Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

Next up from The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck

Next up from The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck

John Darnielle, the main brains behind The Mountain Goats, has been doing his thing for awhile now. 1991, to be precise. His expertise definitely shows on his latest release All Eternals Deck (named after an apocryphal tarot card set), with Peter Hughes on bass and Jon Wurster (Superchunk) on drums. An ode to all that […]

One to Watch: Blake Aaron Mundell

One to Watch: Blake Aaron Mundell

After visiting a writers’ round at Hotel Indigo last week, I was left with one burning question: why isn’t Blake Aaron Mundell already a part of the popular music scene?  He’s a skillful guitarist, has a voice that calls to mind a little James Taylor, and his earnest and clever lyrics made me really think…and […]

Album review of Jolie Holland: Pint of Blood

Album review of Jolie Holland: Pint of Blood

Jolie Holland is a supremely talented singer/songwriter from Houston, Texas. Her latest album Pint of Blood, released June 28, 2011, is a brilliant collection of ten beautiful, yet haunting songs that inhabit your consciousness with their melodic and melancholy deliverance. Holland’s music is not easily categorized as she draws elements of folk, country, rock, and […]

The Wood Brothers “Smoke Ring Halo” (Southern Ground)

The Wood Brothers “Smoke Ring Halo” (Southern Ground)

Just like good Southern cooking, sometimes the most important ingredient is time.  For The Wood Brothers, part of it’s the time they spent growing up together.  Part of it’s the time they spent apart — Oliver fronting the blues-based band King Johnson and Chris as bassist for Jazz-funk trio Medeski, Martin & Wood.   Their collective […]

EP Review: Sidewalk Dave – “Can’t Be Your Friend”

EP Review: Sidewalk Dave – “Can’t Be Your Friend”

Brutal honesty has been a trademark of Sidewalk Dave since their 2009 debut (Songs for Cowards), and on their latest EP, Can’t Be Your Friend, the honesty continues. Brutally. “On my way to Hell, whoah, I’ll be kicking myself / On my way down that dark well, oh well,” sings Dave VanWitt on “On My […]

Album Review: Colin Hay – “Gathering Mercury” – (Compass)

Album Review: Colin Hay – “Gathering Mercury” – (Compass)

Forever known as the lead singer-songwriter of the iconic ’80s band Men At Work, Colin Hay has been cranking out solo records for nearly a quarter century. Gathering Mercury is arguably his best work. Tragically, though, the album was inspired and written after the death of Hay’s father. “Dear Father” features one of the most […]

Alana Amram – Snow Shadows

Alana Amram – Snow Shadows

Alana Amram’s haunting voice and interesting instrumentation mixed with the classic words of Vince Martin make Amram’s new album Snow Shadows: Songs of Vince Martin exceptional. This New York native was born the daughter of composer/beat icon David Amram and writer/actress Lora Lee, but somehow Amram still makes the album sound as if it came […]

Album Review of Tommy Shaw: The Great Divide

Album Review of Tommy Shaw: The Great Divide

I can’t say that I’ve been a huge fan of Styx at any point in my life.  I don’t know much about this legendary band, but I know enough that I was surprised to hear Tommy Shaw, the guitarist, released a bluegrass album on March 22.  As a Tennessee native, I’ve been around bluegrass my […]

Young Robert Ellis Shoots His First Gun

Young Robert Ellis Shoots His First Gun

What makes a good song? It isn’t obvious. Perhaps it’s never crossed your mind. But the ingredients are out there, apparent within every classic tune, and yet extraordinarily difficult to grasp ahold of. Many artists fail. Fine is the line between cliché and catchy. Equally enigmatic is the appropriate boundary between “weird” and “wow.” The […]

Suzanna Choffel-Steady Eye Shaky Bow

Suzanna Choffel-Steady Eye Shaky Bow

Suzanna Choffel has put together a solid combination of pop, soul, and jazz on her new record Steady Eye Shaky Bow. The Austin native uses her strong voice and unique song writing to produce a nice mix of pop soul and jazz. Choffel barely has to try. Her smokey voice lays down comfortably over every […]

Album Review: Matt Bauer – “The Jessamine County Book of the Living” (Crossbill)

Album Review: Matt Bauer – “The Jessamine County Book of the Living” (Crossbill)

Matt Bauer, a Kentucky-born recording artist and songwriter, is awaiting the release of his second album, The Jessamine County Book of the Living (Crossbill Records, June 7, 2011). Bauer’s style could be described as neo-industrial folk, and his vocal delivery can best be articulated as a raspy whisper that makes Bill Anderson sound like a […]

The Band of Heathens “Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son” BOH Records

The Band of Heathens “Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son” BOH Records

On their newest album, “Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son,”  The Band of Heathens continue to refine their kitchen sink approach to southern music.  Combining elements of rock, country, soul, blues, funk, gospel, and whatever else that might come up in the process and with whatever instruments deemed appropriate (lapsteel, resonator guitars, piano, organ, […]

Album Review of Brett Detar: Bird in the Tangle

Album Review of Brett Detar: Bird in the Tangle

What would happen if Bill Monroe, Layne Staley, Johnny Cash, and Marilyn Manson decided to collaborate, on an album together? Well you can bet it would probably sound something like, Bird in the Tangle, the first solo album by Brett Detar, former lead singer of the emo/indie/rock band The Juliana Theory. Detar released the album […]

Album Review: Peter Bjorn and John – “Gimme Some” – (StarTime)

Album Review: Peter Bjorn and John – “Gimme Some” – (StarTime)

Peter Bjorn and John have made their sixth addition to a canon that defines one of the best contemporary indie pop acts of the new century. In that canon, the Swedish trio have proven themselves to have an incredible talent for writing ridiculously catchy pop songs that have been sampled and remixed by such hip […]