Bluegrass

Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line (2014)

Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line (2014)

Nickel Creek formed in 1989 when Sean Watkins was just 11 years old. By the time 2007 rolled around, the trio, which also includes Sara Watkins (fiddle, vocals) and Chris Thile (mandolin, vocals), took an “indefinite hiatus.” Despite the fact that this shocked many fans, it wasn’t that surprising. The band had already walked countless miles together. With an eternityRead More

Something Else! sneak peek: The Seldom Scene with Emmylou Harris, “Hickory Wind” (2014)

Something Else! sneak peek: The Seldom Scene with Emmylou Harris, “Hickory Wind” (2014)

Emmylou Harris returns to a Gram Parsons song she first took on for 1979′s Grammy-winning Blue Kentucky Girl, only this time alongside the Seldom Scene as the DC-area bluegrass group makes its Smithsonian Folkways debut.

Cool cover of Jackson 5′s ‘I Want You Back’ propels Lake Street Dive to spotlight ahead of LEAF

On a Boston sidewalk, the brassy, sassy combo Lake Street Dive tears into an acoustic soul cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.”

Steve Earle – The Warner Bros. Years (2013)

Steve Earle – The Warner Bros. Years (2013)

This set represents an often-overlooked period, and one of intense experimentation, for Steve Earle — who couldn’t have been further removed (personally or professionally) from his earliest triumphs

The Howlin’ Brothers – Howl (2013)

To answer the obvious question, yes the Howlin’ Brothers do indeed howl on their major label debut called Howl. They also hoot, holler, bash away at banjos while fiddling as the barn burns down.

Austin Lounge Lizards – Home and Deranged (2013)

Missing longtime member Tom Pittman, but none of the knee-slapping fun, the Austin Lounge Lizards’ fizzy Home and Deranged takes on such typically topical subjects as airport patdowns, big-ego music stars, fat-cat bankers and government conspiracy theories.

One Track Mind: Stone Blind Valentine, “Think What You Will” from Burn Like a Field (2013)

A song about hard-won acceptance, Stone Blind Valentine’s “Think What You Will” begins with a raw acoustic riff from Colby Maddox before Emily Hurd enters — all steely resolve, but barely obscuring a sweeping moment of heartbreak.

The Friday Morning Listen: Joy Kills Sorrow – Darkness Sure Becomes This City (2010)

Though I have occasionally written about politics (and in that case, it was about the stupidity and lack of logic as opposed to particular ideas), I’ve for the most part avoided writing about religion. Can (or should) an atheist write about religion?

Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin – Wild Rabbit EP (2012)

Well, it’s the 21st century. It has been for some time now. And like many people, I spend more than a few hours each week surfing the ‘net, looking for great but often obscure performances from classic rock acts or mostly unknown artists.

Doc Watson (1923-2012): An Appreciation

It’s funny how certain bits of music can get under your skin. Several years ago, I was having a visit with my old buddy Gene out in upstate New York.