Americana Archive

Music and food: Frank Solivan’s Recipe for Camaraderie

“It’s like the old saying, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,’” says mandolin player Frank Solivan. “If you have a good meal, everybody’s just a little more at ease. And when you hear them say, ‘Oh! Mmm, this is good,’ that’s just a whole ‘nother layer of the connective tissue between

Album Review: Eric Ambel — Lakeside

Indie cred: it’s an elusive quality, one that most artists would be pleased to possess. Indie cred connotes a level of achievement that suggests one’s work is more than ephemeral, more than disposable, worth further investigation. Once you’ve got it, if you’re the real deal, you’ll hold onto it. One fine Exhibit A for this

Album Review: Bobby Long — Ode

At only 30, Bobby Long has a deep catalog of work. After three self-released albums beginning with 2009’s Dirty Pond Songs, he signed with ATO Records and began a string of releases for that label: two EPs to date, and two full-lengths. The latest of his albums is Ode to Thinking, released in 2015 on

Album Review: Sammy Walker — Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’

The pop music world has long been on a quest for the Next Fill-in-the-blank. After The Beatles stormed American shores, the rush was on to sign every band with a British accent. When The Knack hit it big with “My Sharona,” record company execs appeared – contract in hand – to sign any group with

Larry Keel’s Asheville Experience

“I grew up playing bluegrass; it’s in my blood like crazy,” says guitarist, singer and songwriter Larry Keel. “But these days when I’m writing, I don’t hear bluegrass anymore. I’ve written and performed music that is, I think, unclassifiable. And that’s where I want to be.” Keel continues to defy pigeonholing with Experienced, his 15th

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2016, Part 5

This latest week-long dive into my backlog of worthy music for review wraps up with five archival releases. Vulgar Boatmen – You and Your Sister First things first: the album title (and title song) have no relation whatsoever to the same-named song by Big Star‘s Chris Bell. There’s not really much in common stylewise, either;

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2016, Part 2

Today’s hundred-word reviews focus on a variety of rock-oriented releases; all are (more or less) current. The Sideshow Tragedy – Capital As a rule – at least to my mind – the guitar-and-drums-duo gambit is completely played out. It’s been done and dusted; when I hear most any of the seeming countless purveyors of the

Album Review: Peter Case — HWY 62

Peter Case first came to notoriety as one third of The Nerves, a critically acclaimed power pop trio that didn’t hang around long enough to capitalize on the genre’s brief commercial heyday. His next group, The Plimsouls, was far more successful: their classic “A Million Miles away” was prominently featured in the 1983 film Valley

November 100-word Reviews, Part 3

Today as my regular series of hundred-word reviews continues, I turn my attention toward the sounds of Americana. For my purposes, the term is even more loosey-goosey than the one used by the Americana Music Association: I include blues, rock, and singer/songwriter styles. And why not? Various – In their Own Words, Vols. 1 and

AmericanaFest Panel: Breaking Barriers Through #SocialNetworking

I recently had the pleasure and honor of joining a distinguished panel to discuss social networking as it applies as a tool for musicians. In addition to my years as a music journalist, I have nearly three decades’ practical experience in marketing and advertising, and have been a freelance web developer (my rarely-mentioned “day job”)