Boxed Set Review: Mojo Nixon — The Mojo Manifesto

Years ago while watching some or other “madcap” comedy film, I came to a realization: drama is comparatively easy, but comedy is difficult. It’s a fairly straightforward affair to tug at a viewer’s heartstrings; it’s quite another matter entirely to make them laugh. The same is true in music; writing a weepy ballad –not to

Album Review: Aloud — Sprezzatura

When I reviewed Aloud’s debut single more than two years ago, I expressed my belief that the group had real potential. I had no idea just how right I would turn out to be. The blaring horns that open “Loving U’s a Beautiful Thing” (and the album) signal that Sprezzatura is going to be a

Album Review: Sonar with David Torn — Tranceportation (Volume 2)

In my April 2018 review of Vortex, the first collaboration between Sonar and guitar master David Torn, I likened the music to ‘80s-period King Crimson at its most accessible, citing Crim’s “The Sheltering Sky” instrumental as a useful reference point. Between then and now I seem to have missed an album by this aggregation, because

d&b audiotechnik on What the Future of Music Might Sound Like

This story is the third of three this week in which I connect with Asheville-based companies serving the music industry. — bk With its headquarters for the Americas in South Asheville, d&b audiotechnik makes loudspeakers and amplifiers for live music and other applications. Manufacturing is done at the parent company’s factory outside of Stuttgart, Germany;

Moog Music in a Pandemic World

This story is the second of three this week in which I connect with Asheville-based companies serving the music industry. — bk Asheville, North Carolina-based Moog Music has reacted to new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in both expected and novel ways. While a number of the electronic music instrument manufacturer’s 100 employee-owners

Echo Mountain Recording Responds to Pandemic Challenges

This story is the first of three this week in which I connect with Asheville-based companies serving the music industry. — bk Any musician in Asheville can tell you the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected his or her livelihood. To varying extents, the same is true for local businesses that serve

Album Review: Iron City Houserockers – Have a Good Time … But Get Out Alive!

There’s a gritty, heartland strain of rock ‘n’ roll that has persisted through the decades. Bruce Springsteen’s best material is an exemplar of the style; shorn of artifice and filigree, it’s about visceral emotions and musical muscle. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes did the same kind of thing, as did the Smithereens, though in

Album Review: Be-Bop Deluxe – Modern Music

Be-Bop Deluxe was one of those bands that didn’t fit neatly into a genre classification. Variously classified as progressive rock, glam rock and art rock, in truth none of those labels sits comfortably upon their body of work. Led by highly regarded guitarist Bill Nelson, the band – which lasted a relatively short six or

Album Review: The Harmed Brothers — Across the Waves

Though it’s billed as rock/Americana, The Harmed Brothers’ fifth album Across the Waves is better described as heartland rock. There’s twang in the music to be sure, but the earnest and soulful presentation of these songs is truer to the rock ‘n’ roll spirit. “Skyline Over” benefits from a tight, concise and memorable melody, and

Album Review: The Tnek Jazz Quintet Plays the Music of Sam Jones

Bassist Sam Jones was an important figure in hard bop and soul jazz of the 1950s and beyond. Alternatively known as “Cannon’s Theme,” his composition “Unit 7” was a showcase number for Adderley’s Quintet. Jones played with Adderley during the latter’s peak period (roughly 1957-’65, and again near the end of Adderley’s time on Earth).