Mea Culpa! A Special Summer Playlist, Part 3

Hard Work, Christopher Paul Stelling (from the Anti Records release Labor Against Waste) Count Labor Against Waste among the most powerful albums that you’ll hear this year. Wandering troubadour Stelling uses his songs to offer taut social commentary, peering into human intentions and sharing pointed perspectives on life’s opportunities and challenges. The mesmerizing ballad “Scarecrow” […]

Mea Culpa! A Special Summer Playlist, Part 2

Devil in Me, Anderson East (from the Low Country Sound/Elektra Records release Delilah) There’s something special about that old-school soul sound. It’s all the more impressive when it is created by a young whippersnapper like Anderson East. The Nashville by way of Alabama singer-songwriter serves up an exhilarating debut album that is steeped in Muscle […]

Mea Culpa! A Special Summer Playlist, Part 1

Mea culpa! So last year I made a commitment to myself to write a monthly playlist and publish it within the month for which it was named. I gave myself a hearty pat on the back when I met that goal. Thankfully, I didn’t set the same goal this year as I would have failed […]

Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2015, So Far (the Songs), Part 2

Everybody Talkin’ ’bout the All American, JD McPherson (from the Rounder Records release Let The Good Times Roll) Let’s just call this the dance hit of the year. One listen and you’ll know what I mean. You Got To Me, James McMurtry (from the Complicated Game Records release Complicated Game) On a given day I’d […]

Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2015, So Far (the Songs), Part 1

For me, at least, this year has been more about songs than albums. Here are just a few of my favorites from the first half of 2015. If Still It Can’t Be Found, Joe Pug (from the Lightning Rod Records release Windfall) A melancholy ode to perseverance and pursuing one’s dreams. Simply magical. Don’t Let […]

Victor Wainwright & the WildRoots – Boom Town

Victor Wainwright is relatively new on the national music scene, but his swampy honky tonk piano licks are having an impact in both his solo career and as a member of roots rock, blues and funk “supergroup” Southern Hospitality. Wainwright, who grew up in a musical family in Savannah, Georgia, moved to Daytona Beach, Florida to […]

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]