Old Settler’s Music Fest – 2014 Edition


Every spring, a couple of weeks after the madhouse of SXSW, the music festival season kicks off with Old Settler’s Music Festival, about a half hour outside of Austin.  Started as a bluegrass festival, Old Settler’s now embraces a broad spectrum of Americana.  Organizer Jean Spivey has a magic touch for consistently mixing old with […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for Feb/Mar 2014, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTHS English Oceans, by Drive-By Truckers I suppose that this review could be titled “Cooley Steps Out.” The band co-founder, who has historically contributed only a couple of songs per release, is credited with six songs on English Oceans. Ever better, they are some of his strongest songs in years. The opening […] more »


Monday Morning Video: Steve Earle and John Prine cover Townes Van Zandt

Plenty to love here. Steve Earle and John Prine teaming up to cover Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta.” Recorded live at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. more »


Lost & Nameless, Cody Jasper

Empty Spaces, the latest EP from Lost & Nameless opens with a title track that is perhaps best described as an Americana tango.  So right from the get-go you know this is going to be an interesting listen.  The remainder of the record does not disappoint.  Lost & Nameless is an Austin-based group composed of […] more »


Eliza Gilkyson – The Nocturne Diaries

Gilkyson cover

When you question successful artists in almost any field, one of the common themes that emerges is a belief that what you resist the urge to add to a composition is every bit as important, if not more so, as what does end up in the final mix.  Eliza Gilkyson and her son, Cisco Ryder, […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for Feb/Mar 2014, Part 1

I suppose that Lydia Loveless could have gone in two directions after 2011’s outstanding Indestructible Machine... more »


Steve Dawson – Rattlesnake Cage


Canadian roots music master Steve Dawson’s Rattlesnake Cage showcases Dawson’s astonishing guitar skills as they should be – intimate and acoustic.  Dawson, whose passion for roots music prompted him to found the Black Hen Music label in 1995, has been a force in the Canadian music scene and now, having relocated to Nashville, his star […] more »


Pete Seeger, 1919 – 2014

We lost a legend yesterday, a man who changed the world with both his spirit and his song. Here are two videos to celebrate Pete Seeger’s legacy. First, Seeger leads Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and the entire audience in a version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” at the […] more »


Chase Gassaway – Certain Circles

Gassaway Cover

Certain Circles, the latest release from Austin musician Chase Gassaway, should be listed as a treatment for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Although he writes about typical songwriter topics like love and angst, he manages to put an optimistic sound to them.  And then add to that a few of his songs are just unabashedly happy […] more »


Monday Morning Video: A Tribute to Brown Bird

Brown Bird

While on tour last spring, Dave Lamb of Providence, RI-based duo Brown Bird fell ill and was ultimately diagnosed with leukemia. Although he lacked insurance at the time, he was able to get treatment and is on the path to recovery. Of course, the mounting health costs combined with the lack of income — Brown […] more »


The Twangville 2014 Release Preview

If the releases below are any indication, 2014 is shaping up to be a musical embarrassment of riches. What releases, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? HARD WORKING AMERICANS by HARD WORKING AMERICANS(21 January on Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers Records) What happens when a group of musicians — Todd Snider, […] more »


Honeylark – Heavy


This time of year the shadows stretch long across the frozen landscape, adding a lightly brushed undercurrent of foreboding to everything.  It’s always there, lurking, feeding the darker human emotions, even when the event of the moment is a totally enjoyable holiday celebration.  When you put that feeling to music, you get what Honeylark calls […] more »


Monday Morning Video: a Double Dose of Robbie Fulks

Here’s the affable Robbie Fulks performing a longtime favorite, the title track from his 1998 release Let’s Kill Saturday Night. I’m not sure why the video title reads “Sometimes the Grass Is Really Greener,” a track from last year’s Gone Away Backward. In honor of the mistake, however, here is Fulks performing that song in […] more »


Photos that ROCK! Best of 2013!

Photos that ROCK! Best of 2013! I am INSANELY lucky that I get to listen to amazing music AND take pictures- 2 of my favorite things. Here are some of my favorite shots from various venues around Boston in 2013. What a year! Tom McBride @ Lizard Lounge, March 2013 Josh Ritter & The Royal […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: Best Songs of 2013


I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2013 back in July (here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this the continuation — the best songs from the second half of the year. Closed Hand, Full of Friends, Foy Vance (from the Glassnote Records release Joy of […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson