new release Archive

EP Review: Sister Ivy – Plecia

Sister Ivy is an Asheville-based project, the nom de musique of Rachel Waterhouse. Sister Ivy has had a relatively lengthy gestation period: the group played its first gig some three years ago at the old Sherwood Music. But quality takes time, and the refined, sultry character of Waterhouse’s original music has surely benefited from the

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Other than being signed, what was the Regrettes’ first big break? A really huge moment for us was when we played Conan [The Regrettes performed “Hey Now” on O’Brien’s late-night show on April 11, 2017].That was a really nerve-wracking thing to do, I think. And you played Coachella last month …

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part One)

Los Angeles-based rockers the Regrettes came roaring out of the gate with their debut single, “Hey Now” in 2015. The song introduced the group’s template: hooky, catchy classic pop delivered in aggressive riot grrl style, a sound that draws equally from pre-Beatles Brill Building pop and razor-sharp 1970s punk. Onstage the young band – leader,

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 2

Here’s ten more quick reviews of new music worth your time. Beth McKee — Dreamwood Acres This lovely clutch of original songs features the sultry, soulful vocals of McKee, and the rich instrumentation is built around McKee’s classic electric piano (Wurlitzer, Rhodes), which she plays in a straightforward, non-fussy manner. Imagine Bonnie Raitt playing keys

Album Review: Diamonds and Whiskey — Dark Country Voodoo

The band name suggests an alt.country/Americana act, and while those labels aren’t too wide of the mark, there’s a harder, edgier and slightly more sinister feel to this music. The southern drawl that characterizes Jenny Webb’s voice places the album firmly in the country and Americana realm, but there’s a rocking and bluesy feel to

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 1

For years now, I’ve engaged in an occasional series of reviews in which I limit myself to 100 words. The point isn’t at all to give short shrift to these fine releases; instead, it’s to cover albums that would otherwise go unmentioned only for lack of time. Speaking of time, all of these releases are

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: Hearts Gone South — Little Things

In an era filled with twanged-up, Eagles-style lite rock passing as country, it’s bracingly refreshing to encounter an album of classic country such as Hearts Gone South’s latest, Little Things. Vocalist Trish Tripp knows how to deliver a slyly humorous line with style, and the band’s sound – highlighted by the keening and exciting pedal

Liner Notes News

I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately. After devoting a large chunk of 2017 to the writing of my first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, in 2018 I’ve been focusing on writing liner note essays for albums. Here’s a summary of recent and upcoming releases with which I’ve

Album Review: Gretchen’s Wheel — Black Box Theory

I’ve reviewed releases from Gretchen’s Wheel before. Gretchen’s Wheel is the professional name used by Lindsay Murray for her musical project. Largely a solo affair, Gretchen’s Wheel is Murray’s vehicle for her chiming, exquisitely melodic songwriting and wonderfully tuneful vocals. I’ve had no trouble categorizing previous Gretchen’s Wheel releases as power pop, and I use