rawk Archive

Wishbone Ash: 50 Years On, Drawing Inspiration from Their Own Classic Era

In the early 1970s, British rock band Wishbone Ash helped usher in the era of twin-lead-guitar groups, a powerful and effective approach that influenced many of rock’s most beloved bands, from Thin Lizzy to Boston to Iron Maiden and beyond. Led by guitarist, singer and songwriter Andy Powell, Wishbone Ash landed ten albums on the

Album Review: Pop Co-op — Factory Settings

It was more than a decade ago when the Spongetones released what would turn out to be their final album, Scrambled Eggs. The group went out (recording-wise) on a high note, with a collection of songs that stood nicely against a backdrop of great albums going all the way back to 1982’s Beat Music. But

30 Days Out, April 2020 #1: Zoe & Cloyd, The Claudettes, Sparrow Pants, Dr. Bacon

We’re living in unprecedented times, aren’t we? No fooling. “30 Days Out” was launched nearly six years ago as a means of letting people in and around my adopted home of Asheville, North Carolina know about upcoming and notable live music performances. Well, as my local brethren might say, “ain’t none of those right now.”

One (More) Time: King Crimson’s ‘THRAK’ at 25

As guitarist and founder Robert Fripp likes to say, King Crimson is less a band and more “a way of doing things.” Throughout its long and storied history, that has meant that the lineups have often changed, and that the group has gone inactive for extended periods, only to resurface without warning. One such reappearance

Album Review: Early Day Miners — Placer Found

When I think of shoegaze, I tend to conjure up thoughts of gauzy, heavily layered music with a somnabulant, faraway vibe. But of course the subgenre has more variety than that. Case in point is the debut album from Bloomington, Indiana’s Early Day Miners, 2000’s Placer Found. The album strikes an intimate vibe not wholly

Album Review: The Bye Bye Blackbirds — Boxer at Rest

It’s been nearly three years since the release of The Bye Bye Blackbirds’ previous album, Take Out the Poison (see below for a link to my review of that record). The reasons for that extended quiet period have much to do with the tone of the new record. Guitarist Lenny Gill experienced serious health problems,

Album Review: Smoke Fairies — Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

The influence of American blues forms upon the music of Led Zeppelin is widely acknowledged; though they took it in a heavier direction that sometimes tended to exaggerate its more, shall we say, macho tendencies, Zep undoubtedly helped open a generation’s ears to the style. But it’s unfairly reductive to label the band as merely

Album Review: Norman — Buzz and Fade

Had it not been for Don Valentine personally contacting me to inquire if I was familiar with it, the existence of Norman’s Buzz and Fade might have slipped completely by me, escaping my notice. So a hearty, heartfelt thanks to the man at I Don’t Hear a Single for hipping me to a superb release.

Album Review: Eamon Ra — Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity

The album title telegraphs that Eamon Ra is something of an eccentric artist. That the LP comes packed with a magazine-sized lyric/comic book only serves to reinforce that impression. And then when one digs into the music itself (as one most assuredly should), the discovery is that this character belongs in that rarefied place wherein

30 Days Out, March 2020 #2: Sister Ivy, Graham Nash, Wham Bam Bowie Band, Eilen Jewell

UPDATE March 17: It looks as if all live shows are canceled for the foreseeable future. Please support these and other artists by buying their music online, viewing (and paying for) livestreams .. .whatever they may have on offer. We’re all in this together. Because of the worldwide challenge posed by the spread of the