by Sean Jewell :: Cracker‘s frontmen David Lowery and Johnny Hickman strike vicious blows for the proletariats on their latest album Berkeley To Bakersfield. Twenty years and ten (official) albums into their career (as Cracker), the band takes time to reflect on two very different places and their effect on Cracker’s musical style: Berkeley being decidedly more punk rock, and Bakersfield, of course, being […]

by Sean Jewell :: Portland band The Shivas’ You Know What To Do turns surf rock revival into a ritualistic, rumbling madhouse. Nowhere else in the world, besides the Northwest, could surf rock and soul could be this dark, this creepy, and still this fun. The album jangles and bubbles like surf, but – perhaps due to […]

Steve Gunn’s music seems to inspire esoteric references that probably do more to bolster journalists’ egos than to get the word out to the wider audience Gunn well deserves. Without comparison to generations of master musicians from India to America what I will say is this: Steve Gunn possesses a fictional mastery over a fretboard. I came […]

  by Sean Jewell :: “High lonesome sound” is the generic term used to describe bluegrass singing. Musicologist and filmmaker of note John Cohen came up with the phrase to describe Roscoe Holcombe‘s high throaty register, by all means a supernatural voice. You could use it to describe Alice Gerrard’s singing, but you’d be in the […]

By Sean Jewell:: If you heard Luke Winslow-King’s 2013 record The Coming Tide, then you already know he’s all about some New Orleans. His music makes every southern sound short of the porch door slammin’ and the heat swirlin’ around. So when I picked up Everlasting Arms, I was already demanding more from him than […]

By Sean Jewell:: A while back independent troubadour Ben Bruce dropped his solo album in my inbox. Man I’m glad he did. On a spectrum of roots to Americana, this Seattle musician lands somewhere between Jesse Winchester and Waylon Jennings. Gifted with a golden baritone, Bruce growls like Waylon, but with less outlaw and more of Winchester’s […]

By Scott Giampino :: Quite honestly, these two back-to-back releases by the Alice Cooper Band are two of the best rock and roll albums ever released! Hard to believe that both these monsters came out in THE SAME YEAR! 1971. Who puts out two crushing records in one year anymore? Answer – NO ONE, except […]


By Greg Vandy::  Please meet your new favorite record. No, really. I say this with as much confidence as anything I’ve written on these pages. If you’re a listener to Roadhouse Radio on KEXP than surely you know the favor I’ve shown Israel Nash’s Rain Plans, a record first released overseas in 2013, and now finally available […]

By Sean Jewell :: Last time I saw a Ty Segall show people were popping Pabst Blue Ribbons just to shake them all over each other, the crowd heaved against the stage, and hopped en masse, until the place was slick with sweat and beer was dripping from the lights. Shortly into it, my date […]