopefully we remember our first kiss — and then there’s also our first Oregon Country Fair. It doesn’t matter what friends tell you, what you read or how you think it’s going to be — there is absolutely nothing like the experience of walking into the country Fair for the first time.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been, so we’re very excited,” said Rich Russell, lead singer and guitarist for the Austin, Texas-based band the Lonesome Heroes.

After years of hearing friends talk about the magic that encircles the three-day festival, the self-proclaimed cosmic Americana band is scheduled to play (and attend) the three-day festival on July 8 and July 9.

“From what I’ve heard about the Oregon Country Fair, people make it seem like everyone’s going to be having an amazing time, all the time,” Russell said.

Of course, that’s the goal of the 47th annual event. Held in the woods on the edge of Veneta, the event combines food booths, stilt walkers, dream trees, artisans, jugglers, vaudeville performers, yoginis, artisans, puppeteers and more in a full-on daytime celebration.

Because they’ve never played the Country Fair before, Russell says they’re hoping to draw in the foot traffic with their sound.

As for what they’ll play, Russell and his bandmates — guitarist Gary Newcomb, bassist and vocalist Nick Lochman, multi-instrumentalist Kellen Fuchs and guitarist Curtis Clogston — are smack in the middle of an album cycle.

Their sophomore album, “Can’t Stand Still” was released in January of 2015, and the band played nearly 150 shows in support of it — including a stint in Australia. It was a deeply personal record, as it was the first after Russell had ended his songwriting and romantic relationship with former Lonesome Hero Landry McMeans.

“This was the first record where I was the only songwriter, and I’d say the subject matter deals with that breakup and leading up to that breakup and memories before that, too,” Russell says.

He says that singing those deeply personal songs actually got easier over time, despite getting “a little verklempt or held up” when singing them when the album was first released.

“But as time goes by, it feels more emotionally distant and becomes more music … Almost the meaning of the song comes out with more hindsight when you’re separated from it.”

It was on the trip to Australia in the fall of 2015 that the band was able to finally take a collective breath and start working on new music.

“It’s funny because it was like, we had to go all the way to Australia to sit down at a table and work on new material,” Russell says.

They worked out two of the four new, unrecorded songs they’ll be playing at the Country Fair including Russell’s favorite, “Lucky by Birth.”

“It’s a bits and pieces song (lyrically). Some of it takes place in New Mexico at a show we played with a friend who’s having a hard time and then just lines from all over the road, funny things people say in the van.”

It’s this mix of songs old and new that they hope to share on Friday afternoon on the Blue Moon Stage and Saturday just after noon on the Hoarse Chorale Stage.

Cosmic Americana is a flexible term to describe a flexible band, one who is just at home in a honkey tonk bar as they are at an outdoor festival. Keys and pedal steel guitar are further softened by Russell’s smooth, low voice. It might not be dance pop, but it’s got great grooves perfect for an afternoon in the woods.

“People really kind of get the cosmic Americana or psychedelic or country on the West Coast. On the East Coast it doesn’t seem to work as well; I think it’s the wide open spaces. The music feels good and we feel good,” he says."

Big Bend Now

 

Aussie musician and Lonesome Heroes at the Blues and Starlight

"After crossing paths at 2015’s inaugural Dashville Skyline festival in Australia, Aussie singer/songwriter Ruby Boots will be teaming up once more with Austin’s Cosmic American quartet The Lonesome Heroes.

Ruby Boots

Ruby Boots

Ruby Boots, has personally chosen the traveling troubadours as a combination of backing band and tour guides, in addition to performing a set of their own, as they show her around their favorite Texas haunts. Ruby Boots’ music will stop you in your tracks. The rising star from Down Under possesses a soulful voice that crackles with swagger and sorrow. Her fiercely honest lyrics strike deep into your heart while her music delivers an alluring mix of country, rock, folk and blues.

Ruby Boots’ first full-length Solitude, which was released in America on March 25th, has been hailed as “a landmark Australian release” and a “world class debut,” while scoring her a Song of The Year award for “Wrap Me In A Fever.”

Lonesome Heroes

Lonesome Heroes

Since starting her music career in 2010, Ruby has become red-hot in her homeland. She has won Best Country Music Act honors at the Western Australia Music Awards five straight years, performed at major festivals like Big Day Out and opened for such marquee Americana acts as Kris Kristofferson, Father John Misty, Justin Townes Earle and Shovels & Rope.

The Lonesome Heroes might as well print “Cosmic American” on their passports. The Austin-based group may hail from the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but their sound suggests they originate from a parallel universe where the works of Gram Parsons, Beck and Wilco propagate. Austin’s KUTX describes them as “the soundscape that occurs when indie rock and country artfully cross paths.”

Released in January, Can’t Stand Still was declared “one of Austin’s best discs of 2015” by the Austin Chronicle. Their single “Steel” was selected as a Top Tune Download of the Day by KCRW in Los Angeles and the band received radio play and praise in the press across the US, Europe, and Australia.

No stranger to West Texas, Lonesome Heroes has performed in Marfa and Alpine in the past."

Ear to the Ground

 

Album Review: Lonesome Heroes – Can’t Stand Still

"All told, Lonesome Heroes are a talented group of musicians. What I really appreciate about their approach is that they come across as the real deal. These aren’t songs for the sake of making songs; they’re real stores and expressions of life. There’s some blues, some rock, and some country here, but mostly it’s just a particular brand of western music that just feels right. I can smell the desert and the wide open spaces on each track."

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 preceded 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

KCRW Today's Top Tune

"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."

Rhythms Magazine

 

“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.”

Full interview here

Austin Chronicle

 

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER PAUL CARDOZA

"A lineup change re-energized this longstanding local alt.country 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."

Rolling Stone Australia

 

What is Americana?

We recently sat down with the few artists from the Dashville bill to discuss what the label ‘Americana’ specifically means to them.

 

The Lonesome Heroes (USA)

americana lonesome

Flying Burrito Brothers "Wheels"

Gram Parsons understood the notion of Americana before there was even a name for it. The Burrito Brothers combine old-time Bluegrass Harmony with the screeching fuzz tones of Sneaky Pete’s pedal steel and honkey tonk piano to make country music that the hippies of the 60’s could dig. Finding Gram Parsons in my 20’s was like finding the missing link between Hank Williams and Wilco.

Bob Dylan "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You"

Nashville Skyline was my first exposure to country music. I had never heard a Dobro, pedal steel, or Johnny Cash before this record. I could separate my musical life to BNS (before Nashville Skyline) and after. Fifteen years after discovering this record, I still love it. I think good Americana and roots music has a timeless quality to it and never gets old.

Magnetic Fields "Two Characters In Search of a Country Song"

I grew up in NYC and had little exposure to country or folk music as a kid, but a plethora of great 90′s indie rock. I remember getting a copy of 69 Love Songs in High School and falling in love with Stephen Merritt’s witty lyricism. Later in College I found Charm of the Highway Strip, an album of highway songs with country and folk instruments mixed together with distorted dance like drums. It sounds nothing like any folk or country music I have ever heard, but still uses classic song writing motifs of American Pop music. He is one of the few writers that can name drop historical figures like Jesse James, William Tell, Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill in 3 minute pop song, and make it sound so cool. I like to think of our music as a combination of older roots sounds with modern sounds, not an attempt at a retro throwback sound. Stephen Merritt is the master of this.

Planet Jackson Hole

 

MUSIC BOX: Heroes can’t stand still

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

"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."

Austin Chronicle

"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."

San Antonio Current

 

5 Shows To See This Week

"On “Western Style Saloons,” The Lonesome Heroes sum up their Americana wanderlust: “I need a Western-facing highway and a town to start all over again.” For this Austin crew, the East holds promise, too, with a 2013 feature on ABC’s Nashville."

The Weld

 

The Weld Birmingham, Top Pick of the Week!

Taylor Hollingsworth Country Western/Blackfoot Gypsies/The Lonesome Heroes

"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.”

Alternate Root Magazine

 

THE LONESOME HEROES - WESTERN STYLE SALOONS

"Psychedelic Country out of Austin, Texas as The Lonesome Heroes put a road song for our video premiere of "Western Style Saloons". The Lonesome Heroes feel that '”Western Style Saloons” explores the sad reality that years of touring mostly amounts to worn out vans, band members, and a lot of forgotten good times, but it's worth it if you're doing what you love'."

KUTX 98.9 Austin Music Minute

Love Is Contagious

"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."

OVRLD

 

Long Road Ahead: Lonesome Heroes’ Can’t Stand Still is a Perfect LP for Homesick Texans

Lonesome Heroes Can't Stand Still

"The theme of “the West” is all over the Lonesome Heroes’ latest LP, Can’t Stand Still– “That Western wind’s got my tongue again,” “I need a Western-facing highway and a town to start over again,” “I close my eyes and we’re drifting West.” Given that lead singer Rich Russell is from New York and his music sounds like a steady car driving along I-10 towards El Paso, it’s fair to assume that the West that inspires Russell and keeps him always moving forward is the West which begins in Austin. It’s safe to say that Russell has found his spiritual home in the Texas plains. But it’s funny how music’s meaning is always relative.

I recently left Austin and moved West. I moved all the way out to California, where you can’t get much further West without running up against a pretty large roadblock. Whereas Russell’s music sees the West as a place of possibility, I hear in Russell’s music my own past. I can’t help but look East when I listen to the Lonesome Heroes. I instinctively hear Austin in the shuffling drums and the ringing pedal steel guitar, and I think about the past instead of the future.

It’s hard, living in Austin, to remember that country music isn’t as pervasive on the coasts. And living on the coasts, you don’t think about country music as much because you just don’t hear it. So when I listen to Can’t Stand Still, I’m automatically transported back to Hill Country biker bars and East 6th dives.

The Lonesome Heroes are a good fit for a homesick Texan. Sure, there’s some blatant old-school country songs like the two-step of “Shit Happens” or the blues in “Western Style Saloons.” But more often, the tracks on Can’t Stand Still are like countrified rock. “Whole Heart” reminds me of Wildflowers-era Tom Petty. “Steel” has the harsh drive of an East Cameron Folkcore track. A lot of the record reminds me of a chilled out mid-tempo version of a song by the now-defunct Whitman. This is a friendly country record for a rocker like me.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the first Lonesome Heroes recording without Landry McMeans, who parted ways a couple of years ago with Russell in both a personal and professional sense. For those of us who knew the sound of the Lonesome Heroes with her harmony, the loss is felt. But if we’re being honest, most of you reading this probably didn’t know the Lonesome Heroes then, and if this is your first exposure to them, it’s still a damn fine record. The most overt lyrical nod to their dissolution is “Long Time Coming,” which suggests their parting was probably to their mutual benefit.

In light of that, it’s probably understandable why Russell is so focused on the future on Can’t Stand Still, and after a few spins, it’s easy to get caught up with him. He makes it clear that “the West” isn’t a physical place so much as a state of mind, and once you’ve known it, it’s always there for you when you need it. Because there’s still a long road ahead."

KUTX 98.9 Song of the Day

The Lonesome Heroes: “Long Time Coming”

Photo by Christopher Paul Cardoza

Song of the Day THE LONESOME HEROES: “LONG TIME COMING”

"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."

Ghetto Blaster Magazine

 

ALBUMS IN THE STREAM: The Lonesome Heroes Can't Stand Still

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”

lonesome_heroes

"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."

FOLK RADIO UK

 

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

"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-length Can’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."

DO512 25 Local Bands to Watch at SXSW

AUSTIN BANDS TO WATCH

"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-News

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

"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."

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.”

Flagstaff Live

 

CROSSING ARTISTIC PATHS

"The Lonesome Heroes are one-third country, one-third folk, and one-third psych indie-pop. It’s a strange mix, but it’s a soundscape that works for this Austin-based western-Americana out. Amongst a hectic touring schedule and the successful release of their full-length debut album, Daydream Western, in March, they’ve found time to make their way to Flagstaff."

Texas Music Magazine

Las Cruces Sun-News

 

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

"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 instrumentation 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 chili. 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.mosaicglobe.com. 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."

Ovrld

 

The Lonesome Heroes: Daydream Western

"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.”

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."

JHWeekly

 

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 BROOKLYN MET AUSTIN 

"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."

KUT FM 90.5 - 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."

Austin Chronicle

 

Daydream Western

Texas Platters

"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 FM 90.5 - Song of the Day

 

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

"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 FM 90.5 - Austin

"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."

Best Of Texas

 

Lonesome Heroes Ride Again!

"It’s been a while since we mentioned the psychedelic honky-tonkers from Austin, The Lonesome Heroes. They wow’d us with their inventive take on standard old-school country and they have been touring like crazy for the last couple of years as they’ve been developing material for a new album. Daydream Western is the name for the new record, and it’s yet another wonderful spin on Cosmic Americana.

Thanks to the key duo, Landry McMeans and Rich Russell, we have a couple of songs to share with you. These tunes have been road-tested as much as songs can be, thanks to the group’s relentless touring of the country. Trust us, you do not want to skip the chance to give these tunes a listen and to catch them live when they come through your part of the state, which is always a distinct possibility, given their penchant for life on the road."

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."

KUT FM 90.5 - Austin Music Minute

"Austin psychedelic country-roots duo The Lonesome Heroes released an album this year called Daydream Western. Quite frankly, the title couldn’t be more fitting. This is exactly what a daydream would sound like, the perfect soundtrack to accompany you on that long stretch of highway that has no defined destination, when you’re alone with your mind and lost in your thoughts. The album is a rich blend of acoustic guitar, steel, multi-layered textures and vocals from songwriters Rich Russell and Landry McMeans that sweep you right up into that daydream. This is the the soundscape that occurs when indie rock and country artfully cross paths."

Fairfield Sun Times

 

Texas Band Films In Choteau, Montana

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 Landry 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."

Austin American-Statesman

Planet Jackson Hole

 

THE GOODS

"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

 

The Lonesome Heroes Are A Trip.

"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

"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."

Photobucket

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."

The Austin Sound

"The Lonesome Heroes are a wandering lot, so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that it took them about three years to make a video for "Don't Play to Lose". We give them a pass on the old tune, though, because the video is pretty great. How can you not love two adorable kids escaping from some hardcore bikers and bouncers?! It's like Goonies II: Goonies in the City! Or something. Kudos to Daniel Stolzman of Frameless Films for directing the video, and to Rich Russell and Landry McMeans for wherever they dug up their younger counterparts. As for the Heroes themselves, they'll be back in town after last month's trek up into the north east for a gig at the Continental Club on Saturday, January 16 with Lil' Travis and Grand Champeen. Check out the video below:"

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

 

STARRY EYES VOL. III SXSW COMPILATION

"The outer limits of country continues to contort in any number of directions, courtesy the rolling raucousness of the Golden Boys, cosmic touch of the Lonesome Heroes, and haunting folk of Dana Falconberry, while rock got a fierce shot in the arm from UME, Harlem, and the Midgetmen.

Rich Russell and Landry McMeans meld their harmonies and guitar and dobro into delectable tunes that captures the Lonesome Heroes' restless and wandering spirit. With a backing band that includes an impressive cast of Austin players, the duo delivers gentle ballads cut with a psychedelic country swirl, McMeans' gorgeous vocals traded with Russell's down-to-earth sound. Following 2006 EP Don't Play to Lose, the group released their appropriately-titled sophomore effort, Crooked Highway, this past year, and are planning a live album for sometime in '09."

The Austin Sound

"Few young artists have done as much to promote the local music scene as the Lonesome Heroes. 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 Russell’s 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."

Austin Chronicle

 

Crooked Highway

Texas Platters

"Whereas 2006 EP Don't Play to Lose wandered with a gentle ease, the group's debut full-length moves in more focused, if experimentally flourished, directions. "Lonestar" opens with a lilting warp and rough guitar distortion, 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

 

Don't Look Back: The Lonesome Heroes rewrite the rules of alt.country

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

"Since taking up residency at the Hole in the Wall last September, the Lonesome Heroes' alt.country nights have become one of the most popular weekly events inAustin. As a genre, alt.country 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 convergein 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......"

The Austin Sound

"You may or may not have heard of the movie School of Rock, starring the so-called "Jack Black," scare quotes very much intended for the name is as obviously spurious as Costanza's legendary porno moniker, "Buck Naked." In S/O/R, the main character, played by Mr. Black, sketches out what purports to be the entire history of rock and roll on a blackboard, for the edification of schoolchildren. Implausible as it sounds, his history is fair, intelligent, and mostly complete, but there's at least one noteworthy genre that fails to get its chalky due, and that is the one variously referred to as Cosmic American, Space Country, and Psycountry (for Psychedelic Country) and whose most perfect exemplar is probably David Crosby's 1971 "If I Could Only Remember My Name." It's a niche with strong Austin roots, from the 13th Floor Elevators through the Cosmic Cowboys of the '70s to current AustinSound.net (or, at least, B.D. Fischer) faves Lomita. Space country (my favored term) relies on the surprising sonic similarity between the slide guitar of traditional country and the various effects and distortions of traditional psychedelia, if that term makes sense, talking now about progenitors like the Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, and Ziggy Stardust all the way through My Bloody Valentine, the various incarnations of Dean Wareham, The Verve, Halley, Explosions in the Sky, etc. etc. That similarity itself reflects a mutual thematic focus on isolation and loneliness, from the outlaw Cosmic Cowboys fighting one-man wars against the Nashville machine to Major Tom drifting into space by himself, sending his best wishes back to his wife. This, of course, is right where The Lonesome Heroes' debut EP Don't Play to Lose fits in, with echo-chamber vocals and plenty of sliding steel and spacey distortion. Track one, the title track, opens in spiritual lockstep with "Happy Trails," a guitar like a lazy-walking horse laid over what sounds like synthesized laser blasts ala Han Solo distended over several measures. The subject matter is likewise a perfect blend of indie space rock and classic country, the abstract neurotic and the concrete pathetic: "And those thoughts inside your mind / they're all leading you astray / your hands they shake / just like a wet dog / that's been left out in the rain." Soon after that one Miss Landry "Slydry" McMeans (she's just one of the band members with a name so a propos that is difficult to believe it is not invented; the other is Sarah Millenary on the fiddle) joins frontman Rich Russell on the vocals, and she (and this is a good thing) sounds a lot like Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval (Russell sounds a little like a more urbane Woody Guthrie), and the space country instrumental, thematic, vocals complete. The formula works with continued success on the remaining four tracks. The country instrumentals and space rock production are a classic case of opposites attracting. The lyrics delightfully blend the conventions of both genres, as again on track four, "Halos Above Our Heads": "The rain, it gathers in the mountains / and the rivers flow down into the valley / as the sun shines high / in this harsh urban sky / while we wait for a message / from up above / so shine you high / Mister Sun-in-the-Sky / let those clouds form halos above our heads." It is hard to imagine the Space Country sound through description alone, for you certainly don't hear it on the radio or even very often on the indie scene. But when you do, and it's done as perfectly as it is on this EP, it registers to the bone. It would be hard to find a more perfect exemplar of this crazy coupling that turns out not to be so crazy than this band. The Lonesome Heroes play regularly at Headhunters, having started the weekly "alt. country" showcase on Wednesday nights. The five tracks on Don't Play to Lose come in at 16:53."

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."

Austin Chronicle

 

 LONESOME TOWN

TCBPhoto By Felicia Graham

 

"Austin "New Age country" duo the Lonesome Heroes have so many gigs, "We're still really just figuring out what we're doing, and it stems from playing so much," says Brooklyn-born Rich Russell. Navigating country, folk, indie rock, and Daniel Lanois arcana, Russell and San Marcos native Landry McMeans, who alternate Dobro and acoustic guitar and lately have been borrowing the Weary Boys' rhythm section, met two years ago at the Austin Music Co-op. "Living there made us realize how hard you have to work to be a musician," says McMeans. The Heroes weren't sure where they fit in locally until hearing Li'l Cap'n Travis on KUT's LiveSet. "I was like, 'We're going to the Continental Club tomorrow!'" Russell says. After 2006 EP Don't Play to Lose on St. Paul, Minn.'s Floodwater Records (an LP recorded live at Flipnotics is due soon), things picked up when the Heroes began hosting Headhunters' popular Wednesday alt.country night, where they've welcomed American Graveyard, the Texas SapphiresBrennen LeighGary Newcomb TrioBoxcar Preachers, and the Breathers. "Headhunters likes it because it's mellow, a nice change from the rest of the week," says Russell."

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."

Foxy Digitalis Magazine

"Sleepy, weepy, cowpunk from the Austin duo of Rich Russell and Landry McMeans, whose lap steel and dobro drags these alt.country twisted tales through the barren Texas desert with a faint Neil Young aroma wafting through the sagebrush and mixing with Chicago cultists, Souled American. Steel sashays across the horizon, leaving a dusty aftertaste of Jonathan Richman's attempts at going country in our ears (cf. Jonathan Goes Country). McMeans takes center stage on "The Moon and The Sun", and her vocals leave a sweet, honeysuckle variety to Russell's good ol' boy, downhome grooves. Russell's echoed lap steep and dobro add a haunting, full-moon quality to the track that contrasts nicely with our heroines litling voice.The duo end on a high note with the spooky, "Oyster", with McMeans faraway vocals riding the dusty prairie winds across your mind on a magic carpet ride buttressed by her lap steel and dobro. This is the perfect soundtrack for hunkering down in a sleeping bag under the stars somewhere out in the wild expanses of Americas vast hinterlands, counting shooting stars and cowering from coyotes howling in the night."

Austin Chronicle

 

Don't Play to Lose EP (Floodwater Records)

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."

Smother Magazine

"The debut EP from country folk group The Lonesome Heroes are bar tales that are elbow to elbow with some of the legendary lyrics spun by the best in the country world. Salty vocals with numerous harmony parts soar into a high ledge of abandoned folk guitar and twangy hollow body guitar swagger. With psychedelic underpinnings, Don't Play to Lose is a tasty morsel of modern country folk that was extraordinarily produced and engineered by Scott O'Gara. Perfect."