Reviews

Review: Chris Smither, Hundred Dollar Valentine

Chris Smither Hundred Dollar Valentine [Signature Sounds (2012)] Before rock music found a way to make listeners sad in novel ways, there was country and the blues. Chris Smither has been making quietly successful, powerful songs to make you wistful since 1970. Morrissey and countless Emo bands could learn a thing or two by listening to Smither’s entire […]

Review: Cajun Roosters & Friends, Transatlantic Sessions

Cajun Roosters & Friends Transatlantic Sessions [www.cajunweb.de] Transatlantic Sessions is probably one of the most unusual recordings in Cajun music; but then again, the Cajun Roosters aren’t your ordinary chank-a-chankers either. The award-winning Roosters aren’t from the heart of Cajun country but are actually a pan-European band consisting of Britain’s Chris Hall (accordion/rubboard) and Sam Murray (percussion/lapsteel); Scotland’s […]

Feature Review: Admiral Fallow, Tree Bursts in Snow

Admiral Fallow Tree Bursts in Snow [Nettwerk (2012)] Admiral Fallow‘s Tree Bursts in Snow is a versatile record thoroughly entrenched in modern British folk rock. The 5-piece begins the record with a surprisingly sparse male-female duet, “Tree Bursts,” and the first voice you hear is Sarah Hayes, though nearly all of the leads afterward on […]

Review: Bap Kennedy, Sailor’s Revenge

Bap Kennedy Sailor’s Revenge [Proper (2012)] When I heard that the raspy voiced troubadour Bap Kennedy had enlisted Mark Knopfler for his latest effort, it was pretty much guaranteed that I would be excited to hear it. But when I heard that Sailor’s Revenge was a collection of Celtic-influenced folksy material, I couldn’t cue it […]

Review: Jon Chandler, The Gang

Jon Chandler The Gang Arroyo Records You can’t sing about the land if you don’t ride the land. When it comes to the rugged Wyoming terrain, Jon Chandler certainly knows a thing or two since he’s been riding the Outlaw Trail (near Kaycee, WY) with a crew of cowboys since 1978. Hence, the inspiration for The Gang, songs […]

Review: Kardemimmit, Introducing Kardemimmit

Kardemimmit Introducing Kardemimmit [World Music Network-digital download only (2012)] Kardemimmit is a Finnish group composed of four young women who sing and play the Kantele, which is the national instrument of Finland. The Kantele is a zither of 15 or 38 strings that is played by plucking the strings, and produces a sound similar to […]

Review: Karen Collins & the Backwoods Band, No Yodeling on the Radio

Karen Collins & the Backwoods Band No Yodeling on the Radio [CDBY (2012)] “Country music is as good as it’s ever been,” Ray Price once remarked in an interview backstage at the 2008 Country USA music festival in Oshkosh, WI. “The problem is that they don’t always play country.” If Price should ever see Karen […]