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 »


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 »


Monday Morning Video: Billy Joe Shaver

Here’s Billy Joe Shaver’s classic “Live Forever” to kick of your week. And, as a special bonus, below is Joe Ely’s take on this beautiful song. more »


Americana 2013, the Sounds, Part 2

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. LUCINDA WILLIAMS The Americana Conference instituted a new tradition this year: […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Amy Black and Ward Hayden

If one considers this video alongside this video that I posted a few weeks back, one might get the impression that Amy Black and Ward Hayden (of Girls Guns and Glory) like to sit around their houses playing songs.  Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound so bad. Well, apparently they don’t just sit […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for July and August 2013, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Close to the Floor, by Patrick Sweany They say that great art is often the result of pain and adversity. It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing that we get to share in the work that results, a curse that the artist’s suffering lies at the root of the […] more »


Isbell, Shires & Fletcher at the Sinclair


Even after leaving the Drive-by Truckers, Jason Isbell has continued to wow and amaze.  His literary songs and rockin’ guitar licks accentuate catchy and heartbreaking melodies. I saw Isbell and Shires a year ago in Hartford in an acoustic setting. It fit so perfectly in the at the Wadsworth Atheneum Art Gallery that I wasn’t […] more »


I See Hawks In L.A. – Mystery Drug


The bright orange celestial flame that starts out in Santa Monica, so clear and defining of Southern California, becomes a dull rust, glaring off the mix of smog and sooty bumpers by the time you get to San Bernardino.  While the lucky few stroll with the kids and dog through the manicured streets of Pali, […] more »


Ghosts Along the Brazos – When It Rains It Pours

Ghosts-Brazos cover

Some songs, and albums, take you to a particular time in your life, junior year in high school maybe, or the first summer of backyard barbecues in your first home.  Others take you to an era, the 30′s of NY with early Duke Ellington, or Bakersfield in the early 60′s with Buck Owens.  And some […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2013, So Far (the Songs)

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

Elephant and Super 8, Jason Isbell (from the Southeastern Records release Southeastern) This list wouldn’t ordinarily include two tracks from the same artist but I’m gonna make an exception. These two tracks exemplify the range of Isbell’s songwriting talent, from the somber beauty of “Elephant” to the boisterous rock of “Super 8.” Alphabet City, Todd […] more »


Bakersfield – Review & Giveaway


Although we tend to think of the rebellion against the slick production values that Nashville country music is perhaps best known for as a fairly recent phenomena, it dates back over 50 years to a group of artists, and a Capitol Records producer, that called Bakersfield, California, home.  The Bakersfield Sound eschewed the strings and […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2013, So Far (the Albums)

This has been a great musical year and we’ve still got several months — and some highly anticipated releases — to go before it ends. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2013. You’ll see that I’ve listed my favorite Boston releases as a group. Each […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Sittin’ Around the Kitchen Singin’ George Jones

There’s a cool house concert series in Boston called the Kitchen Sessions. Well, Ward Hayden of Girls Guns & Glory, Amy Black and Sarah Borges stake their claim on that particular room with this killer cover of George Jones’ “Why Baby Why.” The trio, rehearsing for an upcoming set of shows that they are doing […] more »


Phoebe Hunt – Live at the Cactus Cafe


I’m pretty sure Phoebe Hunt could sing a used car commercial and make it mesmerizing.  The former lead singer and fiddle player for the Belleville Outfit just released her first full length solo collection, Live at the Cactus Cafe, and it does a great job showing off her musical and vocal range. Several of the […] more »


Shooter Jennings on the Fourth of July

Shooter Jennings passed through Boston last night and played one heck of a show. Pretty cool to usher in the Independence Day holiday with this one… more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson