It’s no secret some of America’s biggest music hubs are growing at a breakneck pace. Austin, Texas, which has long been a musical incubation mecca for country, rock, Americana and folk artists alike, is the current epicenter of the building boom.
This doesn’t sit well with some artists, who believe the influx of people and downtown developments quashes affordable housing and jeopardizes the nearby artistic communities. While development in Austin has led to the creation of world-class venues and high-profile festivals, it has also left a lot of struggling musicians high and lonesome when it comes to making ends meet.
It doesn’t help that locals rarely feel a need to pay a cover, and downtown bars offer only a few hundred dollars at best for what usually amounts to an 8-hour commitment — split among three or more people.
Americana artist and mandolin player Lew Card took the opportunity to highlight Austin’s condo boom with his brilliant new video for “Condo Town Rag” off his brand new release, Follow Me Down.
Card teamed up with Seymour.tv to create an incredible portrait of the growth of town, comparing and contrasting historic photos with Austin’s new skyline and roadways — much of which developed in the past 12 years. The video even takes some artistic license to imagine future buildings that could dominate the landscape.
The jazzy, ragtime tune contrasts the dire lyrics, which warn, “It’s a long way from here to the top, but it’s a short fall down in a condo town.” Check it out below.