Shawn’s Top 10 Live Sets Of 2014

I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with a tradition of supporting live music.  It’s not Austin or Nashville, but Santa Cruz holds its own when it comes to getting some great Americana tour stops.  I’m also lucky enough to be able to travel to some music festivals every year.  So while I don’t […]

Mayer’s Picks – More Favorites from 2014

Here, in no particular order, are a few more favorites from 2014. And the War CameShakey Graves The Shipwreck From the ShoreAnthony D’Amato HealStrand of Oaks Parker MillsapParker Millsap All or Nothin’Nikki Lane Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill BroonzyDave Alvin and Phil Alvin Eli Paperboy […]

Mayer’s Picks – Best Albums of 2014

This has been a great year in music, a feast for the ears but a challenge when it comes to picking my favorite albums for the year. A good problem to have, I suppose. Without further ado…. #1. MATTHEW RYAN, Boxers Ryan has never been one to pull his punches so why should we expect […]

Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 2

Tennessee Mud, Trigger Hippy (from the Rounder Records release Trigger Hippy) There seem to be a rash of Americana “super groups” making headlines these days. Lest anyone think that Trigger Hippy is jumping on the bandwagon, consider that they’ve been around since 2009. Singers Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene, along with Black Crowes drummer Steve […]

Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 1

ALBUM OF THE MONTH Chasing Beauty, by Ellis Paul Ellis Paul long ago established his credentials as a folk musician. He is an astute observer of the world around him who excels at transforming stories into song. In recent years he has shifted a bit from his folk roots, flexing more of his acoustic pop […]

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 […]

Jonathan Fox Band – 20 Something Runaway

Fox Album Cover

The subtitle for the new Jonathan Fox Band record, 20 Something Runaway, could easily be “A Young Man And His Guitar”.  Although he’s recorded solo efforts before and made a choice to put more emphasis on the band this time, the songs are really about Fox and his guitar. Fortunately Fox got a lot of […]

Dream On — a Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) 1-2-3, Amy Fairchild (from the self-released Amy Fairchild) There’s something to be said for only speaking when you have something to say. Just ask Amy Fairchild who has just released her first album since 2002. […]

Lac La Belle – A Friend Too Long

LLB cover 2014

As I sit here starting to write this review, I  realize it’s somewhat appropriate that tonight is Halloween, when costumed children pretend to be someone they wish they could be and costumed adults pretend to be someone (or something) they don’t want to be.  The latest record from Detroit-based Lac La Belle, A Friend Too […]