The Nightowls

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The Nightowls
Nightowls stubbs5.jpeg
The Nightowls performing at Stubbs in Austin in 2015
Background information
OriginAustin, Texas, United States
GenresSoul, R&B, Funk
Years active2011–present
LabelsNine Mile Records
MembersRyan Harkrider
Sara Stein
Kamilla Lamar
Rob Alton
Andrew McLemore
Rydog Johnson
Zol Waterhouse
Vince Wiley
Luke Scallan
Justin Hights
Past membersTara Williamson
Ben Petree
Ellie Carroll
Javier Stuppard
Michael Rey
Amos Trystman

The Nightowls are an American musical group from Austin, Texas, whose debut album Good As Gold was named Top 10 of the 2014 Austin Music Awards Albums of the Year.[1] Their sound combines R&B, Funk and soul music. Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Harkrider formed The Nightowls in 2011.[2] His song "Nobody Ever Wants to Leave" was commissioned in 2009 by The Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as Austin’s official theme song.[3] The Nightowls have released three full-length albums and two EP’s. Two of which were recorded at the iconic Soul/R&B studios - FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.


Good as Gold[edit]

The Nightowls released their debut album, Good as Gold, in December 2013. On January 7, 2014, The Nightowls released "Good as Gold" as a single.[4] In a review of Good as Gold, Cashbox described The Nightowls as a soul band rooted in the Motown sound but able to move in new directions.[5] Indie Music said The Nightowls sound like a band straight out of the glorious R&B past, paying homage to all artist of that era while adding a modern spin.[6] The Nightowls recorded an arrangement of Harkrider's song "Nobody Ever Wants to Leave" for Good as Gold B-Sides, a 4-song EP, released in September 2014.

In October 2014, The Nightowls were scheduled to perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on the second weekend, but were canceled due to rainy weather.[7] In March 2015, The Nightowls performed at the SXSW Music Festival as a showcase artist.[8]

In 2015, the band was highlighted as "a band to watch" by Austin Monthly Magazine.[9] Good as Gold was released on vinyl in May 2015.

Fame Sessions[edit]

Fame Sessions, their second album, was released September 4, 2015 on Super Sonic Sounds (a subsidiary of Nine Mile Records). It was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in collaboration with David Hood and Spooner Oldham from the original FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) Studios house band The Swampers.[10]

On July 20, 2015, The Nightowls released "Get Up!" – the first single from Fame Sessions. The video for "Get Up!" premiered in Texas Monthly Magazine on July 17, 2015.[11] and has been uploaded to YouTube.[12] On August 3, 2015 The Nightowls released “Highline” – the second single from Fame Sessions.[13] On August 27, 2015 they released "Nobody But You" as a third single.[14] In a positive review of Fame Sessions on September 4, 2015, Elmore Magazine described their music as being based on the Aretha Franklin, Wilson Picket type of sound with a more youthful, modern spin.[15] In a review of Fame Sessions, Proper Music Distribution described their sound as being firmly rooted in the history of southern soul music and pays tribute to FAME Studios greats like Duane Allman and Percy Sledge.[16]

In September through December 2015 The Nightowls toured for the first time throughout the United States. In October 2015, The Nightowls performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, having been rained out in 2014.[17] In March 2016, The Nightowls performed at the SXSW Music Festival as a Showcase Artist.[18]

Royal Sessions[edit]

In December 2015, The Nightowls recorded Royal Sessions, a five track EP at the iconic Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. In April 2016, The Nightowls went to Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee and taped a segment for Season 8 of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Television network program – Sun Studio Sessions.[19] Season 8 began airing across the United States in January 2017.

On April 18, 2016 The Nightowls released "Clean It Up (Play It By The Rules)" as a single from the EP on Baeble Music. Describing it as a “certifiable party jam that moves your body as much as it moves the part of your brain conditioned to love old school soul.”[20] On May 25, 2016 The Nightowls released “Right Around The Corner” as a second single from Royal Sessions in Paste Magazine.[21] In their review of the single, Vents Magazine says the band transcends the “retro” tag that described their early releases in favor of a more unique and cohesive sound that is infectious in its effervescent energy.[22] The 3rd single, “Can’t Bring Me Down” premiered in Glide Magazine on June 21, 2016.[23] The article describes The Nightowls as being able to effortlessly meld Memphis and Motown with modern pop music, making for something that even fans of more mainstream fare like Fitz and the Tantrums will enjoy. Royal Sessions was released on July 15, 2016.[24] In its review of Royal Sessions, Innocent Words Magazine says “It’s as if they found grandma’s secret recipe… you mix a little bit of funk with a little soul and a whole lotta rhythm and blues, and you get this delicious treat.” [25] The video for "Right Around The Corner" premiered in The Huffington Post on August 5, 2016 [26] and has been uploaded to YouTube.[27]

The Nightowls toured the West Coast of the United States in August 2016 in support of Royal Sessions.[28] In October 2016 they toured throughout the East Coast of the United States.[29] In April 2017, The Nightowls performed at the Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack. In July 2017, The Nightowls toured the East Coast of the United States for the 3rd time. In August 2017, The Nightowls toured throughout the Midwest of the United States for the 1st time. On August 31, 2017, The Nightowls performed at Prince’s Paisley Park Recording Studios in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, as one of the finalist in their “Musicology 2017" Battle of the Bands competition.[30]

In March 2018, The Nightowls performed 2 showcases at the 2018 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.[31] In an interview during SXSW with Shockya News, frontman Ryan Harkrider talked about the evolution of the bands sound over the past 2 years. “We used to be more of a retro-vintage-soul band. Everything we do is rooted in dance and having a good time. But now we also have elements of R&B and funk. But we’re still a big 10-piece soul band that’s all about having a good time." [32]

We Are The Nightowls[edit]

On April 27, 2018 The Nightowls released their 3rd full-length album We Are The Nightowls on Nine Mile Records. Most of the album was written in 2017 following extensive touring in support of their 2016 EP Royal Sessions. In an interview in Glide Magazine on March 27, 2018 frontman Ryan Harkrider says “Our previous 2 albums were concept albums that paid homage to the historic recording studios in which they were recorded. This new album is more about capturing the band’s sound, it’s more of an updated, cohesive statement about who we are”.[33] We Are The Nightowls has been well received. In their May 10, 2018 review of the album, Indie Voice said, “With its flawless, upbeat, high energy and downright fun vibe, The Nightowls is one of the best bands we have reviewed this year. There is not a weak track on the album.” [34] On May 23, 2018, Entertainment website The Young Folks said of We Are The Nightowls, there’s plenty of quality soul to be found, but the band brings Motown into this millennium with renewed, dance-friendly energy and songs like “#selfiequeen".[35]

On November 10, 2017 they released “Lift Me Up” as its first single. The video for "Lift Me Up" premiered in the Austin360 Magazine [36] and has been uploaded to YouTube.[37] In March 2018, The Nightowls performed as a showcase artist at the 2018 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.[31] On March 27, 2018 The Nightowls released "Don't It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)" as a second single, which had its premier in Glide Magazine.[33] On April 10. 2018 The Nightowls released “#selfiequeen” as a third single. The song premiered in SoulTracks Magazine, where they described it as a “groovy uptempo gem with thrusting brass section, buttery strings and a slice of Incognito soul”.[38] The video for “#selfiequeen” premiered in The Deli Magazine on June 13, 2018. In their review, they said “The video, which was shot live in the studio, is a perfect window into the charismatic live performances that have made the band popular.” [39] The video has also been uploaded to YouTube.[40] On April 17, 2018 The Nightowls released All The Good Things You Are as another single. It premiered in Pop Matters magazine where they described it as “One of those songs you wish would never end, its soulful, dance-oriented groove make it the perfect listening for the wee hours of the morning after the bars close and the party begins to fade”.[41] On July 17, 2018 The Nightowls released "Everybody's Dancing to the Music" as a single.[42] The song, which is not on We Are The Nightowls, features Ivan Neville. On September 1, 2018 They released a video for "Get Funked Up.". The video was shot live in the studio and has been uploaded to YouTube [43]

The Nightowls have been touring throughout the United States in 2018 in support of We Are The Nightowls. In April they toured the West Coast and in May they toured throughout the South and Midwest. In July, they toured the East Coast.[44] In August, they toured the West Coast, including their 1st time in the Pacific Northwest. In September, they toured throughout the South and Midwest.[45]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result
2018 South by Southwest Music Festival Showcase Artist Performed [31]
2017 Paisley Park Recording Studios "Musicology 2017" Battle of the Bands Competition Finalist [30]
2016 South by Southwest Music Festival Showcase Artist Performed [18]
2015 Austin City Limits Music Festival Performed [46]
2015 South by Southwest Music Festival Showcase Artist Performed [8]
2015 Black Fret 2015 Grant Nominee Won [47]
2014 Austin City Limits Music Festival Performed [48]


Year Recognition Presented by
2015 Runner Up: Best Blues/ Soul/ Funk Band Austin Music Awards by The Austin Chronicle
2015 One of “10 Bands to Watch” Austin Monthly annual March music issue [49]
2014 Runner Up: Best New Band Austin Music Awards by The Austin Chronicle
2014 Runner Up: Best Blues/ Soul/ Funk Band Austin Music Awards by The Austin Chronicle
2014 Top 10 Album of the Year Austin Music Awards by The Austin Chronicle
2013 "Nightowls Day" in Austin Texas: November 21 Proclamation by: Mayor Lee Leffingwell [50]


The Nightowls performing at the ACL Music Festival in 2015
  • Ryan Harkrider - Vocals
  • Sara Stein - Vocals
  • Kamilla Lamar - Vocals
  • Rob Alton - Bass
  • Andrew McLemore - Saxophone
  • Rydog Johnson - Guitar
  • Vince Wiley - Keys
  • Luke Scallan - Trumpet
  • Zol Waterhouse - Trombone
  • Justin Hights - Drums



  • Good as Gold (2013)
  • Good as Gold (vinyl) (2015)
  • Fame Sessions (2015)
  • We Are the Nightowls (2018)

Extended plays[edit]

  • Good as Gold B-sides (2014)
  • Royal Sessions (2016)


  • "Good as Gold" - (January 7, 2014)[4]
  • "Get Up!" – (July 20, 2015)[12]
  • "Highline" – (August 3, 2015)[13]
  • "Nobody But You" – (August 27, 2015)[14]
  • "Clean It Up (Play It By the Rules)" – (April 18, 2016) )[20]
  • "Right Around the Corner" - (May 25, 2016)[27]
  • "Can't Bring Me Down" - (June 21, 2016)[23]
  • "Lift Me Up" - (November 10, 2017)[37]
  • "Don't It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)" - (April 27, 2018)"[33]
  • "#selfiequeen" - (April 10, 2018)[40]
  • "All the Good Things" - (April 17, 2018)[41]
  • "Everybody's Dancing to the Music" - (July 17, 2018)[42]
  • "Get Funked Up" - (September 1, 2018)[43]


  1. ^ "Austin Music Awards - 2014 - Best of the Year - The Austin Chronicle". Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ "ACL Interview: The Nightowls". 19 October 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  3. ^ "WATCH: Austin announces official theme song". KVUE news. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b THE NIGHTOWLS -- Good as Gold "Official Video". 7 January 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Good As Gold (CD) by The Nightowls". Cashbox Music Reviews. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Review: The Nightowls, Good As Gold -". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  7. ^ Raoul Hernandez (11 October 2014). "ACL Fest Cancels Early Acts Due to Rain First six acts today cut for later gate time". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  8. ^ a b "THE NIGHTOWLS | SXSW 2015 Event Schedule". SXSW website: Events Schedule. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  9. ^ "Band to Watch: The Nightowls". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Steeped In The History Of Southern Soul, The Nightowls Release 'Fame Sessions' (Sept 4th/ Super Sonic Sounds)". Shore Fire Media. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Music Premiere Monday: "Get Up!" by The Nightowls". Southern Living: The Daily South. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  12. ^ a b THE NIGHTOWLS -- Get Up! (Official). 22 July 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ a b Steffen, Chris (2015-08-03). "Song Premiere: The Nightowls Embrace Vintage Soul on "Highline"". Allmusic website. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  14. ^ a b "Music Exclusive: The Nightowls Premiere "Nobody But You"". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Elmore Magazine - The Nightowls". Elmore Magazine. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  16. ^ iWeb. "Fame Sessions". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  17. ^ "2015 Lineup Weekend Two | ACL Music Festival". 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  18. ^ a b "The Nightowls". SXSW Schedule 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  19. ^ SunStudioSessions (28 October 2016). "The Nightowls - "Right Around the Corner" (Sun Studio Sessions)". Retrieved 18 January 2017 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ a b "Baeble First Play: The Texas Soul of The Nightowls". Baeble Music. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  21. ^ "The Nightowls: "Right Around The Corner"". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  22. ^ Frometa, R. J. (10 August 2016). "The Nightowls Release New Video For "Right Around The Corner"". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  23. ^ a b "SONG PREMIERE: Austin Soul Band The Nightowls Shine On "Can't Bring Me Down" - Glide Magazine". 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  24. ^ "PREMIERE: Motown-inspired band The Nightowls share the 'Royal Sessions EP'". 14 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  25. ^ "The Nightowls: Royal Sessions (Super Sonic Sounds)". 1 August 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  26. ^ Entertainment, Mike Ragogna Trafficbeat; Vet, Music Biz (5 August 2016). "Blueprints, Drivers, Beginnings And Exits: A Chat And Premiere With The Bacon Brothers". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  27. ^ a b WeAreTheNightowls (22 July 2016). "THE NIGHTOWLS -- Right Around The Corner (Official)". Retrieved 6 August 2016 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Kaplan, Harriet (7 August 2016). "The Nightowls play the Mint". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  29. ^ "Show Review: The Nightowls - PUNCHLAND -Music News + Interviews + Brazilian Indie Music in One Place". 10 October 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  30. ^ a b Desk, BWW News. "Paisley Park Announces MUSICOLOGY Finalists". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  31. ^ a b c "The Nightowls". Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  32. ^ "SXSW 2018 Interview: Musician Ryan Harkrider Talks Playing with The Nightowls (Exclusive)". 31 July 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  33. ^ a b c "SONG PREMIERE: The Nightowls Dish Out Sultry R&B With "Don't It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)" - Glide Magazine". 27 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Get it or forget it – The Nightowls, Tiavara, Cultural Critic, Trautonist, Vampillia". 10 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Music Interview: Ryan Harkrider of the Nightowls - The Young Folks". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Nightowls video premiere: Austin soul band's new song "Lift Me Up" - Austin Music Source". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  37. ^ a b WeAreTheNightowls (10 November 2017). "The Nightowls -- Lift Me Up (Live)". Retrieved 27 November 2017 – via YouTube.
  38. ^ "World Premiere: The Nightowls find a "#selfiequeen"". 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  39. ^ "The Nightowls Debut Music Video For "#selfieQueen" - The Deli Magazine". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  40. ^ a b WeAreTheNightowls (18 June 2018). "The Nightowls -- #selfiequeen (Live)". Retrieved 18 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ a b "The Nightowls Celebrate Positive Ties With "All The Good Things You Are" (premiere)". 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  42. ^ a b "The Nightowls Release "Everybody's Dancing to the Music" featuring Ivan Neville -". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  43. ^ a b WeAreTheNightowls (1 September 2018). "The Nightowls -- Get Funked Up (Live)". Retrieved 25 September 2018 – via YouTube.
  44. ^ "Diandra Reviews It All- The Nightowls Turn Pianos Into Funkytown". 9 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  45. ^ "Live". The Nightowls. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  46. ^ "2015 WEEKEND TWO LINEUP BY DAY | ACL Music Festival". 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  47. ^ Rosenthal, Brad (2015-04-08). "Announces 2015 Grant Nominees and new Advisory Board Members". Black Fret. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  48. ^ "Weekend Two". ACL Music Festival. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  49. ^ "10 Bands to Watch - Austin Monthly - March 2015 - Austin, TX". Austin Monthly. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  50. ^ "Austin City Council Agenda". Retrieved 2015-08-10.

External links[edit]