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Lone Star Sounds: New music from Eli Young Band and more

Posted 10:16am on Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014

Although it seems as though Denton-formed Eli Young Band’s ascent has been shockingly swift, the hard-working country-rockers have actually been plugging away for nearly 15 years.

Therefore, 10,000 Towns, the quartet’s fifth studio album (and its third released on a major label), earns every bit of its polish and poise, the result of endless hours on the road, racking up devoted fans in cities across the country and honing its melodic style just as Nashville embraces a more pop-inclined sound.

Produced by EYB, in conjunction with Music City heavy hitters Frank Liddell and Justin Niebank, 10,000 Towns manages a breeziness that doesn’t irritate, just as its slick songs are deeper than it might seem on first pass. Mike Eli, James Young, Jon Jones and Chris Thompson co-wrote six of the 11 tracks here — stand-outs include the title cut, a glowing ode to small-town life.

Eli Young Band is on tour with Darius Rucker (and will hit the road with Jake Owen this summer). But it will be back in North Texas for an April 2 appearance on the Conan O’Brien show filmed at Dallas’ Majestic Theater during Final Four week, and April 23 for the Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival in Stephenville.

Online: eliyoungband.com

Luke Wade, ‘The River’

A hard-working fixture on the Fort Worth singer-songwriter scene, Luke Wade returns with his Kickstarter-funded sophomore record, The River. Those familiar with the troubadour from his weekly gigs at Woodshed Smokehouse or elsewhere around town might be struck by the full scope of Wade’s style — soul, pop, funk, blues and country collide, often in the space of a single song, providing his supple, expressive voice with a dramatic canvas. ( The Runaround smolders nicely, while As Long as She Knows deftly folds country into some soulful pop.) Wade will celebrate the release of The River on Friday at Queen City Music Hall, with support from Barrett Baber, Cody Culberson and Dawn & Hawkes.

Online: lukewadeand nocivilians.com

Def Rain, self-titled

Def Rain makes music to get lost in — subterranean vocals, shimmering guitar lines and an austere vibe that’s both distancing and mesmerizing. The duo — Ashley Cromeens and DJ Abe Lincoln — first began collaborating in 2011, and took their time crafting this 11-track debut. Turn it on, turn it up and disappear into these darkly beautiful soundscapes.

Online: facebook.com/pages/Def-Rain

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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