Author Archive

Album Review: Mr. Sipp — Sippnotized

Mr. Sipp is the nom de blues of Castro Coleman. The 2014 International Blues Challenge winner is also known as “The Missisippi Blues Child.” Sippnotized is the fourth long-player from the acclaimed gospel-blues guitarist-singer. Across the new album’s ten songs, Sipp synthesizes his influences into a cohesive whole. “Gonna Be Alright” wouldn’t be out of

Album Review: Altered Five Blues Band – Holler if You Hear Me

Jeff Taylor has a big voice. In the tradition of the great blues shouters, Taylor is a commanding presence. But he’s merely one of five ingredients in the recipe that is the Altered Five Blues Band. From the rollicking and rock-steady bass work of Mark Solveson to the fleet-fingered keyboards of Raymond Tevich to Jeff

Album Review: Dewa Budjana — Naurora

The potential downside of remote recording is that – when it’s not done well, which is often – it can robe the music of the feel of of spontaneity, the vibe that comes form musicians playing together in real time. The upside, of course, is that an artist can enlist the participation of collaborators who

Album Review: Sorrows – Love Too Late…the real album

Here’s a record with a helluva story. After making an excellent melodic rock album in 1980’s Teeenage Heartbreak, Sorrows (no “the”) went to England to record their second LP with expat producer Shel Talmy producing. Apparently no one involved was happy with the results, and the resulting release, Love Too Late, sank without a trace.

30 Days Out, October 2021 #2: Scott Miller, JackTown Ramblers, Land of the Sky Symphonic Band, GWAR

The eclectic nature that was a defining characteristic of Asheville’s live music scene is returning in these safer-than-recent-months times. Over the next 30 day, you have opportunities to enjoy music that combines things you might not expect: country rock (okay, that one’s a bit obvious but this guy is special), scum rock (stay with me

Mdou Moctar Plays By His Own Rules

The digital age brought with it some fundamental shifts in music industry paradigms. Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar was a beneficiary of those changes, leveraging them to catapult himself to prominence in his home country of Niger. More than a decade later, he’s signed to an established label and touring the globe with his

Combo Chimbita: The Music Tells the Stories

It was five years ago when the four Colombia-born members of Combo Chimbita released their debut EP, El Corredor del Jaguar. At the time — and for a couple of years to follow — the group made a point of defining its music as “tropical futurism.” They explained that to mean that the group made

For Destroy Boys, The Personal is Political

Co-led by guitarist Violet Mayugba and singer Alexia Roditis, Sacramento punk band Destroy Boys debuted with the 2015 studio EP Sorry Mom. The band’s profile got an early boost when they were favorably mentioned in a 2016 Rolling Stone feature on Green Day. And by 2018 — around the time of the release of their

Don’t Fret: Banjoist Nora Brown

Nora Brown is a celebrated roots musician. She released her debut album, Cinnamon Tree, in 2019. That album showcases Brown’s facility on the banjo, as well as her keen understanding of the musical traditions of the Appalachian region. A popular fixture on the festival circuit, Brown gave a TED talk, appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk

Album Review: Elder Jack Ward – Already Made

Growing up as a suburban white kid, my preconceptions regarding gospel music were fairly well-formed. I wasn’t especially receptive to the messages conveyed in the music, and – on the rare occasions when I encountered it – I found the music stiff and lacking in passion. Of course I wasn’t hearing music coming out of