Recent Articles
  • Great songwriting drives 'Laughing with the Reckless' by The Contenders

    Great songwriting drives 'Laughing with the Reckless' by The Contenders

    When you see the term Americana, you only get a general idea of the kind of music you're about to hear although it could be bluegrass, country, or even alt-country. On the new album Laughing with the Reckless, The Contenders play Americana music that is pretty well steeped in country and rock...
  • © Mary Andrews

    Photos: Shawn Colvin’s ‘A Few Small Repairs’ 20th Anniversary Tour

    Shawn Colvin has created her new tour based on her 20-year old certified platinum album, A Few Small Repairs. Celebrating older, more successful music seems to be a trend with many bands these days. Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds Tour and Pearl Jam’s Binaural tour immediately come to mind. This tour is...
  • Hope Dunbar tells starkly vivid stories on 'Three Black Crows'

    Hope Dunbar tells starkly vivid stories on 'Three Black Crows'

    When you listen to some singers, you can't help but be amazed at how they can tell a story that makes you feel like you're experiencing what's being described. Hope Dunbar shows that ability on her new album Three Black Crows. The album begins with "Charlottetown." This is a great introduction to...
  • Review: Whitney Rose invokes 'Rule 62' on new album

    Review: Whitney Rose invokes 'Rule 62' on new album

    Whitney Rose is an artist who has always worn her influences openly. Earlier this year, the Canadian singer paid homage to her adopted home with the EP South Texas Suite. Now she's reunited with The Mavericks' Raul Malo, who produced her debut LP Heartbreaker of the Year, along with co-producer Niko...
  • 'Ghost Town' by Melissa Plett: earnest Americana rock

    'Ghost Town' by Melissa Plett: earnest Americana rock

    What do you call music that is rooted in country, but isn't exactly country? Americana is generally a term used for such music. But what if the artist is Canadian? Melissa Plett is a Canadian singer-songwriter who does a pretty good job producing Americana rock on her new album Ghost Town. A lot of...
  • © Mary Andrews

    Steve Earle proves the creative juices are still flowing with his new tour and album

    Steve Earle and The Dukes were channeling Waylon Jennings at the Rialto Theatre on Aug. 8. This tour is in support of his new album, So You Wannabe An Outlaw.  Earle tours extensively and he has made a stop in Tucson with each tour. The only exception was his participation in the Arizona SB 107...
  • Five must-see legends at the 2017 Americana Music Festival

    Five must-see legends at the 2017 Americana Music Festival

    With over 200 artists scheduled to perform, veteran attendees and newcomers alike will have a hard time trying to pick out who to see during the six days of the 2017 Americana Music Festival and Conference. One strategy taken by some attendees is to see as many legendary performers as possible...
  • Best Americana albums of 2017 so far

    Best Americana albums of 2017 so far

    With only half a year gone, 2017 is already shaping up to be a memorable one on the Americana music scene. Established stars in the genre have released new albums that solidified their place atop the Americana world while talented youngsters have staked their claim to be the next generation's answer...
  • Americana Music Festival second lineup announcement includes Mavericks, Iron & Wine

    Americana Music Festival second lineup announcement includes Mavericks, Iron & Wine

    Just over a month after dropping its initial batch of artists, the Americana Music Festival has unveiled its second list. This brings the current total list of artists scheduled to perform at the festival to 187, with the promise of over 100 more still to be revealed. While most festivals put their...
  • 2017 Americana Lifetime Achievement honorees include Nash, Morrison, Cray, and Dement

    2017 Americana Lifetime Achievement honorees include Nash, Morrison, Cray, and Dement

    Just a month after announcing a slate of award nominees that includes Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, and Lori McKenna, the Americana Music Association unveiled its list of Lifetime Achievement Honorees on June 22. The list of artists joining the previously announced Van Morrison to be honored at the...
  • 'House of Candles' by Mink's Miracle Medicine: powerful, minimalist country

    'House of Candles' by Mink's Miracle Medicine: powerful, minimalist country

    Americana music seems to be experiencing a surge in popularity right now. A lot of good acts are coming along and people are paying attention. Mink's Miracle Medicine is a duo from West Virginia that might garner more attention in the near future — particularly with the release of the new album...
  • Sturgill Simpson leads 2017 Americana Music Award nominees

    Sturgill Simpson leads 2017 Americana Music Award nominees

    In a ceremony held at the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 9, the 2017 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards nominees were announced. Heading up the list of nominees is Americana superstar Sturgill Simpson, who garnered three nominations for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for 2016's...
  • Tom Shackleford

    Photos: Mail The Horse continue to blossom at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade

    New York rock band Mail The Horse are a musical cocktail made up of half part 1990s alternative/grunge dirtiness, and half country melodic bliss. Perhaps that is why they were the perfect opening act to Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez at Rough Trade in Brooklyn over the weekend. The gig was a...
  • The Wood Brothers 'Live at the Barn': Americana at its finest

    The Wood Brothers 'Live at the Barn': Americana at its finest

    When you think about ideal venues for the folksy sound of The Wood Brothers, a barn might very well be one of the possibilities that comes to mind. If that is what popped into your head, you are quite possibly prescient. Without question, you are in luck because The Wood Brothers have a new album...
  • Best Americana live acts of 2016

    Best Americana live acts of 2016

    More than any musical genre aside from possibly heavy metal, Americana lives and dies by the live performance. While great stock is put in the crafting of great songs and evocative lyrics, an Americana artists who can't deliver those songs convincingly on stage is doomed to quickly fade into...
  • Review: 'The Best of Paul Thorn' gives new listeners a sampler, fans a live album

    Review: 'The Best of Paul Thorn' gives new listeners a sampler, fans a live album

    It is fitting that Tupelo-based Americana star Paul Thorn chose not to call his first compilation album “Paul Thorn's Greatest Hits.” This is, after all, the artist who once named an EP Still No Hits, called his record label Perpetual Obscurity, and often jokes onstage that, while he has written hit...
  • Best Americana albums of 2016

    Best Americana albums of 2016

    For fans of Americana music, 2016 has provided a bounty of new albums nearly unheard of in recent years. Dozens of great releases flooded the record stores and every month it seemed like another standout album or two was hitting the market. It made choosing the ten outstanding releases of the year...
  • 'A Brooklyn Biography' by Sunshine Nights is an EP of pretty Americana

    'A Brooklyn Biography' by Sunshine Nights is an EP of pretty Americana

    Sometimes you come across a band that strips its sound down to something pretty simple. In the punk world, Sex Pistols were brilliantly minimalist. On the other end of the minimalist spectrum, you find bands like Sunshine Nights, an Americana band comprising Amy Priya on bass and Steven Sunshine on...
  • Review: The Mavericks shine on 'All Night Live Volume 1'

    Review: The Mavericks shine on 'All Night Live Volume 1'

    For a quarter century, The Mavericks have been deftly blending blue-collar country-rock with heavy doses of Cuban and Latin groove to create a distinctive sound that seems to defy genre. The ever expanding sonic big tent of Americana is their best fit. Until recently, these Americana Music...
  • Bob Weir's 'Blue Mountain' is epic Americana

    Bob Weir's 'Blue Mountain' is epic Americana

    As a member of one of the most famous bands in the history of rock and roll, Bob Weir is a man who needs no introduction. However, if you are unfamiliar with the music of Weir, now would be a good time to introduce yourself to it. This week he will release his first solo album in 10 years. Blue...
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