Sons Of Fathers – Burning Days

Sons of Fathers cover

My first listen to the latest release from Sons Of Fathers, Burning Days, and I was tempted to just label it sophomore slump and be done with it.  I so liked their first release, though, that I had to go back and listen again and I realized it was my pre-conceived notions at fault and […] more »


Wednesday Morning Video: SXSW 2013 Highlights, Part 3

We wrap up our SXSW 2013 coverage with a final set of videos. This collection features several up-and-comers that we’ll be hearing great things from in the years to come. Dawes performing their brilliant song “When My Time Comes” You Won’t playing a song whose title I don’t know (can someone help me and Shazam […] more »


SXSW 2013: The Sounds, Part 2

The True Believers Austin’s The True Believers were high on, if not at the top of, my list of bands to see at SXSW. Nearly thirty years ago they established a reputation as a powerhouse rock and roll band. Given that I wasn’t attending many rock shows thirty years ago so I was downright giddy […] more »


SXSW 2013: The Sounds, Part 1


Patty Griffin One listen to a Patty Griffin song and you’ll understand why she has developed an almost cultish following. She is, quite simply, an extraordinary songwriter. New West Records, her new record label, arranged a private showcase at a South Austin mansion called the Castle to celebrate her forthcoming release. It was an event […] more »


New American Farmers – Brand New Day

N.A.F. cover

Mars, Arizona.  Wind and sun the primary elements of nature, the tumbleweeds rolling through town, red sand whipped into dust devils with nothing but cactus to impede their motion.  Like so many small towns in America, the burden of providing for its citizens outweighing a rapidly diminishing tax base until there’s no choice but to […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for January 2013

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Battles, by Kingsley Flood Battles is the sound of a band hitting stride. Kingsley Flood have always delivered rock solid songs and performances. Their latest release, however, packages their most potent songwriting to date with some equally powerful arrangements. There’s a real edge to the songs across this release. The title […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: Best Albums of 2012

Most years there is one record that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Things were different this year as three albums vied for the top of my favorites list. I gave up trying to pick one – I’m declaring it a tie. #1 (tie). BRANDI CARLILE, Bear Creek Carlile recorded her latest release in […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for Fall 2012, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Little Victories, by Chris Knight This has been the season for political commentary and focused exploration of the American spirit. Lots of people will attempt to describe it, but few will come as close as Chris Knight. His songs ring out with an unparalleled authenticity, with music as well worn as […] more »


Tift Merritt – Travelling Alone

Tift Merritt has outdone herself. She just released the best CD of her career. I am not kidding. Bramble Rose was her ground breaking first release. Another Country equaled Bramble Rose, but it didn’t best it. With the release of Travelling Alone, she has set a new standard for herself. The album is truly a […] more »


La Resistance – Philosophy

Sometimes gaining momentum is better than a sprint. Greg Summerlin has passionately pursued his craft for years. As a solo artist his songs have been used in numerous TV shows. He has even owned his own record label. His new band, La Resistance, is an ambitious undertaking evocative of bands like Joy Division and Echo […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for August 2012

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Radiant Land, by Leeroy Stagger British Columbia singer-songwriter Stagger is a bit of a dichotomy. One minute he is singing an uplifting ode to love, the next minute a seething indictment of economic injustice. He reminds one of Steve Earle in many ways, possessing a restless fervor channeled through no bullshit […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for July 2012, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Still Wanna Fight by Mic Harrison and the High Score There is something extremely satisfying listening to some straight-forward, guitar-driven rock and roll. The best of it holds no pretense, just an energy that is genuine and invigorating. Mic Harrison and the High Score make that kind of music. The record […] more »


Sara Watkins – Sun Midnight Sun


If Americana music is defined as the mashup of musical styles that took root in various regions of the country, you could make an argument the recent release from Sara Watkins, Sun Midnight Sun, is the poster child for Americana.  With the exception of the opening track, The Foothills, which showcases the Celtic roots of […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for July 2012, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH O’ Be Joyful, by Shovels and Rope We’re gonna call Shovels & Rope the anti-American Idol or whatever other reality singing show you can name. It is hard to imagine music more authentic in feel, from the songwriting down to the performances, than what emanates from this husband and wife duo. […] more »


Please Come to Boston: A Special Boston Music Playlist

FEATURED ALBUM Riverboat, by Tim Gearan Tim Gearan has long been a mainstay on the Boston roots scene, with 2-3 weekly residencies and a tendency to show up to play at any number of other shows in a given week. His primary Friday night residency is a weekly party – there is no other way […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson