// Category Archive for: Americana

Music Review: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Front Porch Sessions

Published on March 15th, 2017 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Unless Reverend Peyton and his Big Damn Band comes to your house and plays a set on your porch (or perhaps you end up on his front porch),  Front Porch Sessions  is as close as you’ll get to that specific pleasure. It’s an organic, charmingly effective album that mixes classic blues songs with The Rev’s originals. It’s thrillingly alive and a fine introduction for those who haven’t been fortunate enough to make The Rev’s (and his Big Damn Band) acquaintance yet.
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Music Review: Old 97’s, Graveyard Whistling

Published on March 3rd, 2017 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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There’s something enormously comforting about a new Old 97’s album. You know what it will sound like: giant, resonant guitar, Rhett Miller’s clever lyrics and busted yelp, a chugging beat. Songs to sing along with. There have been the barest of forays into other sorts of music, influences splashed on their otherwise perfect template, but if you can say one thing about Old 97’s it is this: they are consistent.
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Music Review: Levi Petree, It’s Country

Published on March 3rd, 2017 in: Americana, Country Music, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews, Singer/Songwriters |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Levi Petree’s debut album is called It’s Country, but it isn’t. It’s a delicious melange of things that might fit neatly under the Americana umbrella: pastoral balladry, kick-ass stompers, folksy sunniness, and more than a little punk-rock snarl. They come together to make a debut that is strong and assured, with loads of personality.
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Music Review: Son Volt, Notes Of Blue

Published on February 10th, 2017 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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The latest Son Volt album, Notes Of Blue, may just be precisely the album that will put your anxious brain at ease. It’s inspired by Nick Drake, but it’s also inspired by Mississippi Fred McDowell and Skip James. While the influences of the latter are more easily evident, Son Volt’s leader Jay Farrar says he was “aiming for where blues and folk and country converge.” He’s certainly hit his mark.
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Music Review: Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough, Mockingbird Soul

Published on January 20th, 2017 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough have written songs, recorded, and toured together for years, but with their album Mockingbird Soul, they are putting both their names on the collaboration. And Mockingbird Soul is a true partnership, one that is evident in their instinctive harmonies, their quietly literary lyrics, and the grace of their musicianship. It’s a beauty of an album.
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Music Review: Don Rich and the Buckaroos, Guitar Pickin’ Man

Published on December 16th, 2016 in: Americana, Country Music, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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In the pantheon of great guitarists, there are ones that come easily to mind: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jeff Beck, B.B. King. I’d add the Buckaroos’ Don Rich to that list. His style is immediately recognizable, and without his sonic experimentation, Buck Owens’s catalog would lack a certain verve. While Owens was always happy to dip a toe in the rock side, Don Rich’s playing upped the ante. His fuzzed-out guitar work on “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass?” is as fresh and timely as anything recorded in 1969, and viscerally satisfying. This is pretty remarkable for someone who was hired to play fiddle.
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Music Review: Shovels & Rope, Little Seeds

Published on October 6th, 2016 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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The last time we checked in with Shovels & Rope, they had released Busted Jukebox Vol. 1, a collection of covers and collaborations. That was in 2015. Now, they have followed up with Little Seeds, an intimate, confessional return to form. It’s breathtaking in its honesty, chronicling some life-altering events in Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent’s lives.
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Music Review: Julia Jacklin, Don’t Let The Kids Win

Published on October 6th, 2016 in: Americana, Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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I’m going to admit this right off the bat: there were a few times in listening to Julia Jacklin’s fascinating debut, Don’t Let The Kids Win, that I couldn’t quite make out what she was saying. On the opening track, “Pool Party,” I was drawn to the languid retro feel, a slow dreamy sway of a song, and the unusual timbre to Jacklin’s voice. I just had no idea what the lyrics were (and to me, as a reviewer, lyrics are important). But it didn’t actually matter, because the feelings are evident; there is a heaviness, a sadness that runs through the Americana-esque song.
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Music Review: Luke Winslow-King, I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always

Published on September 30th, 2016 in: Americana, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Luke Winslow-King’s new album, I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always, begins like you’d expect one of his albums to begin: killer bottleneck riffing and sonic space. Then, it quickly becomes something unexpected. He’s no longer playing stripped-down, front porch-blues. He’s moved boldly into the realm of contemporary blues players (Gary Clark, Jr. is an apt comparison) with a full band, with any trace of whimsy eradicated, and Winslow-King’s fine voice prominent. It doesn’t sound like him, though. Not the him that we’ve come to expect.
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Music Review: Amanda Shires, My Piece Of Land

Published on September 23rd, 2016 in: Americana, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Some pregnant women nest by painting walls, decluttering, pasting photos in albums. Amanda Shires wrote an album. My Piece Of Land was written and recorded as a way of dealing with her pre-motherhood anxiety when she was pregnant and unable to travel. The result is introspective, incredibly honest, and furiously lovely.
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