Author Archive

Album Review: Eleventyseven — Basic Glitches

What a difference a couple of decades can make. Eleventyseven got its start in Laurens, S.C. as a pop-punk band trafficking in Christian themes; one of its earliest shows took place when founding members Matt Langston and Caleb Satterfield were still in high school; that show was at a rally in support of sexual abstinence.

Come and Get It: Badfinger’s ‘Magic Christian Music’ at 50

With the benefit of a half century’s hindsight, it can be argued that despite massive creativity and talent, Badfinger was star-crossed nearly from its start. Though the British-Welsh band were protégés of the Beatles, that connection only got them so far. The vicissitudes of the record industry and other factors combined to blunt the potential

Seratones: Power Takes Time

In the music business there’s something known as the “difficult second album.” Some call it a sophomore slump, arising from the idea that the artist has his or her entire life to write songs for the first record, and then mere months to craft material for a follow-up. It’s the rare artist that sidesteps this

No Good Trying: Syd Barrett’s ‘The Madcap Laughs’ at 50 (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … excerpted from my book, Reinventing Pink Floyd Barrett had approached his old friend David Gilmour – then on holiday in Ibiza, Spain, the setting for the Barbet Schroeder film More – and asked him and Roger Waters to produce. They agreed, and scheduled overdub and recording sessions on spare days

No Good Trying: Syd Barrett’s ‘The Madcap Laughs’ at 50 (Part 1)

excerpted from my book, Reinventing Pink Floyd In early 1968, mere months after Syd Barrett left (or was dismissed from) Pink Floyd, his management team of Peter Jenner and Andrew King encouraged him to begin work on a solo album. Upon Barrett’s exit from Pink Floyd, Jenner and King had cast their lot with Barrett,

Keller Williams: Prolific at any ‘Speed’

A multigenre, multi-instrumental artist, Keller Williams makes music that appeals to a wide array of music fans. Steeped in Americana, he makes music that proudly displays the influence of bluegrass and folk. And his improvisational prowess has gained him a serious following in the jam band community. Williams performs live in many different contexts, as

Album Review: Louis Armstrong and His All Stars — Live in 1956

Though he had certainly been massively popular before, in the middle 1950s jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong was near the top of his game. In 1947 he broke up his big band and formed a new group, the All Stars made up primarily of former leaders of other bands. Louis Armstrong and His All

30 Days Out: February 2020 #2: Gordon Lightfoot, Marley Carroll, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Pinkest Floyd

Lots of great live music coming to Asheville, N.C. in the next 30 days. Below is merely a sampling from among the best: two local acts, two nationally touring artists. Blues, folk, electronica, funk: something for most every taste. Artist: Gordon Lightfoot Venue: Harrah’s Cherokee Center Date: Monday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m. Door: $27-$67 You

Bartender-Author Sandlin Gaither on Tequila, Dog Hair and Chainsaw Fights

Note: This story first appeared in Mountain Xpress ahead of the live performance referenced herein. Sandlin Gaither has been listening to you and your friends. From his position behind the bar at popular local music venues in Asheville, N.C., he’s been witness to some memorable conversations. Without causing a delay in the serving of beer,

Presto: Deep Purple’s ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ at 50

Looking back on rock history, it’s clear that the concept of rock/orchestral hybridization was fashionable for a time. Most rock listeners are familiar (and then some) with Days of Future Passed, the debut album by a reinvented lineup of Birmingham, England beat group The Moody Blues; that 1967 LP brought together rock and symphonic textures