Southall, Uncle Lucius

with Special Guest Midnight River Choir
Aug 10, 2024
6:00 pm
7:30 pm
Sold Out Show
Venue Info:
Whitewater Amphitheater
11860 FM306 New Braunfels, 78132
United States Of America

Southall and Uncle Lucius co-headline Whitewater Amphitheater with Special Guests Midnight River Choir on Saturday, August 10, 2024. 

About Southall
Read Southall can sure turn a phrase. “This record is the gasoline for the love machine,” he says  of his band’s new album, the exhilarating and self-titled Southall. The proud Oklahoma  workingman isn’t exaggerating. The record sparks and burns with 11 crank-it-up songs that  expertly combine country, rock & roll, and the dust and grit of the band’s native Red Dirt scene.  

But there are also glimpses of hard rock and metal, along with easygoing back-porch vibes, the  result of a drastic change in the way the group formerly known as the Read Southall Band now  makes music: Every member of Southall brings lyrics, melodies, and even full songs to the table.  “It’s the colors of different people with different influences making music,” Southall says. “I’ve  always been confident in the talents and abilities of the guys onstage with me, and I want our  fans to see and hear that too. That’s why we changed our name to Southall.” 

Produced by Eddie Spear (Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak) and recorded at Leon Russell’s  iconic Church Studio in Tulsa, Southall manifests the true band album that singer Read Southall  first envisioned when he released his debut, Six String Sorrow, in 2015. That was a mostly  acoustic record, but Southall, the band’s fourth album, roars with raw and loud collaborative  power. Reid Barber, the group’s resident metalhead, hammers his drums. Bassist Jeremee Knipp  provides a brooding low end. Keys player Braxton Curliss adds both tasteful accents and off-the rails barroom piano. And guitarists John Tyler Perry and Ryan Wellman wring wild sounds from  their instruments. All of it is tied together by Southall’s scrappy, yearning voice. 

First single “Scared Money” is a slice of Rolling Stones country-rock straight off of Sticky  Fingers. Opening with a stabbing guitar lick and written by Barber, it’s an acknowledgment of  hard work and a dogged determination to pay the bills. “That was inspired by my father, who  always told me it’s not about figuring out what you want to do, it’s about figuring out what you  don’t want to do,” Barber says. “It was written as a country song, but when we got in the studio it  turned into more of a Stonesy jam.” 

“Reid wrote ‘Scared Money,’ but the lyrics are me to a T: I walked out of class, straight to the  patch, because no one ever paid me to read,” says Southall, who dropped out of school to get a  job. “I feel like that’s an Oklahoman mindset, in the sense that people down here get to work.  They get up every morning and do things they don’t want to do to make money and try to get  ahead in this crazy life. And it doesn’t matter if you’re going to school, working in the oil patch,  or farming. It's all work.”  

“Out Alive,” meanwhile, taps into Southall’s harder and more experimental sound and is about  the fear of saying, or posting, the wrong thing in today’s quick-to-crucify society, and instead  saying nothing at all — “That’s hardly a better option,” says Barber, who wrote it. “Out Alive” is  a monster and features a squawky guitar solo reminiscent of Jack White or Rage Against the 

Machine’s Tom Morello played by Wellman using a pen as a slide. “It sounds like air-raid  sirens,” raves Southall. 

“By Surprise,” meanwhile, is a study in contradictions, a song that’s musically simple but probes  complex mysteries. “Too many questions too little time/heat of the moment passing you by,”  Southall sings. “Heart of the matter, hard to define/the universe divine.”  

“We started playing some basic straightforward rock to make the soul of the song stick out,” says  Barber, who brought five songs to the recording sessions, including “By Surprise.” “That’s the  song I’m most stoked about. Lyrically, it’s so big, in the whole scope of what is being talked  about — this life and how we get through it.” 

While Southall released three other studio albums, including their 2017 breakout Borrowed Time,  the band’s namesake regards the records as just the building blocks of Southall’s future. He wrote  all of those songs, including the fan favorite “Why,” just to get the train moving. Today, they’re  charging ahead. 

“That was my contribution: our back catalog,” Southall says. “Now, we have this steam built up  and we’re rolling down the tracks, and I want the guys to all grab a shovel, load some coal, and  keep us rolling.” 

The six-piece has been up to the challenge. Their song “Stickin’ n Movin’,” off 2021’s For the  Birds, appeared on the CBS series Fire Country, and they’ve established themselves as a band you-need-to-playlist on the streaming services: Southall have more than 133 million streams on  Spotify and more than 101 million on Apple Music, with nearly 1 million monthly listeners  across all platforms.  

It’s not only the success story of a band, but of a region, according to Southall, who was first  inspired to write and sing country songs after having a revelation while working on a farm. “I  grew up at a really cool time when country music was good in the Nineties, and I spent a lot of  radio time on the tractor. So whatever was happening in country music then was in my ears,” he  says. “But then country started to change and became more about partying. That’s when I  thought, ‘I could represent my people better than this.’” 

To Southall, that meant writing about work, and he sells that message hard in the rambunctious  “Get Busy (Till It’s Done),” a centerpiece of the album and one of its most ferocious tracks.  “They say anything worth having is worth fighting for/and I know that is true,” he howls. “It’s  gonna take a little time, a little grind, to get what’s coming to you.”  

“My dad always said to me, ‘You’re not just going to sit there on your pockets and do nothing.  That still rings true to me,” Southall says. “Work is what makes you who you are."

For Southall the band, that work began a long time ago — and it’s about to pay off in a big way.

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About Uncle Lucius

Second chances are rare in rock 'n' roll. Most bands only get one shot at the brass ring, and once the opportunity passes by, it's gone forever.

Maybe that's why Uncle Lucius sounds like a band reborn on Like It's The Last One Left, a cathartic comeback album that reunites the platinum-selling group — and pumps new blood into its roster — after a five-year hiatus. Written and recorded in the band's hometown of Austin, Texas, Like It's The Last One Left isn't just a return to form; it's an expansion, bolstering Uncle Lucius' mix of amped-up Americana and greasy roots-rock with string arrangements, adventurous production, and the sharpest songwriting of the group's career.

"There are no limitations this time around," says frontman Kevin Galloway. "We're exploring different areas of American roots music, and we're doing it our own way. There's a new perspective that comes with stepping away from something for awhile, then coming back to it. You can see it with new eyes."

Uncle Lucius originally stepped away from the spotlight in March 2018, capping off a whirlwind decade that saw the band releasing four critically-acclaimed albums, wearing out five vans, and performing everywhere from New Braunfels to Norway. The guys were some of Austin's most celebrated exports, supported by a cult following that rallied around signature songs like "Keep the Wolves Away" and "The Light." Great bands don't just build a catalog of songs, though; they build legacies that endure long after the band itself goes away. During the years that followed Uncle Lucius' so-called farewell tour, the band's audience increased rapidly, bringing new generations of fans into the fold. "Keep the Wolves Away" even showed up in an episode of Yellowstone and went viral, earning gold and platinum certifications along the way. As Uncle Lucius' legacy grew, so did the desire to get back together.

"After 'Wolves' went gold, we got together at a fancy steakhouse in Austin to celebrate and tell old stories," Galloway remembers. "We started to ask ourselves, 'Should we reconsider this?' The iron was hot, and we knew we had more music to offer."

Months later, the bandmates found themselves back at EAR, the beloved Austin-area studio where they'd previously recorded their breakthrough album, Pick Your Head Up, during the late 2000s. Things looked a little different, of course. For starters, Hal Jon Vorpahl — the band's co-founder and original bass player — was now serving a new role as Uncle Lucius' producer and behind-the-scenes songwriter. ("He's like the silent seventh member of the band now," Galloway explains.) Also occupying new roles were the group's most recent additions, bassist Drew Scherger and guitar hero Doug Strahan, who joined longtime members Mike Carpenter (guitar) Josh Greco (drums), Galloway (vocals), and Jon Grossman (keys). The expanded band tracked Like It's The Last One Left's 10 songs to analog tape, with everyone playing together in real time, emphasizing the raw energy and pure electricity of a live performance. During the months that followed, they layered the recordings with orchestral strings and background harmonies, adding new dimension to the material. "We've always taken pride in being a great live band, but now we're learned to become a seven-headed beast, too," Galloway says. "We have two guitar players who work together and share leads. We have a producer who writes amazing songs. We all had the freedom to add to these songs and interpret them, and we really created something new together. This is a band album."

It's also Uncle Lucius' finest record to date. Beginning with "Keep Singing Along" — an atmospheric blast of funky-tonk, anchored by a seize-the-day message that suits the band's 2020s resurgence -- Like It's The Last One Left offers everything from larger-than-life anthems (the stomping "Civilized Anxiety," the heartland rocker "Trace My Soul") to laidback, loping Tex-Mex ("I'm Happy"). "Tuscaloosa Rain" channels Dusty Springfield and Burt Bacharach, complete with swooning orchestration from the Tosca String Quartet and stacked harmonies from the vocal duo US (Sir Woman, Wild Child). US also appears on "Holly Roller," a track that's equal parts roadhouse rock song and gospel-worthy freakout, while fellow Austinite Cody Braun (Reckless Kelly) plays fiddle on "All the Angelenos," a humorous jab at the carpetbaggers who've relocated to Austin in the hopes of capitalizing on the city's boom town status. Things come to a close with "Heart Over Mind," another track that balances Uncle Lucius' adventurous Americana with gorgeous melodies, symphonic strings, and the croon of Galloway's voice.

Rooted in lyrics about resolve and resilience,  Like It's The Last One Left blurs the boundaries between genre and generation. It's a battle cry from a band that's rededicated itself to fighting the good fight, trading the breakneck pace of the group's past for something a little more swaggering, stabilizing, and singular. "Remember to breathe," Galloway sings during the album's final moments, delivering those lines like a veteran road warrior who's seen his share of exhaustion. That's good advice. After spending a decade in the trenches, Uncle Lucius has caught its breath, seized the moment, and enjoyed a much-deserved victory lap. Like It's The Last One Left is the soundtrack to the next leg of the journey.

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About Midnight River Choir

The story of Midnight River Choir is proof that sometimes great bands just happen. One night, four strangers ended up on a late night float trip down the Guadalupe River. As they made their way down the river singing songs, the beautiful harmonies floated into the heads of sleeping campers. The next morning, the boys overheard a man telling a friend that he was “awakened by a midnight river choir.” That was all it took. The boys realized the magic of their combined talents and began writing and performing together under that River-God given name. The formation of Midnight River Choir was nothing short of a force of nature that now translates seamlessly during their live shows. This band needs no labels or comparisons. Their music speaks volumes about who and what they are. Their lives have been woven together by a strong thread of raw energy both on and off stage. They believe that what you get is what you give and they give everything they have to their crowds. When that kind of energy lands back at the feet of the boys it is something of supreme intensity. And no one ever forgets it.

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Ticket prices:

Ticket prices include all state and local taxes and venue, platform, and credit card processing fees. What you add to your cart is what you pay. No surprises at checkout!

General Admission: $
Wing Seating: $
Preferred Box: $
/ ticket x 12
Must purchase all 12 tickets together

Southall, Uncle Lucius

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Southall, Uncle Lucius
Saturday, August 10, 2024
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