Home Hear Billy Broome Sweeps You Off Your Feet With His Cosmic Grooves

Billy Broome Sweeps You Off Your Feet With His Cosmic Grooves

The Austin singer-guitarist takes you on a psychedelic honky-tonk adventure.


Billy Broome has his boots in the dirt and his head in the clouds on his high-flying new album Cosmic Grooves — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The first solo release from the Austin singer-guitarist and frontman of Silo Road, Cosmic Grooves is a sonic adventure from start to finish, encompassing and embracing everything from twangy boom-chikka country and Texas troubadourism to raucous honky-tonk rock and shape-shifting psychedelia over the course of eight expansive tracks. Lyrically, it’s every bit as adventurous, with songs that tackle detoxing from booze and Broome’s cat to a meta-song about writing a song. The tracks feature some of Austin’s finest players, chock full of screaming Telecasters, dimed Fender amps, tabla, baritone guitar, piano, pedal steel, and tight percussive grooves to hold it all together.

Start with the fluttering psychedelic electric guitar riff and mellow midtempo percussion of the opening track Gone Or Not, whose lyrics send listeners on a wistful adventure. “This mornin’ / Over breakfast / I reached for my coffee / As you walked out the door,” Broome sings over a gentle acoustic strum. The breezy song might sound like a lost-love scenario, but really it’s about his cat, Dolly. “I had one about my dog already, and I didn’t want to leave her out,” he says of the song, a co-write with Lucas Hudgins and Sara Stephens.

The second cut Distracted could be a lost B-side from Exile On Main St., and Broome admits they penned this number with The Rolling Stones in mind: “We’re all massive Stones fans, and knew we wanted to pay homage to them with this track.” Pink Elephants follows, bringing mellower psychedelia along with it, and lyrics touching on detox and sobriety. Broome’s comforting vocals lull the listener into a blissful, meditative space despite lyrics insiting: “I’m shiverin’ / Think I just might give in / If not for the pink elephants / I’d be here alone.”

Then it’s time for the funk rock. The title track is chockablock with wailing wah-wah guitars, a groovy bass line, heavy organ and driving percussion, creating a certified dance number out of everything but the kitchen sink. “ I told (producer Patrick Herzfeld) I want to go as far as we can, but right before we get to the line, I want to stop,” Broome says. “Anything was open. Didgeridoos. I don’t care. Anything.”

Having said that, with the twangy Don’t Know Why, Broome opted to revert to his tried-and-true Texas country roots. “This is just a little country tune that hit me one day,” Broome says. “It’s a story of waking up and thinking about someone you hadn’t thought about in forever. Like, ‘Why am I thinking about this person I haven’t talked to in 20 years?’ ”

The only cover on the album is the gut-punching version of the Townes Van Zandt classic Waitin’ Around To Die. With a vibe and energy reminiscent of The BeatlesYer Blues, the track captures Broome and company as they rattle the speakers with an ode to TVZ and Rocky Hill, who delivered a similar version 20-some years ago. “We wanted to come at it like a full-on punk band,” he says with a laugh. “We did it live one time — and I mean, I’ve never seen a reaction like that. You could hear a pin drop for a brief second before a booming ‘Yeahhh!’ So we thought maybe we should record this one.”

Wrapping up the album is Another Song, the one and only single to make it through Covid. The breezy easy listener settles the whole journey into place, as Broome writes a song about songwriting. “Sometimes it feels like fishin’. You stick your pole out there, and you’re like ‘I don’t know, I’m just wasting my time doing this.’ But it’s also kind of soothing and meditative, even if you don’t catch anything, it’s all right.”

Summing up the recording, Broome states, “Everybody coming together and making an album is awesome. Everybody has a little piece of it. You can come up with all the ideas in the world, but once everybody is putting in and creating, it’s really my favorite part of the whole thing.”

Cosmic Grooves was recorded at Signal Hill Recording in Dripping Springs. It was produced and engineered by Herzfeld, and mastered by David Willingham. Herzfeld also plays drums on the album, along with Adam Johnson (guitar), Morgan Patrick Thompson (bass), Simon Page (pedal steel), Sammy Powell (keys) and Jason McKenzie (tabla). The album art was created by Amy Beth Winkler.

As a life-long disciple of the city’s musical traditions (and of his hero, the late, great Doug Sahm), Broome has found his own sound and voice, and doesn’t hold back using it. Every Sunday night, he can be found leading Silo Road in a rousing musical journey at iconic East Austin haunt The White Horse — a testament to his commitment to the live music experience he sought out since he was a kid growing up in Texas.

Listen to Cosmic Grooves below and catch up with Billy Broome on his website, Instagram and Facebook.