Old Settler’s Music Festival 2015 Edition

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My favorite weekend of the year has come and gone again.  A couple of weeks after the over-sized crowds, egos, and marketing campaigns of SXSW comes a music festival in the hill country outside Austin that’s just about the music.  With only 15,000 attendees, and a couple of stages, you can see at least a […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Down To Believing, by Allison Moorer Real life is often the best inspiration for art, notably when it is created in response to heartache and sorrow. Such is the case for Allison Moorer, who channels her emotions into a collection of songs that is by turns sad, angry, regretful and defiant. […]

Shawn Nelson – The Devil’s River

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In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I like this music review gig.  While mainstream “country” has become nothing but American Idolized pop delivered with a nasaly inflection or high school stereotyped Bro’ Country, there’s still a strong undercurrent of lyrically rich, musically infectious Americana releases available if you look for them.  Luckily, a […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Windfall, by Joe Pug It has been three years since Joe Pug’s last release, a time that found the singer-songwriter coping with the burn-out that comes from years of continuous touring. Sharing one’s music with audiences around the world may be joyous, but the life can be arduous. In that context, […]

MilkDrive – Places You’ve Not Been

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“Sophisticated” and “bluegrass”.  Not often you see those two words paired.  On Places You’ve Not Been, the latest album from Austin-based MilkDrive, however, the two adjectives clearly belong together.  The disc certainly holds its own blasting as background rolling down the highway on a sunny California day.  But it really rewards you when you take […]

Monday Morning Video – Couch By Couchwest 2015

Coinciding with SXSW is the annual Couch By Couchwest Festival. What’s not to like about a festival with the tagline “where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.”? (Far be it for me to quible, but some of the beer at SXSW is free. Just sayin’.) Here’s how it works. Artists — […]

SXSW 2015 — The Scene

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For me, the true harbinger of spring is the arrival of the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. Or rather, spring begins for me when I arrive in Austin for SXSW. With upwards of 2,200 bands and more than 20,000 attendees from around the world, SXSW is the world’s premiere music conference. Even […]

Taarka – Making Tracks Home

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You could probably argue that all music, regardless of genre, falls into two categories.  There’s music celebrating (or bemoaning) the here and now, and there are songs that take you back to a time or place.  The latest release from Colorado-based Taarka, Making Tracks Home, does a superb job of exploring both of those buckets in […]

Kiss Off — A Special Twangville Playlist, Part 6

A few years back I put together a series of special playlists featuring my favorite kiss off songs. Despite what some may think, I’m really not that cynical. Rather, I just appreciate how some songwriters can tackle the topic with humor and bite. It’s kind of like a genre unto itself. Over the past year […]