REVIEW: The South Austin Moonlighters’ “Travel Light” is Easy on the Ears

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If you had to give a brief description of The South Austin Moonlighters, you might say that the band is easy on the ears. On the new album Travel Light (produced by Anders Osborne), the band that blends rock, country, and southern soul into a sound that is hard to resist.

As soon as you hear the first notes of “Feels like Home”, you can hear an immediate similarity to The Bottle Rockets both in the vocals and tone, which is melodic with a bit of grit. There is also a similarity to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the harmony vocals.

The title track has the same gritty alt-country sound but with the addition of banjo that gives the song a little tinge of bluegrass. It’s hard not to smile when you hear the sound advice in the lyrics “everything’s gonna be all right, so put down your worries and travel light.”

Countless songs have been written about girls and women, and it’s interesting to hear how each artist puts its own spin on the topic. This one has a guitar tone similar to The Jayhawks, but it’s the chorus that really grabs the attention with the lyrics, “There’s something about a girl from Texas that makes a man’s heart feel at ease. You’ll forget about all of your exes. She’s the only one you’ll never need.” Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along with this one.

“Carry Me On” features some slide guitar that sounds like Sonny Landreth. It also features some spacey guitar sounds that border on psychedelia. Overall, it’s an easy song to sing along with – especially with the harmony vocals.

This is one of those rare bands where all the members provide vocals. Whether you’re hearing the voice of Lonnie Trevino (bass), Chris Beall (guitar), Phil Hurley (guitar), Daniel James (drums), or all four together, it doesn’t particularly matter, because they are all pretty good at it. If you need a soundtrack for your Sunday morning while you eat breakfast and drink your coffee, this album is a pretty good choice. It is an easygoing album that perfectly blends rock and country and features not only great instrumentation but also outstanding harmony vocals. Travel Light will be available everywhere on May 17. Order your copy here. (https://thesouthaustinmoonlighters.com/)

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