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 […]

Trampled By Turtles – Wild Animals

TBT Cover

Perhaps as a side effect of a misspent youth where I had friends who leaned toward torn clothing, homemade piercings, and 5 minute rock songs played in under 2, I’ve always kind of liked really fast bluegrass.  Several years ago I stumbled across Trampled By Turtles, who didn’t just speed up bluegrass songs, they wrote […]

Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2015, So Far (the Songs), Part 2

Everybody Talkin’ ’bout the All American, JD McPherson (from the Rounder Records release Let The Good Times Roll) Let’s just call this the dance hit of the year. One listen and you’ll know what I mean. You Got To Me, James McMurtry (from the Complicated Game Records release Complicated Game) On a given day I’d […]

Leaf Rapids – Lucky Stars

leaf rapids album cover500px

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” William Faulkner was known not just for long sentences, but also his ability to so luridly set […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 3

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH The Firewatcher’s Daughter, by Brandi Carlile For some, the process of getting off the major label merry-go-round can be a traumatic experience that results in musical purgatory. Not for Carlile, who shifted to ATO Records and returns with another stand-out release. Her voice is as radiant as ever, beautifully complimented by […]

MilkDrive – Places You’ve Not Been

MilkDrive cover

“Sophisticated” and “bluegrass”.  Not often you see those two words paired.  On Places You’ve Not Been, the latest album from Austin-based MilkDrive, however, the two adjectives clearly belong together.  The disc certainly holds its own blasting as background rolling down the highway on a sunny California day.  But it really rewards you when you take […]

SXSW 2015 — the Sounds, Part 2

THE STONE FOXES This San Francisco-based rock band added a new drummer since the last time that I saw them. The change enabled original drummer Shannon Koehler to step out as the band’s primary front-man. It’s a role that suits him well as he fired up an afternoon crowd, bounding around the stage and through […]