rawk Archive

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

Album Review: Willie Nile — New York at Night

Way back when Bob Seger finally broke through nationally, much was written about how it took him many years to become an overnight sensation. And he’s merely one example of highly talented artists who toil in obscurity for years. Some – most, actually – never break out. They might earn a measure of critical claim,

Brushfire Stankgrass: Making Up for Lost Time

“We’re not a bluegrass band,” insists Will Saylor, co-leader with brother Ben in Brushfire Stankgrass. Instead, the popular Asheville quartet uses bluegrass as the launching point for its musical excursions, venturing well into folk, jam and rock forms in the process. And while the group makes no claims to capture the essence of Asheville in

30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Album Review: Bonniwell Music Machine

There’s an esteemed list of albums from the 1960s that didn’t get their due the first time around; the era was so rich with gems that plenty of great albums slipped by the public’s notice. For every Pet Sounds, Revolver and Days of Future Passed there’s an obscurity that – while it may not have

Album Review: Game Theory — Across the Barrier of Sound

One of the larger projects that Omnivore Recordings has undertaken in recent years is the Game Theory catalog. The alternative rock band (there are other labels that might apply, but the group’s work is eclectic enough that none fits perfectly) led by Scott Miller released five albums and a pair of EPs during its time

Album Review: Four Early Allman Brothers-related Titles

A group as great as The Allman Brothers Band doesn’t simply burst forth fully formed. There has to be a back story. And while it’s true that the greatest bands are so often more than the sum of their parts, the creative artistry of Duane and Gregg Allman cannot be denied. Some years ago, the

Album Review: Gordon Anderson — Moon Man

It’s sometimes said – and unfairly so – that people who are in the business side of the music business are essentially failed, frustrated musicians themselves. My own experience is different: some of my favorite musicians have a foot in both sides of the biz. It’s safe to assume that most if not all of

Album Review: Purusa — Amnesia

Impassioned, minor-key rockers are the chosen approach for this Portland-based indie rock band. Their thoughtful lyrics on cuts like “Julien” mean that the songs hold up to close scrutiny, but for those who’d just as soon rock out, Purusa delivers for them as well. Some of Zach Hinkelman and Kris Kirkman’s guitar textures are vaguely

Album Review: Strand — Can’t Trust the Rain

Some of the most enduring rock has come out of Ireland. The Emerald Isle has given us Van Morrison, The Undertones, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, and even U2 (if you’re so inclined). For a country with a population of less than five million – for comparison, that’s slightly more people than live within the city