Tom’s Picks: Best of 2014

Album of the Year: Noah Gundersen, Ledges My pick for album of the year is Noah Gundersen’s Ledges. The up and coming singer-songwriter from Seattle, nails it with Ledges. It’s a family affair as his sister, Abby, joins in on vocals including album opener “Poor Man’s Son” which simply stops time as it blends effortlessly into […]

Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 2

Tennessee Mud, Trigger Hippy (from the Rounder Records release Trigger Hippy) There seem to be a rash of Americana “super groups” making headlines these days. Lest anyone think that Trigger Hippy is jumping on the bandwagon, consider that they’ve been around since 2009. Singers Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene, along with Black Crowes drummer Steve […]

Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 1

ALBUM OF THE MONTH Chasing Beauty, by Ellis Paul Ellis Paul long ago established his credentials as a folk musician. He is an astute observer of the world around him who excels at transforming stories into song. In recent years he has shifted a bit from his folk roots, flexing more of his acoustic pop […]

Dream On — a Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) 1-2-3, Amy Fairchild (from the self-released Amy Fairchild) There’s something to be said for only speaking when you have something to say. Just ask Amy Fairchild who has just released her first album since 2002. […]

Mayer’s Playlist for October 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH And the War Came, by Shakey Graves Austin-based Alejandro Rose-Garcia — Shakey Graves — makes a mighty fine racket. His live performances, generally just him on the stage playing guitar and percussion, are captivating. And the War Came is the rare studio album that captures this energy while simultaneously showcasing the […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Oct 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Boxers, by Matthew Ryan Boxers is an album of discontent. Life, love, work — you name it — the characters that inhabit this collection of songs are dissatisfied. There is rage, resentment and restlessness. Through it all, however, Ryan manages to find a glimmer of hope — sometimes it’s a lyrical […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Sept 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Swimmin’ Time, by Shovels and Rope Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent — aka Shovels and Rope — just keep getting better and better. Swimmin’ Time takes their customary percussive guitar and drums and expands their musical palette with piano, horns and a host of other instruments. The result is something […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Sept 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH You’ve Got the Wrong Man, by Joe Fletcher Singer-songwriter Joe Fletcher drew inspiration for You’ve Got the Wrong Man from the field recordings of the early 20th century. The process, most notably used by John Lomax during his musical exploration of the Southern US, places particular emphasis on the raw emotion […]

Just Another Band Out of Boston: A Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) Mark Erelli (from the Hillbilly Pilgrim Records release Milltowns) Erelli pays loving tribute to his hero and mentor, the late folk musician Bill Morrissey. With the help of some talented friends — including Peter Mulvey, […]

Mayer’s Playlist for August 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Uncle John Farquhar, by Goodnight, Texas Goodnight, Texas are on a journey, if not across geography then certainly through time. The bi-coastal group – songwriters Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf live in San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC respectively – are committed to taking listeners on a musical tour […]