Sturgill Simpson/Metamodern Sounds in Country Music; Todd Begins Looking Back on His “Best of 2014”

I had not heard of Sturgill Simpson until attending a Gamecock baseball game this past April. It was a cold day (luckily we had box seats) and I was talking with my friend Ryan, who I had invited along. Ryan and I don’t see each other often, but we’re always emailing and exchanging CDs and […]

Americana 2014, The Sounds, Part 3

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. Here are my highlights among the many live performances I saw […]

Americana 2014: Say What?!

One of my favorite things about attending music conferences and festivals are the crazy comments that you hear along the way. Here are a few choice selections. FROM THE AWARDS SHOW If it wasn’t for that guy we’d be doing this at a burnt out Kmart. Jason Isbell acknowledging that the awards show was being […]

Americana 2014: The Sounds, Part 2

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. MATTHEW RYAN This was, hands-down, the highlight of the week for […]

2014 Americana Music Awards

On September 17th, the glitterati of the Americana Music Scene gathered at the historic Ryman Theater for their annual Awards show and presentation.  Mayer and I were lucky enough to procure a seat to the festivities.  You can get a full list of the award nominees and winners here, but these are the highlights from our […]

Monday Morning Video: Johnny Winter (1944-2014)

We lost Johnny Winter last week.  Johnny, known for his blistering fast guitar playing, burst onto the national scene as a solo act in the late 1960s.  A guitar prodigy, Johnny and younger brother Edgar – both albino – had formed a band as they were growing up in Beaumont, Texas, and had a single released when Johnny […]

Mayer’s Picks – The Best of 2014, So Far (the Albums)

The year is off to a strong start and I expect that it will only get better. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2014. SOMEWHERE ELSE by LYDIA LOVELESS “Simply bad-ass” is the phrase that overwhelms my thinking every time I give this album a […]

Jesse Winchester, In Memoriam

April is shaping up as a difficult world in the world of music. This past week we lost Jesse Winchester, whose soft-spoken style belied the power of his songs. Here are two magical Winchester performances. The first is an early (and often covered) classic “Defying Gravity.” The second is the celebrated appearance on Elvis Costello’s […]