Starlings, TN “on a mission to inject Spiritualized’s space rock into traditional bluegrass,” says Austin Chronicle. See band’s BBQ ode “Burnt Ends” via Relix.
“Austin Music Minute” and “Song of The Day” features streaming now via NPR-affiliate KUTX, Austin. “Hey Pretty Mamma” single premieres via CMT Edge.
“Hey Pretty Mamma” is the latest single from the new album All The Good Times by Starlings, TN
“On a mission to inject Spiritualized’s space rock into traditional bluegrass.” – Austin Chronicle
“Punk and bluegrass come from the heart, and they come from the gut. Enter Starlings, TN.” – KUTX, Austin
“It’s the roiling sound of piss and venom that makes All The Good Times so memorable.” – BLURT
Listen to KUTX, Austin’s “Austin Music Minute” feature on Starlings, TN and check out “Hey Pretty Mamma” as the KUTX “Song of The Day.” See the “Hey Pretty Mamma” premiere at CMT Edge
“I haven’t collaborated since high school, but the desire to be better has pushed me to,” says Steve Stubblefield, leader of Austin-based band Starlings, TN (pronounced Starlings, Tennessee) which recently released its critically acclaimed seventh album All The Good Times via Chicken Ranch Records. It’s been a long time since those days for Stubblefield, who emerged from a punk rock background to found the group in 2001 with current band member Tim Bryan, and the lateDavid Schnaufer, famed dulcimer player and instructor (Cyndi Lauper was a student), who was widely credited with restoring the cultural popularity of the instrument. An exhibition of Snauffer’s collection of dulcimers at the Tennessee State Museum is the subject of a Nashville Public Radio piece here.
The current incarnation of Starlings, TN is considered by all involved to be its most artistically collaborative and upbeat to date, and these good feelings are evident in the grooves of All The Good Times. Stubblefield remembers, “TheOklahoma City Gazette called our album How Dark It Is Before The Dawn one of the most depressing records ever to be released. With All The Good Times, however, we’re different, the tone is different, and so is the expectation. When the four of us are together, recording, performing or, in this case, making a video, we have fun doing it.”
The first single and video from All The Good Times is “Burnt Ends,” which for any Texan, doesn’t really need much explanation. “It’s what I like most about Texas barbeque!” says Stubblefield, voicing exactly what we’re already thinking. Much attention is being paid to the barbecue scene across the country lately (to wit, CBS This Morning aired this pieceabout Texas barbecue joints on the same weekend that “Burnt Ends” was shot.) And while Stubblefield was simply writing from his heart (and stomach), he has none-the-less captured a zeitgeist with a barbecue theme song for customers to sing while waiting on those long lines for a taste.
The music video for “Burnt Ends” sees the band going on a “barbeque bender” on East 11th Street in Austin near the historic barbecue meccas Victory Grill and Franklin Barbecue. “We also shot at Micklethwait Craft Meats,” saysStarlings, TN label head Mike Dickinson of Chicken Ranch Records. “The restaurant regularly sells out of food early in the day, which allowed us to set up right in front of Micklethwait’s food trailer.”
Regarding “Hey Pretty Mamma,” the latest single from All The Good Times, Stubblefield explains, “At times, music and lyrics seem to just fall from the sky like a Louisiana summer thunderstorm and at other times I’m as dry as a Texas summer.” When he began writing the album, Stubblefield was single, but during the process he rekindled a relationship from his youth. As the time was drawing near to start recording, he felt one of the songs wasn’t right, “So my gal coyly suggested that I write one about her,” he says. “But, I told her, ‘Babe, you don’t want me to write a song about you because that will mean that our relationship has ended. I can’t write a happy love song.’”
She asked Stubblefield to try anyway, and so, reaching for the dulcimer banjo hybrid, he sat down with a couple of drinks to tell the story exactly how it is. “From beginning to end, ‘Hey Pretty Mamma’ is exactly how we are on any given night,”Stubblefield explains. “We make drinks, we dance, and we sometimes stay up all night."