Mayer’s Picks – Best Albums of 2014, Boston Edition

This has been a great year for music in and around Boston. I hesitate to break these out into a separate regional list as they would all feature prominently on my overall Best of 2014. That said, taken together they make a great statement on the vibrancy of the Boston music scene. GIRLS GUNS AND […]

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 […]

Mayer’s Playlist for November 2014, Part 2

Tennessee Mud, Trigger Hippy (from the Rounder Records release Trigger Hippy) There seem to be a rash of Americana “super groups” making headlines these days. Lest anyone think that Trigger Hippy is jumping on the bandwagon, consider that they’ve been around since 2009. Singers Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene, along with Black Crowes drummer Steve […]

Dream On — a Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) 1-2-3, Amy Fairchild (from the self-released Amy Fairchild) There’s something to be said for only speaking when you have something to say. Just ask Amy Fairchild who has just released her first album since 2002. […]

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 […]

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, […]