Albums

Greensky Bluegrass: "Handguns" | Review

It’s hard to exactly pinpoint where the resurgence in popularity of bluegrass music in the last fifteen years has come from. Perhaps it has to do with American’s wanting to reconnect with roots music. It could be that it blends vocal elements of folk music with musical complexity of jazz and classical composition. Perhaps people are just plain sick of what has been coined now as “country”, which appears to have transitioned into electric big-band steel guitar nonsense with even shallower lyrics.

Mike Mizwinski: East Hope Avenue

Pop music since the 2000s has gone through interesting evolutions and continues as a topic of focus. So many styles and genres have been amalgamated and fused together. It seems as if modern pop seeks to embrace non-style or attaining something off-blues. The trend almost seems be a sound that denies roots and style, as if that would make it more interesting inherently through its disobedience of definition. In light of this goofy paradox, artists that reach out to roots seem to captivate my interest more so.

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Wilco: The Whole Love

Throughout Wilco’s two decades on the scene, the vacillating brain chemistry of frontman Jeff Tweedy has unfailingly fueled the band’s highflying creative trajectory.  Backed by the always vicious electric guitar chops of studio legend Nels Cline, the Chicago band’s 8th studio LP The Whole Love -self-released on Wilco’s nascent dBpm Records- presents Tweedy at a critical juncture. 

Del McCoury Band- Old Memories- The Music of Bill Monroe

It is such a gem that the large family of bluegrass music still has the likes of Del McCoury around. And simply declaring that Del is “still around” is a gross understatement. More accurately would be acknowledging his linage and persona as being at a career-high peak moment. Not only has classic bluegrass music had resurgence in popularity over the last twenty years, but also many of the oldies of the genre are still hashing out quality work.

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg: Avos

The opening track on Avos, by James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg, “Hospitality”, has a sneaky, adventure feeling to it. One guitar holds down a somewhat dark undertone while the accompaniment dances happily, almost mischievously on top.

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Primus: Green Naugahyde

Musician Les Claypool has been a bit of a chameleon over the last decade, exploring the jamband world with his collaboration with Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Stewart Copeland (The Police) known as Oysterhead, fronting multiple side projects including, but not limited to, Les Claypool’s Flying Frog Brigade,

Rene Lopez: ELS (Electric Latin Soul)

Rene Lopez (pronounced Ren-ey) is a striking Spanish hipster born in the heart of Bronx, New York creating a fusion of sound he calls “electric Latin soul.” His newest solo album, aptly titled ELS, is being released on Nat Geo Records alongside the recently signed festival favorites Toubab Krewe. Lopez seems to be gaining a similar, jam-rock oriented fan base, and it’s clear from his album why, though his work with John Butler Trio’s Money Mark and ‘90’s jam band Wasabi doesn’t hurt.  

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Von Ehrics: Two Foot Stomp

Von Ehrics newest CD, Two Foot Stomp, is an up and down ride filled with Punkabilly drive and an authentically Texas flavor. Songs like the first single, "Lord I Pray" are new, refreshing, and fun while other like "Rock and Roll" fall a little flat in energy and creativity.

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Umphrey’s McGee: Death by Stereo

Though Umphrey’s McGee have always been known best by their enigmatic live performances, they have also excelled in crafting outstanding studio albums throughout their career, and the newest release Death by Stereo is no exception.

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