Album Review: Walker Brigade — If Only

If we’re honest, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to create a batch of hard rocking tunes. It’s substantially more challenging to write durable melodies, and/or to create meaningful lyrics that exude passion, commitment and authenticity. And to do all of those things at once is a rare feat indeed. But a new

Album Review: Spygenius — Jobbernowl

Those Cantabrigian masters of melody are at it again. Jobbernowl may sport an inscrutable title, but the music is accessible in the extreme. Spygenius’ knowing way with ear candy tune creation is showcased once again on their latest release. The wordplay that is a baked-in characteristic of their music crops up immediately: the opening sonic

Bryan Sutton’s Guitar Camp and Celebration

Note: This feature was written as a preview for events that took place the first week of June 2022. — bk One of the brightest stars in the bluegrass/Americana galaxy is bringing the expertise of top guitarists to a session of learning and collaboration. Billed as the first annual event hosted by Asheville native Bryan

30 Days Out, June 2022 #2: George Clinton, Imij of Soul, Vision Video, Pinkest Floyd

Two tribute bands helping audiences relive the old days in style, one giant of funk, and a new band applying a modern spin to a beloved subgenre. Those are the highlights of the coming 30 days in Asheville live music, a calendar featuring a heady mix of local, regional and international talent. Event: George Clinton

EP Review: Stick Men — Tentacles

Considering the degree to which each of its members is known for other projects, it’s remarkable that Stick Men even exists. Drummer extraordinaire Pat Mastelotto has been on every King Crimson album and tour since 1994. Bassist/Chapman stick player Tony Levin is one of the world’s most recorded musicians, having played on considerably more than

Album Review: The Chemistry Set — Pink Felt Trip

For some, the idea of making (much less listening to) psychedelic music inn the 21st century seems anachronistic. I don’t share that sentiment; even without the use of psychedelic drugs, the music continues to entertain me. And a current-day act calling itself The Chemistry Set has just released Pink Felt Trip, a raging slab of

Album Review: Terry Carolan — Flights of Fancy

The music of Terry Carolan first came to my attention nearly a decade ago when I encountered a CD reissue of a 1980 self-titled album by his band True Hearts. Some four years later I heard his album Circus of Mirth, credited to Heirs of Fortune. Quite different from that ‘80s music, it was somehow

Album Review: Zero — Naught Again

As spinoff projects go, I’m generally indisposed to be interested in a band that has its origins in the world of the Grateful Dead. While I enjoy the Dead’s studio albums – and recently/belatedly discovered the joys of the soaring “Terrapin Station” suite – but the jamcentric nature of that whole scene isn’t my cup

Book Review: Wicked Game

San Francisco and the Bay Area have long been fertile creative ground. Even confining the discussion to music, there’s been a staggering volume of important music coming out of the Bay Area: jazz, psychedelia, folk rock, punk, metal, new wave…on and on. Among the long list of luminaries, the name Chris Isaak deserves mention. His

21st Century Lit: A Chat with A. Jay Popoff

Lit seemed to have roared – fully formed and developed – out of the Orange County punk and hardcore scene of the mid-’90s. But the band’s roots go back farther, and they go deeper as well. Founded by brothers Jeremy and A. Jay Popoff, the group grew out of two earlier bands, Razzle (with A.