For our latest “Grackle Week” feature in Thursday’s American-Statesman, we talked with Kevin Russell about the short-lived tenure of the Grackles, an early-1990s Austin band that soon morphed into long-running Americana group the Gourds. The Grackles centered around Russell and Ron Byrd, now a practicing physician in Austin, and they played almost exclusively at Chicago House, a downtown folk club in those years.
READ MORE: What’s that sound? It’s Grackle Week!
The Grackles never released any music. But, it turns out, they did record a few demos that still exist. Our Grackle Week conversation spurred Russell to dig up one of them, and he’s made it available as a free streaming track. Here’s “Turn Me Like a Choir”:
Not only is it a surviving Grackles track, the lyrics actually make a reference to grackles. “In the song I actually talk about, ‘A heart like a bird full of tears/ The black face shines unafraid,’” Russell told American-Statesman videographer Reshma Kirpalani. “Grackles are fearless.”
Check out more grack-tacular features at our austin360.com Grackle Week page.