Album Review: Town Mountain – New Freedom Blues

On the group’s sixth studio album, Asheville-based band Town Mountain continues to build on its successful sound. New Freedom Blues finds Town Mountain having it both ways: the five-piece is a reliable purveyor of classic bluegrass, yet the Appalachian music genre is subtly imbued with a modern-day feel that lets the group express its own

Learning to Fly Without Waters: Pink Floyd’s ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ at 30 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… When Nicholas Schaffner published his excellent Pink Floyd biography Saucerful of Secrets – for many years the only definitive tome on Pink Floyd – the 1991 book included an appendix that featured the results of fanzine Amazing Pudding’s reader polls. One notable bit of information from that poll is that “Dogs

Learning to Fly Without Waters: Pink Floyd’s ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ at 30 (Part One)

The Wall was the beginning of the end for the classic lineup of Pink Floyd. Though the balance of creative power in the group had begun to shift in Roger Waters’ direction after the unprecedented success of 1974’s The Dark Side of the Moon, the change was slow and gradual. But by the time of

Herb Alpert: International Man of Music

It’s only a slight overstatement to call trumpeter Herb Alpert the king of 1960s easy listening music. Alpert, of course, led the staggeringly successful Tijuana Brass; if you’ve ever been in a thrift shop, you’ve seen Whipped Cream and Other Delights, the record with that famously racy cover photo. Alpert is the rare artist who

George Harrison’s ‘Wonderwall Music’ at 50

In the wake of high-profile solo studio debuts* from John Lennon (Plastic Ono Band, released December 1970) and Paul McCartney (McCartney, released in April of that year), the first solo albums from the Beatles’ two other members were overshadowed. But it was guitarist George Harrison, in fact, who first recorded and released an album of

Kat Edmonson’s Vintage Pop for Now Listeners

Though a relative youngster at age 35, Kat Edmonson makes music that’s rooted in another era. Her vintage pop approach draws form the style of vocal jazz and the Great American Songbook, but the Houston-born Edmonson’s original music is imbued with a strong modern-day sensibility. Many artists bristle at the prospect of being categorized. Aware

EP Review: DJ Dallas & SIYAH — Dark Clouds

A new EP from Asheville-based rapper SIYAH (Isa Whitaker) explores faith and family in a style miles away from the gangsta rap of the 1990s. Enlisting talent from the ranks of his own family, SIYAH delivers an impressive 14 minutes of conscious hip-hop on Dark Clouds. Dark Clouds opens with “The Heights.” Like all four

Album Review: STIG — Agreed Upon

Some artists play music that – if one wishes to label it – requires several words to describe. Formed by five students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, STIG (the band spells its name in all caps) self-identifies as an “all-instrumental progressive jazz funk” band. In a hurry, some might be tempted to label the

Active Bird Community: Birds of a Feather Still Flocking Together

The four members of Active Bird Community are only 24 years old, but the Bedstuy-based indie rock group is already releasing its fourth collection of new music. The title of that record, Amends, might suggest that the four musicians are already getting on each other’s nerves, but that’s not the case. Guitarist-vocalist Tom D’Agustino admits

John the Martyr: Up From the Subway

Contrast is a useful and popular device in music. Fast and slow, loud and quiet, simple and complex: creatively combined, the differences can make for some fascinating and memorable music. A group called John the Martyr takes this old idea in a new direction, combining musicians of different generations. The 10-piece group is a collective