alt-country Archive

Drunken Prayer: Geer Diary

Morgan Geer is into a lot of things, musically speaking. He’s toured and recorded with Freakwater, the Handsome Family and other acts that exist on the edgy fringes of Americana. And since 2006, he’s also been releasing albums and performing as Drunken Prayer. Six albums in, Drunken Prayer has made its most diverse – and

Hundred-word Reviews, March 2019 Part Two

Yesterday I covered ten albums in 1000 words. Today I’ll do the same. All titles are new or recent releases. Shumaun – One Day Closer to Yesterday I love me some atmospheric, progressive leaning and ambitious music. And that’s what’s on offer within One Day Closer to Yesterday. The music has hints of Pink Floyd,

Amigo: On Their Own Trip Now

Based in Charlotte, Amigo make modern-day country rock that’s informed by the sound and style of the genre’s earliest practitioners: groups like the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco. Amigo – led by guitarist and songwriter Slade Baird – recently released And Friends, the follow-up to the trio’s 2014 debut album Might Could. Amigo

Alejandro Escovedo: Crossing Paths

As musician, singer and songwriter Alejandro Escovedo has long been a keen an incisive observer in the American experience. Through his solo work, collaborations and band projects, he has made compelling music in a wide variety of musical styles, with the unifying quality of thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics. He’s a storyteller in the grand tradition,

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

I Talk to the Wind (and Other Instruments): The Ian McDonald Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… By 1976 McDonald was involved in the founding of a new and very different group. Joined by ex-Spooky Tooth guitarist Mick Jones and American singer Lou Gramm, McDonald launched Foreigner. The group would go onto become one of the biggest-selling acts of the rock era, and the music it made seemed

I Talk to the Wind (and Other Instruments): The Ian McDonald Interview, Part One

Ian McDonald’s career has taken some seemingly unexpected twists and turns. The singer, songwriter and instrumentalist played with an embryonic version of groundbreaking progressive rock group King Crimson, and was a key figure in the critical success of the band’s debut album. A few years later, he co-founded Foreigner, one of the most popular acts

Jason Isbell on Muscle Shoals, Politics, Religion and Sobriety

If he were so inclined, Jason Isbell could fill his time dusting and polishing the many awards he’s earned as a songwriter and musician. He has won four Grammys, nine awards from the Americana Music Association (including three this year), as well as several other honors and nominations. But instead Isbell focuses on songwriting and

Jason Isbell: High Road Leads Him Home

Though he’s been a musician for most of his life, Alabama-born guitarist-singer-songwriter Jason Isbell didn’t launch his career as a solo artist until 2007. But in little more than a decade, he has racked up numerous awards (artist of the year, song of the year, album of the year) from the Americana Music Association, earned

Album Review: Diamonds and Whiskey — Dark Country Voodoo

The band name suggests an alt.country/Americana act, and while those labels aren’t too wide of the mark, there’s a harder, edgier and slightly more sinister feel to this music. The southern drawl that characterizes Jenny Webb’s voice places the album firmly in the country and Americana realm, but there’s a rocking and bluesy feel to