Brian Pounds, the Austin-based singer-songwriter,whose credits include a finalist slot in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk songwriting contest and an appearance on “The Voice” a few years ago, leans more toward country than folk on his new nine-song set.
Willie Nile was clearly battling a respiratory bug, but he soldiered on in his show at the City Winery tonight, delivering an energetic and sometimes inspirational set.
Delbert McCinton’s 24th annual Sandy Beaches Cruise has come to a close after a full week of varied and outstanding musical performances, including shows by the Mavericks, Marc Broussard, Marcia Ball, Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps, Band of Heathens, the Howlin’ Brothers, Paul Brady, the McCrary Sisters, Paul Brady, Danny Flowers, Wayne Toups and many more.
We’re already marked our calendars for a pair of special shows at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on May 19 and 20 for the double bill of Tyler Childers and Margo Price, two of the most buzzed-about artists in Americana. We’ve long known and admired Margo’s talents, but we first saw Childers this year when he came to the Americana Music Festival and did an outstanding guest set for WMOT Roots Radio.
He has a busy touring year ahead, beginning with concert dates in Europe:
Coming Jan. 26 is “With All Its Thorns,” the third album from Laura Benitez, who melds traditional country, rockabilly, Cajun and Mexican music in highly engaging fashion. A sample:
The Americana Music Association has just released the Top 100 Americana Albums of the year based on radio airplay. No surprise in the top two slots, with Jason Isbell and Christ Stapleton leading the way. But it’s a treat to see multiple generations in the upper reaches, with Steve Earle at #5 and his son Justin Towns Earle at #7. Lukas Nelson is at #8, while his father Willie Nelson holds down #11.
We’ve long admired Eric Brace’s work, from Last Train Home to his solo work and collaborations with Peter Cooper, and his new “Cartes Postales” shows us a new side of his art. The album honors his father’s life and love of music and nine of the ten tracks are sung in French, his father’s home country. The music is beautiful, thanks in part to the many contributions of Rory Hoffman. A sample, taken from Eric’s appearance on Music City Roots:
By Ken Paulson
One of my projects each year is to put together concerts that celebrate free speech. This year we had a new recruit.
Grant-Lee Phillips turned in great performances in Nashville at the Family Wash on the 4th of July and at the Bluebird Café in September, closing the latter concert with a roaring take on “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
So it makes perfect sense that Phillips’ new album “Widdershins,” set for release on Feb. 23 on Yep Roc Records, reflects his perspective on today’s free world.
“I made a commitment to myself not to sink into despair,” Phillips said in a release. “I’m tracing a longer narrative here. We’ve been through some of this before – not just our country, but the civilization as a whole.”
Here’s a preview track from the new album:
By Ken Paulson
Bill Lloyd of power pop and Foster and Lloyd fame has a new album out this week and it’s a musical departure. Rather than the Beatles/Byrds-infused sounds of “Set to Pop” and “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,” “It’s Happening Now” is a refreshing collection of quieter, well-crafted compositions, long on melody and wry observations. We had the chance to catch up with Bill right before a performance in Nashville on Saturday to talk about his career, musical heroes and his new songs, including the only-in-Nashville “Pedal Tavern Girl.” As he notes in the interview, if you’ve liked Bill’s past work, you’ll enjoy “It’s Happening Now” as well. Highly recommended.
“Ghost Light” is John McCutcheon’s 39th album, set for release early next year, and continues his tradition of combining traditional folk with fresh perspectives.
“The Machine,” a reflection on the events in Charlottesville in August, 2017 is particularly compelling. There’s also the sheer joy of “She Just Dances,” about a granddaughter discovering dancing, and “When My Fight for Life Is Over,” a new song built around a fragment of a Woody Guthrie composition. Highly recommended.
Just released is “The Life and Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” a three-disc set with guest spots from Buddy Miller, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss and many more.
Bear Records has released an extraordinary document – a better term than box set in this instance- that captures both Woody Guthrie tribute concerts, and includes almost 80 tracks, recorded remembrances and two substantive illustrated books.
Jon Latham delivered a great set for WMOT in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to encourage residents to support downtown businesses after a planned white supremacist rally wiped out business the previous weekend. In this interview with Americana Music News, he talks about the influence of Bruce Springsteen.
Billy Burnette has a fun new album “Crazy Like Me” that chronicles his career in music, including his years in Fleetwood Mac. We caught up with him at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville.
We first saw Brian Dunne on the Sandy Beaches Cruise and came away impressed. His new album is called “Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements.” Among the highlights: