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 […]

SXSW 2015 — The Sounds, Part 1

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TRAPPER SCHOEPP The Milwaukee-based rocker used a raucous early afternoon set to preview songs from a forthcoming album. With Hold Steady guitarist Steve Selvidge in tow, Schoepp and his band the Shades provided an electric jolt to all those in attendance. Count me among those eagerly awaiting Schoepp’s new release — it’s gonna be a […]

SXSW 2015 — The Scene

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For me, the true harbinger of spring is the arrival of the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. Or rather, spring begins for me when I arrive in Austin for SXSW. With upwards of 2,200 bands and more than 20,000 attendees from around the world, SXSW is the world’s premiere music conference. Even […]

Kiss Off — A Special Twangville Playlist, Part 6

A few years back I put together a series of special playlists featuring my favorite kiss off songs. Despite what some may think, I’m really not that cynical. Rather, I just appreciate how some songwriters can tackle the topic with humor and bite. It’s kind of like a genre unto itself. Over the past year […]

Mayer’s Playlist for February 2015

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH Complicated Game, by James McMurtry Six years. That’s how long it has been since we last heard new music from McMurtry. While he hasn’t been missing during this time – he could always be found on the touring circuit – many of us were anxiously awaiting some new music. Well, that […]

Hazy Shade of Winter — A Special Boston Playlist

Here is the latest installment in our periodic series highlighting Boston and New England artists. (View the complete series here.) FEATURED ALBUMS Barnstar! (from the Signature Sounds Records release Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!) I don’t think that it is possible to listen to Barnstar and not crack a smile. Every performance, even the […]

The Twangville 2015 Release Preview, Boston Edition

I expect that these releases are just the beginning of another great year of Boston music. MAKE TIME by THE SUITCASE JUNKET(6 January) Singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz knows how to make one heck of a racket. His one-man band sound leans heavy on fuzzy guitar and ragged percussion, augmented by occasional throat-singing that gives the songs […]

The Twangville 2015 Release Preview

There is already an impressive collection of releases on the docket for 2015, with plenty more sure to follow. Here are a handful that the Twangville crew are eagerly anticipating. What albums, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? ABSENT FATHERS by JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE(13 January on Vagrant Records) Earle […]

Mayer’s Playlist for December 2014

THE PLAYLIST I Can’t Do Crazy (Anymore), Willie Nile (from the River House Records release If I Was a River) Nile has been letting his guitar do the talking for the past several years, throwing down rock records that should be the envy of musicians a fraction of his age. This one is a little […]