folk Archive

Album Review: Bobby Long — Ode

At only 30, Bobby Long has a deep catalog of work. After three self-released albums beginning with 2009’s Dirty Pond Songs, he signed with ATO Records and began a string of releases for that label: two EPs to date, and two full-lengths. The latest of his albums is Ode to Thinking, released in 2015 on

Album Review: Sammy Walker — Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’

The pop music world has long been on a quest for the Next Fill-in-the-blank. After The Beatles stormed American shores, the rush was on to sign every band with a British accent. When The Knack hit it big with “My Sharona,” record company execs appeared – contract in hand – to sign any group with

Album Review: Peter Case — HWY 62

Peter Case first came to notoriety as one third of The Nerves, a critically acclaimed power pop trio that didn’t hang around long enough to capitalize on the genre’s brief commercial heyday. His next group, The Plimsouls, was far more successful: their classic “A Million Miles away” was prominently featured in the 1983 film Valley

Album Mini-review: Milk Lines — Ceramic

File next to: Skip Spence, 13th Floor Elevators, Black Angels Just when you think the guitar-and-drums-duo format is totally played out, along comes Montréal-based Milk Lines. Rather than slammin’, unsubtle roots rock – the typical product of such duos – this pair makes music that sounds like a cross between freak-folk of the late 60s

Just Plain Wonderful: Iain Matthews and Plainsong Reinvent Richard Fariña

Richard Fariña was a significant member of the American folk music movement of the early 1960s. A fixture of the Greenwich Village scene that brought forth Bob Dylan, Fariña made music with wife Mimi, who also happened to be the sister of another popular folk artist named Joan Baez. Fariña died in a 1966 motorcycle

Cold and Bitter Tears: The Songs of Ted Hawkins

I didn’t know a thing about Ted Hawkins and his music before arriving in Nashville. But among tastemakers, the long-dead folk/Americana (though the term Americana wasn’t in use during his lifetime) troubadour has clearly effected great influence. Though homeless and itinerant, Hawkins became a mainstay of Venice Beach music venues, and seemed on the verge

Hundred-word Reviews for September, Part 8 of 8

This current round of hundred-word reviews wraps up with four archival/reissue releases from the fine folks at Omnivore Recordings, and a self-released retrospective form an overlooked Nashville group. Raging Fire – Everything is Roses: Anthology 1985-1989 The nexus wherein country and punk styles meet has been explored by a number of noteworthy bands: X and

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 3)

Continued from Part Three… Leah Song relates that Rising Appalachia have many friends around the country who are involved in art and creative projects. “Many of them,” she notes, “end up being codependent on grants. They call it the Nonprofit-Industrial Complex. We wanted to have that feeling of being independent; and if we’re indebted to

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… In those years, music as a professional pursuit was never a goal. Leah Song says that even when she and sister Chloe Smith did begin making music, “we were just trying to create a project that paid homage to all of our musical influences. It was only later – three or

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 1)

Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith lead Rising Appalachia, a renowned folk/world music group whose music is as intriguing as it is hard to classify. Their eighth album, Wider Circles, has just been released, and the group (also featuring percussionist Biko Cassini and bassist/guitarist David Brown) appeared onstage in their current hometown at Asheville, North