Old Settler’s Music Festival 2015 Edition

2015-04-18 18.31.25

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

DevilsRiver - Album Cover1

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

MilkDrive cover

“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

Taarka cover

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

lindsay lou cover

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 […]

The Mavericks – Mono

TheMavericks_Mono

As I noted before, The Mavericks have a kind of timeless sound to them.  Their previous album, In Time, evoked a particular moment in history when you listened to the whole thing.  Their latest release, Mono, doesn’t seem to have  quite the same thematic focus, but all the elements that make the band so ageless are […]

Parker McCollum – The Limestone Kid

unnamed

One of the things I like about debut albums from singer-songwriters is they frequently have a much richer collection of stories than happens once the pressure mounts to get new material out to fans to keep things fresh.  That’s the case with the first album from Texas artist Parker McCollum.  Entitled The Limestone Kid it’s […]

Screen Door Porch – Modern Settler

ModernSettler_Cover

When I first listened to Modern Settler, the latest release from Wyoming band Screen Door Porch, I assumed the band’s core duo of Seader Rose and Aaron Davis had gotten some wanderlust and spent time traveling through the rural South.  Turns out the inspiration was closer to home, and came from a cassette Davis discovered […]

Wood & Wire – The Coast

The Coast cover

A few years ago some members of a couple of different Austin-based bluegrass bands got together for some late night jamming and out of it came one of my favorite bluegrass albums of 2013, the self-titled Wood & Wire.  The boys are now releasing their follow-up album, The Coast. There’s an occasionally recurring theme that […]