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 […]

Lilly Hiatt – Royal Blue

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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 […]

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys – Ionia

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In small rural towns across America Friday night is high school sports night.  Everyone collects at the field/gymnasium about 6:30 and watches the local kids take on the town-down-the-road kids.  In autumn it’s football, winter means basketball, and spring is for track & field.  Because the school is so small, all the kids play all […]

Mayer’s Playlist for February 2015

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Complicated Game, by James McMurtry Six years. That’s how long it has been since we last heard new music from McMurtry. While he hasn’t been missing during this time – he could always be found on the touring circuit – many of us were anxiously awaiting some new music. Well, that […]