folk Archive

Album Review: Peter Laughner

Chances are good that you’ve never heard of Peter Laughner. And if you’re immediately replying, “Oh, yes I have!” then chances are good that you know of him via his time with Rocket from the Tombs. RFTT was one of those seminal acts whose influence far outstripped beyond their popularity, sort of like a less-well-known

Album Review: Smoke Fairies — Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

The influence of American blues forms upon the music of Led Zeppelin is widely acknowledged; though they took it in a heavier direction that sometimes tended to exaggerate its more, shall we say, macho tendencies, Zep undoubtedly helped open a generation’s ears to the style. But it’s unfairly reductive to label the band as merely

30 Days Out, March 2020 #2: Sister Ivy, Graham Nash, Wham Bam Bowie Band, Eilen Jewell

UPDATE March 17: It looks as if all live shows are canceled for the foreseeable future. Please support these and other artists by buying their music online, viewing (and paying for) livestreams .. .whatever they may have on offer. We’re all in this together. Because of the worldwide challenge posed by the spread of the

Marinho’s Emotional Openness is on Display on ’tilde’ (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Even with herds of creative artists endeavoring to make music, those cities have at least some sort of infrastructure for all of it. “Whereas in Portugal, sometimes it can be a little bit stressful,” she says. “You know you have the talent and you know that people are going to

Marinho’s Emotional Openness is on Display on ’tilde’ (Part One)

Serendipity is a beautiful thing. In September of 2019 I received a press release announcing the impending release of a new album called ~ (that’s pronounced tilde), the debut release from a Portuguese artist called Marinho. I listened to a bit of the CD that came with the press sheet, and I was immediately impressed.

Wesley Stace: It Happens One Night

This story was published previously in Chicago’s New City. For a long time, the man born Wesley Stace was John Wesley Harding. Taking his stage name from the title Bob Dylan’s 1967 album, the singer-songwriter crafted a superb series of albums. Those releases covered a great deal of musical territory; though he’s firmly rooted in

Life Like Water’s Trance-folk

Songwriter and musician David Matters has a background playing bluegrass and old-time music. And while he maintains a love for those styles, the music he started writing a few years ago didn’t fit comfortably into those idioms. So he launched Life Like Water, now a trio with a sound that draws from American and European

Album Review: The Black Tones — Cobain & Cornbread

Ice-T (among many others) has long made the point that African Americans’ role in the creation of rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. While I agree, I suspect that in part the reason for that is that comparatively few people of color work in the rock idiom. I recall vividly just how

Album Review: Rachid Taha — Je Suis Africain

Are you familiar with a musical genre called Chaâbi? Me neither. Put simply (and reductively), it’s North African folk music, sort of a cousin to another style, raï. One of the foremost artists to combine that style with rock was Rachid Taha; the Algerian musician released more than a dozen albums under his own name,

Album Review: Abraham Jam — White Moon

Customarily, when multiple artists each having his or her own successful career come together, it’s for one of two reasons. They might collaborate simply because it’s fun, because it gives them a chance to step outside whatever stylistic box they may be in, because they’re up for what used to be known colloquially as a