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Texas Tea


Fri 26 Oct 2012, 8:00pm

Where: The Zoo, 711 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Queensland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission (at door): $15.00
  • General Admission (+bf): $12.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: laurenEF

With special guests: The Gin Club, The Madisons and James X. Boyd & The CEOs.

Texas Tea is Benjamin P. Dougherty and Kate Jacobson. Their 2006 debut album 'Take A Sip', 2008 follow up 'Junkship Recordings', and a reputation for stellar live performance, has seen the duo strongly establish themselves not only in their home town of Brisbane but right across Australia and indeed the world. Treasured locally, they have taken out the number 1 spot on Brisbane’s 4ZZZfm’s Hot 100 two years in a row.

The creation and gestation of Sad Summer Hits, their newest album to be released October 12, was an exercise in balancing change with the familiar for Texas Tea. For starters the duo enlisted a rhythm section for the first time in their career. Holing up at Applewood for six days with Myka Wallace on drums and Jo Muller on upright/double bass (the engine room behind Laneous and The Family Yah and many other amazing bands, not to mention two of the finest executors of their instruments in the country), was uncharted territory for Texas Tea.

Like continuity, paradoxical is also another good word for Sad Summer Hits. If the album name itself doesn’t give it away, the titles and lyrical themes of tracks like opener The Merry Blues or the auspicious I Love You Like I love This Black Eye leave no question. Though the juxtaposition of The Merry Blues eases the album in, it’s the simultaneously deft and yet devastatingly abrasive guile of second track Lily, that both lyrically and musically, sets the real scene for Sad Summer Hits.

From the suggestive doo-wop warmth of Heart Says Yes (Head Says No) through the simplistic anarchy of Alphabet Song, the growl of I Don’t Write No Sad Songs through to the breathy haze of closer The Old Swing, Sad Summer Hits is distinctively unpretentious. Bolstered by the addition of the rhythm section, musically, the Texas Tea hallmarks all remain front and centre. Laid atop of his own husky vocals and Jacobson’s emphatic soar, Dougherty’s guitar lines dominate throughout the album, sauntering from dark reverb echo to gruntbucket distortion, sometimes wild jangle, sometimes desperate plea.

Jacobson sums it up well: “All-in-all, I think we've been able to take the vintage county pop idea and conceptualise it a little further. With our tongues placed firmly in our cheeks, it’s a combination of retro country, blues and 50's pop, all with the typical Texas Tea sparkle dust. Although we take a lot of influence from American music, I think we have always been able to Australianise and contextualise our music”.

Dougherty continues: “I think it’s a fairly big departure from anything we’ve done previously. It’s a bigger record, it’s more ambitious. Musically and sonically we wanted a nostalgic feel – old electric sounds and equipment. It’s not what we thought it would be, but these things never are. It became its own thing, not something that could’ve been planned.”

Texas Tea have played all over Australia and have also toured quite frequently to Europe, where they have a strong fan base, particularly in the northern regions of France. To date, they have shared the stage with everyone from Ben Kweller (USA), Cold War Kids (USA), Iron and Wine (USA), Justin Townes Earle (USA), Charlie Parr (USA), The Handsome Family (USA), The Mountain Goats (USA), Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything), The Darling Downs (Kim Salmon and Ron Peno) and Abbe May to The Gin Club, The Art of Fighting, The Devastations and many more.

To celebrate the release of “Sad Summer Hits”, the duo are hitting the road with the full band to launch it right across the country.