Albums

HT Heartache | Sundowner | Review

This all started with Lizzy Grant—back before Lana del Rey’s somehow-transcendent Born to Die managed to convince the vogue among us that trailer park chic was most certainly in, there was this beautiful young girl singing tortured-soul musings out of a doublewide, claiming that hell and salvation could all be found just cruising down Main Street in any blue collar town—simple as that.

Lotus | Gilded Age | New Music Review

The first Lotus pressing I ever got my hands on was their last, Monks, this tight little package that threw-back to the glory days of trip-hop you’d never hear about unless you were in—(see Deltron 3030, Doctor Octagon, et. al.)—and, in the process, brought the mellow-fellow known as Doodlebug and his “Cloud 9” musings into my life. Here was, far as I could say, a honed-vet jam band biting hip-hop, and I dug it.

Handmade Moments by Handmade Moments | Album Review

Handmade Moments’ first album is a collection of fun, sultry, inspiring, thoughtful tracks. With songs stretching from political to simply lovely, the duo (Anna Horton and Joel Ludford) offers an expansive array of styles and lyrics through their 12 songs. Musically, the album is rooted in strings and jazz; bluegrass, folk and Americana float in throughout the album. Horton and Ludford’s musical and vocal styles complement each other well; her voice sails, while his tethers.

Robbie McCoury | The Five String Flame Thrower | Review

The McCoury family legacy is one of the richest in bluegrass. Father Del McCoury was a crucial member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys and achieved legendary status with his souring lead vocals on signature Monroe songs and originals. His band is a family band, and has been for a while.

Achilles Wheel | Stones to Sand | New Music Review

As the web of Americana continues to be woven, artists connect the past and present through musicianship and songwriting that reflects a fluid agreement between contemporary and roots qualities. Too often is nostalgia misrepresented as authenticity, and bands afraid to develop their own sound generally don’t last the test of time. Of one Northern California’s most promising ensembles that reflects true individualism through songwriting and playing is Achilles Wheel.

D.O.T.S. C.O.N.F.U.S.E. M.I.N.D.S. | On Patrol | Review

As a general rule, I tend to avoid double albums like—well, not quite the Plague—maybe just a pretty girl with a slightly-suspect cold sore, or anything by the Dave Matthews Band. And honestly, the one double-record set I’ve ever really dug as a whole was Floyd’s Ummagumma, and only then because that oeuvre de strange-junk quietly embraced its own clusterf—ktitude and didn’t ever insist that anyone should be listening to the thing—just that they could, if they felt like a trip down the rabbit hole.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Psychology | New Music Review

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong might sound like a funny name, but their music is serious, ranging from funk to dance to electronic. On July 3, they released their second LP called “Psychology,” and right from the get go it brings the heat.

Arc & Stones | As You Were | New Music Review

When I first heard “Control”—in my opinion, the strongest track on Arc & Stones sophomore release, As You Were—I immediately thought, S—t, man, this reminds me of Bang Camaro—I miss those crazy bastards. Now, I will say that the rest of As You Were showcases the band’s ability to shift their tone from Camaro’s this-amp-goes-to-eleven mentality to elsewhere-territory, but that raw energy’s never too far gone.

Phish | Fuego | New Music Review

It has been eight months since Phish debuted their new album in its entirety on stage at the Halloween show in Atlantic City, much to the surprise of fans who assumed (quite wrongly) the band would instead cover a classic album as they have done in the past.  Reviews of that performance and the songs have been mixed among their fan base, and now with the album release of Fuego fans can finally hear the finished product that began that fateful night.  And once again, fans are going to be quite surprised.

Analog Son | New Music Review

It is quite rare for album art to get noticed in the age of iTunes and Mp3 players. But I found myself captivated by the cover of Analog Son’s eponymously titled debut album when it arrived in the mail. I couldn’t help but notice a distinct similarity to one of funk’s most celebrated records. On the cover of Maggot Brain, Funkadelic’s ‘71 masterpiece, a woman is buried neck deep in the dirt, her licorice-colored Afro almost camouflaged by the soil that surrounds it.

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