“The Reputations one of 12 Can’t-Miss Austin Bands at SXSW 2019.”
“[Electric Power is] shoulder-shaking AM pop with invigorating, five-voice melodies, it sounds like a long lost best-of from a Sixties family band – but atop modern energy.”
-Kevin Curtin, Austin Chronicle
“The Reputations have crafted a rare, real rock ‘n’ roll record informed by the work of Big Star and Blondie...”
“The evolution of soulful rock and roll rooted in a punk rock ethos.”
-Nathan Lankford of Austin Town Hall
“Connects music from the past with an audience in the present.”
-James Parker of KUTX
Austin based “power soul” group The Reputations recorded their second album, Electric Power, at the monumental Memphis recording space, Ardent Studios with musician and producer, Jody Stephens. The Reputations hosted a release show for Electric Power on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Hotel Vegas in Austin. The official record release on Nine Mile Records was Friday, November 9, 2018, followed by a ten date tour to promote the new release.
Ardent Studios has housed the creation of classic albums from Isaac Hayes, R.E.M., The Raconteurs, Albert Collins, ZZ Top, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Big Star among countless others. After becoming a fan of The Reputations first LP Begging for More, Jody Stephens, original drummer of Big Star and manager of Ardent Studios, produced their upcoming album, marking his first endeavor under the title of producer. In addition to Jody Stephen’s production, The Reputations new album was engineered by Adam Hill, a disciple of John Fry’s teaching whose credits include Big Star, the Raconteurs, and Low Cut Connie.
The Reputations are made up of, vocalists Rockyanne Bullwinkel, and Justin Smith on bass and vocals, guitarist Rudy Spencer and drummer Jimmy Wildcat. The group have recently added two more members, Auburn Noel on vocals and Erich Fraustro on guitar. The two previous members, Jenny Carson (vocals) and Seth Gibbs (guitar) are on the recording of Electric Power. The group have played together in various iterations and projects previous to The Reputations, involved in a garage/rock/glam community frequently centralized around the output of Sweetheart Studios, the intimate East Austin recording room owned and operated by Seth and Jimmy. They’ve developed a well-crafted union of rock n’ roll, old school R & B, the hard hitting guitar riffs of 70’s glam rock, and even moments of San Francisco sunshine pop. An emulation of iconic 60’s and 70’s characteristics without the tongue and cheek kitsch that acolytes of the same eras often employ; The Reputations’ inspirations are genuinely embraced and passionately reinterpreted.
Ardent Studios’ has become a landmark in the history of American pop, soul, blues, rock and R&B. Founder John Fry began his musical endeavors as a teenager in the mid 50’s, outfitting his parent’s garage as a workshop for experiments with reconfigured audio hardware and broadcast equipment. A few solo acts were recorded out of the garage as his fascination became dedication; by 66’ he had a new studio space and was recording popular bands in the Memphis area. By 71’ the studios moved to its current home on Madison Avenue.
The Reputations sphere of influence aligns with many of the sounds captured at Ardent Studios, notably the early 70’s era of STAX label artists including Booker T. & the MGs, Sam & Dave, and The Staples Sisters, who all recorded formative soul albums there. Not to mention Big Star themselves, who released music under the Ardent label imprint created by John Fry. Jody Stephens has kept the significance of Big Star alive through contributions to the recent documentary on the band, Nothing Can Hurt Me. He has also continued performing with Big Star’s Third, a concert series dedicated to the original band’s unacclaimed final 1970’s release, Third, featuring John Auer, (The Posies), Pat Sansone & Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo) as well as other musicians inspired by the pivotal record. Outside of Big Star related performances Stephens recently released an album through Burger Records with Luther Russell under the name Those Pretty Wrongs.
Nine Mile Records: http://www.ninemilerecords.com
KUTX FM October 31, 2018:
KUTX FM April 6, 2017:
Austin Chronicle, Kevin Curtin’s Playback:
How Did I Get Here with Johnny Goudie podcast:
Samples from The Reputations 2017 release, Begging for More