alt-country Archive

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,

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