The Damnations are a popular local band in the Austin, Texas music scene. The Damnations were formed in the mid-90s by two sisters from Schoharie, New York. Amy Boone and Deborah Kelly moved to Austin and formed their country-rock band inspired by the sounds of The Pogues, X, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, The Carter Family, Doc Watson, and Aretha Franklin. Their sound has been described as country, blues, or soul music. The sound is characterized by the vocal harmonies of the founding sisters as well as their guitars and banjos.
The Damnations became huge on the local scene after the debut of their Live Set recorded in 1997. The band was a quintet at the time, consisting of Amy Boone, Deborah Kelly, Rob Bernard handling guitar and banjos, Keith Langford on the drums, and Gary Newcomb on steel and lap guitars. The album was recorded during an in-studio performance at a local radio station.
The band officially changed their name to The Damnations TX shortly after signing with Sire Records when it was discovered that another group had already been using the name Damnations. Their first major record-label release was titled Half Mad Moon and met with good critical reviews and modest success. In 2002, the Damnations dropped the “TX” from their name and slimmed their roster of musicians to just the founding sisters and Rob Bernard.
Now a trio, the Damnations released their follow-up album called Where it Lands. This time their album met with mixed reviews and it was a common complaint that the album seemed less focused than previous efforts. The Damnations currently play live in and around the Austin, Texas area, howbeit much less frequently than they did in the 1990s to mid-2000s.