Americana Archive

The Yawpers: Chronicling the American Experience, One Character at a Time

“Hey, I’m sorry I missed your call,” says Nate Cook of the Yawpers. “I didn’t hear the phone; I was vacuuming.” He laughs when I suggest that activity is “not very rock ‘n’ roll,” but Cook is happy to get a brief domestic break from the group’s heavy touring schedule. It’s a brief respite, though:

Album Mini-review: Jimbo Mathus — Band of Storms

File next to: JD McPherson, Dr. John the Night Tripper, The Replacements Every so often, an artist comes along who displays a true understanding of what rock ‘n’ roll is really about. It’s a mongrel with clear ancestry in blues, country, gospel, and even hokum of the 19th century. Only the rarest of artists can

Award-winning Guitarist Bryan Sutton Comes Home Again

“There’s a place on Interstate 40 eastbound, just on the east side of Knoxville, where you come around this curve,” says guitarist/singer/songwriter Bryan Sutton. “Suddenly the whole horizon is an expanse: the leading edge of the Blue Ridge shows up. And it’s always been a thing that I look forward to on the trip.” Sutton’s

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 3

Five more quick reviews of new or recent album releases. Today features a couple of the best of the week’s bunch. Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town Nick Curran‘s Reform School Girl was one of the best albums of 2010. JD McPherson‘s Let the Good Times Roll was among the finest releases of 2015. If

Mark and Maggie O’Connor: Life Influences Art

“In music of the 1700s, 1800s and the early part of the 20th century, the violinist or fiddler carried the weight of the group,” says virtuoso violinist/fiddler Mark O’Connor. “Everybody else kept playing and just went with it. But as musical literature for bands became more sophisticated, the violin somehow lost some ground. So with

Jeff Austin: Life After Yonder

Singer/songwriter Jeff Austin came to fame as a founding vocalist and mandolinist in the Yonder Mountain String Band, with whom he played for nearly 16 years. Austin left the  group in 2014, citing a reason more often associated with scandal-plagued politicians: a desire to spend more time with family. But in Austin’s case, he actually

The Honeycutters: Creating Quite a Buzz

“I write a lot of songs,” admits Amanda Platt, leader and songwriter of Asheville-based roots group the Honeycutters. “I’m a very prolific writer; sometimes I wish I could turn it off for a little bit. So I don’t think there’s ever going to be a shortage of songs to choose from.” The best songs among

Q&A With The Delondes’ John James Tourville

New Orleans-based group The Deslondes effortlessly mix up genres: their music has clear antecedents in country, zydeco, jazz, soul, and even rock ‘n’ roll. They’re currently in pre-production on a follow-up to their self-titled 2015 debut. The Deslondes returned to Asheville NC for a May 12 show at The Grey Eagle. I recently spoke with

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