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  • Ed Romanoff tells vivid stories on 'The Orphan King'

    Ed Romanoff tells vivid stories on 'The Orphan King'

    Singer-songwriters kind of get a raw deal when it comes to descriptive terms. No matter the style, they all get lumped into the singer-songwriter category. Ed Romanoff is a singer-songwriter who shows on his new album, The Orphan King, that he defies easy description. Right from the first song...
  • JD Wilkes releases the unpredictable 'Fire Dream'

    JD Wilkes releases the unpredictable 'Fire Dream'

    If you know JD Wilkes from Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, you know that his music can be a little difficult to fit neatly into a category. That is still the case on his new solo album Fire Dream. When you hear the intro of the title track that kicks off the album, you might be reminded of Tom Waits...
  • Review: On 'See You Around,' I'm With Her seamlessly unites three of Americana's best voices

    Review: On 'See You Around,' I'm With Her seamlessly unites three of Americana's best voices

    In 2000, three of the pioneers of the then young genre calling itself Americana, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, and Emmylou Harris, came together for the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou. The ripples from those songs are still being felt in the genre. Now, nearly two decades...
  • Review: Brandi Carlile brings absolution and understanding to 'By the Way, I Forgive You'

    Review: Brandi Carlile brings absolution and understanding to 'By the Way, I Forgive You'

    When announcing her new album, By the Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile invited fans to send in their own stories of forgiveness. To kick things off she and her band shared their own. Carlile's involved a minister who waited until she was in front of a crowded church to refuse to baptize her due to...
  • Ruby Boots rocks on the new album 'Don't Talk about It'

    Ruby Boots rocks on the new album 'Don't Talk about It'

    Sometimes you notice an album because of the name on the cover. The name Ruby Boots is definitely one that catches the attention. When you begin to listen to the album, you'll be glad the name caught your eye, but the music will certainly hold your attention more than the name on the cover. When you...
  • The Wood Brothers get groovy on 'One Drop of Truth'

    The Wood Brothers get groovy on 'One Drop of Truth'

    If you're familiar with The Wood Brothers, you know that you can expect tight and catchy Americana melodies as well as harmonies that grab your attention. On the new album One Drop of Truth, you get plenty of everything you'd expect from this band and some that you might not expect. "Happiness Jones...
  • Review: Mary Gauthier helps soldiers tell their own stories on 'Rifles and Rosary Beads'

    Review: Mary Gauthier helps soldiers tell their own stories on 'Rifles and Rosary Beads'

    One of the first things a young songwriter is told is to “write what you know.” Few artists in Americana music have been better at following that adage than Mary Gauthier. While her colorful life has produced a wealth of experiences to make a successful songwriting career out of, those experiences...
  • Juno Award-winning David Myles croons on new album 'Real Love'

    Juno Award-winning David Myles croons on new album 'Real Love'

    Crooner is a word that you don't hear very often, but it just seems to fit some singers. On the new album Real Love, David Myles proves he is one of those. You hear it right away in the opening track "Night and Day". It begins with a rockabilly riff, then you hear Myles's smooth vocals. He sings...
  • Review: 'American Folk' soundtrack soars on the harmonies of Rubarth and Purdy

    Review: 'American Folk' soundtrack soars on the harmonies of Rubarth and Purdy

    Periods of turmoil have always been fertile ground for folk music. So it's surprising it's taken this long for someone to make a movie about the September 11 attacks through the lens of folk songs. But now director David Heinz has done just that with American Folk. The film's stars, Amber Rubarth...
  • Grace Basement blends indie rock and Americana on 'Mississippi Nights'

    Grace Basement blends indie rock and Americana on 'Mississippi Nights'

    For bands these days, it's not easy to develop a sound unlike other bands. On the new album Mississippi Nights Grace Basement may bring other bands to mind, but they do it without sounding completely like anyone else. It's hard not to be drawn into the lead track "Rising Sun" - especially if you're...
  • Album Review: Camila Cabello comes into her own on 'Camila'

    Album Review: Camila Cabello comes into her own on 'Camila'

    When Camila Cabello left Fifth Harmony in their prime at the end of 2016, she wanted her debut album to be a departure from the sound that restrained her gifted songwriting and talent. In a lot of ways, that’s what Camila, Cabello’s debut LP, represents. In multiple interviews after her split from...
  • Review: On his second major label outing, Anderson East is ready for his 'Encore'

    Review: On his second major label outing, Anderson East is ready for his 'Encore'

    If you met Anderson East on the street, you wouldn't think you were speaking with the standard bearer for Americana's Southern soul movement. With his boyish features, a shock of unruly hair, and permanent five o'clock shadow, the 29-year-old looks more like the impish Freshman at the local...
  • Ghalia and Mama's Boys play pure blues on 'Let the Demons Out'

    Ghalia and Mama's Boys play pure blues on 'Let the Demons Out'

    Blues music may not be as prominent as it once was, but that doesn't mean that there is a lack of good blues available. Ghalia and Mama's Boys (with Ghalia Vauthier from Belgium on lead vocals) prove that the blues is alive and well on the new album Let the Demons Out.  We've all indulged in some...
  • Review: Shovels & Rope give fans a holiday gift with surprise album 'Busted Jukebox, Vol. 2'

    Review: Shovels & Rope give fans a holiday gift with surprise album 'Busted Jukebox, Vol. 2'

    As the holidays approach, thoughts turn to gift giving. For the second time in three years, Shovels & Rope has given their fans a holiday gift in a surprise album release, Busted Jukebox, Vol. 2, releasing Dec. 8. Following the formula of 2015's Busted Jukebox, Vol. 1, the new album sees the...
  • 'The Heat' by Mangoo: further proof that rock lives

    'The Heat' by Mangoo: further proof that rock lives

    Some people say rock is dead. Those are probably the same people that haven't sought out anything new since Led Zeppelin broke up. Whatever you do, don't believe those cynical folks. The Heat - the new album by Finnish band Mangoo - is further proof that rock and roll will never die. You can pick...
  • Review: Grayson Capps returns with 'Scarlett Roses', first album in 6 years

    Review: Grayson Capps returns with 'Scarlett Roses', first album in 6 years

    It's been six years since Grayson Capps has released a solo album. But that doesn't mean the Alabama-based Americana songwriter has been idle. He's maintained a rigorous touring schedule throughout, both on his own and with the supergroup Willie Sugarcapps. If his new album Scarlett Roses, out Dec...
  • Hans Chew defies easy classification on 'Open Sea'

    Hans Chew defies easy classification on 'Open Sea'

    A lot of artists defy easy classification. Guitarist/pianist Hans Chew shows that he is one of them on his new album Open Sea. The album begins with "Give Up the Ghost," a song that opens with just acoustic guitar and vocals. As the song progresses, you hear some piano also. With the dark and...
  • Re-issue of 'Born for You' by Rockie Charles is pure soul

    Re-issue of 'Born for You' by Rockie Charles is pure soul

    When you hear some soul singers, you realize that it would be odd for them to have any other profession. Rockie Charles had another profession as a tugboat captain, but on the album Born for You, he showed both that he was born to be a soul singer and why he was known as the President of Soul. When...
  • Keith Harkin shines as soloist on live set 'In the Round'

    Keith Harkin shines as soloist on live set 'In the Round'

    Keith Harkin performed with Irish super-group Celtic Thunder for over a decade, but the Derry native has always been a soloist at heart. The singer / songwriter took leave of his former group in April 2016 to focus on his individual journey again, issuing the introspective sophomore album On Mercy...
  • Popa Chubby blends rock, soul and blues on 'Two Dogs'

    Popa Chubby blends rock, soul and blues on 'Two Dogs'

    Popa Chubby is generally known as a blues artist and with good reason. He's a fine blues guitarist and vocalist. His new album Two Dogs is based in the blues, but it has many other aspects too. You get a good dose of one of the other aspects of the album in the opening track "It's Alright". This...
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