Twangville


Acoustic

Old Settler’s Music Fest – 2014 Edition

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Every spring, a couple of weeks after the madhouse of SXSW, the music festival season kicks off with Old Settler’s Music Festival, about a half hour outside of Austin.  Started as a bluegrass festival, Old Settler’s now embraces a broad spectrum of Americana.  Organizer Jean Spivey has a magic touch for consistently mixing old with […] more »

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Jesse Winchester, In Memoriam

April is shaping up as a difficult world in the world of music. This past week we lost Jesse Winchester, whose soft-spoken style belied the power of his songs. Here are two magical Winchester performances. The first is an early (and often covered) classic “Defying Gravity.” The second is the celebrated appearance on Elvis Costello’s […] more »

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SXSW 2014 — The Sounds, Part 2

DAVE AND PHIL ALVIN I’m a big Dave Alvin fan. Unfortunately for me I discovered the Blasters, the seminal band co-founded by Dave and his brother Phil, after they went their separate ways. I was hooked, though, on their encyclopedic knowledge of American music — everything from folk to country and from blues to vintage […] more »

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SXSW 2014 — The Sounds, Part 1

THE HOLD STEADY While I may not be as crazy the friend who chased the band around Austin for the band’s 7 planned shows, I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see the Brooklyn rockers celebrate their first album in 4 years. I accompanied said friend to the front of the stage where […] more »

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In Memoriam – Dave Lamb

Dave Lamb of the Providence, RI-based duo Brown Bird passed away this past weekend. The circumstances are heart-wrenching. Lamb fell ill with mysterious symptoms while touring Texas last year. In a tale that is all too familiar, Lamb had no insurance. Fortunately, he was able to get home and secure insurance for what became a […] more »

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Southern Soul Assembly at the Saenger Theatre, Mobile, Alabama

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So I’m in Mobile, AL this week for my day job.  As I’m eating lunch Tuesday I look up and see a poster for the Southern Soul Assembly, featuring JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, Anders Osborne and Marc Broussard.  And it’s that night at the Saenger Theatre about a block from my hotel. I rush out […] more »

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Trevor Alguire – Miles Away

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Staring out the window, it’s only the middle of the afternoon and yet darkness has started creeping in.  A cold wind howls out of the north and  the trees seem to be wrapping their branches around themselves in a futile attempt to stay warm.  Even the good things going through your mind seem to have […] more »

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Monday Morning Video: Steve Earle and John Prine cover Townes Van Zandt

Plenty to love here. Steve Earle and John Prine teaming up to cover Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta.” Recorded live at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. more »

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Lost & Nameless, Cody Jasper

Empty Spaces, the latest EP from Lost & Nameless opens with a title track that is perhaps best described as an Americana tango.  So right from the get-go you know this is going to be an interesting listen.  The remainder of the record does not disappoint.  Lost & Nameless is an Austin-based group composed of […] more »

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Josh Ritter’s Acoustic Magic

Josh Ritter Acoustic Trio @ The Somerville Theatre Somerville, MA: March 6, 2014 Joy. It’s just the first word that comes to mind when I think of this show, Josh Ritter’s face, the songs played, the energy between the 3 men on stage. Ritter has been touring for nearly 1 year straight since the release […] more »

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Eliza Gilkyson – The Nocturne Diaries

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When you question successful artists in almost any field, one of the common themes that emerges is a belief that what you resist the urge to add to a composition is every bit as important, if not more so, as what does end up in the final mix.  Eliza Gilkyson and her son, Cisco Ryder, […] more »

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Katie Glassman & Snapshot – Dream A Little Dream

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When I first ran across Katie Glassman a couple of years ago (review here), I noted her album was exploring a lot of genres.  Her latest release, Dream A Little Dream, hit the streets earlier this week featuring her now-permanent band, Snapshot.  She’s taken a significant step forward as a recording artist with this project. […] more »

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Mayer’s Playlist for Feb/Mar 2014, Part 1

I suppose that Lydia Loveless could have gone in two directions after 2011’s outstanding Indestructible Machine... more »

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Steve Dawson – Rattlesnake Cage

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Canadian roots music master Steve Dawson’s Rattlesnake Cage showcases Dawson’s astonishing guitar skills as they should be – intimate and acoustic.  Dawson, whose passion for roots music prompted him to found the Black Hen Music label in 1995, has been a force in the Canadian music scene and now, having relocated to Nashville, his star […] more »

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Monday Morning Video: Chris Mills

I wrote about Mills’s latest release last week. Alexandria is one of those albums that gets better and better with each subsequent listen. Here’s a track that didn’t jupm out at me upon the first few listens but now floors me each time that I hear it. more »

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Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson