Ryan Culwell with The Harvest Thieves
Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door
When Ryan Cullwell released his critically acclaimed 2015 album 'Flatlands,' Rolling Stone hailed the collection as both "gorgeous and bleak," and the intervening years of the Texas native's life could be described in similarly contradictory terms. Culwell has touched the top and scraped the bottom, known true joy and faced pure sorrow, been blessed with luck and cursed by tough breaks. He welcomed daughters number three and four into the world, only to nearly lose his life working odd jobs just to make ends meet. It's been a beautiful, brutal time for Culwell, one that he's woven into the fabric of his most stunning songs yet with 'The Last American,' his third album and debut release for Missing Piece Records. Recorded in his adopted hometown of Nashville, the collection showcases Culwell at his finest, crafting poignant portraits of ordinary folks just trying to get by, men and women doing their best to make it through the day with dignity and self-respect in these trying times.
"When I grew up and started traveling around the country, I began seeing certain truths in people's struggles and pains, and I realized that the America that was given to me wasn't what I'd been told it was," Culwell reflects. "The patriotism that my father passed down didn't have anywhere to land because that America simply didn't exist. I'm a father myself now, and I think part of the inspiration for these songs was to try and give my children the tools to love this country for what it is and what it can be, to provide them with an accurate picture of where they are and what it means to love and hope and have empathy."
Love and hope and empathy have long been touchstones of Culwell's writing, a style that NPR raved "wring[s] grace from plain and often dark details, expressing the realities of class and region in ways that many other writers barely touch." 'Flatlands' was a stark meditation on the forgotten emptiness of the Texas panhandle, and its sparse arrangements and profound lyrics drew plaudits from around the world. Rolling Stone said that Culwell has "a voice as big as the Texas horizon,"
The Harvest Thieves:
Harvest Thieves is Cory Reinisch (vocals, guitars), Wes Cargal (percussion), Mike Mangalindan (bass, vocals), Annah Fisette (keys, mandolin, vocals), Michael Gibson (lead guitar), and Dustin Meyer (multi-instrumentalist).
Harvest Thieves draw on their blue-collar and back-roads heritage to craft songs that sway from brutish garage-rock swagger to traditional country honesty. With punk-ish explosions in sound, to finger-picked folk-rock simplicity, they are a formidable addition to Austin's historically-minded music scene.