Singer/songwriter, Karen Poston isn't widely known outside Austin, Texas (where she's lived since 1994), but that's likely to change soon with her appearance at Twangfest and the release of her first CD, Real Bad, scheduled for July. With a dozen mostly original compositions, ranging from hardcore honky-tonk rave-ups to weepy waltzes, the CD features stellar trad arrangements -- generous helping of pedal steel, Poston's sprightly rhythm guitar, an occasional accordion or mandolin -- and harmony vocals from such alt-country luminaries as Kelly Willis and Slaid Cleaves. Poston's songs are sharply observed and often funny, with wistful references to steel guitars in Longhorn bars ("away from bald guys with ponytails"), perilous road trips and bittersweet conversations with ex-lovers ("I could loan some lonesome to you/If you're wondering who or what to cling to"). Vocally, Poston resembles a cross between Connie Smith and Merle Haggard; as a lyricist, she's one part Lucinda Williams, one part Buck Owens. Of course, when a critic strains to make such elaborate comparisons, you know you've got a true original on your hands. Find out for yourself on Friday night when she brings the house down. 

--Saller, St. Louis Scene Magazine