The Twangville 2015 Release Preview, Boston Edition

I expect that these releases are just the beginning of another great year of Boston music. MAKE TIME by THE SUITCASE JUNKET(6 January) Singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz knows how to make one heck of a racket. His one-man band sound leans heavy on fuzzy guitar and ragged percussion, augmented by occasional throat-singing that gives the songs […]

The Twangville 2015 Release Preview

There is already an impressive collection of releases on the docket for 2015, with plenty more sure to follow. Here are a handful that the Twangville crew are eagerly anticipating. What albums, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? ABSENT FATHERS by JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE(13 January on Vagrant Records) Earle […]

Chip’s Best of 2014

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As usual it was a tough year to pick the top albums. This year was particularly tough; in that there were a number of top notch releases, but no clear standouts. Thus the conundrum, how to separate albums that are all deserving and uniquely their own. Here is an attempt to rank my top ten. […]

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 […]

Billy Strings & Don Julin – Fiddle Tune X

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Fiddle Tune X is for bluegrass fans with attention deficit problems.  The new album from Billy Strings and Don Julin nearly captures an entire bluegrass festival in 59 minutes.  The Michigan based duo, with just a guitar, a mandolin, and their vocals, cover ground from speed-picking, self-written tunes all the way to slow gospel harmonies. […]

Americana 2014, The Sounds, Part 3

Every fall, The Americana Music Association gathers members, artists and music fans together in Nashville for its annual conference. Starting with the annual Americana Music Awards and continuing through four days of showcases and panel discussions, it is a tremendous celebration of Americana music. Here are my highlights among the many live performances I saw […]

Front Country – Sake Of the Sound

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Six one, half dozen another.  That old saying is supposed to be all about things being the same, but I think there’s a perspective difference that gets lost.  As an example, many bands have a wide range of genres on an album in part because they’re still looking to find their sound.  A few, relatively […]

Lost & Nameless and Other EP Gems

Several good EP’s have crossed my listening desk over the summer, and while individually there wasn’t quite enough material in each of them for a full review, they’re all worth a listen. First up is the latest from Lost & Nameless, When You Walked Into the Room.  I first ran across this group early in […]