Mike Stinson, Robert Ellis

Stop the bar, Mike Stinson's new album is a stunner.

KPFT's Lone Star Jukebox host Rick Heysquierdo has reached over to Austin for the past two installments of his monthly "Troubador Tuesday" series, but he's not dialing long-distance this time. After veteran Damon Bramblett and the brand-new Stone River Boys (and a month off), headlining this month is L.A. transplant Mike Stinson, who has barely taken a night off since relocating to Houston last summer. Besides snagging a nomination for Best LP/CD in this year's Houston Press Music Awards sweepstakes, Stinson's new album The Jukebox in Your Heart (Stag) is one of the best-reviewed — if not the best — honky-tonk records of the year. "At once gleamingly idiosyncratic and indebted to country sacrament, the album progresses with off-kilter grace from the rueful tavern glee of 'Stop the Bar' and 'I'll Live to Drink Again' to the somber, scab-picking laments 'Ashes of a Dream' and 'Walk Away,'" Jonny Whiteside of Press sister paper LA Weekly wrote last month. Joining Stinson is fellow HPMA nominee Robert Ellis, just back from a three-week solo tour and, he says, about to finish the follow-up to last year's ostentatious debut The Great Re-Arranger for a late-fall/winter release.

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