Articles and Columns

Travelogue: Festival In the Desert 2012

Festival In the Desert 2012 Photos and Essay by Ezra Gale In January of 2012 I travelled with a friend to Timbuktu, Mali, for the legendary Festival in the Desert. The trip was a long-planned for pilgrimage to the breeding ground of some of my favorite music on the planet—the crossroads of West African rhythms, […]

The Decemberists Ephemera: The iTunes Sessions, KEXP’s Live Set, Long Live the King EP

The Decemberists Ephemera By now the dust has nearly settled on the stunning 2011 Decemberists album, The King Is Dead. A rootsy, Americana turn-around that surprised their indie-lit core fans who were used to longer, more abstract songs, The Decemberists’ new sound dropped at a key time when bluegrass and American roots music has been moving back into the […]

Hunting for a Good Tune: The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

Driftwood’s been nominated for a Mobbie again! You can vote for us once a day right here. Remember, you don’t have to be in Baltimore to vote. — Various Artists The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams [Egyptian/CMF/Columbia (2011)] Even if musicians have been rambling and partying hard for millennia, Hank Williams‘s hard living and death on […]

Mitch’s Monthly Mix: Summer Wages

As with all Monthly Mixes, make good use of the “read more” button after the introductory essay. We make every attempt to find a video or streaming link for all the songs in the Monthly Mix, but for those we cannot find, Amazon links are provided. Thanks for playing along! — Mitch’s Monthly Mix: Summer […]

Artist Profile: My Sweet Patootie

Make no mistake about it: Sandra Swannell and Terry Young of My Sweet Patootie are having a heck of a good time. First of all, there’s the name that the Canadian duo chose for their act—a cheeky term of endearment from the 1920s and 1930s. Then there are the quirky swing tunes that make up their repertoire: tales […]

Feature Reviews: Spencer Bohren, Blackwater Music, The Blues According to Hank Williams, and Born in a Biscayne

Spencer Bohren Blackwater Music (Threadhead Records [2011]) Spencer Bohren The Blues According to Hank Williams [Valve Records (2011)] Spencer Bohren Born in a Biscayne [Valve Records (2011)] Call it the final chapter of Spencer Bohren‘s previously uncompleted works. The New Orleans bluesman had scraps and pieces of unfinished songs that had been stacking up for […]

Working at the Pass: Jill Sobule & John Doe on a Midsummer’s Night

Jill Sobule & John Doe Alberta Rose Theater Portland, OR July 14, 2011 Completing the last leg of a tour that tracks back to their Record Store Day appearance at Euclid Records in St. Louis back in April, Jill Sobule and past collaborator John Doe (of L.A.’s formative punk band X and its rustic off-shoot The Knitters followed […]