Trout Steak Revival – Brighter Every Day

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There’s something about bluegrass that always seems slanted toward picking up your spirits.  It’s not that the genre doesn’t have its share of good murder ballads–a couple of doozy’s come immediately to mind–but as a rule it’s not somber music. That’s true in spades in the debut album from Colorado-based Trout Steak Revival. Entitled Brighter […]

Old Settler’s Music Festival 2015 Edition

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My favorite weekend of the year has come and gone again.  A couple of weeks after the over-sized crowds, egos, and marketing campaigns of SXSW comes a music festival in the hill country outside Austin that’s just about the music.  With only 15,000 attendees, and a couple of stages, you can see at least a […]

Shawn Nelson – The Devil’s River

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In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I like this music review gig.  While mainstream “country” has become nothing but American Idolized pop delivered with a nasaly inflection or high school stereotyped Bro’ Country, there’s still a strong undercurrent of lyrically rich, musically infectious Americana releases available if you look for them.  Luckily, a […]

MilkDrive – Places You’ve Not Been

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“Sophisticated” and “bluegrass”.  Not often you see those two words paired.  On Places You’ve Not Been, the latest album from Austin-based MilkDrive, however, the two adjectives clearly belong together.  The disc certainly holds its own blasting as background rolling down the highway on a sunny California day.  But it really rewards you when you take […]

Taarka – Making Tracks Home

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You could probably argue that all music, regardless of genre, falls into two categories.  There’s music celebrating (or bemoaning) the here and now, and there are songs that take you back to a time or place.  The latest release from Colorado-based Taarka, Making Tracks Home, does a superb job of exploring both of those buckets in […]

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys – Ionia

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In small rural towns across America Friday night is high school sports night.  Everyone collects at the field/gymnasium about 6:30 and watches the local kids take on the town-down-the-road kids.  In autumn it’s football, winter means basketball, and spring is for track & field.  Because the school is so small, all the kids play all […]