Album Review: Barrett Martin Group — Scattered Diamonds

In spring of last year, I reviewed Songs of the Firebird, a resonant and deeply intriguing album that could be described in part as a jazz album made with non-jazz musicians helping out. That record leaned in a bit of an avant-big-band direction. This newest release from the group is even more accessible. Scattered Diamonds

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … Things took off from there. His long string of hits would include many highlights, including “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway,” both from 1974’s Sundown LP, and the haunting “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” from Summertime Dream in 1975. Canada’s Juno Awards – that country’s equivalent to the Grammys – are

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … And he had another fleeting concern. All those years had gone by, and then he returns with a simple, unadorned album? “I didn’t want people to think I was getting lazy,” he says with a laugh. Compared to the highly polished East of Midnight, Solo would represent a radical departure.

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 1 of 3)

When Gordon Lightfoot soared to the top of the U.S. singles charts with 1970’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” most listeners considered him a new artist. But the Ontario-born singer-songwriter was a seasoned veteran of the music scene. Already in his 30s, Lightfoot had been releasing albums since early 1966. Sit Down Young Stranger

Eleanor Underhill’s New and Strange Chemistry (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One … There’s a moody — and sometimes even a little dark and melancholy — vibe to some of the music on Land of the Living. Would you say that there’s a kind of overarching emotional perspective to the album as a whole? I would say that a lot of my solo

Eleanor Underhill’s New and Strange Chemistry (Part 1 of 2)

Asheville based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Eleanor Underhill is best known as one half of the Americana duo Underhill Rose. But in her solo career – begun with a 2018 debut album – she charts a very different path. I interviewed her recently for Asheville altweekly Mountain Xpress; that feature is in this week’s

Lola Montez’s ‘Dissonant Dreams’

One from the archives: This feature appeared in the August 2019 issue of Bold Life Magazine. Lola Montez isn’t a singer backed by a rock band. Lola Montez is the band. The Nashville hard rock group is built around the core of vocalist Inga Rudin, guitarist Blake Scopino and drummer Kurt Pietro; depending on where

30 Days Out, August 2020 #1: Robin Bullock, Cliff Eberhardt, Eleanor Underhill, Christy Lynn

Two steps forward, one (and sometimes two) back. The United States’ continued failure to contain the spread of COVID-19 is having more and more lasting effects. Beyond death and permanent health effects, countless businesses have shuttered. Here’s hoping most of those closures are temporary. Here in Asheville we’ve already lost one beloved music venue. The

Album Reviews: Five from the Coed Record Label

Doo-wop – or r&b vocal, if you prefer – is an important part of the rock and roll story. The style began just after World War II, and doo-wop enjoyed its heyday in the early (read: pre-Beatles) 1960s. Doo-wop was primarily an African-American phenomenon, but many white groups got into it as well (and there

Album Review: Allan Holdsworth – Frankfurt ‘86

Being an early adopter is a risky pursuit. Godley and Creme built an entire album (the triple-LP Consequences) around their Gizmo, and disaster ensued. Some of the earliest releases with the Synclavier were stiff and mannered. But fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth was having none of that restraint when he dove headlong into the world of