The Holmes Brothers – Brotherhood

Holmes Brothers

The Holmes Brothers have spread their special brand of joy for years. Brothers Sherman and Wendell, along with drummer Popsy Dixon, have established a special kind of soul-blues that is part gospel, part soul. Although the Holmes Brothers had performed together throughout the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that they started getting widespread recognition […] more »


Old Settler’s Music Fest – 2014 Edition


Every spring, a couple of weeks after the madhouse of SXSW, the music festival season kicks off with Old Settler’s Music Festival, about a half hour outside of Austin.  Started as a bluegrass festival, Old Settler’s now embraces a broad spectrum of Americana.  Organizer Jean Spivey has a magic touch for consistently mixing old with […] more »


Southern Soul Assembly at the Saenger Theatre, Mobile, Alabama

Southern Soul Assembly

So I’m in Mobile, AL this week for my day job.  As I’m eating lunch Tuesday I look up and see a poster for the Southern Soul Assembly, featuring JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, Anders Osborne and Marc Broussard.  And it’s that night at the Saenger Theatre about a block from my hotel. I rush out […] more »


Nick Moss Band – Time Ain’t Free


Nick Moss paid his dues, working as a side man for veteran Chicago bluesmen, including Buddy Scott, Jimmy Dawkins, Jimmy Rogers and former Muddy Waters drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Those blues chops, hard earned, provided the backbone for Moss to lead his own formidable blues outfit for more than a decade. A student of […] more »


Mass Ave – A Special Boston Playlist

FEATURED ALBUMS Good Luck, by Girls Guns and Glory Girls Guns and Glory have always been a fun live band, mixing up originals with choice covers ranging from Elvis Presley to Hank Williams. They’ve captured that energy – and then some – on their latest release. The Boston quartet traveled to Brooklyn to record the […] more »


The Twangville 2014 Release Preview, Boston Edition

Amy Black This Is Home Cover - High Res

This is shaping up to be a great year of music in Boston. All the albums below will be unleashed to the world in January and February. Here’s hoping the following ten months are just as fruitful. RADIO SWEETHEART by SARAH BORGES If there’s such a thing as a rock star quality then Sarah Borges […] more »


The Twangville 2014 Release Preview

If the releases below are any indication, 2014 is shaping up to be a musical embarrassment of riches. What releases, whether on this list or not, are you most excited to hear? HARD WORKING AMERICANS by HARD WORKING AMERICANS(21 January on Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers Records) What happens when a group of musicians — Todd Snider, […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: More Favorites from 2013

I had a tough time narrowing down my list of favorite albums to just ten. So here, in no particular order, are a few more favorites from 2013. Blunderstone RookeryStephen Kellogg Close to the FloorPatrick Sweany Stay RecklessAustin Lucas StudebakerMando Saenz The MooringsAndrew Duhon Truth Be SoldLeeroy Stagger ElectricRichard Thompson American RideWillie Nile Small Town […] more »


Mayer’s Picks: Best Albums of 2013, Boston Edition

This has been a great year for music in and around Boston. I hesitate to break these out into a separate regional list as they would all feature prominently on my overall Best of 2013. That said, taken together they make a great statement on the vibrancy of the Boston music scene. KINGSLEY FLOOD, Battles […] more »


Photos that ROCK! Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds The Sinclair, Cambridge MA: December 2013 My friend Josh Myers started playing bass in a band that I had recently started hearing buzz about and he informed me that they were playing near by. I showed up at The Sinclair in Cambridge on a Friday night not knowing what […] more »


Macy Blackman & The Mighty Fines – I Didn’t Want To Do It

Macy Blackman

Macy Blackman’s piano playing is a treat for those who enjoy swampy, down home boogie-woogie. His new album, I Didn’t Want To Do It, takes a page from Dr. John’s playbook, featuring spirited New Orleans style boogie-woogie piano – but without the trippier side of the Dr. John experience. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Blackman did […] more »


Eric Bibb – Jericho Road


Eric Bibb is one of the elite handful of African-American blues musicians who have built on the legacy of the great post-World War II generation of bluesmen who brought the music form from the back woods of the Mississippi Delta to the streets of Chicago and beyond. About a decade younger than Taj Mahal, who […] more »


Johnny Rawls – Remembering O.V.

Johnny Rawls_

Soul blues is a form of blues that, as its name implies, fuses soul music with traditional blues music.  It is a form of blues that was pioneered by African-American musicians in the South.  Among the music form’s early champions were the late Bobby “Blue” Bland and Z.Z. HIll.  Although a number of prominent blues musicians, such […] more »


Americana 2013: The Sounds, Part 1


Every fall, The Americana Music Association gathers members, artists and music fans together in Nashville for its annual conference. Starting with the annual Americana Music Awards and continuing through four days of showcases and panel discussions, it is a tremendous celebration of Americana music. PATRICK SWEANY Sweany delivered what was, hands down, my favorite showcase […] more »


Amy Black — The Muscle Shoals Session

Remember a few weeks ago when Amy Black wrote about her experience recording at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals? Well, now you can hear the results for yourself. Even better, Black is sharing the ep — for free — via her web site. Black recorded four songs in Muscle Shoals. The tracks span […] more »


Matthew Ryan benefit for John Anderson