Patty Griffin – American Kid

It is hard to describe songs that leave you speechless. The breathtaking tracks on “American Kid” mesmerize from beginning to end. This is Patty Griffin’s first album of original material in six years. Since then she has recorded an album of Gospel songs and hymns, “Downtown Church”, and toured with Robert Plant’s Band of Joy. […] more »


Old Settler’s Music Festival 2013


In the middle of April, a few weeks after the madness of SXSW, one of the more under appreciated events on the Austin music scene happens about 30 miles southwest of town; The Old Settler’s Music Festival.  Here are some of the highlights from this year’s festivities. Who Was That Band? Festivals like this always […] more »


Shooter Jennings – The Other Life


The new Shooter Jennings album ”The Other Life” is a conversation starter. Specifically it is a catalyst for two related reflections. The first is family. The second is the current state of the Country Music industry. With Nashville as a hub, these two conversations create a coherent theme. With respect to family, we see Jennings […] more »


Son Volt – Honky Tonk

Son Volt cover

Son Volt released their latest album, Honky Tonk, earlier this week.  Eli and I both are liking it, so we’re going to offer you two reviews for the price of one.  First, here are Eli’s thoughts. “There is a world of wisdom inside a fiddle tune”- Jay Farrar, Down the Highway Honky Tonk is a […] more »


Wayne Hancock – Ride


“Ride”, the new release from Wayne Hancock, exhibits a little less of his customary Juke Joint Jive. Hank Williams style lonesome Blues is more prevalent on the album. However, Hancock still knows how to swing. Since we last heard him on 2009′s “Viper of Melody”, Hancock has gone through a divorce and sobered up. In […] more »


Reed Turner – Ghosts In the Attic

I do love me a good murder ballad sometimes.  Cocaine Blues, popularized by Johnny Cash and later George Thorogood, is maybe my favorite.  I’m pretty enamored now, though, with a cut off the new Reed Turner release, Ghosts In the Attic.  The song, Killed That Girl (‘Cause She Was Killing Me) has just the right […] more »


Bill Mallonee – Amber Waves

Bill Mallonee’s 50th release (that is not a typo by the way) is one of his most impassioned. I realize that is a bold statement when the referenced artist has such a large body of work. The lyrics on “Amber Waves” are full of pain and loss. However, there is an underlying hope in these […] more »


Bill Mallonee – Live House Concert

To say that Bill Mallonee is prolific in his songwriting is an understatement. Between traditional releases and online releases, he has recorded 50 albums. Based in Athens, he came on the scene in the late 80’s as the front man for the Vigilantes of Love, but has primarily been a solo-act for the better part […] more »


Tift Merritt – Travelling Alone

Tift Merritt has outdone herself. She just released the best CD of her career. I am not kidding. Bramble Rose was her ground breaking first release. Another Country equaled Bramble Rose, but it didn’t best it. With the release of Travelling Alone, she has set a new standard for herself. The album is truly a […] more »


Chris Knight – Small Victories

Eli, Todd and Chip share their collective insights on the stellar new release from Chris Knight: Eli Peterson Chris Knight is the real deal. Dude is from Slaughters, Kentucky. That’s right. The town is named “Slaughters”. Dude was a mine reclamation inspector for 10 years before he went to Nashville to give songwriting a try. […] more »


Whispering Pines

It is a digital world, mp3s are our music, the internet provides our news, and we can read on multiple devices. Oh and by the way we are connected wherever we go. Digital communication is the best …. Or is it? Along comes Whispering Pines. They take us to their world of analog recording. The […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for July 2012, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Still Wanna Fight by Mic Harrison and the High Score There is something extremely satisfying listening to some straight-forward, guitar-driven rock and roll. The best of it holds no pretense, just an energy that is genuine and invigorating. Mic Harrison and the High Score make that kind of music. The record […] more »


Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now


I’ve seen it on his first two albums and after the first tune on “There’s No Leaving Now,” I thought maybe I’d heard the last of the Tallest Man and his guitar. “To Just Grow Away” is a subtle song with percussion and even some keys.   But I only had to wait until the […] more »


Old Settlers Music Festival 2012

Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets

I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended quite a number of multi-day music festivals over the years, from the Veiled Prophet Fair to the Monterey Jazz Festival and Telluride to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.  For my money, though, it’s really hard to beat the Old Settler’s Music Festival.  Held 20 miles or so outside of Austin […] more »


The Honeydogs – What Comes After

Honeydogs What

The Twin Cities based Honeydogs, who were tantalizingly close to stardom in the late 1990s, have kept their day jobs, survived and now have released a new album that should please their enthusiastic followers.  What Comes After follows the recipe of the band’s superb 1997 and 2001 releases, Seen a Ghost and Here’s Luck, with simple, straight forward lyrics and exceptional musicianship. The […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson