Mayer’s Playlist for April 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS Parker Millsap, by Parker Millsap What is it about Oklahoma? As if the state’s musical credibility weren’t long ago established, there’s been a surge of great young artists emerging from the state. Count Parker Millsap among ‘em. Millsap blends gospel, bluegrass and folk to perfection all the while filling his songs […]

Mayer’s Playlist for April 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS Till Midnight, by Chuck Ragan There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between punk and Americana. While punk has its raw intensity and Americana its musical sincerity, both styles are rooted in emotion and authenticity. The latest to prove the point is Chuck Ragan who takes the rock intensity that he […]

In Memoriam – Dave Lamb

Dave Lamb of the Providence, RI-based duo Brown Bird passed away this past weekend. The circumstances are heart-wrenching. Lamb fell ill with mysterious symptoms while touring Texas last year. In a tale that is all too familiar, Lamb had no insurance. Fortunately, he was able to get home and secure insurance for what became a […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Feb/Mar 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS English Oceans, by Drive-By Truckers I suppose that this review could be titled “Cooley Steps Out.” The band co-founder, who has historically contributed only a couple of songs per release, is credited with six songs on English Oceans. Ever better, they are some of his strongest songs in years. The opening […]

Mass Ave – A Special Boston Playlist

FEATURED ALBUMS Good Luck, by Girls Guns and Glory Girls Guns and Glory have always been a fun live band, mixing up originals with choice covers ranging from Elvis Presley to Hank Williams. They’ve captured that energy – and then some – on their latest release. The Boston quartet traveled to Brooklyn to record the […]

Mayer’s Playlist for January 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Alexandria, by Chris Mills I have wandered in the wild places,” sings Mills in the opening track of his latest release. It is a fitting line for a musician whose music continues to evolve in exquisite fashion. Mills has always impressed on many levels. His songwriting has always had a romantic […]

Mayer’s Playlist for January 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Hard Working Americans, by Hard Working Americans ‘Ya gotta love this album on principle. A veritable super-group of Americana and jam-band artists* get together for, well a jam-session. They forgo writing their own songs and instead champion some of their (and my) favorite songwriters. Like I said, how can you not […]

Mayer’s Picks: Best Songs of 2013

I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2013 back in July (here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this the continuation — the best songs from the second half of the year. Closed Hand, Full of Friends, Foy Vance (from the Glassnote Records release Joy of […]

Still Love That Dirty Water: A Boston Playlist

FEATURED ALBUM Common Courtesy, by Rusty Belle I don’t often quote artist bios, but this was too good not to share: They were raised on the Beatles and the Band, went to high school with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, dated Miles Davis and Tom Waits in college and keep a Lightnin’ Hopkins, Kinks or […]