Author Archive

Album Review: Tyler Keith – The Last Drag

Do you like rock ‘n’ roll? I mean the sweaty, greasy, sloppy, noisy stuff, the kind of music that gets your heart pumping and makes you want to get involved somehow – air guitar, head-nodding, first pumping – to more fully experience it? Then I’d very much like to direct your attention to The Last

Album Review: Wolfgang Lackerschmid and Chet Baker – Ballads for Two

In an odd way, it’s entirely fitting that nowhere on the sleeve or label does Ballads for Two indicate when the album was recorded or originally released. It’s fitting because there’s nothing about this album that ties it to a particular place or time. The record is comprised of eight cuts featuring nothing more than

Brother Bluebird: Summer All Year ‘Round

Asheville-based brothers Adam and Tim Reaves are Brother Bluebird, an Americana/folk/indie duo. They’ve been making music together most of their lives, but got serious about it in 2015. Their 2019 EP, Summer is equal parts tuneful melodies, creamy harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. There’s something special about vocal harmonies by siblings; they seem to fit together

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

Second Verse, Better Than the First: The Choir Reunites (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … Jim Bonfanti explains that it was the reunion of The Raspberries that would eventually lead to The Choir getting back together. “We were working on the Pop Art deal,” he says, referring to Omnivore Recordings’ 2CD release of a November 2004 Raspberries concert recording. Released years later in 2017, that

Second Verse, Better Than the First: The Choir Reunites (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … The Choir certainly knew how to rock hard; the group’s cover of The Kinks’ “David Watts” made that plain. But the musicians were at their collective best digging into more complex material. Few bands then or now would think to cover The Nice’s arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s “America.” But The

Second Verse, Better Than the First: The Choir Reunites (Part 1 of 3)

Omnivore Recordings presents a live reunion of Cleveland late-’60s proto-progressive band Ask a casual rock fan if he or she has heard of The Choir, and you’re likely to get a quizzical look followed by a “no.” Pose the same question to a hardcore music fiend – especially one with a familiarity with the Cleveland

30 Days Out, September 2020 #1: Alien Music Club, Hard Rocket, Firecracker Jazz Band, Modern Strangers

For this edition of “30 Days Out,” it’s all local acts from here in Asheville. And two of the four shows are (socially-distanced) in-person shows. As in, live in real time without the use of a computer or smartphone. What a concept! There’s an admission fee for those, which is only fair. For the other

Album Review: The Hollywood Stars – Live on the Sunset Strip

In the mid 1970s, The Hollywood Stars were charting a musical path not wholly unlike Sweet: super-catchy bubblegum-meets-glam rock. But they didn’t earn success commensurate with the quality of their material. Last year saw the release of Sound City, a “lost album” of the band’s best material from that era, and its success was met

Album Review: Franck L. Goldwasser – Sweet Little Black Spider

The 1980s were not a rich era for the blues. But the decade wasn’t without highlights. Artists like Joe Louis Walker and Arthur Adams were prominent on the scene. And older artists like Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins and Charlie Musselwhite were still wowing audiences and cutting records. And French-born guitarist Franck L. Goldwasser (then known