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  • "Renacer" album cover

    Album review: Gustavo Galindo reflects on life and rebounds with 'Renacer'

    Mexican singer-songwriter Gustavo Galindo released his new album Renacer on May 31. The title in English means "Rebirth" and it comes a whole seven years after his debut record, the Grammy-nominated Entre La Ciudad y El Mar. The time passed and experiences Galindo's gone through shape the 10-track...
  • 'Queen City Jubilee' by The Slocan Ramblers: impressive bluegrass

    'Queen City Jubilee' by The Slocan Ramblers: impressive bluegrass

    Toronto may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of bluegrass music. On the new album Queen City Jubilee, The Slocan Ramblers show that great bluegrass isn't restricted to just Appalachia. If you're one of those people who doesn't listen to bluegrass because you have some...
  • Stomp along with Stone Stanley's 'The Mudstomp Tapes'

    Stomp along with Stone Stanley's 'The Mudstomp Tapes'

    You have to admire the artists that don't fit neatly into one narrow genre. On The Mudstomp Tapes, Stone Stanley displays a lot of influences without allowing himself to be categorized easily. It doesn't take long to hear the blues influence in Stone Stanley's music. In the lead track "Bitter End...
  • Review: River Whyless cut through the echo chamber with 'Kindness, A Rebel'

    Review: River Whyless cut through the echo chamber with 'Kindness, A Rebel'

    In the past couple of years, Americana music has taken up the “protest song” mantle that folk music parlayed to social change in the '60s. One young act that doesn't shy away from sharing their opinions is Asheville-based quartet River Whyless. From their topical lyrics to their penchant for wearing...
  • Blue Yonder recalls Gram Parsons on 'Rough and Ready Heart'

    Blue Yonder recalls Gram Parsons on 'Rough and Ready Heart'

    When you listen to some bands, you realize just how indistinct the line is between country and bluegrass - even if that band doesn't feature a banjo. On the new album Rough and Ready Heart, Blue Yonder plays country music that is steeped in bluegrass tradition.  Sometimes you just have to be still...
  • CoCo O'Connor tells great stories on 'This Ol' War'

    CoCo O'Connor tells great stories on 'This Ol' War'

    According to CoCo O'Connor, she was too rebellious for Nashville in her previous time in the city. After some time in Santa Fe, she has moved back to Nashville and recorded This Ol' War, which shows that she doesn't want to record the pop-country Nashville manufactures en masse. It doesn't take long...
  • Review: Erin Rae is 'Putting on Airs' for her introspective Single Lock debut

    Review: Erin Rae is 'Putting on Airs' for her introspective Single Lock debut

    “Putting on Airs” is one of those expressions you only hear in the South; a dismissive term for someone who has risen above her station, who has achieved wealth or status and thinks they're better than their upbringing. At least that's what a Southerner who uses that term would tell you. More often...
  • Review: Ghost finds their arena rock stride with 'Prequelle'

    Review: Ghost finds their arena rock stride with 'Prequelle'

    At the end of their last tour, in support of their Grammy-winning album Meliora, Ghost frontman Papa Emeritus III was forced off the stage and “killed.” This is no surprise to fans of the band. Every album cycle has ended with the “death” of the singer, only to have him replaced by another Papa...
  • 'Butter' by Karen Jonas is one smooth Americana album

    'Butter' by Karen Jonas is one smooth Americana album

    Americana is a broad category of music that ranges from country to jazz. On the new album Butter, Karen Jonas proves that she can work just as easily in both country and jazz.  One of the charming things about Jonas is that she covers a fair amount of musical ground. "My Sweet Arsonist" is a country...
  • Review: New Zealand sensation Tami Neilson gets topical and soulful on 'Sassafrass!'

    Review: New Zealand sensation Tami Neilson gets topical and soulful on 'Sassafrass!'

    Tami Neilson is a name that isn't nearly as familiar to audiences in the United States as in her native Canada or New Zealand. Canada is where she was part of the popular country group The Neilsons and in New Zealand, she won the prestigious ARPA Silver Scroll in 2014. But that may be about to...
  • Say 'Yeah!!' to Water Seed's new live album

    Say 'Yeah!!' to Water Seed's new live album

    Soul music is always good for making the listener feel better, but it can be hard to find since the only outlets that play soul music are oldies station. On the new album Say Yeah!! Live at The Blue Nile, Water Seed shows that good soul music is worth seeking. One of the things that is immediately...
  • Hungry March Band releases funky 'Running through with the Sadness'

    Hungry March Band releases funky 'Running through with the Sadness'

    With some bands there is really not point in trying to fit them into a neat little category. On the new album Running through with the Sadness, Hungry March Band shows that it is one of those bands that doesn't fit neatly into any one category. The album begins with "Ghost Puppy," which is a good...
  • No State Solution will be available on May 25

    Free Radicals release 'No State Solution' collection

    Free Radicals is a band that describes itself as a horn-driven dance band. In that regard, it is like a brass band. However, there is so much more to this band than just the sound you'd expect from a brass band. The band has been around for 20 years and is celebrating the occasion by releasing No...
  • Review: Kelly Willis channels country gold on 'Back Being Blue'

    Review: Kelly Willis channels country gold on 'Back Being Blue'

    In the Americana music scene, you can find plenty of artists honoring the outlaws, the legends, and the raconteurs. Not so much the '80s sounds of artists like Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, and Crystal Gayle, who refined the “countrypolitan” style that began Nashville's flirtation with the...
  • Pharis and Jason Romero impress with 'Sweet Old Religion'

    Pharis and Jason Romero impress with 'Sweet Old Religion'

    Some music is fine as background. Some groups make you focus on the music because they create such intricate songs. On the new album Sweet Old Religion, Juno-award winning duo Pharis and Jason Romero are musicians that make you take notice of everything that goes on in their songs. When you listen...
  • Review: Loreena McKennitt gathers 'Lost Souls' from her library for new album

    Review: Loreena McKennitt gathers 'Lost Souls' from her library for new album

    When Loreena McKennitt set out to record Lost Souls, her first album of original material since 2006's An Ancient Muse, she began by revisiting a little of her own history. Combing through songs written at various points across her 30-year musical journey, McKennitt took the best of these “lost soul...
  • Shirley Davis and The Silverbacks deliver a perfect soul album 'Wishes and Wants'

    Shirley Davis and The Silverbacks deliver a perfect soul album 'Wishes and Wants'

    There's nothing like a good soul album to get you moving and boost your spirits. On the new album Wishes and Wants Shirley Davis and The Silverbacks do plenty of each. The album begins with the title track, which will get you moving from the very first notes. Between the bass line, the horns, and...
  • Leftover Salmon is still going strong on 'Something Higher'

    Leftover Salmon is still going strong on 'Something Higher'

    Any band who has been making music for close to 30 years must be doing something right. Leftover Salmon is one of those bands and on the new album Something Higher, it shows that it is as good now as it ever was - even after almost 30 years. "Show Me Something Higher" is a tune that is sure to grab...
  • Review: Parker Millsap shows off 'Other Arrangements' on genre bending new album

    Review: Parker Millsap shows off 'Other Arrangements' on genre bending new album

    Parker Millsap's new album Other Arrangements, out May 4, takes its title from one of the album's songs, about a jilted lover. But for those familiar with Millsap's three previous albums, rooted in the gospel and folk music traditions of his Oklahoma home, Other Arrangements is also a good...
  • Bishop Gunn brings the Muscle Shoals sound to 'Natchez'

    Bishop Gunn brings the Muscle Shoals sound to 'Natchez'

    Muscle Shoals Sound Studio has been the host to a lot of great musicians including The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Bishop Gunn may not be at that level yet, but with the new album Natchez, it shows the magic of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is still alive and well. It's kind of refreshing...
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