country Archive

Ten 100-word Reviews: Archival/Reissue Releases

With a great deal of my time these days spent working on my new book and various artist interviews, I tend to amass a backlog of albums for review. To lessen that backlog, I present ten reviews, each distilled down to its essence. Or at least to 100 words. All of these titles are reissues,

Kasey Chambers’ Connecting Flight, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: As a member of the Dead Ringer Band with your parents and brother, you enjoyed success long before you began your solo career. What lessons did you learn about music working with your family band? Kasey Chambers: I reckon the biggest thing that I learned from those early years

Kasey Chambers’ Connecting Flight, Part One

Many Americans have the mistaken idea that country music is the sole property of artists from the United States. Certainly that’s not the case: often thought of as forefathers of the Americana movement, four of the five founding members of The Band were from Canada. And in the same way that rock ‘n’ roll was

Album Review: Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters

Though the lineup of the Honeycutters has been rather constant for years now, few would contest the idea that the band is a vehicle for Amanda Anne Platt’s songwriting and vocals. With that in mind, the fifth full-length from the Asheville-based outfit is titled (and credited to) Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters. Top billing

Album Review: Nolan McKelvey & Dave Desmelik – ‘Where it Takes Us’

In an era when recordings artists routinely go years between album releases, Brevard singer-songwriter Dave Desmelik is an outlier. Since Move On, his 1999 solo debut, Desmelik has released no less than 11 records under his own name; his most recent was 2016’s Lifeboat. But Desmelik’s recording career was already well under way when he

New Music Review Roundup, Part 3

Today I wrap up three days’ worth of reviews of new music. Dig if you will. The Pollyseeds – Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 As far as I know, none of the music on Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is used on the soundtrack of the Amazon Original series Bosch, but – like that crime

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

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Bo-Keys producer/bandleader Scott Bomar says that the bulk of the work on Heartaches by the Number took the form of pre-production. “I spent well over a year compiling songs – covers and originals – for the record,” Bomar says. The result is a rich collection of weepers: crying-in-your-beer tunes, all given

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 1)

One of the most intriguing album releases of this year doesn’t sound like a new record, not at all. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and featuring veteran musicians from the city’s rich musical history, The Bo-Keys‘ Heartaches by the Number (Omnivore Recordings) builds upon classic songwriting and like-minded original tunes to create a timeless recording. But

The Honeycutters: Creating Quite a Buzz

“I write a lot of songs,” admits Amanda Platt, leader and songwriter of Asheville-based roots group the Honeycutters. “I’m a very prolific writer; sometimes I wish I could turn it off for a little bit. So I don’t think there’s ever going to be a shortage of songs to choose from.” The best songs among