The weather’s only getting hotter, and the local music scene doesn’t show any signs of cooling off either. Whether it’s a newly formed pop group making music on the bustling Near Southside, or a veteran, Fort Worth-raised singer-songwriter glancing back at his life, there’s something new for every musical taste under the sun. Here are three recently released albums from DFW musicians worth your time and money.
Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark, ‘Blind, Crippled and Crazy’
Albums crafted in an artist’s twilight years can be hit-and-miss propositions. Some succumb to sentimentality and undermine what makes them interesting, while others are invigorated by dwindling time, and come up with a terrific piece of work. For their first collaboration in 40 years, longtime friends Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark knock it out of the park on the amusingly titled Blind, Crippled and Crazy. The two men, who co-produced the LP with fellow North Texan Gary Nicholson, don’t dawdle — “I been around a long time/Long enough to know age is a state of mind,” they observe on the record’s opening tune, Been Around a Long Time — and also don’t spend many of the dozen cuts here lamenting what’s past. Instead, McClinton and Clark, trading lyrics and licks with an infectious glee, make getting your heart broken and seizing the moment sound like a total blast. “It sure feels good being me,” the troubadours croon near the record’s conclusion, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. Online: delbert.com
The Diabolical Machines, ‘Drag You Away’
The Diabolical Machines have seemed like a band making up for lost time since first forming last year. Some of the urgency simply stems from multi-instrumentalist Kevin Buchanan, his wife (and guitarist) Stephanie Buchanan and guitarist Harley Dear’s pure joy of performing (the Fort Worth-based group was recently rounded out with bassist Mandy Hand and drummer Aubrey Savage). Working with co-producer Britt Robisheaux, the Machines, billing its sound as “boutique indie pop,” capture that infectious exuberance on this four-track, 10-minute EP. The title track feels like a cartwheel in the sunshine, while the stinging The Robber Barons of 7th Street gets in digs at Fort Worth’s power brokers, including (ow) the Star-Telegram. Online: diabolicalmachinesband.com
Laura Ainsworth, ‘Necessary Evil’
Dallas-based vocalist Laura Ainsworth’s sophomore album pops in a way that makes you realize just how terrific old-school jazz can sound in the right hands. Full of vivid instrumentation crisply recorded — there were goose-bump moments, particularly during One More Time, when it seemed like the musicians were performing right in front of me — and Ainsworth’s vivacious vocals, Necessary Evil cries out for dim lighting, last call and a fine cigar. Despite all the activity in the area scene, jazz can sometimes get short shrift (this despite DFW’s formidable pedigree in the genre). Correct the oversight with a little taste of Evil. Ainsworth will celebrate Evil’s release Friday at Stoney’s Wine Lounge, joined by two of her collaborators, Brian Piper and John Adams. Online: lauraainsworth.com