Otis Taylor – Hey Joe Opus … Red Meat

Otis Taylor likes to experiment. As architect of a mesmerizing style of blues music christened “trance blues,” Taylor’s albums tend to have an atmospheric, dream-like quality. Taylor’s style might sometimes be described as Muddy Waters meets Shawn Phillips or Pink Floyd. Taylor’s career, like his musical style, has been unconventional. He was active in the […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 3

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH The Firewatcher’s Daughter, by Brandi Carlile For some, the process of getting off the major label merry-go-round can be a traumatic experience that results in musical purgatory. Not for Carlile, who shifted to ATO Records and returns with another stand-out release. Her voice is as radiant as ever, beautifully complimented by […]

Millie Mason/Here on Up

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Simple and to the point. Millie doesn’t need 3 ½ , or hell, even 3 minutes of your time to get her message across. The most she asks for is 2:29 on the opening “In Town.” The Brooklyn singer/songwriter hails from Knoxville and obviously has a love for old time country a la Patsy Cline, […]

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 […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Down To Believing, by Allison Moorer Real life is often the best inspiration for art, notably when it is created in response to heartache and sorrow. Such is the case for Allison Moorer, who channels her emotions into a collection of songs that is by turns sad, angry, regretful and defiant. […]

Dwight Yoakam CD Giveaway!!!

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The kind folks over at Yoakam’s digital marketing team (Girlilla) have sent us a copy of Dwight’s latest Second Hand Heart to give away to one lucky Twangville denizen. It’s definitely a killer album. I’ve see advance clips with things such as “Best album from Dwight in years!” etc. etc., but I’m kind of the […]

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 […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Windfall, by Joe Pug It has been three years since Joe Pug’s last release, a time that found the singer-songwriter coping with the burn-out that comes from years of continuous touring. Sharing one’s music with audiences around the world may be joyous, but the life can be arduous. In that context, […]

Leo “Bud” Welch – I Don’t Prefer No Blues

It’s hard to explain just what makes Leo “Bud” Welch so special. Yes, there is the fact that the 83-year-old made his recording debut in 2013. There is also the pure, rugged honesty of his delivery and the fact that, unlike some other country blues musicians who got discovered in their later years, Welch is […]