Americana Archive

Busker Abby ‘The Spoon Lady’ Roach Brings Out the Fine Silverware

Train-hopping hobos are part of America’s cultural fabric. From the late 19th century through the 1940s, hundreds of thousands of itinerant people in America made their lives on the fringe of society, traveling the rails, picking up work wherever they could. The hobo subculture developed its own traditions in music and folklore. And while today

Zoe & Cloyd: Looking Out for the Future of Appalachian Music

This story appeared previously (in 2019) in Bold Life Magazine. The duo has since released another album. Zoe & Cloyd are wife-and-husband musical team Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller. Together they make what they call “new Appalachian music,” a subtly updated take on traditional mountain music. After leaving popular trio Red June –

30 Days Out, April 2020 #2: Taylor Martin, Three Cool Cats, Kathryn O’Shea, Posey Royale

As we all begin to settle into what one might call the new normal, performing musicians are increasingly turning to livestreaming. I suspect their reasons are twofold: (1) to stay in touch with fans (and potential fans) and (2) to stave off boredom and exercise their creativity. I’m here to do my small bit toward

Che Apalache: Appalachia Meets Argentina

Joe Troop has a finely attuned ear. Seven years ago, the Winston-Salem native and former member of bluegrass group Town Mountain discovered the connections between Appalachian folk music and the musical traditions of South America. Enlisting the help of musicians from Argentina and Mexico, Troop embarked upon an exploration of those connections with a new

30 Days Out, April 2020 #1: Zoe & Cloyd, The Claudettes, Sparrow Pants, Dr. Bacon

We’re living in unprecedented times, aren’t we? No fooling. “30 Days Out” was launched nearly six years ago as a means of letting people in and around my adopted home of Asheville, North Carolina know about upcoming and notable live music performances. Well, as my local brethren might say, “ain’t none of those right now.”

Album Review: Anna Lynch — Apples in the Fall

Singer-songwriter Anna Lynch is originally from Sebastopol, California; she led bands in Alaska before settling in Western North Carolina. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2013, and now Lynch has followed up that well-received set with a new five-song EP, Apples in the Fall. Lynch’s debut from six and a half years ago displayed

Fireside Collective Brings it on Home

This is the third of three short features on Asheville-based artists releasing new albums in March 2020. Jesse Iaquinto released 2014’s Shadows and Dreams using the name Fireside Collective, but it wasn’t really a band project. “It was a solo album to kind of jump-start some of my original songs,” he says. But by 2017

Keller Williams: Prolific at any ‘Speed’

A multigenre, multi-instrumental artist, Keller Williams makes music that appeals to a wide array of music fans. Steeped in Americana, he makes music that proudly displays the influence of bluegrass and folk. And his improvisational prowess has gained him a serious following in the jam band community. Williams performs live in many different contexts, as

Samantha Fish: More Than Just a Girl with a Guitar (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … “Kill or Be Kind” is as far away as you can get from the idea of a song that’s merely an excuse for a guitar solo. I get the sense that you’ve got a confidence that you don’t have as much to prove as you did in the past. Honestly,

Samantha Fish: More Than Just a Girl with a Guitar (Part One)

Early in her career, Missouri-born guitarist and singer Samantha Fish was featured on an album titled Girls With Guitars. It’s difficult to imagine the Samantha Fish of today allowing herself to be billed that way. And though she’s won many awards in the blues idiom, Fish is determined not to be painted into a stylistic