REVIEW: John Howie Jr.’s “Not Tonight” is a Country Breakup Album of Unusual Clarity and Emotional Resonance

Though the name John Howie Jr. may not be familiar, many readers will be familiar with his band, The Two Dollar Pistols. A collaboration in 1999 with Tift Merritt launched the solo career of that highly-regarded alt-country singer-songwriter. Though Not Tonight (Suah Sounds) is not a Two Dollar Pistols release, it is closer, sonically, to […]

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REVIEW: Alejandro Escovedo’s “The Crossing” is One of the Finest Albums of the Year

Through hard work (and his share of the hard life), Alejandro Escovedo transformed himself into one of the premier artists in Americana, a smooth stylistic shapechanger capable of stunning literary and sonic flourishes. The Crossing (Yep Roc), Escovedo’s new 17-track concept album about the immigrant experience in America, delivers everything you would expect from a […]

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REVIEW: The Stryker Brothers’ “Burn Band” is Robert Earl Keen’s Very Best Joke

According to the story behind newly released album, Burn Band (Scriptorium Rex), while surveying the land, “Mary,” who inherited her father’s Texas ranch found a tape of the mysterious “Stryker Brothers” in a burned-out prison. Meeting multi-instrumentalist (Terry Allen, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Golden Bear, Butch Hancock, Jerry Jeff Walker) and Grammy […]

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Show Review: Carolyn Wonderland and Shinyribs Bring the Party to DC’s City Winery and Keep It Weird

A party atmosphere enveloped DC’s City Winery on Labor Day, as the nation’s capital got a taste of the Austin music scene with a doubleheader of Carolyn Wonderland’s twangy Sixties-influenced psychedelic blues and the swamp-funk of Shinyribs. Wonderland took the stage first, her appearance and bearing invoking memories of Janis Joplin. Carolyn’s uncanny resemblance to […]

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