Hazy Shade of Winter — A Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) FEATURED ALBUMS Barnstar! (from the Signature Sounds Records release Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!) I don’t think that it is possible to listen to Barnstar and not crack a smile. Every performance, even the […]

Monday Morning Video – Dietrich Strause Serenades Some Ducks

Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last week, signaling six more weeks of winter. Sure enough, Boston is in the midst of a three day snowstorm. Perhaps Phil would have acted differently if singer-songwriter Dietrich Strause serenaded him instead of these two ducks. The song is called “Sling and Stone” from his 2013 release […]

Kristin Andreassen Takes on a Grateful Dead Classic

Even if you don’t buy into the culture that emerged around the Grateful Dead, it’s hard not to appreciate the songs that they created. Kristin Andreassen responded to a fan request and turned out this exquisite version of the Dead’s “Brokedown Palace.” “I might not have had the courage to tackle this epic Grateful Dead […]

Wood & Wire – The Coast

The Coast cover

A few years ago some members of a couple of different Austin-based bluegrass bands got together for some late night jamming and out of it came one of my favorite bluegrass albums of 2013, the self-titled Wood & Wire.  The boys are now releasing their follow-up album, The Coast. There’s an occasionally recurring theme that […]

The Twangville 2015 Release Preview, Boston Edition

I expect that these releases are just the beginning of another great year of Boston music. MAKE TIME by THE SUITCASE JUNKET(6 January) Singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz knows how to make one heck of a racket. His one-man band sound leans heavy on fuzzy guitar and ragged percussion, augmented by occasional throat-singing that gives the songs […]

The Twangville 2015 Release Preview

There is already an impressive collection of releases on the docket for 2015, with plenty more sure to follow. Here are a handful that the Twangville crew are eagerly anticipating. What albums, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? ABSENT FATHERS by JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE(13 January on Vagrant Records) Earle […]

Mayer’s Picks – Best Songs of 2014

I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2014 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. An Anthem for the Broken and A Song to Learn and Sing (Until Kingdom […]