Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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 [...]

A Conversation about Mumford and Sons—June 5, 2011, The Pageant Saint Louis, MO

A Conversation about Mumford and Sons—June 5, 2011, The Pageant Saint Louis, MO

I get by with a little help from my friend, Sarah, who knows more about Mumford and Sons than I ever will.  She started the conversation, and I just ran with it. Sarah: When The Pageant announced in March that Mumford and Sons would be playing a show in Saint Louis in June, obtaining a [...]

A Bittersweet Showing: Big Head Todd and the Monsters (The Uptown Theatre, Napa)

A Bittersweet Showing: Big Head Todd and the Monsters (The Uptown Theatre, Napa)

Big Head Todd and the Monsters played a gig at The Uptown Theatre in Napa on Friday night and it could have been an amazing show. It could have been, but it wasn’t. It’s not because they have lost a step. They haven’t, not even close. Frontman Todd Park Mohr still plays a mean, bluesy, [...]

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 [...]

Win Two Disc Set from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings!

Win Two Disc Set from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings!

On April 5th, 2011, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released two albums to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the Civil War at Ft. Sumter. A Treasury of Civil War Songs, performed by Tom Glazer, and Civil War Naval Songs by Dan Milner and Friends feature popular songs from the era representing both Union [...]

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 [...]

A Night with Sam Bradley – 3rd and Lindsley, June 3

A Night with Sam Bradley – 3rd and Lindsley, June 3

I’ve had the pleasure of attending several Sam Bradley shows over the past two years.  He’s usually accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, but he’s never failed to entertain.  I expected something similar when I arrived at 3rd and Lindsley on June 3, but that wasn’t what I got.  After the supporting act, Holly Conlon [...]

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, [...]