Album Review: Doug MacLeod — A Soul to Claim

Storytelling singer and guitarist Doug MacLeod has been delivering his brand of acoustic-flavored blues on record for decades; his debut album, No Road Back Home was released in 1984. MacLeod – a multiple Blues Music Award nominee and two-time winner – recently relocated to Memphis, and the spirit of the Bluff City informs his latest

Album Review: Jose Ramirez — Major League Blues

Jose Ramirez self-released his debut album, Here I Come, in 2020. The Costa Rican guitarist quickly drew positive notices for that release, capped by a Blues Music Award nomination. With his band he took second place at the Intentional Blues Challenge. Navigating through the pandemic-stricken globe, he managed a successful tour through Portugal, Spain, Germany,

Album Review: Linda Hoover — I Mean to Shine

Remember inner sleeves? The 12×12 paper sleeves that held records and went inside of the album jackets? For a time they served an additional purpose, working as advertising media. The jackets listed in words (and sometimes images) other titles available from the label, presumably ones that might interest the purchaser of the fine title held

Ukraine Benefit in Hendersonville NC

Horrified by Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and inspired by the fortitude and determination of the Ukranian people, two Western North Carolina residents looked for a way to provide some support to the besieged people of the Ukraine. John Ariaitti and musician friend Tom Fisch teamed up to stage a Benefit Concert for Ukraine on

Blue Ridge Guitar Camp with Bryan Sutton

Note: This is the second of two features (originally written for two different publications) focusing on the June 2022 Blue Ridge Guitar Camp and Celebration. — bk Though he’s closely associated with the Nashville session scene, bluegrass/Americana musician and songwriter Bryan Sutton is a Western North Carolina native. He’s also a Grammy nominee and ten-time

30 Days Out, July 2022 #1: Melissa Hyman, Acoustic Syndicate, 10,000 Maniacs, Adrian Belew

Two highly respected local/regional acts and two beloved touring artists: those are the highlights among many musical events taking place in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. Each in their own way is well worth your entertainment dollar, even in these inflationary times. Support live music! Artist: Melissa Hyman Venue: Isis Music Hall

For Primus’ Les Claypool, Rush is ‘Closer to the Heart’

Formed in 1984 by bassist Les Claypool, Bay Area prog/metal/alternative band Primus has long since established its own bonafides as an original outfit, with nine albums of original music to the group’s credit. And Claypool’s creative impulses extend beyond Primus: he has toured and released albums by and with Oysterhead, The Frog Brigade, The Claypool

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… The electric fusion group drew inspiration from across the musical landscape, combining sounds the likes of which one might find on a Miles Davis album of the era with a funky soul and r&b sensibility. Among the Oblivion Express’ most beloved recordings is a scintillating Auger original, “Happiness is Just Around

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… Not long thereafter, Auger was leading an organ trio at a Manchester club called The Twisted Wheel. There he was approached by a “rather tall guy.” Long John Baldry, as he was known, was a household figure in British music, having been a guest on two Beatles TV programs. Baldry asked

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 1 of 3)

New collection of classic and rarities from the celebrated music figure Organist, composer, vocalist and band leader Brian Auger is best known for his work leading two bands: in the ‘60s he launched The Trinity, a pioneering soul/jazz/rock outfit featuring powerhouse vocalist Julie Driscoll. And in the early ‘70s Auger pursued ambitious yet accessible jazz