Show Review: Life on the Road: Sarah Shook & the Disarmers and The National Reserve Rev Up Their Engines at the Ardmore Music Hall

photos by Jimmy Faber Watching The National Reserve and Sarah Shook & the Disarmers play back-to-back at the Ardmore Music Hall last Saturday night, I realized that I was witnessing two nascent Americana bands literally headed in opposite directions. Shook & Co. were on their last stop of a four-shows-in-four-nights East coast mini-tour, having been […]

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Show Review: Hezekiah Jones Unveils Its Charming Cabinet of Snail Curiosities at 118 North

Review by Michael Magoolaghan (https://americanahighways.org/author/mack-hooligan/)Photos by Jimmy Faber Photography (https://www.facebook.com/JimmyFaberPhotography/) What if I told you I’m in love with a band that was named after its mastermind’s pet snail? And that said band promoted itself for a time by representing its music as having been produced by a snail — and that its label (Yer […]

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Show Review: Scot Sax and Suzie Brown Bring Their Nashville-Philly Soul Party Home to The Locks at Sona

Imagine you’re Philadelphia born-and-bred, Grammy award-winning songwriter Scot Sax. You’ve been living in Nashville for the past few years, making inroads on the local music scene and showcasing your performing chops via a rollicking “Philly Soul Revue” that pays tribute to your former hometown’s rich R & B, soul and funk heritage. You and your […]

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Show Review: Marah Delivers Another Memorably Amazing Christmas Show

Marah’s Christmas shows are justifiably legendary. Now based in central PA but originally hailing from the Conshohocken area of Philadelphia, the band clearly knows how to throw a kickin’ party. This year’s festivities were held at the City of Brotherly Love’s Underground Arts, a dark, industrial basement venue that probably hasn’t experienced such pure musical […]

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Show Review: Folksong as Anti-Spectacle: Richard Buckner at Johnny Brenda’s, Nov. 11

While the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry played itself out to exhaustion in an over-lit sportsplex a few miles to the north of Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, Richard Buckner treated his audience to the polar opposite of that corporate-sponsored mega-spectacle: an intimate, quietly soul-stirring evening of folksong and storytelling. The evening’s warm, congenial tone was set by the John […]

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REVIEW: With Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, Gary Louris Highlights His Bandmates’ Talents

In discussing his own addiction to opioids with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press a few months after Prince’s untimely painkiller-related death in 2016, Gary Louris confessed to its having brought him to the realization — following the band’s brief, unfortunate reunion and quick re-divorce from former collaborator Mark Olsen — that he already had “the […]

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REVIEW: Malcolm Holcombe Alternates Bittersweet Reminiscences and Poignant Provocations on “Come Hell or High Water”

To nick the subtitle of a recent collection of essays on Texas songwriters,1 Malcolm Holcombe’s approach to songcraft is “ruthlessly poetic.” Holcombe’s latest, the Marco Giovino-produced Come Hell or High Water (Singular Recordings), marks the 13th in a string of dependably strong collections bearing Holcombe’s distinct, darkly Appalachian imprint. Featuring Iris DeMent and Greg Brown […]

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