A little over a year ago, 88-year-old
Bluegrass Hall of Famer Ralph Stanley called me as he was mourning the
loss of his long-time guitarist George Shuffler. Ralph and his brother
Carter made American Roots music history in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s as
The Stanley Brothers.
Having seen Shilpa Ray play in the early
morning hours after a fierce, chilling rainstorm at the outdoor
Nelsonville Music Festival in East Central Ohio, this writer can testify
that her tough and exciting voice can surmount any distraction around
her and kick-start listeners out of any weariness and make them pay
While Jess Lamb's journey on American Idol was short, she has been spending her post-Idol
time productively and is poised to take the next step on May 30 with the release of her first official single,
Band Over the Rhine announce fundraising concerts this weekend at its new barn-turned-performing-arts-center, Nowhere Else. Plus, Americana/Blues/Bluegrass foursome The Goodle Boys celebrate their debut album and singer/songwriter Billy Catfish throws a musical shindig.
Identifying Charles Walker’s influences
doesn’t require prolonged exposure or intense examination. The Milwaukee
native grew up with a love of the Blues, Funk, Pop and Motown, as
evidenced by his devotion to Luther Allison, Prince and Stevie Wonder,
and the sound that he’s developed with his latest outfit, appropriately
tagged the Charles Walker Band.
If Robert Earl Keen and Kathleen Edwards
formed a Bluegrass/Americana duo and managed to retain their individual
identities while combining their collective talents into a distinct
third direction, they would sound a lot like Mandolin Orange.
Stephen Hawking ups his Rock Star credentials with a scheduled appearance at giant U.K. music fest Glastonbury, The Killers' Brandon Flowers reveals he has a bag full of seven years' worth of his facial hair and an analysis of recent chart toppers reveals that most are written at a second- or third-grade reading level.
Successful Australian singer/songwriter
Xavier Rudd was compelled to push his art in new and interesting directions. Long desiring to assemble an Impossible Missions Force of
global musical talent with the express purpose of refracting his ideas
through fresh contextual prisms, for his new album, Nanna, Rudd achieved his goal with a new band that he's appropriately dubbed the United Nations.
The Infamous Stringdusters are one of the
more high-powered acts that exist on the fringes of Bluegrass music. Ten
years as a band, the Stringdusters have built up an impressive
following with albums and live shows that are upbeat, fun and fueled by
Americana trio The Part-Time Gentlemen celebrate the release of Whiskey on My Breath with an afternoon party at Arnold's on Sunday, the Buckeye BBQ Fest in West Chester showcases local Blues acts like Ricky Nye Inc. and Noah Wotherspoon and Walk the Moon plays NBC's The Voice and continues to climb the charts.
There is a sense of desolation and edgy
calm in The Antlers’ expansively compelling soundscapes. If you were
freezing to death on an Antarctic ice shelf, this is the music your
brain would spontaneously create to distract you from your imminent