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

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

The Felice Brothers Destroy the Boundaries of Americana Music

Now in the throes of the Americana music revolution, there are a glut of bands making the same stripped-down, down-home sound.  With any musical movement that is generating revenue, the market gets flooded with opportunistic bands trying to ride the high cresting wave and make a living as artists.  (For the record, I begrudge no … Continue reading The Felice Brothers Destroy the Boundaries of Americana Music

Concert Review: John Prine Live at Portsmouth Music Hall (4.20.13)

Some voices don't age well.  Dylan's once mercurial croon is now a raspy drone.  And will someone tell Roger Daltrey to please stop.  His days of properly belting "Baba O'Riley" are long gone. Some voices, though, seem to grow into their songs as the singer ages.  Case in point: the American songwriting genius John Prine.  … Continue reading Concert Review: John Prine Live at Portsmouth Music Hall (4.20.13)