new release Archive

Book Review: A Voice of the Warm

Every so often, some of my Facebook friends and I engage in a little game. You might call it Dreadful Earworms: we try to outdo each other by rattling off the titles of some of the most annoying, saccharine, maudlin and just downright awful songs. If you’re a boomer (or perhaps even the child of

Album review: Queen Bee and the Honeylovers – Asheville

On their debut CD release, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers pay tribute to their hometown with a collection of original songs in a warmly familiar style. Singer and songwriter Whitney Moore dug deep into the history of the mountain city, crafting 14 songs that have one metaphorical foot in the past, the other firmly planted

Casey Kristofferson: Coming Home to Country

With a surname like Kristofferson, a musician is essentially presented with two options: they can run from preconceived notions, heading in an altogether different musical direction. Or they can embrace the benefits and expectations that come with the famous name, and strive to live up to it. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Casey Kristofferson first chose

Album Review: Moonlight Street Folk — Collective Will

There’s no shortage of acoustic-based, folky bands in Western North Carolina. Standing out from the crowd is thus more of a challenge than it would be for musicians operating in another musical idiom. But Moonlight Street Folk have developed a distinctive sound that sets them apart. The Asheville quintet’s debut album, Collective Will, features seven

Album Review: Stereospread — Beautiful Noise

Jumping ahead of critics who might apply their own subjective labels to the band’s music, Asheville-based Stereospread has taken on the task itself, calling the sounds it makes “indietronica.” Launched in 2012 by James Hopkins and Sara Snyder Hopkins, Stereospread is a pop-leaning duo. The pair’s debut recording was a 2015 EP, Come Back Home.

Album Review: Reese Wynans and Friends — Sweet Release

In the liner notes for Sweet Release, producer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa poses a rhetorical question: “How do you make it a Reese record as opposed to an album of guitar players with Reese?” His solution, he explains, is to give the keyboardist the first solo on each song. Whether that approach achieves the goal is up

Album Review: Jack Oblivian & the Dream Killers — Lost Weekend

Among the audiophile set, the term “lo-fi” is cause to run for the hills. Having grown up on a steady diet of 1960s garage rock, I have no such qualms. Hell, I even dig “Green Fuz.” And with that in mind, I welcome Lost Weekend, an LP from Jack Oblivian & the Dream Killers that

Santana Speaks, Part Two

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: One of the qualities of your work that has always struck me is the way that you approach each project with what I would call intention. An album like Caravanserai probably didn’t seem like a commercial bid at the time, and it really wasn’t. It was not a

Santana Speaks, Part One

2019 is an important year for Carlos Santana. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, featuring a breakout performance of his then largely-unknown band, two weeks ahead of the debut Santana LP. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Supernatural, the end-of-century “comeback album that returned Santana to the top of the charts,

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very