folk Archive

A Few Moments with Aaron Burdett

North Carolina-born Aaron Burdett is an award-winning singer-songwriter with an impressive back catalog; he released his first official album in 2005. Burdett’s latest is Refuge, and it explores an even wider musical landscape than his previous efforts, with elements of folk, rock and even classic country. Do you research when you’re writing songs with a

Album Review: Geoff Gibbons – Shadow of a Stone

Geoff Gibbons is a Vancouver-based singer-songwriter; this four-song EP is merely the latest in a long string of releases. There’s a contemplative and majestic feel to these songs, with arrangements that put the vocals (and, by extension, the lyrics) right out front. The instrumentation is solid and subtle, but it’s all designed specifically to provide

Album Review: Gwenifer Raymond — You Never Were Much of a Dancer

There’s a dark undercurrent to much of the folk music coming out of the tradition of the British Isles; maybe that has to do with the region’s history. But that brooding vibe pervades the style, adding weight and mystery to the already intriguing music. Welsh-born Gwenifer Raymond’s debut release, You Never Were Much of a

A Few Moments with Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal (born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) is equal parts musician, songwriter, folklorist and musicologist. But despite his impeccable credentials, the man has never taken an academic approach to music. With more than 30 albums to his name — solo records, collaborations, live sets — Taj Mahal has created a virtual audio travelogue, exploring the

Victory Boyd: From Subway to Festival Stage

Victory Boyd was “discovered” busking Stevie Wonder songs on the streets and in the subway stations of New York City, and that discovery led to a recording contract not only for her, but for her entire family including her father and eight siblings. The singer-songwriter was a featured performer at the fourth annual LEAF Downtown

A Chat with Amythyst Kiah

Raised in Bristol, Tennessee, a town sometimes described as the birthplace of country, Amythyst Kiah grew up immersed in music. Kiah released an album, Dig, in 2013, and the EP Amythyst Kiah and Her Chest of Glass last fall. New albums – one from her group, another a solo acoustic set – are in the

Jake Shimabukuro, Plugged and Unplugged

Hawaiian ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro catapulted to international fame in 2006 when a Youtube video of him performing the George Harrison-penned Beatles tune “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral. By that time, Shimabukuro was already well-known in his native Hawaii and in Japan; by 2006 he had released six albums in the west plus

EP Review: Deb Montgomery — All the Water

A moody, contemplative vibe is on display within the title track of Pacific Northwest folk rocker Deb Montgomery’s latest EP, All the Water. There’s a gothic storytelling feel to the song, and the instrumentation builds as the song unfolds. Starting out quietly and with sparse accompaniment, Montgomery builds the arrangement with more instruments, punctuated by

David LaMotte: So Much to Do, So Little Time

For many Asheville-based musicians, making music is just one of the things they do. Cobbling together a financially sustainable lifestyle means taking on one or more part-time “side hustles.” In a sense, that’s what singer-songwriter David LaMotte does. But the nature of his involvement in myriad pursuits takes the form of multiple full-time gigs. Somehow

Album Review: River Whyless — Kindness, A Rebel

On the group’s 2016 album We All the Light, Asheville-based group River Whyless pushed the boundaries of indie folk, its supposed genre. In doing so, the quartet could serve as Exhibit A for the relative meaningless of genre labels: to be sure, what River Whyless does draw from Americana and folk, but neither of those