As has become tradition in the middle of September, the Americana Music Festival rolled into Nashville earlier this month. The opening of the festival used to be the Awards show at the fabulous Ryman Auditorium, but over the past couple of years the festival has outgrown its 4 day window and this year you could start […]
Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland typically tours as a solo artist or with accompanist John Calvin Abney, so it’s a special treat to see him fronting a full band. Here’s “I Need You To Tell Me Who I Am,” a favorite from 2013’s In the Throes. How about a full band live album, John? Pretty please?
It’s a sound you don’t hear much anymore. A man’s voice, tarred by tobacco, scraped by coal dust, and soaked in whiskey, telling tales of hardworking heroes and mysterious spirits in the night. Add musical talent to that and you’ll get songs about life in the rural mountains of America. The gold standard for that sound […]
Listening to Ray Bonneville’s spartan lyrics evokes images of freight yards, open prairies and empty dwellings. His masterful, moody songs on At King Electric embody the spirit of the North American continent he has wandered for decades. Born in Quebec, Bonneville learned English when his family moved to Boston when he was twelve. Though his […]
Coming out of the storm like the mythical ghost riders, the twin lead guitars of Houston-based Grand Old Grizzly set the outlaw tone of Gundowners. The opening number of their latest album, Pure Country Pyrite, it’s the fascinating-like-a-train-wreck story of a pair of sociopaths who were made for each other. With a similar uptempo twangy feel, Rescind All […]
Immortal Americans, Austin Lucas (from the Cornelius Chapel Records release Immortal Americans) Immortal Americans feels like the album that Austin Lucas was destined to make. The road there certainly wasn’t easy as he overcame a series of challenges, both personal and professional, along the way. It ultimately led him back to his roots in Indiana […]
I’ve been smitten with this song lately. John Calvin Abney pays homage to his Oklahoma roots in this tale of a traveling troubadour longing for home. Hauntingly beautiful. Plenty more to love on Coyote, his latest release.
A couple of CD’s have been sitting atop my pile for a few weeks–demanding attention, but not in my usual review write-up kind-of-way. I finally realized, like chicken and waffles, they complement each other as sensory bookends. The first is Hemingway, by Texas songwriter and author Dan Johnson. This is not an album to be handled […]
Right On Time, Kevin Gordon (from the Crowville Media release Tilt And Shine) Kevin Gordon has long been one of contemporary music’s most compelling storytellers. He fills his songs with colorful characters and literary tales, all set to music that has more than a few gloriously jagged edges. Tilt And Shine steps beyond the more […]
The Ted Hawkins story is among the most unique in American music. The Biloxi Mississippi native spent years as a street busker, most notably serenading passers-by on Venice Beach, CA while perched on a milk crate. He was “discovered” several times but never found significant success. His graveled voice and insistent guitar were his calling […]