Posts Tagged ‘Americana’

Complicated Songs: James McMurtry’s “Complicated Games” Showcases a Master Storyteller.

Complicated Songs: James McMurtry’s “Complicated Games” Showcases a Master Storyteller.

By Jon Black (photo: Shane McCauley) The world James McMurtry paints through his songs is distinctive: a place of stark isolation, of desperate hope struggling against unbeatable odds and where tragedy and beauty make strange but eternal bedfellows. Little wonder his work has been praised by artists as diverse as John Mellencamp, Jason Isbell and […]

Billy Joe Shaver – Long in the Tooth

Billy Joe Shaver – Long in the Tooth

I’m always excited about a new Billy Joe Shaver album – especially one with almost all new songs (“The Git Go” first appeared in 2012 on “Live at Billy Bob’s.”). This one even kicks off with a duet with Willie Nelson on “It’s Hard to be an Outlaw,” an enjoyable tune that sets up the […]

“Bluebird” – Dawn Landes

“Bluebird” – Dawn Landes

Dawn Landes’ lastest album, Bluebird, is the most gorgeous album I’ve heard in a long time. Every song is a subtle, smart, heartfelt gem. The video for the title song features the dancer Storyboard P and was directed by Christina Ladwig, produced by Ghost Robot. Warning: the minor chord changes at the bridge will tug […]

Bobby Long’s Wishbone: Album Review

Bobby Long’s Wishbone: Album Review

A Talk with Bobby Long: Part Three It’s not accurate to say Bobby Long reinvents himself with every album, however much evidence the music gives. Instead, I think each EP and LP is a step toward something greater, and Wishbone is no exception. Bobby Long told me he never intended to be labeled a singer-songwriter—that […]

Album Review: Dreams of the San Joaquin

Album Review: Dreams of the San Joaquin

When I was seventeen, my grandfather drove my sister and me across the country to California as a graduation present. This was the year of my musical awakening—the age when I discovered there was more to the wide world than what played on the Top Forty radio. My parents had raised us with a healthy […]

A Talk with Bobby Long – Part Two

A Talk with Bobby Long – Part Two

I grew up listening to folk music and murder ballads, thanks to my parents. While other kids were glued to Casey Kasem on Sunday afternoons, I nodded along to The Kingston Trio or Joan Baez in the backseat of the car. I probably wasn’t old enough to appreciate Little Boxes, and that’s why I take […]

Spotlight on Anderson East

Spotlight on Anderson East

I’d only met him once, after a show at The Basement on 8th Avenue, where he performed before Sam Bradley and Marcus Foster and completely stole my heart. Any other knowledge I had of his appearance came through professional photographs on his website. Anderson East is magnetic on stage and sultry in pictures, and I […]

Old Crow Medicine Show Gets Carried Away

Old Crow Medicine Show Gets Carried Away

One night in the early ‘00s, the legendary Doc Watson stumbled across a group of good-lookin’ cats playing old-timey music in front of a pharmacy in North Carolina, and immediately shipped them off to Merlefest. In 2004 they knocked the nation off our feet with their self-titled debut album. It opened with a fiery hot […]

ATF Self-Interview: Folk Family Revival

ATF Self-Interview: Folk Family Revival

Texas roots quartet Folk Family Revival released their debut full-length, Unfolding, back in July of 2011. It’s an honest record, a gritty effort straight from the heart of these three brothers and one honorary brother. Produced and mixed by Jeffery Armstreet at Red Tree Recording Studio in Magnolia, Texas, the album also features Scott Davis, […]

Slaid Cleaves “Sorrow and Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge” Music Road

Slaid Cleaves “Sorrow and Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge” Music Road

Slaid Cleaves may not be a natural-born Texan (He’s originally from Portland, Maine. He has been in Texas for 20 years, though.), but he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.  For starters, he knows about songwriting, and he shows it off here with a 2 disc set of his “greatest hits” […]

Beyond The Music: Mark Lennon – “California Calling”

Beyond The Music: Mark Lennon – “California Calling”

North Carolina native (and current L.A. resident) Mark Lennon is the unassuming, easygoing guy next door. That’s what I enjoyed about his debut EP, Down the Mountain (2009, Vagabonds Tune) — it was like sitting on a wide and comfortable front porch, drinking ice cold beer and listening to a friend play some solid, honest […]

Album review of Old Californio: Sundrunk Angels

Album review of Old Californio: Sundrunk Angels

Set to drop July 19, 2011, Old Californio’s Sundrunk Angels is the third studio album from the Pasadena, California quintet. Their sound is an eclectic blend of country, rock, folk, and psychedelic rock that is reminiscent of bands like the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Gram Parsons Flying Burritos. The label […]

Review of Jas Patrick: Working On My Soul

Review of Jas Patrick: Working On My Soul

Jas Patrick is a recording artist that is quickly rising in popularity on the local (Nashville, TN) music scene. He is an extremely talented songwriter, vocalist, and musician. Patrick recently released a full length LP of eighteen songs on the Tiny Lion Music record label. Working on My Soul is a musically diverse album that […]

Album review of Dex Romweber Duo: Is that You in the Blue

Album review of Dex Romweber Duo: Is that You in the Blue

Fans of rockabilly, roots-rock, science fiction surf-punk, or fans of just plain great music, you are in for a treat. Bloodshot Records is set to release Dex Romweber Duo: Is that you in the Blue? on July 26, 2011. The new album has fourteen tracks and is a retro-inspired cornucopia of various genres of music […]