Peace, Love and Twang at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

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The Philadelphia Folk Festival, which has been around for 54 years, isn’t your grandfather’s folk festival. While there is still a smattering of venerable acoustic solo folksingers on its program like Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Cockburn and Tom Paxton, the festival has become a great platform for Americana artists of all flavors as well as for […]

Sons of Bill – Live at Bottletree Cafe, January 15th

The Sons of Bill played for an intimate and enthusiastic audience at Bottletree Café in Birmingham, Alabama. Ironically the next day they boarded a plane to England for a European tour, in which one of the stops in the UK will also be Birmingham. That should set the table for an intriguing linguistic study comparing […]

Todd’s Best of 2014

I make lots of lists. Mostly lists of things I have to get done. It calms me to do this and makes anything seem possible if I put it on a list. It’s even more satisfying when I get to scratch something off the list.  In keeping with that, here’s my Best of 2014 list, […]

While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years Of Bloodshot Records

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Insurgent country.  Twenty years ago, when Nan Warshaw, Rob Miller, and Eric Babcock founded Bloodshot Records in a spare bedroom to promote the copulation of country and punk music, they chose that name over alternative country or Americana.  While their choice of nomenclature didn’t have the lasting impact of the other two, it’s a microcosm […]

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 […]

Newport Folk Festival – Saturday

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With his days in the blues-rock duo White Stripes now comfortably behind him, Jack White has become a bit of a generational connector. He’s paid homage to country, blues and rock legends, yet he keeps winning new fans. When he stepped on to the stage at Newport Folk Fest, the standing area at the front […]

Newport Folk Festival – Friday

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Ryan Adams really summed up the 2014 Newport Folk Fest experience well when he said, “”Like ten years ago I was depressed and now I’m playing music with *&$%ing sailboats in the background.” The setting at the legendary festival is literally one of the most beautiful spots as it juts far out into Narragansett Bay. […]