Americana Archive

NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 2

Continued from Part One … From NRBQ‘s start, jazz pianist Thelonious Monk was a hero to Terry Adams and his band mates. “The music of Thelonious had a big impact on me when I was a teenager,” he says. “I took a lot in, and heard him live many times, and needed to give it

NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 1

Longtime critics’ darlings NRBQ has kept the music going in one form or another since before recording and releasing its self-titled debut album in 1969. While sales figures of NRBQ’s more than 30 albums haven’t made the group a household name, the Q’s rich blend of American musical forms – rock, jazz, blues, rockabilly and

Making the Case for Peter Case

Listeners who had been following the work of Peter Case may have been confused – frustrated, even – upon first hearing his self-titled 1986 debut album. The work he had done up to that point was highly appealing, sure-footed power pop and/or indie rock (though the latter term wasn’t in use back then). As one-third

Underhill Rose: Thorns and All

Editor’s note: The shows previewed here took place in September 2016; the album is due out in 2017. — bk With three enthusiastically-received studio albums to their credit, Asheville-based Americana trio Underhill Rose has decided to cut a live album, something that songwriter/banjoist/vocalist Eleanor Underhill hopes will “represent the core trio’s sound. That’s a lot

The Mavericks: norteAmericana

Nominally a country and western/roots band, the Mavericks have long been truly unclassifiable. Their musical eclecticism has always been a part of the band’s makeup, but since coming back from an eight-year hiatus, the Mavericks have made that eclectic character a central component in their music. Leader and songwriter Raul Malo explains the difference between

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