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 […]

Monday Morning Video – The 1967 Stax Volt Soul Revue!

Need a powerful pick-me-up for a Monday morning? It won’t get much better than this classic set of performances from 1967. Booker T. & the MGs, Sam and Dave and a host of stars from the legendary Stax label. And did I mention Otis Redding? It doesn’t get much better than this. Performances include: Booker […]

JJ Grey & Mofro – Ol’ Glory

Southern swamp funk-blues band JJ Grey & Mofro have a unique sound forged in the backwaters of Florida.  Grey, the band’s leader, is well established as a songwriter, and the band’s recordings and live performances are among the most dependably enjoyable in the business. Grey & Mofro’s reputation grew steadily since the band recorded its first […]

Monday Morning Video – Mike Farris

A week ago Sunday Mike Farris was walking on stage in sunny Los Angeles to accept a Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album. Three days later he braved the cold and snow to play a small club in Boston. To say that he wowed the crowd would be an understatement. For more than two hours […]

Tinsley Ellis – Tough Love

Tinsley Ellis came up as a hard-rocking guitar slinger in the mold of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He was always known as a great axe-man, but as the decades passed and his art matured, he also became an accomplished songwriter and interpreter of the many shades of blues.  Kanye West might even be a little impressed with […]

Mayer’s Playlist for January 2015

ALBUM OF THE MONTH Fear and Saturday Night, by Ryan Bingham Bingham sets the tone for his latest album right out of the gate. “I’ve been carrying my troubles in this pack strapped to my shoulder,” he confesses in the opening “Nobody Knows My Trouble.” What follows are twelve songs that are filled with life […]

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 […]

Chip’s Best of 2014

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As usual it was a tough year to pick the top albums. This year was particularly tough; in that there were a number of top notch releases, but no clear standouts. Thus the conundrum, how to separate albums that are all deserving and uniquely their own. Here is an attempt to rank my top ten. […]