Americana Archive

Alejandro Escovedo is Still Burning Brightly

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Alejandro Escovedo released his 14th album, Burn Something Beautful, in late 2016. Reaction to the album—in many ways a return to the rocking end of Escovedo’s musical spectrum—has been so positive that he’s still on the road in support of it. The album distills his interests and influences into a cohesive

A Chat with Fayssoux Starling

These days, Fayssoux Starling can be seen and heard on stages throughout South Carolina’s upstate and in the Hendersonville-Tryon area. But in the course of her impressive career, she’s shared stages and recording studios with some of the biggest names in country, bluegrass and Americana. In the early 1970s, Fayssoux (that’s pronounced fa-SUE) and her

Q&A with Sarah Siskind

Sarah Siskind co-leads Sunliner, a roots-rock trio with her husband Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters. Siskind established herself as an important songwriter in her own right 15 years ago with the release of her debut solo album, Covered. High-profile names in the music world took notice, and many of them began to record and

Album Review: Balsam Range — Mountain Overture

Much of what is thought of as classical music has its roots in the folk melodies of European countries. With that in mind, the pairing of bluegrass heroes Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble isn’t such a radical concept. Steep Canyon Rangers have similarly augmented their music live onstage with classical instrumentation. Mountain

Album Review: Ryan Hutchens – The Last Ten Years

It’s interesting to learn than an artist is moved to creativity by spending time in Columbia, South Carolina. I know that every place has its charms – even Houston, Texas, or so I am told – but I’ve spent time in Columbia, and I don’t see it. The city’s fathers and mothers have gone so

Album Review: Hannah Kaminer — Heavy Magnolias

Hannah Kaminer’s career as a performing musical artist only began in 2014 when she took part in the Brown Bag Songwriting competition. The Asheville singer-guitarist earned a near-immediate return on her investment, winning both first place and crowd favorite honors. Her 2015 album Acre by Acre was produced by Julian Dreyer at Echo Mountain Studio,

Hundred-word Reviews: Reissues, Archival Releases, Compilations

My shelf full of albums to be reviewed has run out of space. So once again it’s time for a raft of hundred-word reviews. All sixteen titles in this roundup are reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. 6-String Drag – High Hat (Schoolkids Records) Before Americana was coined as a genre, there was alt-country. Combining rock

Steep Canyon Rangers: Serving the Songs

As the 20th century approached its end, a group of college students began getting together informally to play bluegrass. None of them could have imagined that they’d still be together in 2018, performing concerts backed by members of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. In support of their 13th and latest album, Out in the Open, the

Delbert McClinton: Keeper of the Flame (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Along with backing blues legends who came through Fort Worth, Texas, McClinton and his band often got the opportunity to go on the road with the traveling stars. Their roadhouse blues would influence McClinton’s own nascent songwriting. He also absorbed the influence of other musical styles of the region, including Tejano,

Delbert McClinton: Keeper of the Flame (Part One)

The term Americana hadn’t been coined when Delbert McClinton started making music. His brand of music has always drawn from blues, hillbilly, country, and rock ‘n’ roll, all filtered through a Texas sensibility. McClinton came up in a music scene that gave rise to legends like Doug Sahm, and in his earliest days he backed