Otis Taylor – Hey Joe Opus … Red Meat

Otis Taylor likes to experiment. As architect of a mesmerizing style of blues music christened “trance blues,” Taylor’s albums tend to have an atmospheric, dream-like quality. Taylor’s style might sometimes be described as Muddy Waters meets Shawn Phillips or Pink Floyd. Taylor’s career, like his musical style, has been unconventional. He was active in the […]

Monday Morning Video — Shakey Graves Sings About “The Perfect Parts”

One thing was immediately clear when Austin’s Shakey Graves passed through Boston a few weeks ago — he’s come a long way from his one-man band roots. Sure, he did a couple of songs solo but he quickly invited his two bandmates to the stage (drummer and guitarist/bassist). The three proceeded to whip the crowd […]

Leo “Bud” Welch – I Don’t Prefer No Blues

It’s hard to explain just what makes Leo “Bud” Welch so special. Yes, there is the fact that the 83-year-old made his recording debut in 2013. There is also the pure, rugged honesty of his delivery and the fact that, unlike some other country blues musicians who got discovered in their later years, Welch is […]

Bernard Allison – In The Mix

Bernard Allison has a tough act to follow. The son of legendary bluesman Luther Allison, Bernard Allison has inherited his father’s energy and skill, but he has forged a sound of his own. When I saw the elder Allison perform live in the early 80s, it was like watching pure energy.  Luther Allison’s guitar work was […]

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 […]

JJ Grey & Mofro – Ol’ Glory

Southern swamp funk-blues band JJ Grey & Mofro have a unique sound forged in the backwaters of Florida.  Grey, the band’s leader, is well established as a songwriter, and the band’s recordings and live performances are among the most dependably enjoyable in the business. Grey & Mofro’s reputation grew steadily since the band recorded its first […]

Tinsley Ellis – Tough Love

Tinsley Ellis came up as a hard-rocking guitar slinger in the mold of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He was always known as a great axe-man, but as the decades passed and his art matured, he also became an accomplished songwriter and interpreter of the many shades of blues.  Kanye West might even be a little impressed with […]

Screen Door Porch – Modern Settler

ModernSettler_Cover

When I first listened to Modern Settler, the latest release from Wyoming band Screen Door Porch, I assumed the band’s core duo of Seader Rose and Aaron Davis had gotten some wanderlust and spent time traveling through the rural South.  Turns out the inspiration was closer to home, and came from a cassette Davis discovered […]