Brian Pounds has spent the past six years as Austin's best-kept musical secret. On Sept. 2, 2014,the singer-songwriter takes a bold step into the national spotlight with the release of his new EP, Strikes and Gutters.
The five-song album is a roots-rock tour de force, featuring well-written, catchy originals and asoulful cover of Shane Bartell's fantastic "Sunday Dress." Strikes and Gutters is the follow-up to Pounds' debut full-length album, After You're Gone. Reviews of that record, which came out in 2010, drew comparisons between Pounds and James Taylor; on his new release, the comparisons are even more apt, as Pounds' deeply personal songwriting and warm delivery is reminiscent of the music found on Sweet Baby James.
A storyteller at heart, Pounds writes lyrics that are mature beyond his years. The closing track onStrikes and Gutters, "Jesus, Don't Let Me Die (On My Feet)," is his strongest work to date. Written in the middle of a disastrous two-week gig at a rundown casino in Nevada, the song is a starkly realistic portrait of the music industry's less glamorous aspects. "We drove 27 hours straight to get there, and after three days of being in a hotel room with four guys, I woke up one morning and saw seven empty whiskey bottles on the TV stand," Pounds remembers.