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 […]

Mayer’s Picks – Best Albums of 2014

This has been a great year in music, a feast for the ears but a challenge when it comes to picking my favorite albums for the year. A good problem to have, I suppose. Without further ado…. #1. MATTHEW RYAN, Boxers Ryan has never been one to pull his punches so why should we expect […]

Sturgill Simpson/Metamodern Sounds in Country Music; Todd Begins Looking Back on His “Best of 2014”

I had not heard of Sturgill Simpson until attending a Gamecock baseball game this past April. It was a cold day (luckily we had box seats) and I was talking with my friend Ryan, who I had invited along. Ryan and I don’t see each other often, but we’re always emailing and exchanging CDs and […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Oct 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Boxers, by Matthew Ryan Boxers is an album of discontent. Life, love, work — you name it — the characters that inhabit this collection of songs are dissatisfied. There is rage, resentment and restlessness. Through it all, however, Ryan manages to find a glimmer of hope — sometimes it’s a lyrical […]

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 […]

2014 Americana Music Awards

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music)

On September 17th, the glitterati of the Americana Music Scene gathered at the historic Ryman Theater for their annual Awards show and presentation.  Mayer and I were lucky enough to procure a seat to the festivities.  You can get a full list of the award nominees and winners here, but these are the highlights from our […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Sept 2014, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH You’ve Got the Wrong Man, by Joe Fletcher Singer-songwriter Joe Fletcher drew inspiration for You’ve Got the Wrong Man from the field recordings of the early 20th century. The process, most notably used by John Lomax during his musical exploration of the Southern US, places particular emphasis on the raw emotion […]

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 […]