Americana Archive

David Holt’s ‘State of Music’

It’s important to shine a light on the musical traditions associated with North Carolina. And one of the most entertaining and effective efforts in that regard is the public television series David Holt’s State of Music. Launched in 2016, the program hosted by the four-time Grammy winner has welcomed a wide variety of music’s top

Album Review: Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters — Christmas on a Greyhound Bus

When an artist releases an album (or EP) of holiday music, it need not be designed to fulfill an obligation to a label. It also needn’t be a placeholder while a creatively spent artist treads water, waiting for the muse to return. And it doesn’t have to be a schmaltzy, pandering and overly sentimental collection

Musoscribe’s Best of 2019: New Music

Today’s Christmas. Whether you observe the religious traditions of the holiday or not, Quit reading this and go spend time with loved ones! Okay, before you go, a very brief post. There were some great albums released this year as well. Some of my favorites include: Watermelon Slim – Church of the Blues Luther Russell

Album Review: The Black Tones — Cobain & Cornbread

Ice-T (among many others) has long made the point that African Americans’ role in the creation of rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. While I agree, I suspect that in part the reason for that is that comparatively few people of color work in the rock idiom. I recall vividly just how

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #2

With the end of 2019 on the horizon, I figure now’s as good a time as any to bring things up to date with another batch of quick reviews. In this edition: all new music, ten titles. Blues, powerpop, jazz and more. All worth your time. Maybe even a Great Gift Idea™. Happy holidays! Coco

Album Review: Zoe & Cloyd — I Am Your Neighbor

The student and feminism movements that came to prominence in the late 20th century both made use of the slogan, “the personal is political.” And whatever side of an issue one might come down upon, there’s little disagreement regarding the truth in the phrase. In today’s interconnected world, our actions take on a political dimension.

Penny and Sparrow: Rosé Rock vs. Emo-country

The crystalline instrumentation and emotionally resonant vocal harmonies of Penny and Sparrow have earned the Austin, Texas folk duo both critical plaudits and a dedicated following. But Penny and Sparrow are about much more than indie-folk: their latest album, Finch, draws from a wide (and perhaps unexpected) array of styles, most notably rhythm and blues.

Alexa Rose: No Contest

Though she can attribute at least some of her success to doing well in songwriting contests, Asheville-based singer-songwriter Alexa Rose has mixed feelings about competition. But as she put the finishing touches on Medicine for Living, her album due in this month, Rose teamed up with a recent fellow competitor for a songwriter-focused show at

Backline’s Traditional Roots Meet a Modern Sound

Five-piece bluegrass band Backline came together in 2016, playing a style of the mountain music that bridges the gap between traditional and modern. The group’s rich vocal harmonies are a highlight; all five members sing. Based in Spartanburg, S.C., Backline has released two album: 2016’s Carolina and a brand-new collection, A Thousand Wishes. What’s your

Hello Stranger: RiddleFest Celebrates Life and Work of Overlooked Musician and Song Collector

Lesley Riddle is an important yet mostly overlooked figure in the history of American music. A musician and folklorist, he collaborated with –and greatly influenced the Carter Family. As an African American who as key in the development of country music, he deserves honor and recognition. Now in its 12th year, the annual RiddleFest celebrates