Peace, Love and Twang at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

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The Philadelphia Folk Festival, which has been around for 54 years, isn’t your grandfather’s folk festival. While there is still a smattering of venerable acoustic solo folksingers on its program like Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Cockburn and Tom Paxton, the festival has become a great platform for Americana artists of all flavors as well as for […]

Mea Culpa! A Special Summer Playlist, Part 1

Mea culpa! So last year I made a commitment to myself to write a monthly playlist and publish it within the month for which it was named. I gave myself a hearty pat on the back when I met that goal. Thankfully, I didn’t set the same goal this year as I would have failed […]

Ana Egge – Bright Shadow

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In New York, Chicago, San Francisco, you can still find dimly lit, low-ceiling basement clubs, surprisingly full even on a weeknight, where you can get a stiff drink and a soberingly good jazz band.  You can’t smoke in them anymore, but that smoky sound still comes from a singer whose voice seems earned from whisky and cigarettes […]

Mayer’s Picks – the Best of 2015 (So Far), the Albums

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2015. COMPLICATED GAME by JAMES MCMURTRY As he celebrates the release of his first album in six years, there’s a part of me that wishes that McMurtry was more prolific. Then I remember that it takes time to craft […]

Tweed River Talk – A Few Words with Dan Blakeslee

Our latest interview is with Somerville, MA-based folk troubadour Dan Blakeslee. Blakeslee has released numerous albums, the most recent of which is 2014’s Owed to the Tangled Wind. The album was recorded at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI by Ben Knox Miller and Jeffrey Prystowsky (The Low Anthem) and earned Blakeslee recognition as the […]

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

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Although Larry Campbell has released a number of his own recordings, he is known more for his associations than solo work. He is such a versatile musician it would almost be easier to list instruments he does not play. Most recently he garnered acclaim as a producer for Levon Helm’s final albums. Both albums, “Dirt […]

Short Takes – Three Gems For Summer

There has been a lot of good music cross my desk in the last couple of months, and I’ve finally internalized I’m not going to get to all of it.  Summer’s here, though, and it’s important to have some new music in your player.  So here are some short takes on albums I’m really enjoying, but […]