blues Archive

Quick Takes, Part Two

More quick-take reviews … Pop Co-op – Four State Solution Making an album via file sharing – instead of the old-fashioned method of gathering in a studio – is now a well-established practice. The title of this set refers to the approach used to make it. Steve Stoeckel’s name will be familiar to pop connoisseurs;

Album Review: The Rolling Stones — Blue & Lonesome

File next to: Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon Few people expected the Rolling Stones to make a very good (and quite possibly great) album in 2016. The year of rock star and celebrity death spared Keith Richards; that itself was remarkable enough. But for Blue & Lonesome, their 23rd studio album – and their

Ana Popović: Modern Artist (part 2)

Continued from Part 1… That modern approach made itself manifest from Popović’s first American release, 2002’s Hush! Taking full advantage of her interest in – and skill at delivering – a wide array of styles, Hush! is most definitely not an album designed to pander to blues purists. The disc has a dozen tunes, three

Ana Popović: Modern Artist (part 1)

The label “hot blues guitarist” can be applied to Ana Popović in more than one way. The Serbian-born, conservatory-trained guitarist cuts an undeniably striking figure onstage with her short skirts and stiletto heels, but those visuals shouldn’t detract from the fact that she’s a skilled interpreter of a decidedly modern version of the blues. Popović

Reed Turchi: Back to the Roots

It was only last February that Reed Turchi was making a trip back to his boyhood home of Swannanoa for an album release party for Speaking in Shadows by his group The Caterwauls. Turchi was excited: new album, new band, new tour. Less than a year later, all of those things are well behind him.

Nothing But David Bromberg

David Bromberg has been making records since 1972. He’s never become a household name; that fact has more to do with his unassuming approach to music. He’s no showboating spotlight-stealer; rather than reach for fame and fortune, he’s maintained a relatively low-key profile on the music scene for decades. But those in-the-know have long sought

The Nighthawks: From Acoustic to Full-on Electric Onslaught

Since their start in 1972, journeyman blues outfit The Nighthawks have been faithfully doing their part to keep the blues alive. Though the lineup has changed – only founder-leader Mark Wenner remains from the original group – the Washington, D.C.-based quartet has consistently breathed fresh life into the uniquely American musical form. Joined by vocalist

Best of 2016: Interviews

In 2016 alone, I’ve interviewed more than 140 artists; that’s nearly half the number I interviewed in the decade prior to this year. I hope 2017 will be at least as busy; I find my conversations with creatives extremely rewarding. I’ve learned a few things along the way, and one of the most important realizations

Best Music of 2016: Concerts

There’s a bit of overlap where my best albums and best concerts of 2016 are concerned. And there are some old favorites, too. John Mayall Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC March 11, 2016 It was only around this time that I pivoted to writing as a full-time job (in other words, how I make my living).

Best Music of 2016: Reissue/archival Releases

I love new music, but I’m also attuned to keeping up with the latest in reissues and archival releases. Sometimes those feature some of my favorite artists; other times they turn me on to music of the past that I’ve never even heard. In 2016 I’ve been able to select my Top Ten reissue and/or