Graham Parker: Sticking to It (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Parker was a mere 25 years old when Howlin’ Wind was released. Today he’s 67. Because of the straightforward, heart-on-the-sleeve quality of his lyrics, it’s fair to wonder if those early songs resonate with him. Or, when he sings “Soul Shoes,” does he feel that he’s a man in his sixties

Graham Parker: Sticking to It (Part 1)

When Graham Parker came on the music scene in the mid 1970s, he was pegged as an angry young man of the new wave movement. And while that label always overstated the case, there was an acerbic and barbed quality to both Parker’s lyrics and his manner of delivery. Still, at his best Parker created

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

Album Review: Disaster Relief — s/t

Nominally classified as jazz, the Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Disaster Relief occupies a musical space halfway between Leeds and New Orleans. The Leeds connection is the band’s funky like-mindedness to New Mastersounds, reliable purveyors of soulful boogaloo. The Crescent City vibe comes from the group’s deep-groove jazz sensibility. Honking saxophone dialogue atop a rubbery

EP Review: Cordova – Runaway Summer

The heavy chunka-chunka guitars and scream that kick off “Hiding” tip off the listener that Runaway Summer is going to be a growling, black metal extravaganza. But the tricky meter and pummeling yet precise drum work – even in those first few seconds – suggests something perhaps more nuanced. And when the vocals come in

Album Review: Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War

Readers old enough to remember the long-running and beloved television sitcom M*A*S*H likely know that according to its creators, even though the show was set in wartime Korea, it was really about American involvement in Vietnam. But despite the show’s comedic framework, it managed to explore some important truths about that ill-advised endeavor in southeast

Tank and the Bangas: Big Bang

One of the most intriguing and compelling musical acts to gain recent national attention is Tank and the Bangas. The New Orleans-based group combines spoken word, hip-hop, gospel and other styles into a unique sound all its own. Tank and the Bangas won the prestigious Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, and the group is currently

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.