pop Archive

Album Review: Marty Thompson — Romantic Stories

In 2018, every album release has to have an angle, it seems. The unique selling proposition for Romantic Stories is that Thompson wrote all of its songs ion a ukulele. A pink one, in fact. Fascinating, no? Me neither. Let’s ignore that and focus on the music itself, which is decidedly not played on a

Album Review: Gideon King & City Blog — Upscale Madhouse

Sophisticated, jazzy pop is the order of the day on Upscale Madhouse, the latest album from Gideon King & City Blog. With a sound that instrumentally recalls Steely Dan, King’s group leans a bit more in a jazz direction. The vocals are silky-smooth, almost veering into yacht-rock territory. Fans of Hall & Oates with a

Album Review: The Vettes – Rev-up

Man, those Wrecking Crew guys and gals were a busy bunch. Of course in their 1960s heyday, the loose studio aggregation wasn’t known by that label – ace bassist (and guitarist) Carol Kaye argues the name is a later-day Hal Blaine invention – and in fact their were rarely if ever credited on the records

Josh Rouse is Totally ’80s (For Now) — Part 2

Continued from Part One… How important is it to you to not do the same thing over and over? Is that driven by your own creative restlessness, or a kind of obligation to your fans? It’s weird; it’s hard to get a balance. I mean, I love to do new things; I even sang in

Josh Rouse is Totally ’80s (For Now) — Part 1

One never quite knows what to expect from Josh Rouse. The nomadic, Nebraska-born singer-songwriter’s first few albums introduced a musician whose contemplative, sometimes moody songs compared favorably to work by introspective artists like Neil Finn and Pete Yorn. By the time of 2002’s Under Cold Blue Stars, Rouse was adding subtle jazzy and modern electronic

Matisyahu on LSD (and Jazz and Reggae)

Musician, rapper and beatboxer Matisyahu arrived at his singular style of music via an unusual route. Growing up a Jewish kid in New York City, he says that the first music he explored outside his parents’ record collection was that of reggae superstar Bob Marley. “I loved the music and everything that went along with

Brie Capone Lets Us In

Singer-songwriter Brie Capone first moved to Asheville when she was a teenager, but her musical journey would eventually take her far afield. Capone studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and then moved to New York City to get her career moving. Her group the Humble Grapes recorded a self-titled album, but that project

Southern Culture on the Skids: in a Haze

For more than 30 years, Chapel Hill, N.C.-based band Southern Culture on the Skids has been making fun, often silly music that represents the band’s irreverent yet loving perspective on the culture of the southeastern United States. Recently the trio has been recognized for its music, and taken the opportunity to honor the work of

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.

Amandla: Follow What Brings You

Laughing Hearts is the third album from Amandla, the personal music project of Asheville-based Claude Coleman, Jr. Though the album was quietly released in digital form a year ago, Coleman is now overseeing a vinyl release of Laughing Hearts, and scheduling select live dates to celebrate its release. Even though he’s best known as the