BACKBONE BOOKING AND FIFTH & THOMAS PRESENT: John Baumann w/ Zach Nytomt
Mainstage Doors: 7PM | Music: 8PM | Ages 21+ Only
Hailed as a “Texas Troubadour on the Rise,” John Baumann released his fourth studio album PROVING GROUNDS to an eager fanbase in June 2017. The project includes the buzz-worthy track “Old Stone Church” in which Baumann digs deep into his experience of losing his father to cancer, rightfully earning its spot onto Saving Country Music’s “Best Songs of 2017” list. Lonestar Magazine raves, “Too soon for accolades? Nah. More like right on time. And so long as he keeps gunning for the horizon… there oughta be a lot more of ’em coming down the line.”
John Baumann is a songwriter with a strong voice and clear conscience that has enabled him to cut through to the hearty details of life that impact us all. His releases have all been critically acclaimed and he continues to grow his audience. He writes songs that make you think and and truly move you. His music is unique, special and different in all the best ways.
Opening for John Baumann is Zach Nytomt. Hailing from the small North Texas town of Argyle, Nytomt’s unique voice & soulful sound has reached far beyond the borders of genre & geography. In an act to shepherd his innate calling, he moved to the Hill Country of Austin where he humbly began applying different sounds & techniques from numerous influences. Some find trouble pinpointing Nytomt’s sound, which is not a bad thing, because when someone begins combining elite musicians such as Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Bingham, and Amos Lee to describe your style, chances are… you’re doing something right! Make sure to grab a ticket before they’re gone, as we’re expecting these tickets to go fast!
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show, before tax. No refunds or exchanges of ticket purchases.
Advance tickets will also be on sale with NO FEES at Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub. Tickets can be purchased electronically using any major credit card via Eventbrite by clicking here.
“If you’re gonna invoke the hallowed likes of Terry Allen, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore by name in a song, citing them all as formative influences on your own writing, you damn well better measure up and have something worthwhile to say. The same goes for any singer-songwriter not named Dylan (or Hancock, for that matter) who insists on stretching a song out to nine minutes, at least without the formidable backup of the E Street Band and an arena full of fervent converts predisposed to welcoming that kind of indulgence. So, props to John Baumann right off the bat not just for having the Texas-sized balls to take on both of those challenges on his latest record, but for proving himself to be, if not yet the equal of his Lubbock heroes, then at the very least heading in the right direction with as much promise as confidence in his stride. And to his credit, Baumann makes it clear that he knows right where he is on that journey, too. In “Here I Am,” the arresting mission statement that opens the aptly-titled Proving Grounds, the hungry young contender takes stock of his burgeoning troubadour career (this is his second full-length release) and stoically reckons, “It’s too soon for accolades, and too late to quit.” Ten songs later, the closing “Pontiacs” finds him assessing life at 29 with a similarly mature, in-it-for-the-long-haul sense of purpose. After waxing nostalgic for most of the song’s leisurely running time, flipping through snapshot memories of childhood and early adulthood, he stares down the impending big 3-0 and “years to go” both wary and ready: “As I look back on the halcyon days of my youth, every day I am closer to finding the truth.”
Those two bookend tracks alone, each dusted with tastefully atmospheric production by Justin Pollard that subtly recalls T Bone Burnett’s work on Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s 1996 album Braver New World, help set Baumann apart from most of his millennial peers on the current Texas scene — even though there’s plenty in the middle of the record that suggests he’s still got a ways to go before he catches up to his Flatlander idols, let alone even a contemporary like Okie wunderkind John Fullbright. When Baumann turns his attention to melodically pleasing but not especially distinctive love songs (“Turquoise,” “Love #1”) or ditties about getting wasted (whether his own “Heavy Head” or Aaron Lee Tasjan’s “The Trouble with Drinkin’”), he sorta blends back into the Kyle Park/Josh Abbott crowd. But the frank, honest empathy of “Lonely in Bars” and the stunningly somber, nuanced reckoning of “Old Stone Church” are just enough to keep the judgment scales tipped in favor of “keep an eye on this guy.” Too soon for accolades? Nah. More like right on time. And so long as he keeps gunning for the horizon and doesn’t succumb to the middle of the road, there oughta be a lot more of ’em coming not too far down the line.” — RICHARD SKANSE, LONE STAR MUSIC