Recent Articles

Willie Nelson “Country Music” Rounder

Willie Nelson “Country Music” Rounder

“This is my definition of real country music.”  That’s what Willie Nelson says about his new album, and, with that in mind, it’s interesting that he chooses to close the album with “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” – which comes from the blues tradition, rather than country.  It was the only song that Willie added to […]

Jason Boland: What's going on in the sticks these days?

Jason Boland: What's going on in the sticks these days?

It began with Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family in the 1920s, but country music has come a long way since the days of “Blue Yodel No. 1” and “Wildwood Flower.” In the early 1940s it was Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs, and later honky tonk was born with Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams. […]

Haggard brings back old-school country in "I Am What I Am"

Haggard brings back old-school country in "I Am What I Am"

What would you have if the past 25 years of country music history had never occurred?  You would Merle Haggard’s new album, I Am What I Am.  Released on his Hag Records label, this is old-school country gold from the era of AM radio and 8-track tapes played on long 55-mph road trips.  It is […]

So The Tallest Man on Earth isn’t super tall.

So The Tallest Man on Earth isn’t super tall.

How many times a day do you think he hears that? But it’s cool…some jokes are overused because they’re funny every time (this actually might NOT be one of those times, but I’m going to stick with it). I spend last evening at UCSD’s The Loft, checking out The Tallest Man on Earth. I showed […]

Shelby Lynne's Tears, Lies and Alibis CD GIVEAWAY!

Shelby Lynne's Tears, Lies and Alibis CD GIVEAWAY!

“Shelby Lynne sings in quick, blunt bursts, suggesting the kind of jabs you don’t see coming but which can drive you to your knees …” — The NY Daily News “Lynne’s music explores a diverse range of genres and sounds. In a business that prefers its artists be a ready fit for categorization … Lynne […]

Coachella…always legendary…

Coachella…always legendary…

Coachella…always legendary…always memorable…always for different reasons. This year was my fourth at Coachella, and it was notably the-same-but-not-at-all-the same for one main reason: it was so, so packed. The festival is always busy, but this year, with the removal of the one day pass (which meant that every attendee had to purchase the full three […]

Jim Lauderdale – Patchwork River – (Thirty Tigers)

Jim Lauderdale – Patchwork River – (Thirty Tigers)

Jim Lauderdale is a musician’s musician, an artist’s artist, a songwriter’s songwriter. In short, he’s not a household name. That is unless your household contains music by Elvis Costello (Lauderdale sang all of the harmony vocals on Costello’s superb Secret, Profane and Sugarcane from 2009), Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, John Mayall, George Strait, […]

Nashville Floods Claim Grand Ole Opry House

Nashville Floods Claim Grand Ole Opry House

The devastating floods in Nashville have inundated the Grand Ole Opry House, the most famous country-music venue in the world, and damaged cherished equipment of country artists across Music City. Songwriter Aimee Mayo posted a photo to Twitter on Wednesday, sent to her by country star Kellie Pickler, showing the flooded main hall of the […]

Chely Wright Acknowledges Her Homosexuality

Chely Wright Acknowledges Her Homosexuality

Her announcement to People Magazine coincides with the release of her new album and memoir

Derek Hoke – Goodbye Rock ‘N’ Roll (Electric Western Records)

Derek Hoke – Goodbye Rock ‘N’ Roll (Electric Western Records)

Like any good realist, Derek Hoke knows you can’t be a rocker forever — it’s painful to watch (e.g., The Stones, The Who, Aerosmith). But good country and roots artists — like whiskey and leather boots — only seem to get better with age. The title track opens this debut with a playfully bittersweet sayonara […]

Brandon Bush and The Long Drive Home

Brandon Bush and The Long Drive Home

Brandon Bush has had a ton of sweet gigs in a career spanning more than 20 years. At age four, he and his older brother played a fiddle duet to open a Dolly Parton show. He’s been featured on Grammy-winning albums by Train and John Mayer, toured and played with Shawn Mullins, Sugarland (his brother […]

The Reverend John DeLore – Ode to an American Urn – (Independent)

The Reverend John DeLore – Ode to an American Urn – (Independent)

What does it mean when an unsigned artist releases an album whose songwriting utterly outshines those of the established and elite, arena-filling Nashville mega-stars? It means big labels need to open their eyes because there’s a plethora of real talent out there — you just have to know where to look. Like Brooklyn, NY. When […]

Sarah Jaffe – “Suburban Nature”

Sarah Jaffe – “Suburban Nature”

Sarah Jaffe is easily a charmed singer/songwriter. Her obvious talent draws you in and takes care of you. Nurturing melodies and charming deliveries float effortlessly throughout the entirety of Sarah’s newest, “Suburban Nature.” Rarely is there an album that makes one feel as if they are in the studio with the artists. Experiencing intimately ideas […]

The Sadies "Darker Circles"

The Sadies "Darker Circles"

Darker Circles, possibly alluding to an even increased lack of sleep, is what seems to be afoot in the methodically constructed new album by The Sadies. The obvious hard work rings noticeably down to the bone, and at first listen you can tell that these Alt Country Rockers worked long and hard on this short […]