Albums

The Devil Makes Three: Stomp and Smash | New Music Review

The Devil Makes Three live release, Stomp and Smash is more than a title; it’s a review in itself. Recorded over two sold-out nights at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, CA, these bluegrass Santa Cruzaders’ are hell bent with a raucous punk spirit. Spewing a sound about as smooth as whiskey, this trio of Pete Bernhard, Cooper McBean, and Lucia Turino are propped up by acoustic guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass.

Xavier Rudd: Spirit Bird | New Album Review

On his seventh studio album, Spirit Bird, Xavier Rudd’s gritty voice rises like dust from underneath the dancing feet along an ancestral Songline. In a modern world of industrial landscapes filled with neon signs, it’s hard to “imagine if the trees could tell us where to go.” Yet, Rudd introduces listeners to Australian Aboriginal mythology with songs such as “Creating a Dream”.

PHILM: Harmonic | New Music Review

As far as supergroup side projects are concerned, PHILM is a strange beast, and their debut album, Harmonic, follows its creators’ suit like a bipolar demon-child on acid.

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The Expendables | 'Gone Soft' | New CD Review

Let me begin with the disclaimer that I only consider myself a casual fan of The Expendables. It’s not that I don’t like their music; far from it, actually, but I’m not about to start referencing old B-sides off the top of my head or anything of the sort in this review. That being said, I did enjoy Gone Soft, the band’s first all-acoustic album and an overall solid offering.

Craig Elkins' Quirky Way of Saying, I Love You

Every now and again a little chuckle escapes. You don’t mean to, but you just can’t help it. And you don’t mean it in a bad way, it’s anything but that. But sometimes the lyrics are just funny, and surely Craig Elkins knows this. I Love You, the first solo album under the ex-Huffamoose frontman’s real name, is track after track of somewhat dark, bleak humor.

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The Congress' Whatever You Want | New Music Review

The CongressWhatever You Want is a good-ass record, plain and simple. The album, a southern rock tribute to everyone from Molly Hatchet to The Grateful Dead, plays strong from start to finish with little let-up along the way.

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Head for the Hills: LIVE | New CD Review

When Head for the Hills Fiddle-man Joe Lessard was asked in our recent interview what it is about Colorado that makes us Bluegrass Country, he replied “It must be something in the water, or a lack thereof.” The boys in the Fort Collins, Colorado born bluegrass band are at a pinnacle peak in their career.

Ian Tyson | 'Raven Singer' | CD Review

Ian Tyson is a cowboy, sure as Hell. And with Raven Singer, the 78-year-old songwriter’s second album following a near-debilitating throat infection, he makes certain to remind his listeners of just that.

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Lisa Biales | 'Just Like Honey' | CD Review

Unyieldingly pleasant, that’s what it is. Lisa Biales’ “Just Like Honey” is nearly the perfect companion to a rainy day on the couch, a sunny day in the garden, a road trip or a night on the town. It’s the record’s strength and maybe its weakness, too. That depends when you’ve got the blues.

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Larry Keel | 'Classic' | CD Review

Classic. The word more properly evokes a feeling than a concrete meaning. The meaning would be flatly explained as something from the past that has gained a memorable status. When applying “Classic” to the bluegrass genre a whole new set of meanings and associations surface. Bluegrass is classic Americana. A genre that is wholly American and comes loaded with stories and fables that define less of a time than a mentality. The workingman’s blues.

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