alt-country Archive

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

Hundred-word Reviews: New Releases

There’s quite a massive stack of new (or at least new-when-I got-’em) releases here at Musoscribe World HQ. Time to review them. 6-String Drag – Top of the World (Schoolkids Records) This Raleigh-based group was at the forefront of the Americana scene, back when it didn’t even have a name (some called it alt-country). After

Hundred-word Reviews: Reissues, Archival Releases, Compilations

My shelf full of albums to be reviewed has run out of space. So once again it’s time for a raft of hundred-word reviews. All sixteen titles in this roundup are reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. 6-String Drag – High Hat (Schoolkids Records) Before Americana was coined as a genre, there was alt-country. Combining rock

Amigo: Fun ‘And Friends” at the Fidelitorium

Charlotte-based country rock trio Amigo has seen its profile raised this last year. The group was named Best Gram-Parsons-Loving-Country Rock Band in 2017, and they recently completed their second full-length release, And Friends, recorded with producer Mitch Easter at his Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville. With And Friends, Amigo continues to build on a foundation that

Asheville’s Holiday Hang 2017

Calling an event “Holiday Hang” suggests a loose, informal and fun way to spend a December evening. That’s accurate, but organizers of the annual event – now in its sixth year – have set their sights much higher. True, an evening of bluegrass and country featuring a double-bill of Asheville’s Town Mountain and Amanda Anne

Poco’s Rusty Young: A Good Feelin’ to Play

The genre of country rock has its origins in west coast bands of the late 1960s, including late-period Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield and Poco. And while perhaps the biggest claim to fame enjoyed by Poco is its reputation as a kind of “farm team” for big-league, higher-profile acts, the band co-founded in

Album Mini-review: Raging Fire — These Teeth are Sharp

File next to: X, Lone Justice After toiling in relative obscurity though the 1980s, Nashville country-punkers Raging Fire threw in the towel. But the under-appreciated quarter left behind some superb music; that material was eventually reissued in 2015 as Everything is Roses. Positive response to that collection led to a full-scale reunion, and the fruit