Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 1

ALBUM OF THE MONTH Chasing Beauty, by Ellis Paul Ellis Paul long ago established his credentials as a folk musician. He is an astute observer of the world around him who excels at transforming stories into song. In recent years he has shifted a bit from his folk roots, flexing more of his acoustic pop […]

Lac La Belle – A Friend Too Long

As I sit here starting to write this review, I  realize it’s somewhat appropriate that tonight is Halloween, when costumed children pretend to be someone they wish they could be and costumed adults pretend to be someone (or something) they don’t want to be.  The latest record from Detroit-based Lac La Belle, A Friend Too […]

Mayer’s Playlist for October 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH And the War Came, by Shakey Graves Austin-based Alejandro Rose-Garcia — Shakey Graves — makes a mighty fine racket. His live performances, generally just him on the stage playing guitar and percussion, are captivating. And the War Came is the rare studio album that captures this energy while simultaneously showcasing the […]

Americana 2014: 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. MATTHEW RYAN This was, hands-down, the highlight of the week for […]

2014 Americana Music Awards

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 […]

Monday Morning Video: A Premiere from Dom Flemons

There has been some debate recently about what is and what isn’t Americana. Whether you lean towards a broad definition or one that is tightly constrained, I think we can all agree that folks like Dom Flemons are the real deal. The Carolina Chocolate Drops co-founder, now performing as a solo artist, comes across as […]

Mayer’s Playlist for Sept 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Swimmin’ Time, by Shovels and Rope Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent — aka Shovels and Rope — just keep getting better and better. Swimmin’ Time takes their customary percussive guitar and drums and expands their musical palette with piano, horns and a host of other instruments. The result is something […]

Front Country – Sake Of the Sound

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 […]

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 […]

Just Another Band Out of Boston: A Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) Mark Erelli (from the Hillbilly Pilgrim Records release Milltowns) Erelli pays loving tribute to his hero and mentor, the late folk musician Bill Morrissey. With the help of some talented friends — including Peter Mulvey, […]