Eastbound Jesus – Northern Rock

EBJ cover

Click, whirrr.  Click, whirrr.  Like some aural Polaroid the recently released third album from upstate New York band Eastbound Jesus spits out snapshots of life in northern rural America that quickly take on the patina of nostalgia even when they’re new.  Northern Rock is as much about stories set to music as it is songwriting. […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Barnstar! Takes on “Handle With Care”

This week’s video finds Twangville faves Barnstar! in the studio recording their bluegrass cover of the Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle With Care.” The song appeared on their spirited 2011 release C’mon!. As a special bonus, here’s Barnstar! taking on the Dawes gem “When My Time Comes.” An enchanting performance of a magical song. more »


Old Settler’s Music Festival 2013


In the middle of April, a few weeks after the madness of SXSW, one of the more under appreciated events on the Austin music scene happens about 30 miles southwest of town; The Old Settler’s Music Festival.  Here are some of the highlights from this year’s festivities. Who Was That Band? Festivals like this always […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Live from the Living Room

New York City’s The Living Room has long been recognized as a music lover’s paradise. The venue has been a musical home to artists like Norah Jones and a place where artists like the Punch Brothers can comfortably explore new material. As recently as a few weeks ago, the Lumineers talked in the New York […] more »


Wood & Wire – Wood & Wire

Wood & Wire CD Cover

Here it is Friday afternoon before a long weekend for most, and spring break for many (or Ski Week, as it’s called here on the left coast).  For lots of people that means a road trip of some kind, and I can’t think of anything better for a long drive than some bluegrass.  Fortunately the […] more »


John Hartford – Aereo Pain/Morning Bugle


Normally a reissue of an old record isn’t such a big deal, but the December 2012 reissue of John Hartford’s Aereo Plain/Morning Bugle CD was a big deal for bluegrass fans because Aereo Plain, one of the most important records of the bluegrass – or “New Grass” – revival in the 1970s, had been almost impossible […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Punch Brothers

Twangville was in the house when the Punch Brothers played a short set at CMT Studios during the Americana Music Conference this past September. A pretty darned impressive performance. more »


Bill Evans – In Good Company


Sometimes a record has such a clear vision and superior execution that a review just writes itself. That’s pretty much the case with Bill Evans newest project, In Good Company.  Long before he, literally, wrote the book on how to play the banjo, Evans was studying with the likes of J.D. Crowe and teaching music […] more »


Kathryn Caine – When I Was His Wife

when i was his wife cover

Decades ago, as part of my misspent youth, I listened to a band called the Good Rats.  The closest thing they had to a hit was called Tasty, about a guitar player that could play fast, but he couldn’t play “tasty”.  Let me just say that any of the musicians on Kathryn Caine’s latest release, […] more »


Jerry Douglas – Traveler

Jerry Douglas cover

Some albums infect you slowly, like some kind of happy virus, where you finally just wake up one morning and realize you got the fever.  Others, like the latest release from Jerry Douglas, Traveler, are more like your kid brother hitting you up side the head with a baseball bat and then standing over you […] more »


MilkDrive – Waves

MilkDrive Waves CD Cover

Daydreaming.  I had trouble getting this review of the latest release from MilkDrive, Waves, together because every time I would start writing I put the album on to play and next thing I knew I was staring out the window, mind completely lost in other thoughts.  They paint such immersive pictures it’s as if you’re […] more »


Old Settlers Music Festival 2012

Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets

I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended quite a number of multi-day music festivals over the years, from the Veiled Prophet Fair to the Monterey Jazz Festival and Telluride to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.  For my money, though, it’s really hard to beat the Old Settler’s Music Festival.  Held 20 miles or so outside of Austin […] more »


The Acoustic Burgoo – Word.

The Acoustic Burgoo - Word. - cover

If the saying “variety is the spice of life” is true, The Acoustic Burgoo is the equivalent of my grandmother’s cooking drawer.  There was a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and other baking flavors for a comforting dish.  There were plenty of herbs for savory dishes, and some pepper for bite.  And a couple of […] more »


Earl Scruggs, 1924-2012

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Melody Walker – Gold Rush Goddess

Melody Walker cover

Kris Kristofferson famously wrote “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.  Although it became an anthem for a certain lifestyle back in the 70′s, Kristofferson himself would probably admit life’s a little more nuanced than that.  Whether consciously or not, Melody Walker seems to be exploring a lot of those shades of gray […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson