Old Settler’s Music Fest – 2014 Edition


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 »


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 »


Katie Glassman & Snapshot – Dream A Little Dream


When I first ran across Katie Glassman a couple of years ago (review here), I noted her album was exploring a lot of genres.  Her latest release, Dream A Little Dream, hit the streets earlier this week featuring her now-permanent band, Snapshot.  She’s taken a significant step forward as a recording artist with this project. […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for January 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Hard Working Americans, by Hard Working Americans ‘Ya gotta love this album on principle. A veritable super-group of Americana and jam-band artists* get together for, well a jam-session. They forgo writing their own songs and instead champion some of their (and my) favorite songwriters. Like I said, how can you not […] more »


The Twangville 2014 Release Preview

If the releases below are any indication, 2014 is shaping up to be a musical embarrassment of riches. What releases, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? HARD WORKING AMERICANS by HARD WORKING AMERICANS(21 January on Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers Records) What happens when a group of musicians — Todd Snider, […] more »


Monday Morning Video: a Double Dose of Robbie Fulks

Here’s the affable Robbie Fulks performing a longtime favorite, the title track from his 1998 release Let’s Kill Saturday Night. I’m not sure why the video title reads “Sometimes the Grass Is Really Greener,” a track from last year’s Gone Away Backward. In honor of the mistake, however, here is Fulks performing that song in […] more »


Photos that ROCK! Best of 2013!

Photos that ROCK! Best of 2013! I am INSANELY lucky that I get to listen to amazing music AND take pictures- 2 of my favorite things. Here are some of my favorite shots from various venues around Boston in 2013. What a year! Tom McBride @ Lizard Lounge, March 2013 Josh Ritter & The Royal […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: Best Songs of 2013


I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2013 back in July (here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this the continuation — the best songs from the second half of the year. Closed Hand, Full of Friends, Foy Vance (from the Glassnote Records release Joy of […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for Fall 2013, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE SEASON The Death of the Self-Preservation Society, by Two Cow Garage Two Cow Garage have a well-earned reputation as road warriors who put on ferocious live performances. Their shows are always intense, sweaty and raucous, the way rock is meant to be enjoyed. What sets these guys apart, however, is the strength […] more »


Scott Law – Black Mountain

Scott Law cover

I don’t really recall when I first heard bluegrass music, but I’m certain it didn’t make much of an impression on me until the first time I saw a live show (John Hartford and The Dillards, for what it’s worth).  At that moment, the speed/death/punk/heavy metal-head in me realized that intensity and unbounded energy in […] more »


The Howlin’ Brothers – The Sun Studio Session


The Howlin’ Brothers are a three piece acoustic band. I hesitate to call them a “String” band, because they don’t fit the stereotype. While they do play traditional music, their version has many facets. Beyond traditional and Bluegrass, they also employee Blues, Country and you may even hear a little Bourbon Street. Their music can […] more »


Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats – On This Very Evening

Jonathan Warren Billy Goats cover

What if Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Brothers wrote music instead of making movies?  I think it would sound like Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats.  There’s a simple story line to the music, yet the cast of characters and quirky delivery make for something unique that keeps your rapt attention.  Their latest album, On […] more »


Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman – We Made It Home

Melody Jacob cover

“Heaven is right here, if you’re doing it right.”  Those words lead the chorus of Black Grace, a song that won Melody Walker the songwriting contest last year at Merlefest.  She and partner Jacob Groopman have just released We Made It Home that includes Black Grace and number of other treasures.  Produced by bluegrass virtuoso […] more »


Song Premiere: “Shady Grove” by Whiskey Shivers

Whiskey Shivers (photo by Cody Hilder)

Are you ready for a holiday weekend? I’m more than ready. And, well, I can’t think of a better way to ease into the home stretch than with some fine new music from Austin’s Whiskey Shivers. The bad-ass bluegrass quintet recently visited San Diego’s Lost Ark Studios to record a track for the Studio’s singles […] more »


David Bromberg – Only Slightly Mad

David Bromberg_

Music enthusiasts at the 2013 Philadelphia Folk Festival got to see some great moments.  They got to see Fairport Convention folker Richard Thompson rock out as if making a statement that he can shred with the most aggressive electric guitar slingers in the land.  They also got to see a young ukelele virtuoso from Hawaii, Jake […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson