Today, Austinites and those lucky enough to be in town should come out and enjoy the free KLBJ concert at Zilker Park‘s (2220 Barton Springs Rd) Rock Island, featuring Prime STH, Monte Montgomery, Soulhat & Blue October. Monte starts at 7 pm (do not miss). Soulhat at 8 pm. Blue October at 9 pm. Rock Island (2100 Barton Springs Rd) is on the north side of the street. Bring a blanket and a picnic if you like, but remember … no glass containers & pets must be on a leash. Park along Barton Springs Rd (or under the MoPac bridge for $2.)
WHO’S IN THE BAND? WHERE ARE THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF THE BAND?
Following the reunion shows at Antone’s in December 2005, Soulhat has performed regularly in Austin, Houston and Dallas with the original lineup: Bill Cassis, Kevin McKinney, Barry “Frosty” Smith and Brian Walsh. Frosty is back to being semi-retired, so drums are often handled by Conrad Choucroun (Banana Blender Surprise, Bruce Robison, Bob Schneider, The Damnations, Earthpig and Fire).
Cassis has performed with Austin bands like Blue, and with Frosty in Papa Mali and the Instigators. He also toured with Austin legends like Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Bob Schneider, and Double Trouble — yes, the Double Trouble — in Spring/Summer 2001. Brian played with Kevin (as “Fire”) with Austin’s own Earthpig (now relocated to Marfa, TX via Queens, NY) and with the Billy White Trio.
Members who played with various incarnations of Soulhat between December 1996 – December 2005 include Johnny Vogelsang (bass), Brad Evilsizer (drums) David “Snizz” Robinson (drums), and Mac McNabb (guitar).
WHAT’S THE LATEST ON A NEW SOULHAT RECORD?
A new record featuring Soulhat’s classic lineup was due in 2013 — it has not yet emerged. In the meantime, Soulhat has leaked eight studio tracks via Bandcamp: Secret Weapons, Blac Friday, Stealing My Thunder, Eating Information, Somethin’ Fishy, Feeding Your Cat, She’s a Record Buyer. You can download tracks in a variety of formats via Bandcamp.
In 2009, Live at the Black Cat Lounge was given its first, digital release via Dualtone Records. The expanded release added six tracks from the original, live sessions.
Experiment on a Flat Plane, Soulhat’s last full-length LP was released on July 25, 2000 on the Terminus label (Atlanta, GA).
The band’s self-titled EP — released in the fall of 1998 and the only official studio release to feature the trio lineup — went out of print in December 1999.
The two major label (Epic/Sony) albums, Outdebox and Good to Be Gone, are still available at most record stores around the US (and we’ve heard of them being found in places as far from Austin as Eastern Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand). You can also get them through online stores like amazon.com, iTunes, and on subscription services like Spotify and BeatsMusic.
Kevin McKinney has released three solo LPs since 2002. McVein in Green, Kevin first album-length solo effort was released on Shat Records on May 24, 2002. Talking with Plants, his follow-up was released in 2003. Everybody Wants To See the Lights followed in 2009. The Sun Inside You, an EP featuring six tracks was released in 2013. Chocolate Records also released Kevin McKinney’s 4-track quickie take on Christmas music, “12 Holiday Hits,” in November, 2000. Several of those releases can be purchased digitally via CDBaby, and “12 Holiday Hits” can be streamed via Soundcloud.
Bill Cassis has been doing a lot of producing, and most recently appears as an artist on Wayne Sutton’s 2005 release Walking Disaster.
WHERE CAN I SEE THE BAND LIVE?
The band is sticking pretty close to Austin, these days. They have recently performed gigs at the Continental Club, Saxon Pub and The Roost. Between 1998 and 2005, Soulhat played regularly in Austin (Stubb’s, Antone’s), as well as monthly gigs in Dallas (Club DaDa), Houston (Fabulous Satellite Lounge), and San Antonio (The Lab). Infrequent (but frequent enough to mention) gigs occured in Baton Rouge, LA, Corpus Christi, Killeen, College Station & various locations around the great state of Colorado. The band toured the southeast, northeast, and some of middle America in the fall of 2000 and has made several trips through the Tennesee Valley, southeast, California & Utah since that time.
WHERE CAN I GET “LIVE AT THE BLACK CAT,” “TOO GONE TO BE GOOD,” BOOTLEGS, BONECRUSHER (EXTENDED VERSION)?
As you know, Live at the Black Cat was rereleased in 2009 on Dualtone. You can buy it on CD or in lossy form via iTunes and Amazon. The rerelease cut two songs from the original, but you’d need a copy of the original cassette to hear them. Live recordings are all around, particularly in Austin. Many have been uploaded to archive.org. Visit our Multimedia page to stream man of them, or download these mostly audience-sourced recordings at archive.org.
The extended version of “Bonecrusher” was never released to the public. It was sent to radio stations as promotion for Good to Be Gone. The single has three versions of the song (LP, radio, extended), but the one you want to hear (extended) isn’t often aired. DJ Johnny Walker (KLBJ-FM 93.7) played the extended Bonecrusher every Friday afternoon at 5:05 pm until he was fired by Emmis in 2007. We found a copy on Grooveshark that you can listen to, here:
We know: the song certainly has a life of it’s own. As we said above, for many years, you could hear Johnny Walker play the extended version on KLBJ-FM (93.7), every Friday afternoon at 5:05 p.m. It can also be heard behind the awesome moves of a slightly-younger Hakeem Olajuwon on an NBA jams video cassette. It was also featured in the American video release of the animated feature film “Tekken.” And lots of you around the country and world tell us that you’ve heard it and dig it.
The song evolved in 1992-93, in Austin and a live tour of the mid-Atlantic and east coast. It quickly became a crowd favorite, particularly as a closer, because of it’s furious pace, epic length, and hilarious call-and-response section (in which Bill and Kevin traded barbs back and forth over the PA). This section was later dropped from the song, entirely, though Kevin usually managed to draw-out live versions of the song with dadaesque monologues and plenty of non sequitur.
After the trio started-up in 1998, The Bonecrusher changed again, and started to pop-up during acoustic sets as a mad, rollicking, freight train-paced barnburner (similar in tempo to 2000’s WNBA). NOTE: If you’ve never heard that version, you can hear it here. This version is from 8/9/98 at the Saxon Pub in Austin.
Kevin later modified the “rocking” version to resemble the acoustic version by changing the song’s chord structure.
The lyrics to the extended version can be found by clicking here.
WHERE CAN I GET SOULHAT SHIRTS, BUMPERSTICKERS, POSTERS, AND OTHER MERCHANDISE?
As far as we know, what was left of the old merchandise was sold at the two reunion shows in December, 1996.
WHO RUNS THIS WEB SITE, ANYWAY?
The site was founded by j.j. kotarski, a run-of-the-mill Soulhat fan. It was originally conceived in 1996 as a fan site and resided on personal server space at texas.net, Texas’ largest independent ISP. It was reconstituted. In November 1998, at the direct request of the band (who also partially funded the site in the old days), at the soulhat.net web address. In May, 2004, the site accumulated hit 80,000, a fair accomplishment due to our seeming inability to answer your mail or make updates in anything resembling a timely manner.
John met Kevin McKinney and Bill Cassis in May 1990, the summer Soulhat was born. John spent countless hours (relieving Central Texas bordeom) sitting on upturned bricks in Kevin’s room that summer, listening to him record and play the four-tracks that would become Soulhat’s early repertoire. John has relied (and continues to rely) on both old and new Soulhat fans for news, reports, setlists, tapes, posters, photos, etc. Seriously folks, this site is not one person’s effort, but that of dozens of Soulhat junkies.
This document has been updated: February 2014
Hope some of you got to hear Soulhat on KLBJ’s “Local Licks Live” on Sunday night at La Zona Rosa. The show captured the band’s last hour on stage, which included Wayne Sutton and Ian Moore on guitar. We’ve got more to say about drummers, but that’s developing…
As of 5/1/01, we have released our “virtual link” to the Soulhat Web at texas.net. As many of you know, this site began its tortured life in the fall of 1998 at soulhat.home.texas.net with $5 and a dream that someday there would be up-to-date information about Soulhat on the Internet. While we retained a link at texas.net since moving to this location, it was no longer cost feasible to keep the link there, just for the benefit of people who bought the EP in 1998 [note: the EP contains mention of that old URL]. The end of an era.
We just finished watching Stephen Barron’s “Goldmine” on Channel 16 here in Austin, and were completely blown away. The 58-minute video is a well-produced document of Soulhat live from 1991 to 1993, at La Zona Rosa during the first several Mother Earth’s Day Festivals and at the Black Cat on the first night of recording for the “Live at the Black Cat” cassette. Here is our initial review. Track List: Goldmine, Big Backyard, Stranger Things (La Zona), Space/Find the Time, Preacher Man, Neighbor (Black Cat), Prayin’ for Rain, Big Nose, Wiggin’, Smile (La Zona). Sorry, but as far as we know, Monday night was the only time the video will air in Austin.