Americana Archive

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,

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2019

I’ve been doing these hundred-word reviews for many years now; they’re a handy way to communicate my enthusiasm for new and newly-reissued albums without taking the time for a deep-dive critical assessment. Here’s my second installment for 2019, featuring five new titles along with five reissue, compilation and/or archival releases. Divine Weeks – We’re All

Album Review: Norine Braun – Through Train Windows

There’s long been an appealing character to songs inspired by travel. Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Norine Braun’s Through Train Windows is the latest entry in that tradition; it’s a collection of songs that came about through the artist’s rail travel across her native country as part of the “Artist on Board” program. Intentionally removed from at

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

Album Review: Larkin Poe — Venom & Faith

On KIN, their 2014 debut as Larkin Poe, sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell debuted a modern roots style that owed a debt to blues but didn’t fit comfortably into the admittedly wide framework of the genre. Stinging slide guitars provided a sonic connection to the tradition of classic electric blues, but songs like “Jailbreak” had

Musoscribe’s Best of 2018

Even having shifted my focus these last few years toward interviews and feature writing, I still manage to listen to and review quite a few albums. In one form or another, I covered some 170 albums of new music in 2018. It’s no surprise that a few have risen to the top, deemed worthy of

Album Review: Eleanor Underhill — Navigate the Madness

Underhill Rose enjoys well-deserved popularity and success for its music. Since coming together on the campus of Warren Wilson College nearly a decade ago, Eleanor Underhill (vocals, banjo) and Molly Rose (guitar, vocals) have won critical and commercial success. The duo’s three studio releases and their 2016 live collection (partly recorded at the much-missed Altamont

Los Lobos: Genre-spanning NorteAmericana Heroes

Los Lobos is an American treasure. Formed in East L.A. in the early 1970s, the band has always drawn from across the entire spectrum of American music. While the group’s Latino roots invite easy comparison to groundbreaking acts like Thee Midniters, El Chicano, Malo and Santana, the group (whose name means “the wolves”) has always

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