Twangville


Americana

Mayer’s Playlist for April 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS Till Midnight, by Chuck Ragan There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between punk and Americana. While punk has its raw intensity and Americana its musical sincerity, both styles are rooted in emotion and authenticity. The latest to prove the point is Chuck Ragan who takes the rock intensity that he […] more »

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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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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

Southern Soul Assembly

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: Ray Charles and Willie Nelson

Two legends. ‘nuf said. more »

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Mayer’s Playlist for Feb/Mar 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS English Oceans, by Drive-By Truckers I suppose that this review could be titled “Cooley Steps Out.” The band co-founder, who has historically contributed only a couple of songs per release, is credited with six songs on English Oceans. Ever better, they are some of his strongest songs in years. The opening […] 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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Monday Morning Video – Mike Farris

What better way to start your week than listening to the soulful voice of Mike Farris. As the man says, “glory glory.” Here’s a bonus video from Farris, his take on the Bob Dylan classic “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” 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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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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Levi Lowrey – Levi Lowrey

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My favorite album of last year was Jason Isbell’s Southeastern.  It was an exploration of a man’s demons, some of them intense enough to sometimes weigh in on my decision whether to hit play or go for something a little lighter on the mind.  Levi Lowrey, with his second, self-titled, album, has also chosen to […] more »

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Mass Ave – A Special Boston Playlist

FEATURED ALBUMS Good Luck, by Girls Guns and Glory Girls Guns and Glory have always been a fun live band, mixing up originals with choice covers ranging from Elvis Presley to Hank Williams. They’ve captured that energy – and then some – on their latest release. The Boston quartet traveled to Brooklyn to record the […] more »

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Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson