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 […]

SXSW 2014 — Say What?!

One of my favorite parts of SXSW is the crazy things you see and hear along the way. Here are a few choice selections. We’ve got about 20 minutes to make you love us. Chris Masterson stating what could be the SXSW mantra. One in, one out. The other SXSW mantra, overheard at the men’s […]

SXSW 2014 — The Sounds, Part 2

DAVE AND PHIL ALVIN I’m a big Dave Alvin fan. Unfortunately for me I discovered the Blasters, the seminal band co-founded by Dave and his brother Phil, after they went their separate ways. I was hooked, though, on their encyclopedic knowledge of American music — everything from folk to country and from blues to vintage […]

SXSW 2014 — The Sounds, Part 1

THE HOLD STEADY While I may not be as crazy the friend who chased the band around Austin for the band’s 7 planned shows, I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see the Brooklyn rockers celebrate their first album in 4 years. I accompanied said friend to the front of the stage where […]