Claire Lynch’s Dear Sister, produced by Garry West, is a mint in the mouth of any listener. Her ninth solo album (and first with roots label, Compass Records) is refreshingly thoughtful in content, just bold enough stylistically, and plain fun to listen to. Lynch’s voice takes the lead in this bluegrass-and-then some record that also […]
Recording a tribute album presents several challenges to musicians. Do you slavishly re-interpret every track note-for-note so that the song sounds just like the original? If not, of course, some listeners will complain that these new versions of the music simply don’t live up to the original versions. Or, do you embrace the spirit of […]
Brandy Clark’s new album arrived at my house in a plain brown wrapper, the kind of packaging stereotypically given to materials of a far seedier nature. However, based upon the contents found within that nondescript CD sleeve, the wrapping was entirely appropriate. Because 12 Stories is songwriting porn. The record’s first single, “Stripes,” which was co-written […]
Anyone wanting to discern Hot Club of Cowtown’s musical influences can do so before listening to a single note the trio plays: their band name is a mashup of gypsy jazz kings Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Quintette du Hot Club de France and Western Swing legend Bob Wills’ “Big Ball’s in Cowtown.” On their […]
Sarah Peacock has a voice that’s a force of nature. At times soft and nuanced and occasionally rafter-rattling powerful, Peacock sounds equally home at country or in pop. That kind of versatility brings to mind Kelly Clarkson or Jessee Havey of The Duhks by way of comparison. Peacock’s second studio album, Albuquerque Sky, gives the […]
If When We Fall is not the best bluegrass album of 2013, then it’s easily among the top five albums of the year. With her emotional, powerful vocals, Rebecca Frazier—known for her work in the award-winning bluegrass band, Hit & Run—stands in the ranks of Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent; her compelling lyrics transport us […]
For many of us, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper never went away. Wasn’t it just two years ago that they produced a stellar cast of musicians on the Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow? And it’s only three years ago that Brace and Cooper released their acclaimed Master Sessions, featuring pedal […]
It’s hard to pinpoint the most tantalizing, fulfilling payoff from the Pistol Annies’ 2011 debut, Hell on Heels, when the trio burst into the scene with an exciting whoosh of honesty. Sure, there was the vindication of some long-awaited attention for songwriting darlings Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, and the rush of that rare alignment of […]
Inspired in part by her late father, who was a teacher, World War II veteran, and the son of Irish immigrants, Patty Griffin’s American Kid–her first album of original music in six years as well as her debut on New West Records—is one of the most gorgeous collections of music we’re likely to hear all […]
With some albums, it’s easy to sit still, letting the music wash slowly over you while pondering—or rolling your eyes at—the lyrics. You can’t sit still with The Mavericks’ new album, their first studio album in ten years. In the immortal words of Steve Alaimo’s song, “Where the Action Is,” the raucous rhythms of this […]
- Paul W Dennis: Tom T & Dixie Hall are good people and I wish them all the best through this difficult time
- Paul W Dennis: Actually , it is not. We have so thoroughly debased our language that it is no longer possible to praise …
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …