Album Review: The Limits – Garage Nuggets ‘65-’68

It’s nice when an important figure in music says nice things about your music. Even if that person is something of a cult figure like Alex Chilton, it counts. And apparently Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star) thought highly of the music made by an Allentown, Pennsylvania garage rock band called The Limits. Like so many

Album Review: Jimmy Sweeney — Without You

Another in the (happily and) seemingly endless stream of unearthed gems, Jimmy Sweeney’s Without You is a collection of songs by a singer who was all but unknown. His claim to fame lies in a story – possibly apocryphal but leaning toward being true – about a demo he sent to Sam Phillips. That disc

Album Review: Holy Hive — Float Back to You

Combine crystalline, upper register vocals with a musical aesthetic that’s part Philly Soul, parts indie rock and relentlessly melodic, and the result – if it’s lucky – might sound a bit like Holy Hive. This Brooklyn-based trio has its roots in the music of folk singer Paul Spring, but the indelible, shimmering pop values of

Feminazgul: None More Black, None More Feminine

From the beginning, Asheville-based atmospheric black metal duo Feminazgul staked out its own unique musical territory. The genre is known for its focus upon punishing riffs, themes of violence and mayhem and growling, bowels-of-Hell vocalizing. And while Feminazgul’s music displays all of those characteristics, its debut album No Dawn for Men adds two unusual elements

Sarah Louise’s Atmospheric Americana

Describing herself as a musical omnivore, Sarah Louise makes music that draws inspiration from seemingly unrelated styles. The prolific Asheville musician has released five albums since her 2015 debut; three of those have come out just since early 2019. Her latest, Earth and its Contents finds her applying her talents to enhance the work of

Album Review: Holsapple & Stamey — Our Back Pages

As wonderful as the dBs were during their original run (featuring Peter Holsapple with and then without Chris Stamey), the more acoustic-flavored efforts by Holsapple and Stamey – 1991’s Mavericks and 2009’s hERE aND nOW – were truly special as well. Decidedly different in tone and energy, but simply superb they were, even for a

Just Like Home: John Doyle

Irish musician bridges the gap between Ireland and Appalachia He’s an acclaimed and globetrotting figure in Irish music, guitarist, singer, folklorist and songwriter. But when he’s off the road, John Doyle makes his home in Western North Carolina. Nominated for a 2010 Grammy (Best Traditional World Album), Doyle is an astoundingly busy and in demand

Heart, Head, Hands and Feet: The Paper Crowns

It’s the age-old chicken-or-egg question. Which came first: the marriage of Spiro and Nicole Nicolopoulos, or their musical collaboration, the Paper Crowns? “Technically,” Nicole responds with a laugh, “the musical collaboration, then marriage.” Spiro clarifies things: “We had a year-and-a-half relationship before any musical collaborations.” Starting as friends, building a relationship, launching a duo and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Back in the ’70s and the early ’80s, did Arista Records ever put pressure on you to assemble a live band? Alan Parsons: No, I don’t think so. They knew my identity was in the studio, and that’s what I was. I was a producer and engineer, and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part One)

Alan Parsons is a unique figure in popular music; very few people go from working as a recording engineer and producer to becoming an artist in their own right. After working behind the scenes with the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons formed his own Project (not, he explains, a group). Between 1976 and 1987, the