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 »


The Twangville 2014 Release Preview, Boston Edition

Amy Black This Is Home Cover - High Res

This is shaping up to be a great year of music in Boston. All the albums below will be unleashed to the world in January and February. Here’s hoping the following ten months are just as fruitful. RADIO SWEETHEART by SARAH BORGES If there’s such a thing as a rock star quality then Sarah Borges […] 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 »


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 »


Mayer’s Playlist for Fall 2013, Part 3

ALBUMS OF THE SEASON Stay Reckless, by Austin Lucas Some may disagree with my classification, but this is my kind of country. It starts with Lucas’s voice, which has just the right amount of relaxed drawl. When he sings, “I don’t want to be alone in Memphis, I don’t want to be alone in New […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for Fall 2013, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE SEASON Joy of Nothing, by Foy Vance Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance spent his childhood years traveling the American Midwest and South with his preacher father. He soaked in the rich American musical traditions that he encountered during these travels, which later infused his music upon his return to Ireland. This rich musical […] more »


Scott Law – Black Mountain

Scott Law cover

I don’t really recall when I first heard bluegrass music, but I’m certain it didn’t make much of an impression on me until the first time I saw a live show (John Hartford and The Dillards, for what it’s worth).  At that moment, the speed/death/punk/heavy metal-head in me realized that intensity and unbounded energy in […] more »


Wicked Saints – Don’t Kill the Blackbird

WIcked Saints cover

One of my favorite recent discoveries from the random music that finds it’s way to me is an EP from earlier this year of the Wicked Saints, Don’t Kill the Blackbird.  So I was happy when Paul McCarty, leader and bedrock of the band, sent me a note the full length version was due out […] more »


The Muscle Shoals Music Guide, Part 4

Belle Adaire

Twangville has teamed up with Muscle Shoals musician Jimbo Hart, known to many for his work with Jason Isbell and others, to highlight the many great artists that call Muscle Shoals home. THE FIDDLEWORMS Twangville Says: Just to let the reader know, I have heard about Muscle Shoals all of my life. I was born […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for July and August 2013, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH American Ride, by Willie Nile Willie Nile is on a roll. After playing the major label game twice in his nearly 35-year career, Nile quietly self-released 1999’s outstanding Beautiful Wreck of the World. Since then he has delivered three more compelling albums filled with high energy rock songs and touching ballads. […] more »


Donna the Buffalo – Tonight, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

DtB cover

We’ve all had this experience.  You’re in a park or at a music festival, with song in the air.  You look around and there’s some giant of  a man dancing with a tiny child.  All their cares in the world being twirled away into the sunshine.  You just grin, whether at the silliness of the […] more »


Caitlin Rose- The Stand-In


Writing this review is difficult for me, and not because my feelings about the album are ambiguous. I almost uniformly adore the record. The difficulty arises in attempting to write about the record. Because, despite my adoration of The Stand-In, I can’t really put my finger on the reason why. Every thought comes across as […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2013, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH The Other Life, by Shooter Jennings I’ll admit that I haven’t spent much time with Shooter’s previous releases. No real explanation, his music just never made it into my rotation. My bad. His latest is one of the most refreshing country records that I’ve heard in quite some time. Shooter and […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2013, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH The Beast In Its Tracks, by Josh Ritter It’s easy to be angry after a break-up. You want to grab a bottle of whisky and crank some classic angry Bob Mould songs (Black Sheets of Rain, anyone?). I suppose that Josh Ritter had a few of those moments when his marriage […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson