REVIEW: Mike McClure’s “Looking Up” is Crooked Optimism

If you’ve listened to enough country music – GOOD country – you’ve realized that not everyone is bound for glory. More often, it’s a long, twisty back road filled with side gigs and personal stumbles that gets an artist to a place where he’s making a living at music (and, hopefully, gaining enough material for […]

Continue Reading

REVIEW: Brennen Leigh’s “Prairie Love Letter” Drops You into America’s Great Plains

If a songwriter is truly passionate about his or her subject matter, chances are the songs will be both singular and relatable. Over the summer, Colter Wall released a collection of original Canadfian cowboy songs that no one knew they needed, but the project succeeded because of Wall’s full-hearted attention to his craft. Brennen Leigh’s […]

Continue Reading

REVIEW: Ruston Kelly’s “Shape & Destroy” is Vivid Picture of Wrestling One Day at a Time

Perhaps befitting this most chaotic of years, albums about break-ups and sobriety seem to be all over Americana – the combination of missing something while also holding out some degree of hope for a tenuous future seems appropriate right about now. Courtney Marie Andrews’ Old Flowers and Neil Young’s Homegrown represent the former, while American […]

Continue Reading

REVIEW: Jerry Joseph’s “The Beautiful Madness” Offers Something New With Each Listen

“Accessible” is an adjective that, when applied to music, has a couple of connotations – either 1) a tuneful, good, easy listen or 2) thoughtless and ultimately fleeting. Then there are the records that require more active, patient listening. Veteran songwriter Jerry Joseph’s latest release, The Beautiful Madness, is one of those albums – it […]

Continue Reading