Americana Archive

Long Shot: The Story of Delaney & Bonnie’s ‘Motel Shot’ (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … The Motel Shot that finally saw release would consist almost completely of material from the studio sessions. On release, it fared well, reaching #65 on Billboard‘s album chart. A surprise hit single, “Never Ending Song of Love” rose to #13 on the singles charts. Even in its more refined state,

Long Shot: The Story of Delaney & Bonnie’s ‘Motel Shot’ (Part 1)

As the 1960s rolled over into 1970, popular music was undergoing a seismic shift. The full reasons aren’t totally clear; maybe it was the disillusionment in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Perhaps it was the cumulative shock experienced at the daily news of the disastrous war in

Jon Stickley Trio: Clear, Present, and Slightly Dangerous

Despite a solid foundation in bluegrass and old-time music, the Jon Stickley Trio has never allowed itself to be boxed in by the confines of mountain music. On its latest EP, 2016’s Triangular, its upcoming album and especially live onstage, the Asheville-based trio uses bluegrass ans a jumping-off point for its lively musical excursions. The

Album Mini-review: Rhiannon Giddens — Freedom Highway

File next to: Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Mary Gauthier Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens is the well-deserved darling of the burgeoning Americana movement. As a person of color, Giddens adds some diversity into the otherwise largely lily-white scene, but it would be a gross miscalculation to chalk her success up to that fact. As the

Album Mini-review: Valerie June — The Order of Time

File next to: Rhiannon Giddens, Ali Farka Touré, Shovels & Rope If with The Order of Time, Valerie June Hockett sought to create a resolutely unclassifiable record, she’s succeeded beyond a doubt. For the Memphis-based singer-songwriter’s fourth full-length, she’s come up with a dozen tunes that will delight the adventurous listener, but likely confuse and

Album Mini-review: Willodean — Awesome Life Decisions Volume One

File next to: David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Ben Folds Way back in 2005, Los Angeles-based Randy & the Bloody Lovelies released their second album, Lift. The album straddled Americana and power pop, with songwriting that recalled another Randy (Newman) with its inventive wordplay and wicket yet subtle humor. Predictably in a market dominated by Coldplay,

Hilary Scott Gets the Balance Right

Though she’s formally trained in classical and opera – she studied voice and piano in Italy – Washington state-based Hilary Scott chose the musical path of singer-songwriter more than a decade ago. From a very early age, Scott was more concerned with expressing her thoughts and ideas via words than playing with the other neighborhood

Gaelynn Lea: Accessible Looping

The career of violinist and singer Gaelynn Lea got a big boost when she won 2016’s second annual Tiny Desk Contest; that allowed her to perform on the popular NPR podcast hosted by Bob Boilen. More than 6,000 artists submitted homemade videos, and the Minnesota musician’s entry stood out among those of her competitors. On

Del McCoury and Steep Canyon Rangers: Mutual Admiration Society

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury remembers vividly the first time he saw and heard the Steep Canyon Rangers. It was at a street festival in Raleigh or Charlotte, not long after the group had formed. “The boys might have still been in college, or just out of college,” he recalls. Even then, he was struck by

Trampled By Turtles’ Two Daves Take it Slow and Steady

Trampled By Turtles is a darling of the Americana scene and the festival circuit. And while the Minneapolis-based group played a number of shows this summer – including sold-out performances at Red Rocks – they’re currently on hiatus, and their future is uncertain. All five members are busy with other musical projects, and two members