folk Archive

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

Album Review: Craig Smith — Love is Our Existence

This is a fascinating release. Singer-songwriter Craig Smith got his early professional start as a member of the Good Time Singers, a folk ensemble in the mold of the New Christy Minstrels. He later formed a folk-rock due with band mate Lee Montgomery. Meanwhile he had an acting career; liner notes author (and album curator)

Album Review: Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz – Of All These Things

If you’re one of the discerning fans who heard and appreciated the music Pete Yorn made in the first decade of this new century – musicforthemorningafter, Day I Forgot and especially Nightcrawler – then you owe it to yourself to seek out this new release. With breathy, close-miked vocals, swoonworthy vocal harmonies and keening, beautiful

David Wilcox: Local Hero

David Wilcox didn’t start his life in Western North Carolina, but once the singer-songwriter discovered the region, he knew he had found his home. Thirty-seven years and twenty-plus albums later, Asheville remains Wilcox’s home, and living here informs his music in myriad ways. In celebration of the release of The View from the Edge, his

Album Review: Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War

Readers old enough to remember the long-running and beloved television sitcom M*A*S*H likely know that according to its creators, even though the show was set in wartime Korea, it was really about American involvement in Vietnam. But despite the show’s comedic framework, it managed to explore some important truths about that ill-advised endeavor in southeast

Chuck Brodsky’s One of Us

With the exception of a trio of records he released in the final years of the 20th century, Chuck Brodsky has long been the model of the independent, do-it-yourself artist. It’s just that now, the music business as a whole is catching up with his approach. “The whole business model has changed,” says the singer-songwriter.

Album Review: Kate Fenner — Middle Voice

As “Two Minds” opens Middle Voice, one might think that Kate Fenner is merely another in a waif-viced singer-songwriters. But give the song a moment to unfold, and both it and its singer/composer reveal greater depth. There’s a windswept Americana feel to the music, with a mood and sensibility that evokes pleasant memories of Bob

Album Review: Anywhere — Anywhere II

Anywhere is an aggregation of indie/underground artists who collectively make a psychedelic folk sound. But Anywhere doesn’t sound like acid-folk, though: there’s a solid rock foundation to the group’s music. A swirling feel that conjures memories of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” characterizes songs like “Bone Flute Blues.” On II, Anywhere conjures a soaring, surprisingly