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 […]

Eric Bibb – Blues People

Eric Bibb is one of a small number of elite blues musicians of his generation that define contemporary blues music.  Along with Keb’ Mo’, Otis Taylor, Guy Davis, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood and a handful of others, Bibb has assumed the mantle from the great Mississippi Delta artists of the  early 20th century and the post-World […]

Sturgill Simpson/Metamodern Sounds in Country Music; Todd Begins Looking Back on His “Best of 2014”

I had not heard of Sturgill Simpson until attending a Gamecock baseball game this past April. It was a cold day (luckily we had box seats) and I was talking with my friend Ryan, who I had invited along. Ryan and I don’t see each other often, but we’re always emailing and exchanging CDs and […]

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. […]

Markus James – Head For The Hills

Markus James has travelled to Timbuktu to unlock the secrets of the blues and found a connection between what he heard in the deserts of Mali to the fife and drum music of northern Mississippi. Like Corey Harris and the Dickinson brothers, James’ preoccupation with exploring the drum-based blues of North Mississippi has led to […]

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 […]

JW-Jones – Belmont Boulevard

JW-Jones is one slick guitar slinger from north of the border.  Cut from the mold of a Jimmie Vaughan or the late Johnny Winter, Jones hails from Ottawa, Canada, an unexpected cradle for an artist sure to be recognized for his impressive guitar skills. Somewhat of a prodigy, Jones recorded his first album, Defibrilatin’, in 2000 […]

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 […]