Album Review: Nick Ingman — Big Beat

Cratediggers and/or musical Anglophiles of a certain stripe will recognize the name DeWolfe Music. Established over a century ago, the British music production company carved out a unique and important niche in the music business, creating what is today known as library music. No, not something you’d listen to in your local library, but sort

EP Review: Deb Montgomery — All the Water

A moody, contemplative vibe is on display within the title track of Pacific Northwest folk rocker Deb Montgomery’s latest EP, All the Water. There’s a gothic storytelling feel to the song, and the instrumentation builds as the song unfolds. Starting out quietly and with sparse accompaniment, Montgomery builds the arrangement with more instruments, punctuated by

David LaMotte: So Much to Do, So Little Time

For many Asheville-based musicians, making music is just one of the things they do. Cobbling together a financially sustainable lifestyle means taking on one or more part-time “side hustles.” In a sense, that’s what singer-songwriter David LaMotte does. But the nature of his involvement in myriad pursuits takes the form of multiple full-time gigs. Somehow

Album Review: River Whyless — Kindness, A Rebel

On the group’s 2016 album We All the Light, Asheville-based group River Whyless pushed the boundaries of indie folk, its supposed genre. In doing so, the quartet could serve as Exhibit A for the relative meaningless of genre labels: to be sure, what River Whyless does draw from Americana and folk, but neither of those

World Musician Taj Mahal Gets the Blues

Taj Mahal is a timeless artist who’s always been ahead of his time. The singer-songwriter-guitarist was making Americana and world music long before either musical genre had been coined. He’s earned many accolades—three Grammys, ten Grammy nominations, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, an honorary Doctorate—and released more than 30 albums under his own

Straight No Chaser: All Vocals, Hold the Instruments

Founded in 1996 when all of its members were students at Indiana University, a cappella group Straight No Chaser has gone through more than its share of changes. But the group’s unique, old-meets-new approach—all-vocal performances of original and classic songs with beatboxing—has endured and expanded its audience. Widespread success was unexpected; the original ten members

Album Review: All India Radio — Space

From the outset, All India Radio is all over the map. The name suggests a group from the Indian subcontinent, and the music draws clear inspiration from British late-period psychedelic/space rock (most notably Pink Floyd) and late-late-period American psych revival (specifically Flaming Lips). After all that, All India Radio is actually an ambient/chillwave group from

Album Review: Taylor James — Insane

For me, the use of numbers and capital letters in place of, y’know, actual words is a red flag: it was kinda dumb when Prince did it, and it’s wholly unoriginal now, a generation later. So the discovery of the opening track “Back 2 U” caused me to lower my expectations in regard to finding

Album Review: Redd Kross — Third Eye

Redd Kross’ Third Eye was released mid-September 1990. Notwithstanding the pop singles charts (then topped by a Latin dance pop ditty called “If Wishes Came True”), the rock scene was dominated then by acts like Jane’s Addiction, Gene Loves Jezebel and the ubiquitous and gruesome “Joey” from Concrete Blonde. Into that relatively dour and joyless

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Four)

Continued from Part Three… Redux ’92: Live in Japan (1993) Six years after disbanding, Utopia surprised most onlookers by regrouping for a run of concerts in Japan. The shows were well-received, and a live recording was released on compact disc and video the following year. “I look at that video,” Sulton says, “and I think,