Roots Music

Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture of You (2013)

Guy Clark, just past his 70th year, still has the ability to whittle down life into these visceral moments — each of them picturesque, so memorable and deeply resonant.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Long Black Veil” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

Stumbled upon during the sessions for Music from Big Pink, Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil” featured a darkly gothic storyline that meshed so well you’d never know it was a cover song.

Allen Toussaint – Songbook (2013)

Allen Toussaint – Songbook (2013)

Allen Toussaint’s languid, reverie-filled piano introduction to “Southern Nights,” a No. 1 hit he gave to Glen Campbell, is worth the price of admission to his new live set Songbook all by itself.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “We Can Talk” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A key line from this Richard Manuel song, “one voice for all,” says everything about the way the Band constructed Music from Big Pink, and what made them so utterly unique in their own time.

One Track Mind: Darden Smith, “Seven Wonders” from Love Calling (2013)

Darden Smith returns with a quietly introspective love song — one that offers as many ruminative questions about the mysteries of passion as it does celebrations of how these things somehow work out anyway.

On Second Thought: The Byrds – Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde (1969)

So many changes had occurred in the Byrds camp since they formed in 1964 and then wowed the pop world a year later by spearheading a new stripe of music coined folk rock

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “The Weight” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A cinematic, fever dream of a song, “The Weight” remains both an enigma and an emblem for its singer Levon Helm and the Band. Just what this track’s burden is? Well, that’s brilliantly unspoken

Almost Hits: Neil Young, “Old Man” (1972)

Almost Hits: Neil Young, “Old Man” (1972)

It seems that no matter where you go, if you have a handful of musicians in the crowd, you can always strike up a conversation about Neil Young. Heck, you don’t even need musicians

David Egan – David Egan (2013)

It’s probably smart of David Egan to release a self-titled album at this point — because despite his having written a trunk-load of songs for famous people, he’s hardly a household name. David Egan shows what a crime that is.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Caledonia Mission” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A showcase for Rick Danko, not just as a mournful and country-inflected singer but also as a rapturously melodic bass player, “Caledonia Mission” also remains one of Robbie Robertson’s more oblique narratives.