Book Review: That Thin Wild Mercury Sound: Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde

One of the most confounding and inscrutable of all artists, Bob Dylan and his body of work defy simple descriptions. Of course that hasn’t stopped journalists, academics and critics from trying. There’s no telling how many books and articles have been written about Bob Dylan and his music. But if a dedicated and thoughtful writer-researcher

Acoustic Syndicate’s Deep Roots are Positively Growing

Acoustic Syndicate has been defying genre stereotypes for more than a quarter century. The beloved Western North Carolina group has been claimed by fans of bluegrass as well as the jam band crowd, and the band’s sound draws from rock and jazz as well. Founded in 1992 by brothers Bryon and Fitz McMurray (banjo/guitar and

Album Review: Open Sound — s/t

Fernando Perdomo is everywhere (including the virtual pages of this music magazine). Equally comfortable in (and skilled at) progressive rock and powerpop, he’s a utility man to the stars since his relocation to Los Angeles. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter. I hesitate to call Open Sound his latest project, because it’s highly likely that

Steep Canyon Rangers: Pushing and Pulling Bluegrass Boundaries

Ask most people who follow Americana and related styles of music what it is that Steep Canyon Rangers plays, and the most common answer you’ll hear is bluegrass. But ask a member of the popular, award-winning and long-running band based in Western North Carolina the same question, and the answer isn’t quite so simple. “I

Steep Canyon Rangers: Serving the Songs

As the 20th century approached its end, a group of college students began getting together informally to play bluegrass. None of them could have imagined that they’d still be together in 2018, performing concerts backed by members of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. In support of their 13th and latest album, Out in the Open, the

A Holiday Treat for Musoscribe Readers

‘Tis the season for … a bonus weekend post. I almost never post features or reviews on a Saturday, but these two titles warrant the exception. Plus, if I wait until I have an open weekday, you won’t read about this until late February 2017. Some people simply detest holiday music. I grew up in

Album Review: Sonny Sharrock — Ask the Ages

Outside the relatively small population that appreciates jazz, Sonny Sharrock is little-known. And that’s quite a shame, because the guitarist (who died in 1994) had a lot to offer musically, even to those whose tastes don’t extend far beyond the confines of rock’n’roll. The first widely-heard example of Sharrock’s boundary-pushing style was in perhaps the

Interview: Aaron “Woody” Wood

Though it’s in many ways an informal affair, Warren Haynes Presents Christmas Jam has been growing in a deliberate fashion. Thanks both to concertgoer demand and the long line of musicians wishing to be involved in this fundraiser event, the festival – now in its 26th year – expanded to two nights a few years

Bonus Weekend Feature: 101 Runners

I’m getting married today! And I’m so happy about it that I have a gift for my readers: an extra, weekend piece. This is an edited version of a feature that ran a couple of weeks ago in Asheville NC’s local altweekly, Mountain Xpress. — bk New Orleans is rightly acclaimed as the birthplace of

Album Review: E.Normus Trio – Love and Barbiturates

This music reviewing gig of mine is funny, sometimes. Not long ago I received via email a press release from a New York-based music publicist. The message covered a number of recent releases, most of which fell into a jazz and/or avant-garde category. I read through and was especially intrigued by one of the artists