Category: Americana

April 20, 2022

Molly Tuttle’s Crooked Tree

I didn’t have time to write a full on review of the new Molly Tuttle & The Golden Highway Album, Crooked Tree, but the album is too good for me to wait. Tuttle is known predominantly as a bluegrass artist. That’s too small a box to put Tuttle in and Crooked Tree makes that clear. While there is an abundance of bluegrass and old-time music […]

April 19, 2022

Ryan Adams Chris Channels Folk Rock Greatness

Ryan Adams is often lumped into the amorphous category of alt-country. That is, in part, because he was previous in bands that were much more obviously “country” and some of his solo output is fits the country, or at least folk country, mold well. His latest album, Chris, makes it pretty clear that Ryan Adams can also be a rock performer. He may be classified […]

March 11, 2022

A Quick Trip Out West with Orville Peck

Unlike rock stars, most country artists have great voices. There are outliers whose voices were more unique than great, such as Johnny Cash, but the vast majority of country artists have control, tone, and timbre that rock stars often do not. Orville Peck’s voice stands out even among the country greats. He has a warm baritone with a big range that sounds somewhere between The […]

February 24, 2022

Sarah Shook Roams the Night

I very much love Sarah Shook. Her music is a mix of traditional country, americana, and rock; She is as close to a throwback as exists in modern country music. Her songs are filled with heartache, sadness, and longing but also resilience. Her best work revolves around lost and traumatic love. To listen to Sarah Shook is to dive deep into the morass of the […]

February 3, 2022

Pomme Est Ma Nouvelle Musique Préférée

I freely admit that I used Bing’s Translate function for the title. The French I have left from high school is not good enough for me to write a good title in French. I attribute my lack of language skills to one of the failures of American culture – our parochialism. American culture has become so dominant in entertainment that you rarely need to understand […]

September 13, 2021

Suzanne Santo Has a Lot To Sell In Yard Sale

Let’s get something out of the way right now. Suzanne Santo has a very rich and evocative voice with a natural vibrato similar to Emmy Lou Harris. That is what makes her special. Her song writing can be anywhere from pulling your heart out to a collection of tropes and cliches. Her singing is her superpower, and it makes even mundane songs sound wonderful. This […]

August 25, 2021

The Cruzados Are Anything but Automatic

Back in the mid 1980s, a group of artists mixed new wave and punk with country, blues, and folk styles to create a genre called roots rock revival. For a short while, 80s style roots rock revival was a fixture on college and alternative charts. Groups like The Beat Farmers, The Long Ryders, The Blasters, Los Lobos, and Lone Justice updated American music to fit […]

August 10, 2021

Concert Review – Amethyst Kiah

Last week, August 2, 2021 to be precise, I had the opportunity to see Amethyst Kiah in concert at the Chautauqua Institute. Once of the great things about Chautauqua, is the opportunity to see bands one might not think to go see otherwise. Due to COVID, the crowd was much smaller than it should have been but that added to the intimacy of the show. […]

April 12, 2021

Nathaniel Rateliff on NPR’s Tiny Desk

I grew up on roots music. The earliest music I can remember was folk and Celtic songs that my Dad played for me from a reel to reel tape player. Dad also listened to country and even southern rock back in the 70s. I learned to love John Denver when it was decidedly not cool for a teenager to like country or what we now […]