Black Mountain: Canadian Krautrock?

Conventional wisdom holds that Vancouver-based Black Mountain is somehow retro in its approach to making music. A more careful listen, however, suggests that the band’s music features new sounds that are informed by (but not copies of) the heavy sounds of 1970s rock. But on their latest album (and first in nearly six years), IV,

Guided by Voices: A Study in Well-prepared Spontaneity

“When we go to sound check, he goes to record stores.” That’s how guitarist Bobby Bare Jr. begins his description of the preparations Guided by Voices leader Bob Pollard makes ahead of each show. Since their 1983 start in Dayton, Ohio, through myriad lineup changes, across more than 20 albums and countless live shows, Guided

Award-winning Guitarist Bryan Sutton Comes Home Again

“There’s a place on Interstate 40 eastbound, just on the east side of Knoxville, where you come around this curve,” says guitarist/singer/songwriter Bryan Sutton. “Suddenly the whole horizon is an expanse: the leading edge of the Blue Ridge shows up. And it’s always been a thing that I look forward to on the trip.” Sutton’s

Act of Defiance Lives Up to Its Pedigree

In their 30-plus years together, metal group Megadeth has seen eleven different musicians occupy the lead guitar spot. Chris Broderick – Megadeth’s lead guitarist for more than six years – announced his departure just before Thanksgiving 2014, citing “artistic and musical differences.” That same day, longtime Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover announced he too would be

Brevard Music Center: Celebrating 80 Years with 80+ Shows

There’s something for most every musical taste during Brevard Music Center‘s 2016 season. Less than an hour’s drive southwest from Asheville, the center not only mounts an impressive array of performances, but centers all its activities around the teaching of more than 425 students in classical symphony, opera, chamber music and other disciplines. “We’re both

Album Review: The Traveling Wilburys Collection

I’m not at all certain when the term supergroup first entered popular usage. I do know that it’s been badly misused more often than not: I recall seeing it used on magazine covers back when Duran Duran was all the rage: think of them what you will, but they were never a supergroup. One of

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 5

Today wraps up my week-long collection of new album reviews in concise (read: exactly 100 word) form. Rogue Wave – Delusions of Grand Fur While nothing on Delusions of Grand Fur sounds as if it’s lifted from other artists, I get the nagging feeling that I’ve heard it all before. The songs are melodic and

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 4

Genre-wise, I’m all over the map today with the next five of my quick reviews. Shannon Labrie – War & Peace On her second album, Labrie applies her strong and expressive vocals to quality material. The album title suggests something weighty and expansive, but unlike Leo Tolstoy‘s 1869 novel, it’s a warm and inviting collection

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 3

Five more quick reviews of new or recent album releases. Today features a couple of the best of the week’s bunch. Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town Nick Curran‘s Reform School Girl was one of the best albums of 2010. JD McPherson‘s Let the Good Times Roll was among the finest releases of 2015. If

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 2

More quick reviews. Some good’uns in this batch, including titles from the always-reliable Omnivore Recordings. Brian Cullman – The Opposite of Time Moody and atmospheric are the first two adjectives that come to mind when spinning The Opposite of Time, the second solo album from Cullman. His day job is as music journalist; that explains