Waxahatchee | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Waxahatchee performing during the Tigers Blood Tour at the ACL Live Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on May 11, 2024. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Katie Crutchfield, known for her unwavering dedication as a singer-songwriter, hails from Alabama and grew up near Waxahatchee Creek. Transitioning to her solo career as Waxahatchee over a decade ago, she reflects on her unexpected journey, now marked by six critically acclaimed albums that showcase her evolving sound—from lo-fi folk to richly textured alt-country—while her distinctively honest and Southern-inflected voice remains constant. Drawing parallels to Carson McCullers's character Mick Kelly, Crutchfield embodies determination and conviction in her artistry, eager to share her stories with anyone who will listen.

Having maintained sobriety and stability in Kansas City after years of sacrificing for her craft and touring, Crutchfield's latest album, Tigers Blood, reveals her most potent songwriting yet. Written during a creative burst while on tour in 2022, the album sees her collaborating once again with producer Brad Cook, whose work with her on 2020's Saint Cloud marked a significant turning point in her sound. Recording at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, they embarked on a quest for a fresh direction, with MJ Lenderman joining as an electric guitarist and vocalist, ultimately contributing to the album's entirety.

The lead single, "Right Back To It," channels the spirit of classic country duets, with Crutchfield and Lenderman's harmonies weaving seamlessly over Phil Cook's banjo melodies. In this heartfelt track, Crutchfield explores love in a way she hasn't before. Meanwhile, "Bored" bursts forth with energetic drum beats and gritty guitar riffs, showcasing a Southern rock-inspired moment accentuated by Nick Bockrath's pedal steel.

"365" delves into themes of recognition and self-acceptance, initially conceived for Wynonna Judd but ultimately resonating deeply with Crutchfield's own experiences. With sparse accompaniment, the song serves as an emotional centerpiece, highlighting Crutchfield's haunting vocals and poignant lyrics that confront addiction head-on. Closing the album, "3 Sisters" sets the tone with its introspective lyrics and hymn-like piano chords, encapsulating Crutchfield's unwavering resolve and fearless honesty throughout Tigers Blood.
Fan reviews:

My second time seeing her. Katie’s the real deal her band is super slick, the harmonies dead on, the crowd so tuned in to every song- everyone loves Katie! If you like the new album, Tigers Blood, then run do not walk to the show. Her catalogue gets deeper and her albums garner new fans without losing the old. Her next album will probably slay so you’ll be jonesing for those older/deep cuts. Better to error on the side of caution and go see Waxahatchee if you can.

Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield) is an awesome singer/song-writer and was back by a group of very talented musicians. The show was fantastic!

One of the greatest shows of my lifetime. Imagine if Amy Winehouse covered Dolly Parton, if Tina Turner went country, and you'll have some idea of the genre-bending experience of Waxahatchee live. She isn't doing "folk,""country,""or "pop": she's doing it all. That country sound that everybody's raving about on Beyonce's new album? Waxahatchee has been doing it full-stop for her past two albums and she does it better!.
Setlist for the show at the ACL Live Moody Theater
  • 3 Sisters
  • Evil Spawn
  • Ice Cold
  • Can't Do Much
  • Problem With It
  • The Eye
  • Hell
  • Right Back to It
  • Burns Out at Midnight
  • Bored
  • Lone Star Lake
  • Crimes of the Heart
  • Oxbow
  • Line of Sight
  • Witches
  • Crowbar
  • Ruby Falls
  • The Wolves
  • Hurricane
  • Lilacs
  • Tigers Blood
  • I Lost It
  • 365
  • Fire

Waxahatchee was the main act at the ACL Live Moody Theater with guests Good Morning. They continue across the United States and Europe with the last stop at the The Fillmore Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 8, 2024.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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