Roots Music

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

Across the Great Divide: Remembering Richard Manuel (1943-1986)

Across the Great Divide: Remembering Richard Manuel (1943-1986)

For a brief moment, as the Band’s career officially got underway on 1968’s Music from Big Pink, Richard Manuel held the spotlight completely. “Tears of Rage” was enough to convince anyone of his anguished genius.

One Track Mind: Joe Henry, “Lead Me On” from Invisible Hour (2014)

This is a love story, told from inside a heart — not meant for public consumption, in the broadest sense of the word. This isn’t How I Met Your Mother; it’s how I found a way to express something that maybe only I understand.

Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance – Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (2014)

Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance – Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (2014)

A long-awaited and much-anticipated musical collection has come to fruition in the form of Ooh La La: An Island Harvest from the late Ronnie Lane and his ironically named early-1970s group Slim Chance.

Social Distortion’s Jonny Two Bags – Salvation Town (2014)

You might think you know Jonny Wickersham, if you’ve followed Social Distortion. Wickersham, better known as Jonny Two Bags, joined in 2000 after the passing of Dennis Danell

Something Else! sneak peek: moe., “Blond Hair and Blue Eyes” from No Guts No Glory (2014)

Only a free-form improvisational group like moe. could start out with the aim of a barn-recorded acoustic album and somehow end up working with a producer who made his name in hip hop-circles.

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.

‘As long as it’s fun, then I’ll do it': The Pogues’ rogue frontman Shane MacGowan isn’t going anywhere

In a newly posted interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan talks about surviving his famously debauched rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and, yes, the state of his choppers.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Get Up Jake” from Rock of Ages (1972)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Get Up Jake” from Rock of Ages (1972)

Chasing down “Get Up Jake,” this dollop of hilarious country funk that outlines a crew’s failed attempts to rouse a boozy womanizing deckhand, is every bit as difficult as divining the concrete narrative on knotty fables like “The Weight.”

Ozomatli – Place In The Sun (2014)

I can say without reservation that the Los Angeles-based Ozomatli puts on the best live show I’ve ever experienced. The term “show” doesn’t do the band’s live gigs justice since the audience can’t help but be caught up in the “Ozobeat.” There’s no passive involvement in an Ozomatli concert.