rawk Archive

Seratones: Power Takes Time

In the music business there’s something known as the “difficult second album.” Some call it a sophomore slump, arising from the idea that the artist has his or her entire life to write songs for the first record, and then mere months to craft material for a follow-up. It’s the rare artist that sidesteps this

Keller Williams: Prolific at any ‘Speed’

A multigenre, multi-instrumental artist, Keller Williams makes music that appeals to a wide array of music fans. Steeped in Americana, he makes music that proudly displays the influence of bluegrass and folk. And his improvisational prowess has gained him a serious following in the jam band community. Williams performs live in many different contexts, as

Presto: Deep Purple’s ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ at 50

Looking back on rock history, it’s clear that the concept of rock/orchestral hybridization was fashionable for a time. Most rock listeners are familiar (and then some) with Days of Future Passed, the debut album by a reinvented lineup of Birmingham, England beat group The Moody Blues; that 1967 LP brought together rock and symphonic textures

Shot in the Dark: Utopia’s ‘Adventures in Utopia’ at at 40

Utopia – or Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, as it was originally and would years later again be known – started out as one thing and became another. In its original form, Utopia was a progressive rock band modeled on a foundation similar to that of acts like Yes and Mahavishnu Orchestra. And while those two groups

Rich Nelson: Seconding That Emotion

It’s not unknown for a creative artist to work in two very different media. But it’s remarkable when an artist achieves success in both. That’s what has happened in the case of Rich Nelson. Detroit-raised and living in Western North Carolina since 2005, Nelson is an acclaimed portraiture and landscape painter. He’s also an accomplished

Bill Altman: It All Goes Back to the Blues

Bill Altman has a diverse and eclectic résumé. His background as a musician – primarily on guitar but including other instruments as well – includes touring and recording acts in rock, blues and other musical idioms. For more than a decade, he has been first-call guitarist at Flat Rock Playhouse; he has worked as musical

30 Days Out: February 2020 #1: André Cholmondeley, Mike Dillon Band, Kamasi Washington, Rich Nelson Band

If you’re in and/or around Asheville, N.C. in the next 30 days, you’d do well to catch these shows. Artist: André Cholmondeley Venue: The Mothlight Date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Door: $5 André is something of a renaissance man. His myriad musical activities include leading a Frank Zappa tribute band (Project Object), working as

Album Review: The Velvert Turner Group

Jimi Hendrix’s influence on music is incalculable. He affected the course of music not only as a fiery, innovative guitarist but also in his groundbreaking use of the recording studio-as-instrument. But for all of his influence – he was really only in the spotlight for a few years – most of the impression he made

Boom Boom! More from my Conversation with Pat Travers

The following is a companion piece to my Pat Travers feature found here. Rock fans of a certain age remember Pat Travers’ hit era. The Canadian guitarist scored FM radio hits with “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” and “Snortin’ Whiskey,” both in the late ’70s. But he’s remained active since then; his catalog features

Pat Travers is Still Right in the Swing of Things

Pat Travers was part of a wave of late ’70s guitar heroes, artists who – in the wake of Peter Frampton’s runaway success – seemed poised to break out in a major way. But just as that started to happen, a combination of changing fashions, corporatization of rock radio and just plain bad luck blunted