The Mavericks: norteAmericana

Nominally a country and western/roots band, the Mavericks have long been truly unclassifiable. Their musical eclecticism has always been a part of the band’s makeup, but since coming back from an eight-year hiatus, the Mavericks have made that eclectic character a central component in their music. Leader and songwriter Raul Malo explains the difference between

The Edgar (W)interview, Part 2

Continued from Part One … Dan Hartman was also an original member of The Edgar Winter Group; he was with the band 1972-75. Winter says that “Dan was the first person I enlisted for The Edgar Winter Group. It was a huge talent search; I listened to hundreds of demo tapes to choose talented people

The Edgar (W)interview, Part 1

Edgar Winter was one of the most popular rock artists of the 1970s. From his solo debut – 1970’s Entrance – through his first album of the next decade (Standing on Rock, 1981), Winter crafted catchy and intriguing music that folded in the many styles of music that had influenced him. From gritty rhythm and

Emitt Rhodes: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Word has it that Emitt Rhodes does like his privacy. What that means in practical terms, I am told, is that when I telephone him at the scheduled time for our interview, I should announce myself when the call goes over to Emitt’s answering machine. This I do, but Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Part 1)

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the “great and powerful” title character is revealed to be a mere mortal. And while for some viewers the takeaway of that revelation is that he’s a fraud, another point of view holds that he – like all of us in a way, really – is just

Album Mini-review: Velvet Crush — Pre-teen Symphonies

File next to: The Smithereens, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub If they didn’t scale the heights of commercial success that some of their contemporaries reached, it was no fault of Velvet Crush. All of the ingredients for success were there: muscular playing and arrangements, razor-sharp hooks, great lead and harmony vocals, and solid songwriting. They persevered

Album Mini-review: The Amazing — Ambulance

File next to: The Cure, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine In a way, The Amazing can be thought of as a side-project: guitarist Reine Fiske is the lead guitarist in Dungen. But this Swedish group has staked out a sound and aesthetic of its own. Unlike Dungen, they sing in English. And theirs is a

A Band to Check Out: The Struts

The Struts are one of those groups that seem as if they’ve been around forever. Expertly channeling the glammy musical excess of Queen, the Derby, England quartet burst onto the pop music landscape with 2014’s Everybody Wants. That album charted modestly in the UK and Canada, faring better (#15) on the US rock charts. Ahead

Loudon Wainwright III: “All right … I hope.”

With more than two dozen studio albums to his credit, Loudon Wainwright III is carrying on a proud (and sometimes revered) tradition as a folk troubadour. “They used to call them ‘protest songs,’” he quips. “When I was a teenager, I used to go to the Newport Folk Festival; folk was a big deal. Phil

Derek Trucks: No Ceiling in Sight (Part 3 / conclusion)

Continued from Part Two… Bill Kopp: I notice the collaborative nature of the songwriter credits on TTB albums. How does songwriting work in the band? Derek Trucks: This record went a lot of different ways, and it never felt forced. For the songs that Doyle Bramhall II and I wrote together, it would be the