Peter Stampfel

Goodbye 20th Century: Peter Stampfel Bids It a Fond Farewell, but Leaves the Light On “Good ol’ Ricola.” Peter Stampfel paused to unwrap a lozenge nearly an hour into a lively conversation. This was no product plug, but rather a coping mechanism. Stampfel suffers from dysphonia, and has completely lost his voice for extended periods… Continue reading Peter Stampfel

The Gun Club, Part 4 (Mark Lanegan Interview)

Mark Lanegan Gun Club Fan; Friend and Collaborator with Jeffrey Lee Pierce “I would talk about Jeffrey 24 hours a day,” Mark Lanegan confessed to me during a phone conversation some twenty-odd years ago. “And I still do.” Such is but one example of the colossal impact Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club made,… Continue reading The Gun Club, Part 4 (Mark Lanegan Interview)

Leah Belle Faser Crosses Into Earshot

At age 15, Leah Belle Faser has the poise and presence of a seasoned professional. That said, there’s a refreshing sparkle and glow to her gifts, a soft breeze of optimism that adulthood too often stifles. The singer-songwriter’s debut EP, Crossing Hermi’s Bridge, paints familiar scenes and situations of small-town life, detailing them in a… Continue reading Leah Belle Faser Crosses Into Earshot

Non-Offensive Folk Music “B-Sides” Boxed

It’s a given that Folkways Records’ six-album compilation Anthology of American Folk Music, compiled from the vast collection of eccentric boho Harry Smith in 1952, provided a blueprint for the similar folk, blues, gospel and country music archival collections released in recent years by Atlanta-based label Dust-to-Digital. So it’s rather appropriate that the award-winning company,… Continue reading Non-Offensive Folk Music “B-Sides” Boxed

Brent Cobb Plants His Toes Back in Georgia

Brent Cobb has moved back to Georgia after spending several years in Los Angeles and Nashville, so it looks like we’ll be including more of him in the “Support Our Troops” section of the magazine for the time being. Especially since the move back to his home state “greatly influenced his songwriting,” according to a… Continue reading Brent Cobb Plants His Toes Back in Georgia

Andrea & Mud Make Badass Tunes Outta Bad News

Neotraditionalist honky-tonk acts often emphasize humor and lowbrow lyrical themes to reinforce the rustic, old timey (mainly mid-20th century American) associations the music effectively conjures. Atlanta twang bar queen ‘n’ king Andrea & Mud are certainly not averse to such practices; their songs tend to be lighthearted and fun even when tragic, but what’s most… Continue reading Andrea & Mud Make Badass Tunes Outta Bad News

Lady Antebellum Kneels in Submission, Gets Shat Upon

Country-pop trio Lady Antebellum are unintentionally providing a teachable moment to the rest of us as to why giving in to the politically correct outrage mob is never a good idea. Literally none of their fans found their name offensive, but that didn’t stop them from jumping on the current public apology bandwagon, announcing on… Continue reading Lady Antebellum Kneels in Submission, Gets Shat Upon

First Rose of Spring Blooms for Willie

Approaching his 87th birthday, Willie Nelson continues to tour and record at a pace that puts most younger acts to shame. Come April 24, (Postponed to July 3), Legacy Recordings will release Willie’s 70th (!!) solo studio album, First Rose of Spring. Seventy solo albums! That’s not even counting collaborative albums with Waylon or Merle… Continue reading First Rose of Spring Blooms for Willie

The Black Lips – The Black Lips Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart

The Black Lips Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart sounds way more cohesive than any of the band’s albums since 2007’s Good Bad Not Evil. This newfound creative focus comes from a country theme that ups the twang without usurping the band’s long-running garage-punk formula. Instead of going the Ween route and completely changing… Continue reading The Black Lips – The Black Lips Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart

Swamp Dogg Gets Back to the Country

Our ol’ buddy Swamp Dogg is known primarily for his boisterous (and often humorous) psychedelic soul music, but as he tells it, “if you listen to my records before I start stacking shit on it, I’m country. I sound country.” He aims to prove as much on his new album, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It.… Continue reading Swamp Dogg Gets Back to the Country

Jason Aldean – 9

Some of you paused to read this in hopes of a scathing review. After all, haters of what country radio became since the turn of the century tend to dismiss Jason Aldean as yet another wanna-be rapper “bro” who’s been spoon-fed algorithm-friendly lyrics about a nameless “country girl” – which, of course, rhymes effortlessly with… Continue reading Jason Aldean – 9

Matt Kennon Collects Twenty of His Best

It’s difficult for me to comprehend how Matt Kennon has not met with more success as a Nashville songwriter, let alone a recording artist in his own right. Having listened to an awful lot of current country music over the past several years, I can testify that his material is not that far removed from… Continue reading Matt Kennon Collects Twenty of His Best

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam 11-30-2016 - Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, TN

Chicken in the What? Charlie Daniels, Still Sawin’ on a Fiddle and Playin’ it Hot at 83 Whether they appreciate him for his early career work as a studio musician for Bob Dylan, his defining hit that blares on classic rock airwaves, or his current role as an outspoken patriot, you can just about sell… Continue reading Charlie Daniels

Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 1

Musical Mutations and Swamp Tones: Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids Talks About the Sounds that Get Him Off Although I love their hokey sense of cornpone humor, and I wouldn’t alter a thing about them, sometimes it irritates me that so many writeups I read about Southern Culture on the Skids focus… Continue reading Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 1

Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 2

Pop culture always gets recycled. One of the stranger revivals, to me, was that period during the ’90s when easy listening, Tropicalia and so-called “space age bachelor pad” music made a brief mini-comeback. And your sound even touches on aspects of that. “I really love that stuff. And I tell you what, I was into… Continue reading Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 2

Bob Dylan’s Nashville Years Get the Boot

The latest installment (Vol. 15) of the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series comes out Nov. 1, and focuses on the years 1967-1969, a period which found Dylan recording in Nashville and stripping down his sound and lyrics after several anthemic rock-oriented albums. The three-disc collection begins with a disc of outtakes and alternate versions from the… Continue reading Bob Dylan’s Nashville Years Get the Boot

Lillie Mae – Other Girls

Expectations soared for Lillie Mae’s second Third Man Records full-length, Other Girls, after the single “You’ve Got Other Girls for That” captured the former Jack White bandmate exploring new sonic territory while tearing down a manipulative former lover. After the album arrived on Aug. 16, other songs made with Nashville’s go-to producer Dave Cobb provided even… Continue reading Lillie Mae – Other Girls

Bakersfield’s Honky-Tonk History Boxed

The California honky-tonk hotbed of Bakersfield represents more than just a launching pad for Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, as celebrated by Bear Family’s 10-CD box set, The Bakersfield Sound, 1940-1974. The 307 song compilation spans from early field recordings of migrant workers and radio appearances by Western Swing pioneers Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys to… Continue reading Bakersfield’s Honky-Tonk History Boxed

Tommy James

MANALAPAN, NJ - JUNE 12: Tommy James performs at the 2010 Under The Stars Celebration at the Manalapan Recreation Center on June 12, 2010 in Manalapan, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Tommy James

Tommy James: Doin’ His Thing and Singin’ His Songs There’s a Tommy James song, be it with The Shondells in the ‘60s or as a solo artist in the ‘70s, representing most pop-rock offshoots from the singer’s commercial heyday. The teenage garage rocker and “Hanky Panky” performer went on to record textbook examples of frat-house… Continue reading Tommy James

Glen Campbell’s Legacy Grows

Glen Campbell’s 2003 box set The Legacy: 1961-2002 no longer tells a complete enough story to educate and entertain longtime fans and curious new listeners. On June 21, Capitol/UMe’s four disc, 78-song follow-up, The Legacy: 1961-2017, adds a needed addendum covering the final 15 years of Campbell’s career, a story cut short by a public battle with Alzheimer’s.… Continue reading Glen Campbell’s Legacy Grows

Health, Happiness and Hank

BMG’s complete, 49-track collection from Hank Williams’ short-lived yet still influential radio program The Health & Happiness Show includes the claim to fame for two of Georgia’s earliest country radio stars. The compilation, available June 14 on two CDs or three LPs, features Williams’ only known recording of “The Tramp on the Street,” a Depression-era… Continue reading Health, Happiness and Hank

George Strait – Honky Tonk Time Machine

It’s been a good month or so for fans of ’80s and ’90s country music. Reba’s back in rare form, Billy Ray Cyrus joined the “yee haw” movement and Brooks & Dunn taught radio-friendly young’uns how it’s done. Even tragedy has its silver lining, with old souls and curious listeners digging deeper into Earl Thomas… Continue reading George Strait – Honky Tonk Time Machine



Backwards Forwards Square and Round: Bobby Moore Goes Paws Up with Tacocat Seattle-based band Tacocat overcame ramshackle beginnings and exceeded all party-punk expectations by developing into a well-oiled touring and recording machine. After over a decade of balancing jokey material about UTIs and Dana Scully with such no-nonsense feminist anthems as “Hey Girl,” singer Emily… Continue reading Tacocat

Willie Nelson, Force of Nature

Still chugging away at age 86, Willie Nelson keeps touring and toking and cranking out albums like a 25-year-old. The difference being, most of Willie’s recent albums are really damned good. His latest, Ride Me Back Home, will hit retailers on June 21. Produced by longtime friend and collaborator Buddy Cannon, who co-wrote three new… Continue reading Willie Nelson, Force of Nature

It’s Always Father-Daughter Day with The Brookses

Atlanta music veteran Jim Brooks teams with his daughter Meg in the folk, country and blues duo The Brookses. Together, the Red Light Café regulars tell stories with the tight harmonies and folksy instrumentation associated with some of roots music’s most famous surnames: Carter, Delmore, Louvin and Everly. New album Lucky Charm, out April 26,… Continue reading It’s Always Father-Daughter Day with The Brookses

Eric Brace/Peter Cooper/Thomm Jutz – Riverland

A gorgeous sight, the site of historic battles and the muse of William Faulkner. All three define the history of the mighty Mississippi River for authors, songwriters and others drawn to a picturesque region inhabited by the rural survivors and quirky characters at the heart of so many classic novels and memorable songs. The latest… Continue reading Eric Brace/Peter Cooper/Thomm Jutz – Riverland

The Waymores Weigh In With Weeds

Honky Tonkin’ duo Willie Heath Neal and Kira Annalise perform extensively as one of Atlanta’s best country music exports, The Waymores. Their debut EP Weeds arrives April 5 via Chicken Ranch Records and offers a strong cross-section of their talents as old-school lyricists and stylists. Drinking song duets like “Matches” and “Bring You Down” point… Continue reading The Waymores Weigh In With Weeds

Luther Dickinson Hooks Up with Weird Sisters

The North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson flexes his creative muscles as a producer and guitarist while celebrating a broad range of roots music styles on Solstice, featuring a revolving cast of collaborators billed as Sisters of the Strawberry Moon. Guest vocalists on the album, out March 22 via New West Records, come from different genres… Continue reading Luther Dickinson Hooks Up with Weird Sisters