by Sean Jewell :: Marlon Williams‘s self-titled album is the best Americana album around right now. He’s from New Zealand. This is not really that surprising. We love our Southern Hemisphere counterparts. The garage rock of Milk Records and Courtney Barnett, to the blue-grass of Mustered Courage, and Fraser Gorman‘s excellent “Slow Gum” Americana record have […]

by Sean Jewell :: The history of mountain punk is simple. Lonesome tales of bygone times and persistent hurt accompanied by banjo, dulcimer, and other stringed demons was played by women in the Appalachian back country, colloquially known as Freakwater. Eventually the haunting sound slithered from the holler into a Pentecostal church two young Kentucky women attended. Janet […]

[checklist][/checklist] by Sean Jewell:: The first great record of 2016 is here. Recorded in the summer of last year, East Nashville songsmith Brian Wright put together what appears to be the first in a series of home recordings. Production and instrumentation are sparse as a southwestern vista. Austere, colorful backing (harmonica here, banjo and/or backing vocals there) occasionally accompany his bright […]

by Sean Jewell:: If you’re like me and enjoy the iconoclasm of modern bluegrass as much as you enjoy the original then Tuesday night is your night at Tractor Tavern. Goodnight, Texas returns to Seattle after a triumphant stop on last years tour. They brought Wild Child with them, packed the house and we danced our […]

  by Sean Jewell:: We do so much talking about Nashville and Austin, sometimes it’s easy to forget to scour other cities for their great country scene (did you know Portland has a great one?). There most be tons of unheralded honky-tonkers who find themselves in metropolitan areas far from their country raising, or city […]

by Sean Jewell:: Let’s all just bow our heads for a minute in a moment of silence and thank the universe for Nashville one more time. I mean, have you heard Natural Child? I’ve been hooked on their rocking country soul since 2012, when they released Hard in Heaven, and the hard to share because […]

by Sean Jewell :: Ooh boy, Friday’s gonna be busy folks, but the swingin’ roadhouse sounds of The Northwest (and parts beyond) are callin’. First of all, did you know that KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural are FREE? Also, they happen early (starting at 4:30). So come on down to Seattle Center and find a sweet […]

by Mindie Lind :: Not since the days of Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Elvis, and George Jones at Sun Records has country music had a good-ol-boy crew quite like New West Records newbies The Deslondes. These New Orleans residents are students of the street-music scene and their new self-titled album is deeply rooted in the city’s American-born […]

by Sean Jewell :: With a smoky drawl and minimal instrumentation, Mike Giacolino (Ole Tinder) has composed one of the best folk records I’ve heard in years. Touching on themes from illness and death, to love and loss, and of course labor, Giacolino’s thoughtful songwriting and easygoing guitar melodies build an album that’s better than […]

by Sean Jewell:: Since atleast 2005 Jolie Holland has been the kind of artist who changes the direction of music from within. The critically acclaimed tastemaker has confounded critics and garnered fans with a run of albums that establish her as a singular, unforgettable voice. Holland’s most recent album The Wine Dark Sea likely sits in the […]