Author Archive

Bluesman Mac Arnold Still Has a Lot on His Plate

Mac Arnold’s story is a familiar one to fans of the blues. Born 1942 in upstate South Carolina, he was a sharecropper’s son and one of 13 children. When his father left home temporarily to pick oranges in Florida, one of Mac’s older brothers decided to build a guitar for himself, using materials at hand.

Album Review: Joe Henderson — The Elements

Released in 1974, The Elements is the 16th album from tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. This four-track album features four extended tracks; each is an improvisational exploration/meditation on one the elements. Though much of Henderson’s work had been well within the relatively conservative parameters of hard- and post-bop, The Elements is a conscious and largely successful

The Paul Kelly Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … On Life is Fine you cede the lead vocal duties on “My Man’s Got a Cold” to Vika Bull and “Don’t Explain” to Linda Bull. That’s the kind of thing one expects to find on a “band album,” not one by an artist using his own name. Was it your

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