alt-country Archive

Ian McDonald: From Prog to Arena Rock to Alt-country, All in Style

Most people will know the name Ian McDonald from his work with King Crimson and Foreigner. But his body of work extends well beyond pioneering progressive rock and ’70s arena rock. His current project is, in fact, a far cry from both of those styles. A superb multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, McDonald lends his talents to

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 1

Once again, it’s time for a passel of quick reviews. Twenty in all – ten today, as many tomorrow. All deserve a listen. Titles on vinyl are noted as such (LP). Waiting for Henry – The Gospel of Moby Grape As a serious fan of the star-crossed band name-checked in the title, I had to

Penny and Sparrow: Rosé Rock vs. Emo-country

The crystalline instrumentation and emotionally resonant vocal harmonies of Penny and Sparrow have earned the Austin, Texas folk duo both critical plaudits and a dedicated following. But Penny and Sparrow are about much more than indie-folk: their latest album, Finch, draws from a wide (and perhaps unexpected) array of styles, most notably rhythm and blues.

Dwight Yoakam: Honky Tonk Man

Dwight Yoakam launched a life in music at precisely the wrong time. But over the ensuing decades, he helped bend country music – or at least a significant part of it – in the direction he pursued. For his efforts, he has become a commercially successful and critically acclaimed artist, winning two Grammys and awards

Gold Light + Snakemusk: Shadows and Light

The first recorded project from Gold Light + Snakemusk – the duo of former Kovacs and the Polar Bear multi-instrumentalist Joe Chang and singer-guitarist Beau Campolong – is a new album, Shadows in the Shallows. The duo digs deep into a country duo sound that recalls Johnny and June Cash as well as Gram Parsons

What is Drunken Prayer? Leader Morgan Geer is Open to Suggestions

With one foot in honky-tonk and the other in straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll, Morgan Geer’s Drunken Prayer is Americana for people who don’t like Americana, rock for those who don’t mind a bit of singer-songwriter introspection. But there’s music more to the man who writes the songs than simply penning crying-in-your-beer laments. Cordelia Elsewhere, the

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,