Trampled By Turtles – Wild Animals

TBT Cover

Perhaps as a side effect of a misspent youth where I had friends who leaned toward torn clothing, homemade piercings, and 5 minute rock songs played in under 2, I’ve always kind of liked really fast bluegrass.  Several years ago I stumbled across Trampled By Turtles, who didn’t just speed up bluegrass songs, they wrote […]

Lilly Hiatt – Royal Blue


The skeptics tend to come out of the woodwork when the progeny of a well-known musician launches a career. To be true, their caution is often warranted. One listen to Lilly Hiatt’s new release “Royal Blue” silences all doubt. This is her second album; and it firmly establishes Hiatt as a gifted artist who is […]

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

bloodshot cover

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 […]

Mayer’s Playlist for April 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS Parker Millsap, by Parker Millsap What is it about Oklahoma? As if the state’s musical credibility weren’t long ago established, there’s been a surge of great young artists emerging from the state. Count Parker Millsap among ‘em. Millsap blends gospel, bluegrass and folk to perfection all the while filling his songs […]

Honeylark – Heavy


This time of year the shadows stretch long across the frozen landscape, adding a lightly brushed undercurrent of foreboding to everything.  It’s always there, lurking, feeding the darker human emotions, even when the event of the moment is a totally enjoyable holiday celebration.  When you put that feeling to music, you get what Honeylark calls […]

Music with a Purpose: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids

This post continues our series of posts about music that serves a higher purpose. This music reaches beyond pure listening enjoyment, raising awareness about important issues that affects countless people in their day-to-day lives. Alastair Moock had built a successful career as a folk musician when cancer struck. It didn’t strike him, but rather his […]

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 […]

Sons Of Fathers – Burning Days

Sons of Fathers cover

My first listen to the latest release from Sons Of Fathers, Burning Days, and I was tempted to just label it sophomore slump and be done with it.  I so liked their first release, though, that I had to go back and listen again and I realized it was my pre-conceived notions at fault and […]

The Stone Foxes – Small Fires

stone foxes

What is it in the current music industry that allows undeserving bands to become icons? Why is it that so many other bands that deserve to be icons do not get the notoriety they deserve? Why aren’t the Stone Foxes playing in large arenas in front of Lighter flames and screaming fans? They should be! […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Fall 2012, Part 3

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH In the Dusk of Everything, by Matthew Ryan There are many artists who are ambitious. Some pursue the thrill of live performances, others strive for financial success. While I can’t say that Matthew Ryan doesn’t harbor some of those motivations, he possesses a more powerful quality – ambition for his music. […]