The Paul Kelly Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One … The title track of Life is Fine is built around a Langston Hughes poem. What’s special to you about his words? “That was the first time, actually, that I became aware of him. A friend just sent the poem to me and she kept going, ‘You can put a tune

The Paul Kelly Interview, Part One

Paul Kelly is an institution in his native Australia. His musical style transcends genre, and the beloved singer-guitarist has released nearly two dozen albums since his recorded debut in 1981. Kelly was the subject of an award-winning 2012 documentary, Paul Kelly: Stories of Me, and earlier this year he was made an Officer of the

A Chat with River Valley Blues Fest Headliners Janiva Magness and Grady Champion

Growing quickly from a 2015 local event in a bar ten miles outside of town to its current form – a two-day event featuring world-class talent – this year’s River Valley Blues Festival boasted a lineup featuring internationally-touring headliners Grady Champion and Janiva Magness. The festival took place August 19 and 20 at Salvage Station.

Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne: Not Dark Yet

Shelby Lynne has had a long and distinguished career in country and pop. She began her professional recording career in the late 1980s, and experienced her commercial breakthrough with the 1998 album I Am Shelby Lynne. Over the course of more than a dozen albums, the singer-guitarist has solidified her stature as a mature songwriter

Album Review: Gary Bartz Ntu Troop – Harlem Bush Music: Uhuru

The 1970s were a fascinating time in jazz. Fusion was establishing its footing, and a wide variety of artists had committed themselves to exploring the outer boundaries of the jazz form. One of the directions pursued was the incorporation of African rhythms and textures. Of course in and of itself, that was hardly a new

The Church: Democracy as a Key to Longevity

The Church has been making its dreamy, psychedelic-flavored and determinedly original music for more than 37 years. The Australian foursome has remained largely intact through those years: founding members Steve Kilbey (bass, lead vocals) and Peter Koppes (lead guitar) are mainstays, and drummer Tim Powles has been with the band since 1994. (Guitarist Ian Haug

Zev Feldman, Cratedigger Extraordinaire

Most record collectors are familiar with the age-old crate digger stereotype: someone who wanders through basements, garages and back rooms full of dusty, musty piles of old vinyl and shellac, searching for the rare, long-lost and often forgotten piece of music. A modern-day, amped-up version of the crate digger is Zev Feldman. But Feldman doesn’t

Marbin: Flight or Flight

A cynic might say that the defining characteristic of jazz-rock fusion is that it pleases neither the jazz fan nor the rock aficionado. But after a few years playing together in Marbin, guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch found that they had become a fusion band. And the group’s success puts the lie to

JD McPherson Makes Music in the American Rock ‘n’ Roll Tradition

When JD McPherson released his debut album, 2010’s Signs & Signifiers, he created a slow-burning sensation. The disc first gained notice thanks to a Youtube video of one of its standout songs, “North Side Gal.” A major-label reissued of the disc was named 2012’s Best Hard Rock Album by the Independent Music Awards. 2015’s follow-up,

Album Review: J. Atkinson — Youth Eternal

Jonathan Atkinson has a background that includes immersion in the Asheville punk and indie scenes. The musical fingerprints of those experiences aren’t readily obvious when listening to his latest release, Youth Eternal But if one spends time with the record, they are subtly revealed. There’s an acoustic folk ambiance to “Crooked Smile” that’s slightly redolent