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 […]

Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2015, So Far (the Songs), Part 1

For me, at least, this year has been more about songs than albums. Here are just a few of my favorites from the first half of 2015. If Still It Can’t Be Found, Joe Pug (from the Lightning Rod Records release Windfall) A melancholy ode to perseverance and pursuing one’s dreams. Simply magical. Don’t Let […]

Mayer’s Picks – the Best of 2015 (So Far), the Albums

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2015. COMPLICATED GAME by JAMES MCMURTRY As he celebrates the release of his first album in six years, there’s a part of me that wishes that McMurtry was more prolific. Then I remember that it takes time to craft […]

Twangville’s Shaky Knees 2015 Recap

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A new location brought a special surprise – no rain. Rain, often torrential, is a Shaky Knees tradition. From year one’s mudfest to last year’s lightning storm, the weather has never been kind to Shaky Knees. Until this year, that is. The sun shone bright (perhaps too much at times, but I’m not complaining), making […]

Monday Morning Video – Vintage Los Lobos

Let’s kick it old school this week with a classic from one of rock music’s true legends. These guys can do it all, from the Mexican music of their heritage to blues to rock and everything in-between. Here’s a full concert from 1989 that proves the point. Over the course of an hour-long show they […]

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 […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 2

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Down To Believing, by Allison Moorer Real life is often the best inspiration for art, notably when it is created in response to heartache and sorrow. Such is the case for Allison Moorer, who channels her emotions into a collection of songs that is by turns sad, angry, regretful and defiant. […]

Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 1

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Windfall, by Joe Pug It has been three years since Joe Pug’s last release, a time that found the singer-songwriter coping with the burn-out that comes from years of continuous touring. Sharing one’s music with audiences around the world may be joyous, but the life can be arduous. In that context, […]

Monday Morning Video – Couch By Couchwest 2015

Coinciding with SXSW is the annual Couch By Couchwest Festival. What’s not to like about a festival with the tagline “where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.”? (Far be it for me to quible, but some of the beer at SXSW is free. Just sayin’.) Here’s how it works. Artists — […]