30 Days Out: March 2020 #1: The Yawpers, The Fritz, Southern Culture on the Skids, Eric Johnson

Punk/Americana hybrid. Funky soul that’s equal parts Donny Hathaway and funk/fusion. Unbridled rock ‘n’ roll with a sassy Southern flavor. And some of the most appealing electric guitar tone you’re ever likely to hear. Those are just some of what’s on offer on concert stages in Asheville in the coming thirty days. Artist: The Yawpers

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 2

Here we go: even more hundred-word reviews. All new or recent releases, all worth a listen. RC & the Moonpie Band – All This I love me some rock ‘n’ roll. And I like (and occasionally love) the blues. What I enjoy far less often is the point on the Venn Diagram in which the

NewCity Music

For some years now, I’ve been writing essays for Chicago altweekly NewCity, previewing upcoming shows in and around the city. The essays are a kind of boiled-down biography and critical assessment (every once in awhile including interview quotes), and I’ve covered a wide variety of acts. A full list is here, but below are links

Album Review: Hearts Gone South — Little Things

In an era filled with twanged-up, Eagles-style lite rock passing as country, it’s bracingly refreshing to encounter an album of classic country such as Hearts Gone South’s latest, Little Things. Vocalist Trish Tripp knows how to deliver a slyly humorous line with style, and the band’s sound – highlighted by the keening and exciting pedal

Delbert McClinton: Keeper of the Flame (Part One)

The term Americana hadn’t been coined when Delbert McClinton started making music. His brand of music has always drawn from blues, hillbilly, country, and rock ‘n’ roll, all filtered through a Texas sensibility. McClinton came up in a music scene that gave rise to legends like Doug Sahm, and in his earliest days he backed

Album Review: Tin Roof Echo — Remember Every Moment

Tin Roof Echo is the one-man “bedroom folk” product of Joe Hooten, though the multi-instrumentalist goes to some length to keep his real name off of his work. That’s puzzling, as the music is of a consistently high quality. Hooten seems to sell himself a bit short on occasion: though he’s an avowed R.E.M. fetishist,

Marshall Crenshaw Sets Aside Recording to Focus on Live Dates, Film Project

Marshall Crenshaw burst onto the national music scene in 1982 with his self-titled debut album and its irresistible single, “Someday, Someway.” Though both the album and single charted, Crenshaw’s brand of melodic, classic pop would never again experience sales figures comparable to those releases. But the quality of his subsequent work speaks for itself: across

A Holiday Treat for Musoscribe Readers

‘Tis the season for … a bonus weekend post. I almost never post features or reviews on a Saturday, but these two titles warrant the exception. Plus, if I wait until I have an open weekday, you won’t read about this until late February 2017. Some people simply detest holiday music. I grew up in

Album Mini-review: Coastgaard — Devil on the Balcony

(The following was originally published by the San Diego Reader.) Though Coastgaard build their music on a foundation of surf rock, their approach is quite some distance from that of surf revivalists like Los Straitjackets. There’s an upbeat, playful aesthetic at work on the group’s second album, Devil on the Balcony, one that places them