review Archive

Album Review: Vince Junior Band — Refreshingly Soulful Blues

On one hand, Refreshingly Soulful Blues is a mightily odd title to give to an album; it reads more like sales copy or a review than a proper title. From the standpoint of truth in labeling, it does better, earning a 67% rating or better (refreshing, yes; soulful, yes; blues, sort of but not really).

Album Review: Lavender Blue — Dusk

A sense of humor is not typically at the top of a list of notable characteristic of a singer-songwriter. By definition—and with some exceptions, of course—singer-songwriters tend to be a serious, introspective lot, rarely given over to playful subject matter in their work. But Asheville-based artist Lavender Blue (the stage name for Kayla Zuskin) has

They Showed Us: ‘The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands’ at 40

By the beginning of 1968, the concept album was very much in vogue; the form was in its ascendancy, with high-profile releases like the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (released May 1966), the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (released May 1967), The Who Sell Out (December ‘67) and the Moody Blues’ Days of Future

Album Review: The Appalucians — Bright Hills

Bright Hills, the debut album from Asheville-based folk quartet the Appalucians, reveals a charming and close-knit vibe within seconds of its opening track. Two of the group members – bassist/harpist Aditi Sethi and guitarist Angie Heimann – engage in a dual-lead harmony vocal on “Bloom in the Seed.” The two allow their vocal lines to

Album Review: Taylor Martin — Song Dogs

Song Dogs is a collection of eleven songs – 8 originals plus 3 well-chosen and relatively obscure covers – sung and played by Asheville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Taylor Martin. By definition, Song Dogs doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre classification. There’s a kind of good-natured yet world-weary vibe to these songs, one that calls to mind

EP Review: David Browning — Now You See Me

Now You See Me is a three-song EP from South Africa-born electronic pop artist David Browning. Currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, he has a background working on Disney Cruise Line. He’s a family physician as well, but still finds time for a creatively fertile venture into music. “Stay Over” opens the EP with a

Frank is Sleeping: Zappa’s ‘The Yellow Shark’ at 25

By the time The Yellow Shark appeared on record store shelves in November 1993, fans knew that the end was very near for Frank Zappa. The iconoclastic composer-musician who often quoted the words of one of his heroes, Edgard Varèse (“The present-day composer refuses to die!”) would succumb to prostate cancer a mere month after

Album Review: Town Mountain – New Freedom Blues

On the group’s sixth studio album, Asheville-based band Town Mountain continues to build on its successful sound. New Freedom Blues finds Town Mountain having it both ways: the five-piece is a reliable purveyor of classic bluegrass, yet the Appalachian music genre is subtly imbued with a modern-day feel that lets the group express its own

Learning to Fly Without Waters: Pink Floyd’s ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ at 30 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… When Nicholas Schaffner published his excellent Pink Floyd biography Saucerful of Secrets – for many years the only definitive tome on Pink Floyd – the 1991 book included an appendix that featured the results of fanzine Amazing Pudding’s reader polls. One notable bit of information from that poll is that “Dogs

Learning to Fly Without Waters: Pink Floyd’s ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ at 30 (Part One)

The Wall was the beginning of the end for the classic lineup of Pink Floyd. Though the balance of creative power in the group had begun to shift in Roger Waters’ direction after the unprecedented success of 1974’s The Dark Side of the Moon, the change was slow and gradual. But by the time of