There’s no mistaking Austin band the Ransom Brothers’ major musical influence; those slide and twinned guitar riffs, fierce fiddle solos and bluesy, soul-infused melodies pay proud homage to the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band and other ’70s Southern rockers. But it’s definitely their own musical chops and songwriting skills on display in each track of their debut album, Resurgence, which they’re releasing Aug. 26th, and showcasing that night with an album release celebration at Austin’s Saxon Pub, at 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. Showtime is 8 p.m., with Julianna Rankin opening. Tickets are $20 and available at

The band also pledges allegiance to red dirt, outlaw and outlier country, from the Turnpike Troubadours and Willie Nelson to Sturgill Simpson and fellow Texas band Whiskey Myers. They love jam bands, too.

“Our goal has always been to be ourselves and write and play what inspires us,” says lead singer and guitarist Sean McHargue, who formed the band with fellow Texas State University graduate Dan “Sal” Solis (guitars, mandolin). They were a duo when they came up with the name, inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but have since added bassist Phil Eckhardt, drummer Austin Wilson, fiddler John Thomas and keyboardist James Rodman.

“We all have our own styles and nobody tells anyone what to do; we just throw shit in the wok and see if it comes out crispy. It usually does,” says Solis.

Proof lies in “Baby Doll,” and “Guillotine,” the first two singles. Written by McHargue, “Baby Doll” opens with a cappella gospel harmonies, then a funky organ line, before chunky guitars and McHargue’s vocals step in. He says he was listening to the Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” when he was inspired to write the story of a drunken escapade with a sexy bartender, but listeners might hear touches of Lynyrd Skynyrd in its groove.

On “Guillotine,” written by McHargue and Solis, Rodman plays a B3 organ intro that sounds like a more direct homage to the Band (evoking “Chest Fever”), but a sweet mix of mandolin, guitar and bass takes over as McHargue unwraps the tale of a drug dealer who makes a lot of wrong moves.

“We just wanted to make an album that had great music and great stories and messages,” says Solis.
But they wound up with more than that, according to McHargue, who calls the experience of recording with producer Corby Schaub at the Zone, near Dripping Springs, Texas, “profound.”

“It was almost like a religious retreat or something; we all came back from the mountain feeling like we had done something magical.”

They’re hoping they can sprinkle some of that magic over Texas’ COVID-worn music scene — as signified by the album’s title.

“We want this album to be a shot in the arm. A breath of fresh air,” McHargue says. “A resurgence.”

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