MilkDrive – Waves

MilkDrive Waves CD Cover

Daydreaming.  I had trouble getting this review of the latest release from MilkDrive, Waves, together because every time I would start writing I put the album on to play and next thing I knew I was staring out the window, mind completely lost in other thoughts.  They paint such immersive pictures it’s as if you’re […] more »


Katie Glassman – Snapshot


Chocolate covered bacon.  Spam sushi.  Over easy eggs on pizza.  I’m a fan of things that, at first, don’t seem to go well together, and yet when you actually try it’s pretty darn good.  That’s the kind of surprise I got when listening to Katie Glassman’s latest release, Snapshot.  It’s bluegrass and vintage jazz.  A […] more »


Shawn’s Best of 2011

Gillian cover

 1) R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now: OK, I’m willing to admit maybe this was a little bit of a sentimental choice for me since it may be their last album.  But darn it, I still think this is their best effort since the 80′s and 91′s Out Of Time.  The jangly guitars, the inexplicable Stipe […] more »


Suzanna Choffel – Steady Eye Shaky Bow

Choffel Cover

As the old Monty Python line goes, “and now for something completely different.”  A few weeks ago I happened to catch Suzanna Choffel at Old Settlers Music Festival.  She was playing to an Austin crowd that knew her and my notes say something to the effect of “country meets jazz”.  Fast forward to last week […] more »


MilkDrive – Road From Home

MilkDrive cover

Being able to pigeonhole a band’s sound is useful to a music reviewer.  It lets you describe them quickly before a blog reader clic….  But for those of you still with me, MilkDrive, and their latest album, Road From Home, spans not just 3-4 genres of music, but 3-4 eras of music. The first cut, […] more »


Turnpike Troubadours – Diamonds & Gasoline


Busting out of Oklahoma, The Turnpike Troubadours are here to breathe new life into what is too often a stale environment in the world of Red Dirt music. Sure, this quintet does their fair share of rocking out, why wouldn’t they? It’s the added country (shocking!) dimensions of their tunes that lend the album, and […] more »


Terri Hendrix – Cry Till You Laugh

Hendrix CD

Running on all cylinders. In the groove. Hitting the sweet spot. All are descriptors about when everything comes together and suddenly the sum is greater than the parts. They’re also good descriptions of the latest album from the queen of San Marcos, Texas, Terri Hendrix. Her latest release, Cry Till You Laugh, with long-time collaborator […] more »


Alex Hargreaves – Prelude

Hargreaves cover

I found myself a little torn about whether to post a review of the new Alex Hargreaves album, Prelude, to Twangville.  It does have fiddle and banjo and mandolin, but rarely does it even come close to twangy.  It’s much more a jazz album.  But this is a path that’s been blazed already by Bela […] more »


Win Big: Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Friends

Last week we profiled the recent tribute to New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. Recorded over the past year in New Orleans historic landmark, the album features the legendary jazz band performing with artists ranging from Tom Waits to Jason Isbell to Brandi Carlile. Did I say win big? I meant really big. Thanks to our friends […] more »


Ain’t Nobody Better Than The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Few cities have as rich a musical heritage as New Orleans, Louisiana. Even fewer have a modest building the mere mention of which conjures up vivid images, both visual and aural. Such is the legacy of Preservation Hall. The building itself is strikingly humble. No running water. No air conditioning. Six spare benches and a […] more »


The Belleville Outfit – Live at Yoshi’s

The Belleville Outfit play at Waterloo Records

One of the signs I look for in really good musicians is their ability to play to the audience, both the crowd that particular night as well as the nuances of a venue.  The Belleville Outfit played Yoshi’s jazz club in San Francisco Monday night and became my poster child for just how to execute […] more »


The Dirty Dozen Is What’s Going On

Take a tuba, a fat drum beat, add a scorching guitar and you’ve got the foundation of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as seen in Amsterdam last Thursday. Flesh it all out with a raving horn section and you’ve got a combination that is guaranteed to make you sweat. The Dirty Dozen are one of […] more »


Mayer’s Playlist for February 2008

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH: Another Country, by Tift Merritt After 2004’s classic Tamborine, Tift Merritt escaped more than her record contract — she fled the country. Relocating temporarily to Paris, she found an apartment with a piano. The record that emerged is a travelogue of a different kind, a search for identity and assuredness. Merritt […] more »


Widespread Panic + More, Releases 2/12/08

WIDESPREAD PANIC, Free Somehow Official Site | MySpace | Stream | MP3* | MP3** It seems like Athens-based Widespread Panic has been playing music forever (if you consider 20 years as being close to ‘forever’). Averaging a new record every two years, 2008 brings us their tenth studio album titled ‘Free Somehow’. This is another […] more »


Last Train Home’s “Last Good Kiss”, Reviewed

The planets have aligned for Last Train Home. Bolstered by the additions of Steve Wedemeyer and Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks, Dag, Caitlin Cary) and a recent move to Nashville, Last Train Home entered 2007 with the world as their oyster. Marking a decade of making music this year, the band celebrated with a February release […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson