Kevin Galloway just released a new album called Secondhand Starlight, and shares a new song, “Like Before,” from the album on YouTube.
Galloway’s early childhood was spent in Freeport, Texas, in the shadow of the chemical cooling towers that were a constant reminder of the industrial accident that disabled and almost killed his father.
His most famous song to date, “Keep the Wolves Away,” hauntingly recalls how the family struggled during that time.
Resettling in Big Sandy, Texas, as a teenager, Galloway joined his college choir, took a job at the local bank branch, and spent some time as a music minister for his local church. At 25, he followed his creative muse to Austin. There, he found enthusiastic collaborators in the future members of Uncle Lucius, who soon earned a regional fan base and a reputation as one of Texas’ most celebrated and innovative bands.
Over the next few years, Uncle Lucius’ rousing R&B/blues/country-inflected rock ’n’ roll wowed live crowds across the country and established the band as local heroes in music-savvy Austin. But after nearly 15 years of musical success and personal camaraderie with Uncle Lucius, Galloway felt it was time to move on and transition to a solo career. He did so, decisively, with his 2018 solo debut The Change, which expanded on work with his former band while echoing the tradition of the various classic Texas troubadours whose work inspired him over the years.
In his Secondhand Starlight bio release, he shares his thoughts on his solo career and the new record.
“I’m feeling pretty humbled and grateful these days,” he says. “I’m very comfortable being on my own, and I’m enjoying the more intimate shows and the opportunity to dig into the stories behind the songs. I’ve always gravitated towards songs that I can connect to on a personal level, so this is perfect for me.”
Secondhand Starlight is Galloway’s second solo album. The 10-song set continues his emergence as one of his home state’s most distinctive and compelling vocalists and songwriters, with a personally charged edge that consistently gives his compositions an effortless emotional resonance.
Throughout Secondhand Starlight, the organic emotional forthrightness of such Galloway compositions as “Not That Far Removed,” “Unavailable,” “We Row” and the infectious “Like Before” should ring a bell with listeners familiar with his work with Uncle Lucius, exploring the artist’s long-standing pet themes of love, commitment and expectation.
Secondhand Starlight, recorded at Austin’s E.A.R. Studio, continues Galloway’s productive collaboration with his former Uncle Lucius bandmate Hal Vorpahl, who handled the new album’s production, as well as contributing a pair of memorable songs, “Long As It Shines” and “Been Threw A Few.” A third non-Galloway composition is the Shel Silverstein classic “Whistlers and Jugglers,” best known for Waylon Jennings’ 1978 version.
To provide backup on the Secondhand Starlight sessions, Galloway called upon Austin’s own Doug Strahan and the Good Neighbors and adding their voices to the mix are two of Austin’s most celebrated young female singer-songwriters, Kelley Mickwee and Jamie Lin Wilson.
For Galloway, now a family man with a wife and two young children, making music remains a matter of survival.
“My overall outlook is less self-centered now,” he says. “I’ve quite enjoyed the transition to solo work. I had gotten burned out by album cycles and the ever-spinning wheel. Now, not pushing myself constantly to keep the machine running has led to more freedom and happiness for me. I’ve grown more confident in my abilities, and more mature in my handling of the ups and downs.
“I can’t really tell if my approach to the music has really changed,” he says. “But I realized long ago that I’m at my best when I pay attention to inspiration and feeling, and just let everything unfold on its own.”
Galloway is touring around the country with his new album this summer. Upper East Side of Texas fans will find him July 29 at Gar Hole in Anna, August 13 on the Bowery Stage at Winnsboro Center for the Arts, and September 17 at Stanley’s in Tyler. See more tour dates and information on www.kgallowaymusic.com.