new release Archive

Album Review: Mavis Staples — We Get By

When it comes to African American roots music – for that matter, any American roots music at all – the Staples name is royalty. Led by Roebuck “Pops” Staples and wife Cleotha, the Staple Singers made music that did more than just transcend genres; it erased the divisions between them. The group’s anthemic, soul-stirring songs

Book Review: The Show Won’t Go On

Popular culture has long held a fascination with death. The old “death and taxes” saw about it being one of life’s inevitabilities speaks to the importance we place upon it. And that fixation – mixed with fear and dread – has manifested itself in all forms of artistic expression. Against that backdrop, a book that

Album Review: Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers – Heart of Memphis

For musicians, one upside of the internet and its associated technological innovations is that the old barriers to entry are largely gone; anyone can make an release an album. Unfortunately, that reality is also a downside for the listening public: anyone can make an album. As such, self-released albums are greeted with a certain skepticism.

Album Review: Hollywood Fats Band — Blues by the Pound Vol. 1

Hollywood Fats (Michael Mann) was a West Coast blues guitarist who died in 1986 at age 32; as the liner notes for Blues by the Pound Vol. 1 assert, he left this earth before earning the fame he deserved. Those uncredited liner notes do lay it on a bit thick, wanting readers to believe that

Album Review: DJ Audio — ‘Hottest in the City, Vol. 1’

When we last checked in on the work of DJ Audio, the Asheville hip hop artist born Ethan Conner had just released an EP, Shut it Down. That collection of tracks drew from a wide range of influences that extended well beyond the confines of hip hop, but because of its relative brevity, the EP

Ex Hex is Bigger and Better Than Ever

It’s best not to read too much into the fact that eclectic musician and songwriter Mary Timony’s band Ex Hex took its name from a solo album she made back in 2005. “Honestly, I just saw Ex Hex as a cool name for a band a long time ago, and since I didn’t really have

Book Review: “Echoes” by Glenn Phillips

For nearly fifty years, guitarist Glenn Phillips has been making music that defies classification. First with the Hampton Grease Band, and later as a prolific solo artist and active contributor to the works of others, Atlanta-based Phillips has continued to confound those who would apply labels to his music. And now with the release of

Album Review: The New Mastersounds — Shake It

It may well not have been their explicit intention, but over the last two decades, the New Mastersounds have helped a strain of jazz to become mainstreamed into widespread popular culture. Jazz has always been there – at least for a hundred or so years – but with some important exceptions it’s enjoyed only a

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Fun: the Men and the Journey of RPWL

German keyboardist/vocalist Yogi Lang first encountered guitarist Karlheinz “Kalle” Wallner in 1988 when the latter was playing in a band called Incubus. Eventually renamed Violet District, the group released its sole album, Terminal Breath in 1992, with Lang producing. Based 40 km north of Munich in Freising, that group met with only modest success, disbanding

Album Review: Young Mister — ‘Sudden Swoon’

Young Mister is the performing name of Steven Fiore, a Tryon-based singer songwriter. His background includes membership in the jazz band led by actor-musician Jeff Goldblum, co-writing experience with Art Garfunkel and eight years as a writer for Universal Music’s publishing arm. Young Mister’s self-titled debut was released in 2016, and 2017 saw the release