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 […]
Okay, okay; so we all know country songs often tells sad tales about broken hearts, shattered love, missed opportunities, tears on our pillows, and the ache of the memory of the lover that got away. Tender pedal steel breaks imitate our the aching beauty of our forlorn hearts; jagged lead guitars remind us of our […]
It’s fitting that the cover of Willis and Robison’s new album depicts the vagaries of love as a pinball game. For a small investment—a dance, a bottle of beer or glass of whiskey—lovers flirt with the chance of getting lucky, hurtling toward a night of love and maybe the bonus of discovering they’re made for […]
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."