For fifteen years, Erika Wennerstrom has been traveling the roads with Austin-based roots rockers The Heartless Bastards. She and her mates in the Bastards have been drawing critical praise since they first played a note, playing to big crowds across the country, but Wennerstrom felt the call do something more with her music.

Later this month, Sweet Unknown, Wennerstrom’s aptly named debut solo release, drops on Partisan Records. This new record, which pushes her into the unknown territory of solo artist,  marks Wennerstrom’s hiatus from The Heartless Bastards, though the band is not breaking up. Instead, this solo endeavor simply allows her to explore some songs that were ready to be written and sung outside of the Bastards’ dynamic.

Featured this month on Trail Mix is “Twisted Highway,” a bad ass rocker that certainly proves Erika Wennerstrom made the right call in chasing her muse.

A killer addition to this month’s Trail Mix is acoustic dynamo Hot Club Sandwich. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, the band released it’s fifth record last month, and the mix is happy to include “New Gravy Waltz,” one of many tracks from the record featuring the crazy good licks of mandolin maestro David Grisman.

It’s always fun to discover songwriters who are the top of their craft, and this month’s features many artists new to my ears. Allman Brown, Jeff Hyde, Lissie, Courtney Marie Andrews,and Jeff Bryant are all artists on constant shuffle now that they have crossed the Trail Mix radar.

The mix welcomes back some good friends this month, too. Returning with new cuts are soulful rockers Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, rootsy grass act Parsonsfield, and singer/songwriter John Craigie.

Be sure check out new tunes from Echo Bloom, Whiskey Wolves of the West, Haley Heynderickx, The Barons, Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints, and Madam West.

Lots of great stuff coming up this month on the Trail Mix blog, too. Chats with 6 String Drag, Vivian Leva, Mermaid Motor Lounge, and Toubab Krewe are all in the pipeline.

And, of course, be sure to spread the word about all of the great artists you are hearing on Trail Mix. Don’t be shy. Don’t keep it a secret. These tunes are too good to be kept on the down low. Get out and buy some of these records and support the artist who keep Trail Mix in your ears each and every month.

  1. How Long (Until I See The Sun Again?) Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints 3:56
  2. Sound of the South Whiskey Wolves of the West 3:32
  3. Strongest Son Madam West 4:35
  4. Twisted Highway Erika Wennerstrom 5:30
  5. Time Is Everything (Featuring Riley Calcagno) Vivian Leva 3:05
  6. New Gravy Waltz Hot Club Sandwich 4:02
  7. Missing Pieces Mermaid Motor Lounge 4:03
  8. Kick Out The Windows Parsonsfield 3:48
  9. Song for Steven Echo Bloom 4:35
  10. Let's Go To Mars Barrence Whitfield & The Savages 3:07
  11. Henry Ford Jeff Hyde 2:59
  12. Kindness Of Strangers Courtney Marie Andrews 3:30
  13. Ghost 6 String Drag 3:13
  14. American High The Barons 3:20
  15. Best Days Lissie 2:53
  16. Bury My Heart Allman Brown 3:37
  17. Grace Jeff Bryant 3:59
  18. Presidential Silver Lining John Craigie 4:57
  19. That Damn Squash Toubab Krewe 4:03
  20. Untitled God Song Haley Heynderickx 3:44

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