folk Archive

Girlpool: Sweet and Sour

Los Angeles-based band Girlpool started out in 2013 with a stripped-down, clattering style that echoed Violent Femmes. But as the band has grown and developed, it has moved in two opposite directions at once: the group’s recordings have become more soothing and melodic (think Elliott Smith), and today, its onstage vibe often leans toward a

Young, Gifted and Irish: Young Irelanders

Under the auspices of the Irish Cultural Academy, musician and producer Eric Cunningham has assembled the Young Irelanders, a talented troupe of performers who present Irish music and dance. The young Irelanders put a subtly modern spin on traditional music of the Emerald Isle. The folk music of our Appalachian region is very much based

It’s Just a Box of Wood: A Conversation with Leo Kottke (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… When you’re playing a song that’s written by someone else, do you feel a responsibility to deliver it in a recognizable style, or do you take more of a jazz approach and view a tune as a canvas upon which you can paint your own picture? Well, I’ve tried with kind

It’s Just a Box of Wood: A Conversation with Leo Kottke (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… You were fairly early on in your professional career when you cut the “armadillo” album. I know you said you cut it in just a single session; when you finished making it, did you have a sense that you had created something special? I had no sense that it would do

It’s Just a Box of Wood: A Conversation with Leo Kottke (Part One)

An edited version of this transcript appeared in Rock and Roll Globe. Leo Kottke is a giant in the guitar world. While his work rarely veers into the rock idiom, even rock guitarists appreciate the creativity and fingerpicking dexterity Kottke applies to the acoustic six-string and 12-string guitar. His first album, 1969’s 6- and 12-string

Leo Kottke’s Lifelong Love/hate Relationship with the 12-string Guitar

One of the most celebrated and admired acoustic guitarists working in a fingerpicking style, Leo Kottke is an acknowledged master of the 6- and 12-string. With more than two dozen albums to his name (plus a pair of collaborative albums with Phish bassist Mike Gordon), Kottke continues to explore the potential of his chosen instruments.

EP Review – CarnyMusic

CarnyMusic is the name San Francisco-based multi-intrumentalist, singer and songwriter Mike Carnahan gives to his latest project. A four-song, 18 minute set, this self-titled EP features somber, melancholy textures on “Riptide.” The spare funereal drum and insistent, folky acoustic guitar provide backing for Carnahan’s faraway vocal; some carefully-added sonic elements (keening and ghostly guitar lines,

Album Review: Norine Braun – Through Train Windows

There’s long been an appealing character to songs inspired by travel. Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Norine Braun’s Through Train Windows is the latest entry in that tradition; it’s a collection of songs that came about through the artist’s rail travel across her native country as part of the “Artist on Board” program. Intentionally removed from at

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

Album Review: Todd Warner Moore — Spark

When an album of music opens with a spoken-word prologue, it positions itself as, well, a certain kind of album. And Todd Warner Moore’s Spark starts just that way, hipping new listeners to the fact that this is likely to be a somewhat literate, story-based collection of songs. And that’s about right. There’s a strong