Album Reviews

  • Album Review: Steve Earle, 'J.T.'

    • January 14, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    The ragged beauty and raw emotions of J.T. create a fitting tribute from father to son, and Earle invites us to celebrate Justin’s life and to allow his words to dwell in our own emotional terrain for a while.

  • Album Review: John Hurlbut and Jorma Kaukonen, ‘The River Flows’

    • January 05, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    The River Flows is perfectly titled because Hurlbut’s and Kaukonen’s brilliant, dazzling guitars and vocals indeed flow over us with crystalline beauty and wave after wave of cascading notes and surging chords. These songs wash over us, transporting us with their clarifying beauty and genius.

  • Album Review: Jimmy LaFave, ‘Highway Angels…Full Moon Rain’

    • December 15, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Highway Angels…Full Moon Rain delivers to us a loving gift. Every song on the album is a beauty in its own way, from the propulsive folk blues of “Rt. 66 One More Time” to the haunting splendor of “The Price of Love.” The album gives us the chance to hear one of our favorite songwriters developing his considerable talents, and it allows to live in his presence just a little longer.

  • Band Merch to Buy for the Holidays this Bandcamp Friday

    • December 03, 2020
    • Devon Léger

    It’s the last Bandcamp Friday of the year! Much love to everyone at Bandcamp for being so willing to support artists by waiving their fees and creating a tidal wave of album sales each first Friday of the month for most of 2020. Did you know that you can also buy merch from bands via Bandcamp? It’s just as easy as buying CDs, vinyl, and cassettes from bands and the perfect way to support your favorite artists AND get your holiday shopping done right!

  • Album Review: Kelsey Waldon, 'They'll Never Keep Us Down'

    • November 20, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Kelsey Waldon’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. In a time swirling in the eddies of unrest, muddied by the hypocrisy of political leaders, and bloodied by the club-swinging, vicious forces of “law and order,” she delivers bold covers of seven songs that stir the waters of protests for justice, freedom, and inequality.

  • New Folk Music from the UK & Ireland for November’s Bandcamp Friday

    • November 06, 2020
    • Devon Léger

    For November’s Bandcamp Friday, Devon Léger looks at some of the powerful new albums coming out of the UK and Ireland. With most of these albums there’s a kind of tribalism tied to the topography of the lands, sometimes a strain of environmentalism bordering on animist. The UK and Ireland have long lived in closer proximity to the other realms than we have in the US, that’s why their folk songs are full of faeries, spells, and bloody ballads. With the seasons turning to winter now, let’s turn to these sea and storm swept landscapes to listen to tales of the old ways.

  • Album Review: Ben Harper, ‘Winter Is For Lovers’

    • October 23, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Winter Is For Lovers reveals Ben Harper playing at the top of his game. Elegant undertones weave themselves around gorgeous overtones, jaunty melodies snake through haunting harmonies, and Harper creates a grand musical space into which listeners can enter at their leisure to be carried along by the music.

  • Album Review: Loudon Wainwright III, ‘I’d Rather Lead a Band’

    • October 13, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Wainwright’s collaboration with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks is a match made in heaven. Wainwright grew up listening to many of these songs in his father’s—the Life magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright—record collection, and Grammy-winning bandleader Giordano and The Nighthawks have been playing these tunes on the New York City nightclub scene for over 30 years. There’s a chemistry here, and everyone—including the listeners—is having fun. We’re looking forward to the next album from them.

  • Album Review: Susan Werner, 'Flyover Country'

    • October 07, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Flyover Country celebrates the power of place, even as it points out that the places we hold special in our memory sometimes have their shortcomings. Werner’s emotional honesty provides depth to each song as it ponders the ways that memory can create false pictures of home, even as it has the power to recall with crystal clarity moments of love and affection and beauty.