Zac Harmon – Right Man Right Now

Good music speaks for itself. Long-time session- and side-man Zac Harmon, who produced and wrote music for artists as varied as Black Uhuru and The O’Jays, has made some good music after launching his young solo blues career. Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, Harmon spent a number of years playing with soul-blues artists like Z.Z. Hill and […]

Mea Culpa! A Special Summer Playlist, Part 2

Devil in Me, Anderson East (from the Low Country Sound/Elektra Records release Delilah) There’s something special about that old-school soul sound. It’s all the more impressive when it is created by a young whippersnapper like Anderson East. The Nashville by way of Alabama singer-songwriter serves up an exhilarating debut album that is steeped in Muscle […]

Peace, Love and Twang at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

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The Philadelphia Folk Festival, which has been around for 54 years, isn’t your grandfather’s folk festival. While there is still a smattering of venerable acoustic solo folksingers on its program like Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Cockburn and Tom Paxton, the festival has become a great platform for Americana artists of all flavors as well as for […]

Tweed River Talk – A Few Words with Jesse Dee

Boston’s Jesse Dee will be closing out the Tweed River Music Festival in fine fashion. The seasoned singer-songwriter has wowed crowds across the US and Europe with his high energy soul revue. On My Mind/In My Heart, his 2013 release, was a Twangville favorite, filled with the kind of soul and R&B that recalls the […]

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 […]

Tweed River Talk – A Few Words with Duncan Arsenault of the Curtis Mayflower

New England quintet The Curtis Mayflower are no strangers to the Tweed River Music Festival. They’re regulars, in fact, who never fail to awe the crowd with their intense live performances. If you haven’t heard it, seek out their 2014 full-length debut Everything Beautiful Is Under Attack for a taste of their soulful brand of […]

Victor Wainwright & the WildRoots – Boom Town

Victor Wainwright is relatively new on the national music scene, but his swampy honky tonk piano licks are having an impact in both his solo career and as a member of roots rock, blues and funk “supergroup” Southern Hospitality. Wainwright, who grew up in a musical family in Savannah, Georgia, moved to Daytona Beach, Florida to […]

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, […]

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 […]

Bernard Allison – In The Mix

Bernard Allison has a tough act to follow. The son of legendary bluesman Luther Allison, Bernard Allison has inherited his father’s energy and skill, but he has forged a sound of his own. When I saw the elder Allison perform live in the early 80s, it was like watching pure energy.  Luther Allison’s guitar work was […]