Concert Review: Avett Brothers at the Cumberland County Civic Center (3.3.14)

It wasn't until I saw the Avett Brothers live that I understood the big fuss surrounding this stripped-down roots band.  The recorded songs I liked from 2009's I and You and Love I attributed to Rick Rubin's studio wizardry, not to the magic of two North Carolinian brothers. After giving a good vinyl listen to … Continue reading Concert Review: Avett Brothers at the Cumberland County Civic Center (3.3.14)

Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” is the Best Song of 2013

"She said, 'Andy, you're better than your past' / Winked at me and drained her glass / Cross-legged on the barstool like nobody sits anymore." In these opening lines, Jason Isbell culls his listener with the vivid imagery, authentic voice, and sexual tension that spills from the edges of "Elephant."  The words reach out of … Continue reading Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” is the Best Song of 2013

Mumford and Sons Video Injects Humor Into An Earnest Brand

Imagine a world where twenty and thirty-somethings are clad in dusty boots, tight fitting dungarees, suspenders, suit vests, and handle-bar mustaches.  A world where bands play in barns with all acoustic instruments, ne'er a synthesizer is to be heard.  This, my friends, is what Portlandia calls the Dream of the 1890's.  (You really need to … Continue reading Mumford and Sons Video Injects Humor Into An Earnest Brand

Concert Review: Lake Street Dive at the LL Bean Concert Series (7.20.13)

The name Lake Street Dive doesn't exactly invoke classy connotations.  The band name makes me think of smoky bars in backwoods towns where shiftless people drink cloudy beer and think shiftless thoughts. The band that hit LL Bean's outdoor stage on Saturday night (7.20.13) was anything but shiftless.  With lush, tasteful harmonies, beautiful pop grooves, … Continue reading Concert Review: Lake Street Dive at the LL Bean Concert Series (7.20.13)

Album Review: Wrote a Song For Everyone, John Fogerty

Tribute albums can be the saddest damn things.  Music executives shamelessly trying to squeeze every last gold nugget out of beautiful music.  Aging rock stars with plastic faces struggling to hit notes they once reached with ease.  Flat duets with a new top ten sensation. Tribute albums reek of the cheap perfume of sloppy nostalgia … Continue reading Album Review: Wrote a Song For Everyone, John Fogerty

Concert Review: Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band Reach New Heights

If you've found yourself on my blog before, then you most likely read the post where I gush over Josh Ritter.  Gush might be too minor a word.  Lyrically, the guy can ne'er do wrong in my ears.  I'm even willing to let slide the occasional musical shortcoming because atop that shortcoming is usually a … Continue reading Concert Review: Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band Reach New Heights