new release Archive

30 Days Out, July 2020 #1: Blake Ellege Band, Rocky MTN Roller, Life Like Water, Mr. Jimmy

Once again it’s time for a look at live music events in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. And for the first time since early March (and those mostly ended up canceled) there are some actual live-and-in-person performances to spotlight. That said, caveats apply. (1) Will these shows actually happen? Who knows!? Best

Album Review: Juniper Shelley — Juniper

I should admit right up front that I look with skepticism upon an album featuring a 15-year-old girl. It’s simply that I don’t expect the music to be aimed at (nor of any great appeal to) the particular demographic to which I belong. “Yeah, well, buddy, that’d be your loss,” the universe seems to tell

Boxed Set Review: Mojo Nixon — The Mojo Manifesto

Years ago while watching some or other “madcap” comedy film, I came to a realization: drama is comparatively easy, but comedy is difficult. It’s a fairly straightforward affair to tug at a viewer’s heartstrings; it’s quite another matter entirely to make them laugh. The same is true in music; writing a weepy ballad –not to

Album Review: Aloud — Sprezzatura

When I reviewed Aloud’s debut single more than two years ago, I expressed my belief that the group had real potential. I had no idea just how right I would turn out to be. The blaring horns that open “Loving U’s a Beautiful Thing” (and the album) signal that Sprezzatura is going to be a

Album Review: Sonar with David Torn — Tranceportation (Volume 2)

In my April 2018 review of Vortex, the first collaboration between Sonar and guitar master David Torn, I likened the music to ‘80s-period King Crimson at its most accessible, citing Crim’s “The Sheltering Sky” instrumental as a useful reference point. Between then and now I seem to have missed an album by this aggregation, because

Album Review: The Harmed Brothers — Across the Waves

Though it’s billed as rock/Americana, The Harmed Brothers’ fifth album Across the Waves is better described as heartland rock. There’s twang in the music to be sure, but the earnest and soulful presentation of these songs is truer to the rock ‘n’ roll spirit. “Skyline Over” benefits from a tight, concise and memorable melody, and

Album Review: The Tnek Jazz Quintet Plays the Music of Sam Jones

Bassist Sam Jones was an important figure in hard bop and soul jazz of the 1950s and beyond. Alternatively known as “Cannon’s Theme,” his composition “Unit 7” was a showcase number for Adderley’s Quintet. Jones played with Adderley during the latter’s peak period (roughly 1957-’65, and again near the end of Adderley’s time on Earth).

Book Review: The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma

Author: Ben Sidran 274pp Nardis Books One might think that an insider tale such as the biography of a record producer wouldn’t have wide appeal. That thinking goes that unless that producer is one of the most famous – say, Phil Spector or just maybe Sir George Martin – the story would be too centered

Album Review: Nat Turner Rebellion – Laugh to Keep From Crying

I’ve written of similar observations before; here I am doing it once again. It amazes me to no end that so many years after the fact, never-before-heard recordings surface, and the quality of the music is remarkable. So it is with Nat Turner Rebellion’s Laugh to Keep From Crying. Recorded in various sessions between 1969

30 Days Out, June 2020 #2: Hearts Gone South, Angel Olsen, Natural Born Leaders, The Get Right Band

If you’re at all like me, you may have noticed this phenomenon: when you take on a new task, you stumble as you learn your way through it. And by the time you finally figure out the most efficient and effective way to do it, you’re nearly done. Perhaps that’s the case with musicians and