Review of The Grisly Hand’s self-titled at Modern Vinyl

A double album can be an odd duck, but Kansas City’s The Grisly Hand may have unlocked its secrets. On the surface, the idea of recording 19 songs, putting them out as two separate compact discs (a year apart), and then re-sequencing them as a double vinyl release (now self-titled) sounds overly-complicated, and maybe it is. However, while the two albums which comprise The Grisly Hand’s double LP — last year’s Flesh & Gold, and this year’s Hearts & Stars — are both excellent records on their own, it’s when the two are combined that this music really takes shape.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 1/23/17

Recommending Nikki Lane’s “Jackpot” at Modern Vinyl

nikki lane
For every discussion about how Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton are bringing energy and fervor back to country music, while making it “real” again, I can’t help but feel like Nikki Lane is getting shunted to the side. She’s been kicking out albums since her 2011 debut, Walk of Shame, a full three years prior to Simpson’s debut. The title track’s liberated, feminist embrace of the same topics Simpson would get praise for on Metamodern Sounds in Country Music‘s “Life of Sin” three years later should give Lane the same acclaim as her male peers, but for some reason, she’s been quietly relegated to the background when discussion of taking back Nashville comes around.
Read the full recommendation at Modern Vinyl. Published 1/23/17

Review of John Prine’s ‘In Spite of Ourselves’ at Modern Vinyl

When In Spite of Ourselves was first released in 1999, it was pretty noteworthy, serving as John Prine’s first album since beating neck cancer. His voice is raspy and worn, if not a little battered by his battle and surgery, and so he’s paired himself with nine different female singers. And these duets hearken back to the era from which Prine has drawn all but the title track. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, duets were a matter of course — George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Porter Waggoner and Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, to name but a few.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/19/16

Q&A with the Sadies’ Mike Belitsky at the Pitch

It’s tempting to call the Sadies’ music Americana, but that label just doesn’t feel right. First, the Sadies are from Toronto. Second, the quartet’s music incorporates all things twang: country, surf, rock, rockabilly. The Sadies recently finished recording a yet-to-be-titled 11th album (more, if you count collaborations with Neko Case, John Doe, Jon Langford and Andre Williams), which is slated for a November release. The Pitch caught up with drummer Mike Belitsky about the band’s music as he was driving his son to his first Blue Jays game.
Read the complete interview at the Pitch. Published 8/16/16

Ensminger’s “Mavericks of Sound” succeeds in spite of its author

The new collection of David Ensminger's interviews, entitled Mavericks of Sound: Conversations with the Artists Who Shaped Indie and Roots Music (out now from Rowman & Littlefield), is a mixed blessing. The insight one gets from the artists with whom he speaks is deep and interesting. It's rare that artists such as Jason Ringenberg of Jason & the Scorchers, the Reverend Horton Heat, or the Nerves and Plimsouls' Peter Case get the sort of deeply-introspective and serious discussion presented here. To see Ensminger go beyond the superficial interviews most of these artists receive -- if they're ever spoken with at all -- is heartening. Mavericks of Sound is best when it allows these rarely-heard musicians to go beyond discussing their latest album, and dig deep into the influences which shaped them, and the particulars of their journey to now. book cover - mavericks of sound That said: Ensminger can go on. When he does something like laying out a lengthy Woody Guthrie quote in his interview with Robert Earl Keen, you're not quite certain as to whether that's meant to elicit a certain response from his subject, or if it's simply meant to show the depth of Ensminger's own personal knowledge. Rarely does it seem that the author achieves much connection with the artist he's interviewing. Reading the short pieces toward the end of Mavericks of Sound reveals a certain terseness of response from some of his subjects. The final impression I had regarding David Ensminger's Mavericks of Sound is that the author is quote knowledgable, does impeccable research, and has excellent taste in music. That said, his interview style is such that he succeeds in achieving excellent results not so much because of his knowledge and research, but because he's such impeccable taste in subjects. These are people who could tell a good story to a dog on a porch.

The Folk Alliance International Conference starts today in Kansas City

folk alliance Rock Star Journalist has been suffering a little lately, as I've been working a lot of freelance for the Pitch in advance of the Folk Alliance International Conference. It's a five-day conference taking place in Kansas City this week, starting today, and running through Sunday. I had the fun job of interviewing some of the showcasing artists in order to help promote it, and that's pretty much sucked all of my energy lately. However, I've gotten to speak with people like actor / musician Ronny Cox about the new Robocop remake, ask BR5-49's Chuck Mead about his work on Broadway, and so much more. You can check out all my interviews (sans one, which hasn't run yet) after the jump, as well as details of how to attend the conference. * Christine Lavin on her work with Don White and laptop concerts * The Black Lillies' Cruz Contreras on the band's origins and building a fanbase * Guitar virtuoso Redd Volkaert on teaching and pleasing the audience * Chuck Mead talks Plowboy Records, his new album, and the Million Dollar Quartet * Whiskey Shivers' Andrew VanVoorhees on the band's evolving sound * Gangstagrass mastermind Rench on what bluegrass and hip-hop have in common * Ronny Cox on the differences between playing music and making movies The Folk Alliance International Conference starts today, February 19, and runs through Sunday, February 23. You can find me there Friday, February 21. More details can be found at the Folk Alliance website.

The Westport Saloon aims to bring roots music back to Westport

westport saloon 01Kansas City's The Westport Saloon (located in the former Dark Horse Tavern space at 4112 Pennsylvania) has only been open a scant few months, but it has a focus in mind: to spotlight each and every night of the week the incredible roots music that was crossing owner Travis Field's path. "When we opened our doors in early September, it was my intention to offer American roots music in a high traffic area in Westport," said Fields in an e-mail interview. "With our location, we have the opportunity to showcase these acts and this genre to people who are often coming to Westport as a destination, and then stumbling across original music that they wouldn’t have known to go out of their way for." The former general manager of Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar had, over the past several years, begun booking roots acts on the Piano Bar's off nights, as well as for the bar's parking lot parties during events like St. Patricks Day. However, despite a strong focus and plan, Field wasn't prepared for the work booking live music every night of the week entailed. "While we had great local and regional acts, I quickly learned two things: It is hard to keep a room filled for an entire evening with just one or two performers a night, and keeping a room booked is a full-time job." westport saloonShortly after Jody Hendrix (of Them Damned Young Livers) hosted a record release party for Twenty Thousand Strongmen, the Saloon had a series of rough weekends, so Fields approached Hendrix and came up with a solid plan to benefit both him and the Saloon, as well as the local and regional acts that come through the bar. The last time the Westport area had a venue solely devoted to roots music was the Grand Emporium on Main, and that venerable establishment has been gone for nearly a decade. "I saw the benefit of not only having someone who knows what they are doing booking acts, but also having multiple bands fill out a night," says Fields. "Jody and I share the same vision and passion for music, and focusing on our own specific skill sets, he in booking and promoting, and myself in service and hospitality, I am very excited for what lies ahead for the Westport Saloon." "I came on board with game plan of mimicking the DIY punk show format, while focusing on bluegrass, blues, rockabilly, country, Americana and the rest of the music that falls underneath the general hillbilly sound umbrella," Hendrix explains. "I mean -- how many punk shows have you gone to that were empty? The punk scene fills their room with multiple band bills. If anyone has ever been to one of my shows, they know that when there are 3 or more bands on a bill (I pulled off 20-plus at Middle of the Map), you always have a full room." The trick is to make some money while nurturing a local community of artists. Hendrix wants the bands to be compensated fairly. westport saloon 02"Our guarantees are fair, based on a bands ability to draw. We don't pay bands out of the door cover -- we pay the sound guy out of our cut, not the bands cut. We offer fair pay for short (45 to 90 minute) sets." Of course, this hasn't been without its difficulties, with bands wanting to be the only act on the bill, taking home the entire door take, but that's not how Hendrix sees the Westport Saloon. His view of the club is as more of an incubator for local talent and, according to Hendrix, it's a process that seems to be working. "We're working with folks who want to build a scene, have some drinks, make a little cash, and ultimately nurture what's naturally happening in our music community. The amount of quality bands that are coming out of the woodwork is astounding, and they only add to the deep-rooted circle of musicians that I've become acquainted with over the past ten years." For more information of the Westport Saloon and upcoming shows, like them on Facebook.

Hank III at the Granada

hank iii header Country punk and all-around shitkicker Hank III played the Granada in Lawrence last night, and for a Tuesday night, the venue was crammed full of folks ready to get rowdy. It's an interesting mix -- hippies, dudes, good ol' boys, rockers, metalheads, and the occasional older couple seeing him because of his granddad's legacy. Because of this, he plays two sets. The first one's a country set, and he gradually works up to the more hellbent material. I'd not seen Hank III live before, and I can recommend it highly. He's got a crack squad of musicians, and while the lyrics are mostly about getting fucked up and starting fights, you can't really go wrong with those particular topics, at least as far as country's concerned. [gallery ids="17034,17035,17036,17037,17038,17039,17040,17041,17042,17043,17044,17045"]

Flat Warts And Retin A

book-cover-right-by-her-rootsMuch as I wanted to enjoy Jewly Hight's Right By Her Roots: Americana Women and Their Songs Flat Warts And Retin A, , I just couldn't. The book -- out now via Baylor University Press is a bit of a mess.

The book is front-loaded with the major interview subjects, leaving the back half of the book to founder. While none of the artists featured are household names by any stretch, putting Victoria Williams, Lucinda Williams, 250mg Flat Warts And Retin A, and Michelle Shocked as three of your first four chapters doesn't leave a lot of meat in the back end.

Here's the way it works with interviews or profiles - when you know someone's work, you're more likely to be able to get in to what's being written right away. Unfortunately, the way Right By Her Roots works is that Hight treats every artist equally, Flat Warts And Retin A. She assumes that you're equally familiar with all the musicians featured within the book, and by doing so, Flat Warts And Retin A uk, presents in-depth analyses of extremely niche artists' catalogs, overwhelming the reader. We're talking about dozens of songs per woman, with a whirlwind of titles, descriptions, and connections that even a well-versed fan would be hard-pressed to follow.

The stories of these women work well, Flat Warts And Retin A paypal, but as a book, it's rather repetitive. A better option would have been to release the stories as a series of articles, allowing them to breathe and live on their own. Flat Warts And Retin A, Presented back-to-back-to-back, the formula used by Hight becomes readily apparent: introduction of artist, brief overview of artist's career, then ad-nauseum analysis of the artist's catalog, with interview segments sprinkled throughout. Repeat eight times. Flat Warts And Retin A india, This wouldn't be a problem if the interviews were used more liberally. I always find the back catalog analysis to be the weakest part of any book about music, because it's where the author has to shift journalistic gears from reporter to critic. Rarely does this work out well. When Hight works in straight interview/feature style, Right By Her Roots is an engaging read. Unfortunately, Flat Warts And Retin A japan, rarely is that the case.

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Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers

ike-sheldon Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers, It's been a while since we ran an interview as part of the podcast. I've been doing most of my interviewing for Wayward Blog, which - despite the fact that they get the hits instead of me - gets them read by more people than the folks who peep at this website. They also pay me, whereas this whole chunk of the Internet is a labor of love. In other words, Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers mexico, it costs me money to keep it going.

My personal issues aside, there's a fantastic piece of audio in the middle of this week's episode in the form of an interview I did last week with Ike Sheldon of the Wilders. He talks about the band's new self-titled album, 20mg Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers, their history, and it's really quite a wonderful discussion. Other than that, there's lots of old-timey country and bluegrass.

Podcast #52, "Grass of the Plains"

Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys, Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers craiglist, "Blue Grass Special" (Bill Monroe's Best)
Doc Watson, "Black Mountain Rag" (Doc Watson)
The Carter Family, "Little Moses" (The Carter Family Album)
Johnny Cash, "Wildwood Flower" (Orange Blossom Special)
Merle Haggard, 1000mg Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers, "Mule Skinner Blues" (Same Train, Different Time)
The Wilders, "I'm A Long Gone Daddy" (Sittin' On a Jury)
Interview with Ike Sheldon of the Wilders
Neko Case, "Make Your Bed" (Canadian Amp)
Patsy Cline, "Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray" (Stop the World)
Wanda Jackson, "I Saw the Light" (Country Gospel)
Ryan Adams, 150mg Is Tetracycline Effective On Ulcers, "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)" (Heartbreaker)
Waylon Jennings, "Good Hearted Woman" (Greatest Hits)
Gram Parsons, "$1000 Wedding" (Grievous Angel).

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