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Music Review Archives

I'll Play The Blues For You

Review of: Albert King

(Stax Remasters) Albert King never tolerated nonsense. His guitar-playing captured the essence of his personality. He played a right-handed guitar upside down, yet he was left-handed. He stands as one of America's seminal bluesman. Born in Indianola, Mississippi, his read more...


Review of: Jack White

(Third Man Records) Jack White's photo on the CD cover of Blunderbuss with a vulture on his shoulder speaks volumes. Fair warning ladies. White produced and recorded his read more...

King of the Road

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Houghton Mifflin Company)  Paul Hemphill wrote his novel King of the Road in 1989 as a tribute to his father who was a truckdriver. In an age when heroes read more...

Locked Down

Review of: Dr. John

(Nonesuch) The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach produced Dr. John's latest studio release Locked Down. Dr. John and Auerbach wrote the ten originals on this album together. It's an read more...

Back To The Woods

Review of: Chuck Leavell

(Evergreen Arts) Chuck Leavell, no doubt, stands as one of the finest piano players on the planet. His musical resume includes working with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chuck read more...

Release Me

Review of: Lyle Lovett

(Curb/Lost Highway) Release Me, Lyle Lovett's not so subtle message to his record label, counts as his last release on Curb Records. After 27 years, Lovett wanted out... This is an album of mostly covers. A couple of these tunes appeared on Lovett's read more...

The Grifter's Hymnal

Review of: Ray Wylie Hubbard

(Bordello Records) The Grifter's Hymnal serves as the follow-up album to Ray Wylie Hubbard's 2010 release A: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment. The Oklahoma-born read more...

Poor Moon

Review of: Hiss Golden Messenger

(Tompkins Square)  Hiss Golden Messenger is a Durham, North Carolina, songwriting duo featuring M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch. The two have been playing music together for two decades. This acoustic-based collection includes musical guests from

Boys & Girls

Review of: Alabama Shakes

(ATO) Boys & Girls counts as the Alabama Shakes debut album. Formed during 2009 in Athens, Alabama, the band includes Brittany Howard (vocals/guitar), Zac Cockrell (bass), Steve Johnson (drums), Heath Fogg (guitar) and Ben Tanner (keyboards). This group read more...

Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me

Review of: Justin Townes Earle

(Bloodshot Records) Recorded live at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, Justin Townes Earle's Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now retains a soulful Memphis sensibility. This counts as his fifth studio album.

Leaving Eden

Review of: Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Nonesuch Records) Leaving Eden follows the Carolina Chocolate Drops Grammy-winning 2010 release Genuine Negro Jig. This North Carolina group has earned well-deserved respect for read more...

Nobody Knows You

Review of: Steep Canyon Rangers

(Rounder) Nobody Knows You counts as the Steep County Rangers' fifth studio album. The group earned a Grammy nomination for their 2011 bluegrass collaboration with Steve Martin titled Rare Bird Alert. The Rangers played The View, The David read more...

Where It Hits You

Review of: Jim White

(Yep Roc) Jim White is an interesting character. Born in Pensacola, Florida, as Michael Davis Pratt during 1957, he grew up listening to gospel music. White's debut album Wrong-Eyed Jesus! came out in 1997. He's collaborated with Victoria Williams, Aimee read more...

A Good Country Mile

Review of: Kevn Kinney

(Drivin N Cryin) Recorded in Brooklyn, A Good Country Mile counts as the first album Kevn Kinney has recorded outside of his group Drivin N Cryin since 2004. This album revolves read more...

We Don't Need

Review of: Cheyenne Marie Mize

(Yep Rock) Cheyenne Marie Mize is a Louisville, Kentucky, native. She served as a member of the groups Arnett Hollow and Maiden Radio a few years ago. She writes songs, sings, plays guitar and mandolin. Her debut album, Before Lately, was released in 2010. read more...

The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Review of: New Multitudes

(Rounder Records)  The New Multitudes is a group composed of Jay Farrar, Anders Parker, Will Johnson and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket's Jim James). This is a debut album of

Women & Work

Review of: Lucero

(ATO Records) Lucero sends a musical love letter to Memphis on their latest release Women & Work. This collection counts as the group's 8th album. Lucero streamlines musical lineages of Memphis like Sun Records,

Nashville 48

Review of: Honey Blue

(Paper Boat Records) Honey Blue's latest EP, Nashville 48, was recorded in Nashville during April 2011. This collection serves as a natural progression to the group's debut release Broken read more...

Songs of Praise and Scorn

Review of: Christopher Paul Stelling

(Mecca Lecca Recording Co.) Florida singer/songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling's latest release, the acoustic-based Songs of Praise and Scorn, prove he's a talented musician on the rise. These songs were recorded during a matter of days in an apartment above a read more...

Sweeten The Distance

Review of: Neal Casal

(The Royal Potato Family) Sweeten The Distance counts as Neal Casal's 10th studio album. Currently, Casal serves as the lead guitar picker for


Review of: Karen Dalton

(Delmore Recordings) Born Karen Cariker during 1938 in Texas, Karen Dalton grew up in Oklahoma. During her lifetime, Dalton received little critical acclaim for her music. In New York City she kept time with

Facing The Music

Review of: Larry Brown

(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)  Larry Brown's Facing The Music contains ten short stories. Published in 1988, Facing The Music counts as the first book the late Mississippi writer published.  These stories serve as a prelude to Brown's read more...

Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' In The Moonlight

Review of: Howlin' Wolf

(MCA Records)  The Chess Original Masters Two On One Howlin' Wolf collection--Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' In The Moonlight--features the first two albums of one of America's most respected bluesmen.

America Eats Its Young

Review of: Funkadelic

(Westbound Records) Funkadelic's fourth album, America Eats Its Young, was released in 1972. North Carolina native


Review of: Rhyton

(Thrill Jockey) This self-titled debut release on Thrill Jockey was recorded by Jason Meagher at his Brooklyn Black Dirt Studios. Atlanta native Dave Shuford (aka D. Charles Speer) read more...

The Complete Plantation Recordings

Review of: Muddy Waters

(Chess/MCA) Muddy Waters' The Complete Plantation Recordings contain the historic 1941-1942 Library of Congress Field Recordings. The father and son team of John and Alan Lomax brought read more...

This Wheel's On Fire

Review of: Levon Helm & Stephen Davis

(William Morrow & Company) "It's a wicked life But what the hell, Everybody's got to eat."          --"Goin' To Acapulco"

The Wood Tour: Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA: Night One

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic The Wood Tour Night One:

Highway Call

Review of: Dickey Betts

(Polydor) Released in 1974, Highway Call counted as the first solo album by Dickey Betts.

Straight From The Heart

Review of: Ann Peebles

(Hi Records) Released in 1971, Straight From The Heart counted as Ann Peebles' third album. Produced by Hi Records legend Willie Mitchell, Straight From The Heart generated four hits for Peebles. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Peebles began read more...

If They Move...Kill 'Em

Review of: David Weddle

(Grove Press) Published in 1994, David Weddle's biography of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah provides a detailed look into "Bloody Sam's" life and films. If They Move...Kill 'Em begins with read more...

Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger

Review of: Mandolin Orange

(Mandolin Orange Music) Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger counts as the second album from Mandolin Orange. Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz, North Carolina natives, comprise Mandolin Orange. Their first CD,

Dick's Picks Volume 33

Review of: Grateful Dead

(Real Gone Records) The Grateful Dead disappeared on a hiatus in 1975. Dick's Pick's Volume 33 captures the group's stellar October 9 and 10 performances at the Oakland Coliseum in 1976. The Dead's read more...

Hide The World

Review of: Dodd Ferrelle

(Two Sheds Records) Dodd Ferrelle has been playing throughout Georgia and beyond for over 20 years. Hide The World counts as this Athens, Georgia, musician's latest release. Recorded by

Wolfroy Goes To Town

Review of: Bonnie "Prince" Billy

(Drag City) Kentuckian Will Oldham remains a fearless and prolific southern artist.  Most will see the release of Wolfroy Goes To Town as the latest fine release amongst the over 50 LPs, EPs, and collarboration recordings Oldham has released in his nearly 20 read more...

Vertically Coastal by Jerri Chaplin---A Review

Review of: Jerri Chaplin

I met Jerri Chaplin fifteen years ago at a conference for the National Association of Poetry Therapy. I was struck at that time by her warmth and genuineness and read more...


Review of: Joe Henry

(Anti) Joe Henry's interesting musical journey coalesces on his latest album Reverie. These 14 original songs revolve around a concept of reflection. Reverie counts as Henry's 12th studio release. Henry's family moved from Charlotte to Atlanta when he was read more...


Review of: Maria Taylor

(Saddle Creek) On her fourth proper solo album, Overlook, Maria Taylor proves that you not only can go home again, but it is often a good idea to seek out the familiar comforts that lie there.  Although Taylor is a Birmingham, AL native, she has been read more...

One More Time

Review of: Bryan Elijah Smith

(self-released) After reviewing the quietly excellent Dear Puppeteer by Nathan Moore, I couldn't help but notice that his album had been enhanced by a co-producer, musician, and collaborator named Bryan read more...

Not So Loud

Review of: The Bottle Rockets

(Bloodshot Records) Not So Loud, the Bottle Rockets new acoustic live album, begins with the song "Early In The Morning" which not so coincidentally is the first song on their debut, self-titled album.  It is not a coincidence because Not So read more...

The Great Book Of John

Review of: The Great Book Of John

(Communicating Vessels) There appears to be a time-shifted symmetry in effect within Birmingham's music scene.  We've written about how the break up of Verbena, a band who were sadly forced towards major label grunge during the 90s, ultimately seeded that city's scene read more...


Review of: Thelonious Monk

(Columbia) Originally released in 1968, Thelonious Monk's Underground was his first album since the mid-fifties to contain as many as four previously unrecorded original read more...

Dirt Floor

Review of: Chris Whitley

(Messenger Records) Chris Whitley's 1998 release Dirt Floor counts as his 4th studio album. Besides his debut disc--Living With The Law--Dirt read more...

Upon Waking

Review of: Elijah Ford

(Self-Released) I met Elijah Ford a few years ago when he was 18 during a tour with his father Marc Ford (Black Crowes,


Review of: Willie Nelson

(Island) Produced by Daniel Lanois, Willie Nelson's album Teatro was released in 1998. read more...

Dick's Picks 34

Review of: Grateful Dead

(Real Gone Music) The newly formed Real Gone Music just released the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks Volume 34: Volumes 35 and 36 read more...

Devout Catalyst

Review of: Ken Nordine

(Grateful Dead Records) In 1991, Ken Nordine recorded a spoken word album, Devout Catalyst, at the Grateful Dead studio--Club Front--in San Francisco. Nordine began his career in the 1940s by recording radio voice-overs and commercials. Later Nordine hosted a read more...

Old Mad Joy

Review of: The Gourds

(Vanguard) Old Mad Joy counts as the 10th studio album by the Austin, Texas, band The Gourds. Recorded at Levon Helm's barn, Larry Campbell (

Breaks In The Armor

Review of: Crooked Fingers

(Merge Records) Eric Bachmann writes, records and performs under the name Crooked Fingers. A North Carolina native, Bachmann now lives in Athens, Georgia, where he recorded his latest album Breaks In The Armor. Bachmann co-founded the Chapel Hill band read more...

Long Time Listener First Time Caller

Review of: Vulture Whale

(Ol' Elegante Records) When Swampland writes of bands on Birmingham's music scene, we tend to return to Verbena, and for good reason.  That band's former members have continued to make great music on their own (

Bad As Me

Review of: Tom Waits

(Anti) Bad As Me, the 22nd studio release by Tom Waits earned the highest chart appearance--#6 on Billboard's Top 200--in his amazing career. Bad As Me contains 13 read more...

Long Live All of Us

Review of: Glossary

(Last Chance Records) Long Live All of Us counts as Glossary's 7th studio album. Glossary hails from Murfeesboro, Tennessee. They transformed a house in rural Rockvale, Tennessee, into a studio where they recorded these well-crafted 12 songs. Band members read more...

Motel Chronicles

Review of: Sam Shepard

(City Lights Books) Published in 1982, Sam Shepard's Motel Chronicles serves as a time capsule in his long career. Some of the chapters from this read more...

True Soul: Deep Sounds From The Left of Stax

Review of: Various Artists

(Now-Again Records) The Arkansas label Now-Again Records release True Soul: Deeps Sounds From The Left of StaxVolumes 1 & 2 contain 60s and 70s Soul, Funk, Disco, Party-Rap and Boogie read more...

Said I Had A Vision: Songs & Labels of David Lee

Review of: David Lee & Various Artists

(Paradise of Bachelors) Said I Had A Vision revolves around the talented songwriter/preacher/producer David Lee from Cleveland, North Carolina. Ray Harper--of the Harper Brothers--led the Paradise of Bachelors label to Lee's door. Harper was the college roomate of read more...

Through A Crooked Sun

Review of: Rich Robinson

(Circle Sound/Thirty Tigers) Rich Robinson's second solo album--Through A Crooked Sun--was recorded at Applehead Studios in Saugerties, New York, during April of 2011. Of course, read more...

The Road From Memphis

Review of: Booker T. Jones

(Anti) The latest Booker T. Jones album--The Road From Memphis--follows his acclaimed release Potato Hole. Jones utilizes the Roots as his back-up band along with musical guests such as My read more...


Review of: A.A. Bondy

(Fat Possum) Birmingham, Alabama, native A.A. Bondy's latest album, Believers, retains a quiet spookiness. Bondy fronted the band Verbena for over a decade. Bondy's first solo release American read more...

Ghost On The Canvas

Review of: Glen Campbell

(Surfdog Records) Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's during the recording sessions for his latest album Ghost On The Canvas. Campbell crafted this collection as a farewell, followed by one final tour. Born in Arkansas, Campbell learned to play read more...

Live In Japan

Review of: Leon Russell

(Omnivore Recordings) Omnivore Recordings just released Leon Russell's Live In Japan album. This marks the historic album's first release outside of Japan and its first time on CD anywhere. The read more...

Bobby Charles

Review of: Bobby Charles

(Rhino) Released in 1972 on Bearsville Records, Bobby Charles features musical guests such as Dr. John, Neil Young's longtime read more...

This May Be My Last Time Singing

Review of: Various Artists

(Tompkins Square) Tompkins Square's latest release is an amazing 3-CD set titled This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45RPM 1957-1982. Tompkins Square released this official statement regarding this rare package: Get read more...

Stellar Regions

Review of: John Coltrane

(Impulse!) The compositions on Stellar Regions were recorded five months before John Coltrane's death in 1967 at the age of 40. However, Stellar Regions was not released read more...


Review of: John Coltrane

(Impulse!) "The main thing a musician would like to do is to give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things he knows of and senses in the universe." 

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

Review of: The Dramatics

(Concord Music Group) Stax Records president Al Bell brought in Detroit producer Don Davis to work with artists such as Carla Thomas read more...

The Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Review of: Hank Williams

(Time Life Entertainment) These newly discovered recordings include Hank's first session at 15 as well as his lost syndicated Radio Series. This remarkable 3-CD set features restored recordings of previously unheard Hank Williams music that will hit stores on September read more...

Woman To Woman

Review of: Shirley Brown

(Concord Music Group) Born during 1947, in West Memphis, Arkansas, Shirley Brown's first single--"Woman To Woman"--sold a million copies in eight weeks. The Concord Music Group reissues this classic soul album with bonus tracks on September 13. Brown read more...

Gentle Spirit

Review of: Jonathan Wilson

(Bella Union) Born in North Carolina, Jonathan Wilson moved to California years ago. Wilson's undeniable musical talents have allowed him to work and collaborate with musicians such read more...


Review of: Eric Gales

(Blues Bureau International) Transformation counts as Eric Gales' 10th studio album. Memphis born Gales learned to play guitar at 4. He strums a left-handed, upside-down six-string--a tradition he learned from his grandfather Dempsey Garrett, Sr., who jammed with


Review of: James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg

(Tompkins Square) James Elkington, a London native, and Nathan Salsburg from Louisville, Kentucky, met in New York City a few years ago. Elkington served as bandleader for The Zincs, member of The Horse's Ha and guitar player in Skull Orchard. Salsburg worked as an read more...

Live In The Living Room

Review of: Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward

(Smith Entertainment) Texan Rodney Parker and his band 50 Peso Reward just released Live In the Living Room. This acoustic collection includes songs from the group's three studio albums. The live performance was actually recorded in Parker's living room in front of read more...

Hard Dollar

Review of: Hadden Sayers

(Blue Corn Music) The Hadden Sayers story represents the mean life struggling artists endure such as bad deals, neglect and poverty. The 13 songs on Hard Dollar proves Sayers prefers to undertake matters in the right way, not the easy way. The Texas born read more...

Long Line of Heartaches

Review of: Connie Smith

(Sugar Hill Records) Long Line of Heartaches counts as Connie Smith's 53rd album, but her first since 1996. Produced by her husband Marty Stuart, these sessions transpired read more...

Late Late Party: 1965-1967

Review of: Charles 'Packy' Axton

(Light in the Attic Records) Charles "Packy" Axton--to some extent--was an unsung hero on the Memphis music scene during the late 50s, 60s and early 70s. Axton's mother, Estelle, founded Stax Records read more...

Moving On

Review of: Lauderdale

(This Is American Music) Lauderdale hails from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The group formed in 2005. Moving On counts as Lauderdale's debut album. Band members include Niles Lee (vocals/guitar), Patrick read more...

Songs And Stories

Review of: Guy Clark

(Dual Tone Music) Guy Clark's Songs And Stories was recently recorded live at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. This collection culls Clark's most memorable material. The backing band on this album includes Kenny Malone (drums), Bryn Davies (bass), Shawn Camp read more...

Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales

Review of: Steve Cropper

(429 Records) Songwriter/guitarist Lowman Pauling fronted the North Carolina group the 5 Royales in the 50s. Steve Cropper always cited Pauling as a major read more...

The Night Train

Review of: Clyde Edgerton

(Little, Brown) Clyde Edgerton remains one of North Carolina's most vibrant literary voices.  He was born and raised in the Durham area and attended UNC-Chapel Hill.  Today, he lives in Wilmington and teaches at UNC Wilmington.  Small town North Carolina often read more...

Got To Get Back!

Review of: The Bo-Keys

(Electraphonic Recordings) Scott Bomar owns Electraphonic Studios in Memphis. Bomar composed the score for Craig Brewer's award-winning Hustle & Flow as well as Black Snake Moan. Bomar has read more...

Devil Got His Way

Review of: Damon Fowler

(Blind Pig) Like Derek Trucks, JJ Grey, and Thomas Wynn, Damon Fowler read more...

Last of the Country Gentlemen

Review of: Josh T. Pearson

(Mute Records) Josh T. Pearson's father was a Pentecostal preacher, but after a rough childhood Josh turned to "the Devil's music". In 2001, Pearson traveled to Europe with a group called Lift to Experience where they found deep appreciation for their music. read more...

Middle of Everywhere

Review of: Pokey LaFarge and The South City Three

(Free Dirt Records) Pokey LaFarge revives the 20s and 30s with his blend of blues, ragtime, western swing and Appalachia country music. The 27-year old St. Louis troubador's Middle of Everywhere is his latest release. The vinyl version of the album contains two read more...


Review of: Pontiak

(Thrill Jockey) A power trio of different sort, Pontiak is composed of three Virginia brothers from Blue Ridge Mountains.  Van, Lain, and Jennings Carney initially connected to Baltimore's growing scene as they got their start there.  They are still associated with read more...

Is That You in the Blue?

Review of: Dex Romweber Duo

(Bloodshot Records) Dex Romweber and his sister Sara were in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, surf-rockabilly-psychedelic band Flat Duo Jets. They moved to Athens, Georgia, for a while. Memphis luminary

Dear Puppeteer

Review of: Nathan Moore

(Royal Potato Family) The jamband scene is not a safe haven for songwriters.  On the surface, fans of live music should enjoy music of all kinds, but the reality of that scene is that the top bands are performers and instrumentalists first.  By nature, ten minute read more...

Almanac (MMX) Year Of Beasts

Review of: Through The Sparks

(Skybucket Records) Birmingham perseveres as one of the South's most underrated music scenes.  It lies nearly equidistant between Athens, GA, Nashville, and Memphis and seems to perfectly split the difference between all three.  Athens built the foundation for read more...

Ramble at the Ryman

Review of: Levon Helm

(Vanguard) This recording captures Levon Helm's band live at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2008. The group that night included Helm, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell, Erik Lawrence, Clark Gayton, Jay Collins, Steven Bernstein, Paul Ossola, read more...

Country Again

Review of: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap became famous as a country singer.  He's won six Grammys and had 40 number one country songs, third all time to only George Strait and Conway Twitty.  Considering all of these accolades, it might be a bit of mystery to many as to why he would name his latest read more...

Introducing Hope Waits

Review of: Hope Waits

(Spann Records) Born in Mornroe, Louisiana, Hope Waits endured a childhood of poverty, alcholisom and neglect. She left home at 15, moved to South Carolina and began singing in church choirs. Early on, Hope developed a love for Billie Holiday. Her mother was brutally read more...

Future Blues

Review of: Johnny Nicholas

(The People's Label) Texas-based bluesman Johnny Nicholas just released a new album--Future Blues. In the 70s, Nicholas performed with musical heavies such as Duke Robillard, Big Walter Horton and Robert Lockwood Jr. Around 1978, Nicholas became a member of the read more...

In Light

Review of: Givers

(Glassnote Entertainment) Louisiana has always prided itself on its cultural gumbo.  Its historical mixture of French, Spanish, African, and Italian combined with its connection to America give it a unique sensibility to say the least.  Louisiana and New Orleans read more...

The Grand Theatre Vol. 2

Review of: Old 97s

(New West Records) The Old 97s formed in Dallas, Texas, during 1993. The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 counts as their 9th studio album. These 13 songs were intended to be a double album--with Vol.1, but the group decided to release the sessions seperately. A read more...

Premium Country

Review of: David Adam Byrnes

(Better Angels) It used to be that country radio didn't split between its roots and its desire to keep soccer moms happy.  A pop tune with a pedal steel is still a pop tune - just ask the Carpenters.  These days we can often forget we are listening to a country read more...

The Man That Time Forgot

Review of: John Paul Keith

(Big Legal Mess) Imagine that Buddy Holly didn't die in a plane crash in Iowa, but instead landed safely in Memphis where he spent the next few decades immersing himself in all kinds of music from read more...

Stranger Me

Review of: Amy LaVere

(Archer Records) Real art is personal, close to the bone, unshakable and undeniable. Stranger Me slices throats and raises the black flag. If you've followed Amy read more...

The Harrow & The Harvest

Review of: Gillian Welch

(Acony Records) The Harrow & The Harvest serves as Gillian Welch's first studio album in eight years. This is her fifth studio album with her musical partner David Rawlings. Welch's respect in the industry is well deserved. She's performed and collaborated with read more...

Mount Moriah

Review of: Mount Moriah

(Holidays for Quince Records) North Carolinians Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller have both been in hard-edged bands from punk to metal. It's somewhat surprising that Mount Moriah, their band together, so effectively embodies rural and mountain sounds, but it does so to read more...

Pint Of Blood

Review of: Jolie Holland & The Grand Chandeliers

(ANTI) Houston's Jolie Holland began her career with a graceful ease.  She made her first album at home just to hand out to friends.  Soon, word got out about it and demand grew for more people to hear it which led to Anti Records releasing it.  This read more...

Nothing Is Wrong

Review of: Dawes

(ATO Records) The California-based group Dawes includes Taylor Goldsmith (vocals/guitars), Griffin Goldsmith (vocals/drums), Wylie Webber (bass) and Alex Casnoff (guitar). Jonathan Wilson read more...


Review of: Robert Ellis

(New West Records) New West Records just released Photographs by Houston, Texas, native Robert Ellis. The 22-year old Ellis recently revealed how Photographs originated: "I came up with the concept before I came up with any of the songs, actually. read more...

This Is Indian Land

Review of: Cody Canada & The Departed

(Apex Nashville/Underground Sound) Oklahoma has long been a western-edge feeder system for country music.  Woody Guthrie is a native son.  Bob Wills established his career there. read more...

Looking For America

Review of: Mark Wills

(Gracie Productions) Just in time for the Fourth of July comes Mark Wills latest album Looking For America.  This Tennessee born, Georgia-raised country singer has left behind the major labels to make more personal statements with his music.  Looking at read more...

Field Songs

Review of: William Elliott Whitmore

(Anti) Field Songs count as William Elliott Whitmore's seventh studio album, and his second for Anti, which makes him label mates with Tom Waits. Whitmore described Field Songs as "a read more...

The Set Up

Review of: The City Champs

(Electraphonic Recordings) The Memphis soul-jazz trio's official bio describes The City Champs like this: "The City Champs are the latest in a long lineage of Memphis musicians to grab the mantle of funky, soul-jazz instrumentals pioneered by acts like

Better Day

Review of: Dolly Parton

(Dolly Records) Dolly Parton's legendary status as a performer and a country music icon has long been cemented.  She's a living legend. Dolly's star peaked during the later 70s and early 80 thanks to the mainstreaming of Southern culture courtesy of read more...

Whatever You Want (featuring Cody Dickinson)

Review of: Olga Wilhelmine Munding

(219 Records) Olga Wilhelmine Munding's latest release, Whatever You Want, was written with the

We're Not Coming Back This Way

Review of: Sam Sniper

(Self-Released) The band Sam Sniper hails from Athens, Georgia. We're Not Coming Back This Way counts as the group's debut album. The band includes Andrew Klein (vocals, guitar, bass, banjo, piano, organ), Chris Barnett (vocals, bass, guitar, drums), Ryan Sedgwick read more...

Candidate Waltz

Review of: Centro-matic

(Undertow Music)  The last five years have been an interesting journey for Centro-matic and its fearless leader Will Johnson since

Live At Antone's

Review of: Ruthie Foster

(Blue Corn Music) Texas native Ruthie Foster contends as one of this generation's finest singers. Her voice is often compared to Ella Fitzgerald, Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin. Foster's songwriting also deserves honorable mention. Her six solo albums contain a wealth of read more...


Review of: D. Charles Speer & The Helix

(Thrill Jockey) D. Charles Speer and the Helix emerge as an up-and-rising country-hearted ensemble. Distillation counts as the group's second studio release. Recorded at Black Dirt read more...

Seems To Me

Review of: Cary Hudson

Cary Hudson's songs stand the test of time. The Mississippi singer/songwriter/guitarist cultivated a songwriting partnership with Wilco's John Stirrat many years ago in a group called The Hilltops. When Stirrat joined Uncle Tupelo, Hudson started

Two Matchsticks

Review of: The Wooden Birds

(Barsuk Records) The Wooden Birds, hailing from Austin, began as Andrew Kenny's post-American Analog Set recording project. Their first album Magnolia was released in 2009, and though a strong debut, it had the feel of a solo rather than group album. read more...

The Errant Charm

Review of: Vetiver

(Subpop Records) George Harrison was the quiet Beatle.  He left it to John Lennon and Paul McCartney to make their respective big musical statements.  Harrison found his niche within the band with exquisitely compact guitar playing and the occasional songwriting read more...

Reason And Rhyme

Review of: Jim Lauderdale

(Sugar Hill Records) Jim Lauderdale played bluegrass music back in his native North Carolina as a teenager in the 70s. He won a Grammy in 2003 with Ralph Stanley for Best Bluegrass Album. Reason And read more...

Leaving the Commonwealth

Review of: D. Charles Speer & The Helix

(Thrill Jockey) Leaving the Commonwealth follows D. Charles Speer's solo album Arghiledes.  Leaving the Commonwealth counts as the 3rd full-length album by Speer and the 

Ragged and Right

Review of: Jack Rose, D. Charles Speer & the Helix

(Thrill Jockey) The concept for Ragged and Right originated from inspiration surrounding the Mordicai Jones/Link Wray 3 Track Shack sessions. Released in 2010, Ragged and Right counts as one of Virginia guitarist Jack Rose's final recordings before he died read more...


Review of: D. Charles Speer

(Thrill Jockey) Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, David Charles Shuford (aka Speer) moved to New York in the mid 90s and played in groups such as No Neck Blues Band, Enos Slaughter, The Suntanam, Egypt Is The Magick # and Coach Fingers. Speer released his first solo read more...

So, You Want To Be A Bullfighter

Review of: American Anodyne

(americananodyne.com) So, You Want To Be A Bullfighter is the North Atlanta band American Anodyne's first release. The group's official bio states: "Soaked in moonshine and forged from gold, American read more...

Mule Variations

Review of: Tom Waits

(Anti-Epitaph) Mule Variations contends as one of Tom Waits' finest albums. Recorded in a converted northern California chicken coop--Prairie Sun read more...

The Mirror

Review of: Jill Andrews

(Liam Records) Jill Andrews became known to many Americana music fans through her former band.  Led by the duo of Andrews and Sam Quinn, who were also a couple early on in the band's history, the Everybodyfields came out of the mountains of Johnson City, TN to read more...

Natural History

Review of: JD Souther

(eOne Music) The 1980 film The Idolmaker chronicles an fictional music svengali from the early rock and roll era who creates teen music idols with his management and songwriting skills.  The movie's last scene ends with him finally singing his own read more...

Dare You To Do It Again

Review of: Jessie Mae Hemphill

(219 Records) This 2004 documentary was filmed at Sherman Cooper's farm in Como, Mississippi. Jessie Mae Hemphill died on July 22, 2006, at 71. As a child she learned to play various instruments and spent years performing in the Mississippi hill country. Jessie Mae played read more...


Review of: My Morning Jacket

(ATO Records) Today, more than ten years in on an acclaimed career, it should be remembered that My Morning Jacket hit the ground running right out of the gate and have never really stopped.  Lauded as a band to watch when they emerged from the Louisville music scene at read more...

Loud Planes Fly Low

Review of: The Rosebuds

(Merge Records) The Rosebuds began in the most romantic of ways.  Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp formed the band the same week they got married.  They met in college in Wilmington, NC and then settled in Raleigh becoming mainstays in that music scene.  Their read more...

The Lost Cause Minstrels

Review of: Grayson Capps

(Royal Potato Family Records) The Lost Cause Minstrels is Grayson Capps' fifth studio album. After Rott N Roll, Capps dissolved his group The Stumpknockers and formed The Lost Cause Minstrels. This new read more...

Bride Of The Noisemakers

Review of: Bruce Hornsby

(429 Records) With the release of his new live album, Bride of the Noisemakers, Virginian Bruce Hornsby celebrates his 25th anniversary of his recording breakthrough.  It is hard to believe that it was 1986 when his song "The Way It Is" dominated the read more...

Blues Babe

Review of: Olga Wilhelmine Munding

(219 Records) Blues Babe represents Olga's first solo release. There are no guest musicians on this recording--just the songwriter and her instrument. On Blues read more...

Realign Your Mind

Review of: Greg Humphreys

(Phrex Records) Greg Humphreys recorded his second solo album--Realign Your Mind--in Durham, North Carolina. Humphreys played in the bands Dillon Fence and Hobex before he began recording alone. Humphreys wrote this about Realign Your Mind: "I fleshed read more...


Review of: Starlite Devilles

(thestarlitedevilles.com) The Starlite Devilles are a four-piece alt-country band from Athens, Georgia. Hotel counts as the group's debut release. The Starlite Devilles include: Eric Gregory (vocals/guitar), Keith Fowler (lead guitar), Brian Crane (drums) and Pat read more...


Review of: Tedeschi Trucks Band

(Sony Masterworks) Recorded at their Jacksonville, Florida, home studio, married duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi formed a new 11-piece band for Revelator. Between Trucks and Tedeschi, they've read more...

The Dreaming Fields

Review of: Matraca Berg

 (Dualtone Records) The release of The Dreaming Fields is certainly cause for celebration.  Not of the wild party variety, but the type of celebration that one feels on the inside, knowing that something good has just happened, something to read more...

Confederate Buddha

Review of: Jimbo Mathus

(Memphis International) Sometimes it is hard to keep pace with Jimbo Mathus's creative path, but he's always made it worth the effort to try.  This prolific Mississippian has been making music for decades now, connecting and promoting southern music traditions every read more...

Oxford Basement Collection

Review of: El Obo

(Esperanza Plantation) Colour Revolt, a promising young band from Mississippi, has already had to face some significant early career challenges.  After shooting out of the gates when a major label picked up their first EP, the band moved on from there releasing nothing read more...

Tenth Life

Review of: Antietam

(Carrot Top Records) Antietam debuted in the Louisville indie scene back during the 80s.  Although Louisville has since emerged as an amazing music scene producing artists like Will Oldham (Palace,


Review of: Bird Of Youth

(Jagjaguwar Records) Bird Of Youth's Beth Wawerna continues a strong tradition of journalists turned musicians.  Women like Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde both saw writing about music as an essential part of their artistic paths.  Wawerna worked for both Spin read more...

It's Already Tomorrow

Review of: Foster & Lloyd

(Effen Ell Records) Of late, the music business has been overrun by reunions.  Sadly, most of these are done to take advantage of millions in touring and merchandise.  The Eagles come to mind as they ushered in a cottage industry of high profile (and high profit) read more...

Little Piece Of Dixie

Review of: Blackberry Smoke

(Southern Ground) This Atlanta, Georgia, band deserves recognition. Their second CD, Little Piece of Dixie, captures their song-crafted, hard-rocking sound. The band’s southern influences read more...

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Review of: Black Stone Cherry

(Roadrunner Records) Take some Skynyrd attitude and mix in some Seattle grunge with a dash of Nickelback's hooks, and you have a pretty good sense of Black Stone Cherry, a proud second generation southern rock band.  BSC's drummer, John Fred Young, is the son of

How To Become Clairvoyant

Review of: Robbie Robertson

As Robbie Robertson hits his late 60s, it is easier now to see his career in stages.  The most famous era was his time in The Band.  After The Band's breakup in read more...

Cottonwood Farm

Review of: Jimmy Webb & The Webb Brothers

Born in 1946, Oklahoman Jimmy Webb remains one of America's greatest songwriters.  His songs are timeless, true standards that resonate in any era.  Webb's father was a Baptist minister and former Marine who presided over rural churches in southwestern Oklahoma and read more...

Big In China

Review of: Alan Paul

(Harper Collins) Alan Paul takes readers on a spectacular journey in his book, Big In China.  From 2005-2009, Paul's family lived in China after his wife became the Wall Street Journal's China Bureau chief.  Paul had been making a living as a free lance read more...

Paper Airplane

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the broad influence of an artist while a career is ongoing.  Make no mistake, Alison Krauss has changed music.  It's hard to deny her 26 Grammy wins. She brought "newgrass" music to the mainstream including working read more...

Barton Hollow

Review of: The Civil Wars

Last night as I sat with friends on my porch overlooking Elk River, I put The Civil Wars' new album Barton Hollow read more...

The Palace Guards

Review of: David Lowery

(Savoy/429 Records) Texas born songwriter/singer/producer David Lowery founded the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Lowery now works with David Barbe at The University of Georgia. The read more...

Invariable Heartache

Review of: KORT

(City Slang) KORT, the duo of singer-songwriter Cortney Tidwell and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, has made a true Nashville record, true to the history of its country music roots.  Before the pop sheen and polish that have invaded Music City became its dominant sound, read more...

Ben Hall!

Review of: Ben Hall

(Tompkins Square) Nashville's Ben Hall, originally from Okolona, Mississippi, is barely twenty years old, and he has already has won flat-picking contests from Kentucky to Arkansas.  Like another great young guitarist,

Behold The Spirit

Review of: William Tyler

(Tompkins Square) William Tyler rise as a noted guitarist in Guitar Town comes from his indelible work with the Silver Jews, soul legend Candi Staton, and Lambchop - the ensemble that Tyler remains with today.  Although a young man, Tyler's approach to the guitar is read more...

The Other Side Of Midnight: Live In New Orleans

Review of: Galactic

(Anti-Records) Recorded during a sold out show at Tipitina's in October 2010, The Other Side Of Midnight: Live In New Orleans captures Galactic at their zenith. The New Orleans group formed in 1994, and made a lot of friends and fans along the way--especially in New read more...

Take The High Road

Review of: Blind Boys of Alabama

(Saguaro Road Records) Take The High Road represents the Blind Boys of Alabama's first country-gospel album in their 70-year career. The five time Grammy winners recruited read more...

By The Hand

Review of: Bobby Thompson

For quite some time, Bobby Thompson has been a fixture in the DC music scene, camping out on the Virginia side the Potomac.  He's played reggae and funk, but his heart lies with blues guitar.  Thompson explains his deep connection as he relays a story of going to play read more...

I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Review of: Steve Earle

(New West Records) Produced by T-Bone Burnett, 11 original Steve Earle songs comprise I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive. Earle read more...

Western Ballad

Review of: Shannon McNally

(Sacred Sumac Records) Western Ballad, Shannon McNally's 6th studio album, was recorded in New Orleans over the last year and a half. McNally's 2009 read more...


Review of: Ben Sollee

(Tin Ear) Ben Sollee is a classically-trained cellist who was raised in Kentucky on a healthy dose of bluegrass, jazz, and old time R&B.  If that's sounds like a strange combination, it is.  However, Sollee has emerged as one of the most interesting and dynamic read more...

I Am Very Far

Review of: Okkervil River

(Jagjaguwar) Austin has long been the musical home of the fine singer songwriters and fiery Texas blues rock following the lead of two legends, Willie Nelson read more...


Review of: Whiskey Myers

(Wiggy Thump) Whiskey Myers isn't afraid to pay their respects to some fine musical forefathers on the sophomore release, Firewater.  Lead singer Cody Cannon explains, "We know people are going to compare our sound to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and that's fine, we read more...


Review of: Tab Benoit

(Telarc) Tab Benoit's career is like a racehorse that sneaks up on the pack from the outside.  He's been quietly building an impressive catalog of music for the last two decades, and Medicine might be his best yet. Benoit came along in the early 90s at read more...

Man In Motion

Review of: Warren Haynes

(Stax/Concord Music Group) Recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Austin, Texas,

Borrow A Horse

Review of: Old Calf

(No Quarter) Ned Oldham's musical journey has been both at one and in parallel with his more famous brother Will who is best known for his early career Palace incarnations and his more recent Bonnie read more...

American Nomad

Review of: The Apache Relay

(Nomadic/Thirty Tigers) As the Apache Relay's follow up to their critically lauded debut, American Nomad has been widely anticipated by many people who identified this band as one to watch.  The previous album by this Nashville-based ensemble was produced by read more...

Be Altitude: Respect Yourself

Review of: The Staple Singers

(Concord Music Group) Originally released in 1972, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself finds this Staple Singers album operating between gospel and secular music. Be Altitude: Respect Yourself captures the Staple Singers at their zenith. Rob Bowman, Grammy read more...

Solitary Pleasure

Review of: James Leg

(Alive Records) The White Stripes and the Black Keys might be today's most noted purveyors of punk-influenced blues, but its roots go back much further to bands, producers, and studios from Memphis who became enamored with the minimalist sound, often just guitar and drum, of read more...

Night Covers

Review of: The Watson Twins

(TWT Records) History repeats.  Sometimes this is an ominous message, and sometimes not.  For musicians, many of which have been undermined by the reeling health of the music industry at large in recent years, lessons can be learned from history.  Case in read more...

McLemore Avenue

Review of: Booker T & The MGs

(Concord Music Group) Recorded in January 1970, McLemore Avenue was the great Memphis group Booker T & The MGs tribute to the Beatles' landmark album Abbey Road. Booker T. Jones revealed read more...

Hard Bargain

Review of: Emmylou Harris

(Nonesuch) Hard Bargain counts as Emmylou Harris' 21st studio album. Produced by collaborator Jay Joyce these songs, recorded in Nashville, include formidable original material. The read more...

Death Of A Decade

Review of: Ha Ha Tonka

(Bloodshot) For those familiar with the novels of Daniel Woodrell (or for those who have seen the films Winter's Bone or Ride With The Devil which were both based on his novels), it is understood that the Ozark region of Missouri remains one of the read more...

Never A Pal Like Mother

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust To Digital) Never A Pal Like Mother, Dust To Digital’s latest release, counts as a book that contains “vintage songs and read more...

Tell My Horse

Review of: Zora Neale Hurston

(Harper & Row) Alabama born author Zora Neale Hurston wrote Tell My Horse: Voodoo And Life In Haiti And Jamaica in 1938. The vivid stories reveal how voodoo is interwoven within the cultures. Tell My Horse exists as a first hand read more...

Here We Rest

Review of: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

(Lightning Rod Records) Alexander Beaufort Meek wrote Alabama’s first motto ‘Here We Rest’ in his 1842 essay outlining the history of the state. Jason Isbell and the 400 read more...

Live at Fillmore West

Review of: King Curtis

(Koch International) King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, was a seminal saxophonist from Texas. Curtis turned down scholarships to join the great Lionel Hampton’s jazz band. Curtis later became a session musician in New York where he recorded with Buddy Holly, Andy read more...

Quiet Little Room

Review of: Mandolin Orange

(Mandolin Orange Music) Quiet Little Room serves as Mandolin Orange’s debut studio release. This Carrboro team recorded these compositions at the Rubber Room in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. These 12 songs capture the work of a talented duo. Andrew read more...


Review of: Joel Gilbert

(Highway 61 Entertainment) Bob Dylan turns 70 in May. Joel Gilbert’s Bob Dylan Revealed offers a fine overview of Dylan’s five-decade career. read more...

Automatic Y'all: Weaver D's Guide to the Soul

Review of: Dexter Weaver

(Hill Street Press) Published in 1999 by the University of Georgia’s Hill Street Press, Dexter Weaver’s book Automatic Y’all contains stories and recipes revolving around the Athens, Georgia, soul food joint

Broken Places

Review of: Honey Blue

(Paper Boat Music) Broken Places counts as Honey Blue’s debut release. This young group from Saint Simons Island promises vast musical horizons on these seven songs recorded in the fall of 2010 at Rockstudio in Brunswick, Georgia. Honey Blue includes read more...

Top Hat Crown & The Clapmaster's Son

Review of: The Band of Heathens

(BOH RECORDS) The Band of Heathens new disc, Top Hat Crown & The Clapmaster’s Son counts as this Austin, Texas, band’s third studio album. Produced by George Reiff (


Review of: Lucinda Williams

(Lost Highway) Blessed counts as Lucinda Williams’ tenth studio album. Produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones &

Go-Go Boots

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(ATO Records) Go-Go Boots counts as the Drive By Truckers' 10th studio release. It’s the Truckers’ most R & B-country based collection of songs to date. read more...

Black Dub

Review of: Black Dub

(Jive) Daniel Lanois, best known for his production work with Bob Dylan, Willie read more...

Keys To the Kingdom

Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

(Songs of the South Records) “Take reassurance in the glory of the moment and the forever promise of tomorrow. Surely there is light beyond the darkness. As there is dawn after the night.”

The Party Ain't Over

Review of: Wanda Jackson

(Third Man/Nonesuch) After his impressive turn in producing Lorreta Lynn's Van Lear Rose, people have been waiting for Jack White to work his production magic on another Nashville legend. Since that record, White has assembled an amazing creative hub in Nashville with read more...

Kiss Each Other Clean

Review of: Iron And Wine

(Warner Bros) Iron and Wine, the nom de disque of songwriter Sam Beam, can largely be credited with today's burgeoning field of southern singer-songwriters in the same way that the Drive-By Truckers led a new southern rock movement.  As groups like Band of Horses read more...

Low Country Blues

Review of: Gregg Allman

(Rounder) Sometimes it is hard to believe that it takes an average of a decade or so for Gregg Allman to release a solo record.  It was about 9 years between Playin' Up A Storm and I'm No Angel and then another 9 years between Just Before The Bullets read more...

Moonlight Revival

Review of: Ponderosa

(New West Records) Moonlight Revival counts as this Athens/Atlanta, Georgia, band Ponderosa’s debut album. Recorded in Nashville and Atlanta, these 11 songs aim for glories down gasoline alley where


Review of: Rick Carter

(Prairie Eden Music) Birmingham, Alabama, native Rick Carter’s Loveland counts as his first solo project. Carter started the group Telluride, and now plays in Rollin’ In The Hay as well as Frankie Velvet and the Mighty Veltones. Carter’s most read more...

New Orleans Jokerman

Review of: The Last Waltz Ensemble

(Raymond Records) The Last Waltz Ensemble formed in 2004. This Atlanta band plays the music of Bob Dylan &

In The Outside

Review of: Eric Culberson Band

(ericculberson.com) Eric Culberson ranks as a journeyman musician. The Savannah, Georgia, native has logged over a million miles on the road traveling from gig to gig. Over the last 20 years he’s opened for Johnny Winter, J. Geils, Buddy Guy, John Mayall,

Hustlers, Killers & Thieves

Review of: Greg Hester

(Ropeadope Records) Recorded in Nashville by Eric McConnell (Loretta Lynn & Todd Snider), Greg Hester’s Hustlers, Killers & Thieves evokes pure funk and soul music. Hester grew up in James Brown’s hometown of Augusta, Georgia, and these ten read more...

Baby, How Can It Be?

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust-To-Digital) The 3 CD set--Baby, How Can It Be? Songs of Love, Lust and Contempt From the 1920s and 1930s--originates from the rare 78-rpm read more...

Off The Edge

Review of: Bruce Brown

(brucebrownmusic.com) You can catch Bruce Brown playing a mean guitar most any day of the week in The Charlie Daniels Band, but with Off The Edge, Bruce steps out front to display his apt skills as a read more...

The Hackens Boys

Review of: The Hackens Boys

(hackensboys.com) The debut from The Hackens Boys is filled to the rim with good ol’ fashioned Southern rock and country sounds. The Virginia quartet comes out kicking with “Movin On,” a rockin’ tune that kind of caught me off guard. The read more...

The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Review of: Rev. Johnny L. Jones

(Dust-To-Digital) This 2 CD compilation of archival recordings from Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones, culled from more than 1,000 tapes of live read more...

Wooden Indian

Review of: The Handful

The Handful are back with a hard edged new release called Wooden Indian. The opening track, “Walk Into The Light” falls somewhere between the nastiest Molly Hatchet track and Metallica. It rocks, baby. To quote Spinal Tap, “This one goes to read more...

Skeletons in the Closet

Review of: Billy Crain

(Slidebilly) There’s no question that Billy Crain ranks among the true legends of Southern Rock, having played guitar with such stars as Bobby Whitlock, The Henry Paul Band and now The Outlaws. The brother of Tommy Crain (Charlie Daniels Band), Billy is also an read more...

Le Noise

Review of: Neil Young

(Reprise Records) “You can either be true to your art, or be a good public relations man,” said Neil Young years ago. Le Noise finds read more...

Space Age Blues

Review of: Devon Allman’s Honeytribe

(Mascot) Devon Allman struggled for many years to find his voice. Growing up in the massive shadow of his uncle Duane and his father Gregg, Allman was no doubt haunted by the overwhelming fears of comparison to the legends of his lineage. A few years read more...


Review of: Molly Hatchet

(SPV) Ladies and gentlemen, Molly Hatchet is back. Not that they ever left, but my point is simply that Justice rocked me to the core like I haven’t been rocked since Devil’s Canyon. All of the records in between were good, but Justice is read more...

Wood, Wire Vibes...and Slide

Review of: Tom Coerver

Tom Coerver is my kind of guy. A talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who isn’t afraid to color outside the lines. Besides some red hot originals, Coerver kicks out the jams on his own versions of songs by folks like Slim Harpo, The Rolling Stones and even Frank Zappa read more...

Live in the Classic City II

Review of: Widespread Panic

(Widespread Records) This latest release counts as volume two of Widespread Panic's homecoming April 2000 Classic Center Theatre shows in the band's hometown of Athens, Georgia. read more...

Grandma's Roadhouse

Review of: Riley

(Delmore Recordings) In 1970, a killer rock & roll trio called Riley—named after bandleader and guitarist Riley Watkins—recorded Grandma’s Roadhouse at Owen Bradley’s legendary read more...

Land Thar I Love

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Blue Hat) At a time when confidence in our wonderful nation seems to be at an all time low, our buddy Charlie brings out the big guns for a red, white and blue tribute to America. It’s a collection of songs, old and new from a man who is the biggest advocate of read more...

Mean Old Man

Review of: Jerry Lee Lewis

(Verve Forecast) Jerry Lee Lewis contends as one of the greatest rock & rollers of all time. Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, during 1935, Lewis’ brand of wide-open piano playing and songwriting ignited the music world. It’s amazing he’s still among read more...

The Definitive John Coltrane

Review of: John Coltrane

(Concord Music) The Definitive John Coltrane on Prestige and Riverside Collection encapsulates Coltrane’s most significant recordings as a sideman. This two-CD set begins in 1955 when

A Storm--A Tree--My Mother's Head

Review of: Bobby Bare Jr.

(Thirty Tigers) Bobby Bare Jr. knows music. He grew up in the shadow of his father, lived next door to George Jones & Tammy Wynette, earned a Grammy nomination at 6 and wrote read more...

Junky Star

Review of: Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses

(Lost Highway) Marc Ford exposed me to Ryan Bingham’s music. Ford produced Bingham’s debut release Mescalito. The read more...

Water Bound

Review of: Shannon Whitworth

(Thirty Tigers) Water Bound counts as Shannon Whitworth's second release. Whitworth served as a member of The Biscut Burners. She released her first album--No Expectations--in 2008 and hit the road. Born in Virginia, Whitworth grew up in South Carolina and read more...

RIYEL----Eclectic and Kreyol Jazz

Review of: RIYEL (Ken Watters, Andre Atkins, Yves Abel)

 Summit Records, April 2010 Released internationally on April 13, 2010, Riyel’s first album is an overview of read more...

The Definitive Thelonious Monk

Review of: Thelonious Monk

(Concord Music) The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside culls a broad span of Monk’s songs from 1952 up until 1960. North Carolina born Thelonious Monk was already read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Croweology represents live acoustic versions of The Black Crowes most revered material from the last 20 read more...

Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull

Review of: Charlie Louvin

(Tompkins Square) Gram Parsons always admired the Louvin Brothers. Brother Charlie read more...

Pimps & Preachers

Review of: Paul Thorn

(Perpetual Obscurity) Paul Thorn just never ceases to amaze me. He always manages to weave his past experiences as the son of a Holiness minister and his rock and roll life into a multi-colored musical tapestry that always leaves me with a big smile on my face. I am read more...

We Walk This Road

Review of: Robert Randolph

(Warner Brothers) Pedal steel phenomenon Robert Randolph who began playing in churches years ago has released his third studio album, We Walk This Road. Produced by

Dusty In Memphis

Review of: Warren Zanes

Continuum I met Warren Zanes at Stanley Booth’s house in the early 90s. Booth plays a major role in Zane’s well-written book Dusty In Memphis published in 2003. In read more...

Can’t Tame a Wildcat

Review of: Dallas Moore

(SOL) Dallas Moore was the very first indie artist ever reviewed in GRITZ. It’s true. Back in 1999 we were called “Hot Grits” and Dallas was just getting started making a name for himself as a hard rocking Outlaw country artist. We have watched him read more...

See You On the Moon

Review of: Tift Merritt

(Fantasy Records) Texas born, Tift Merritt soon relocated to North Carolina. Standing the Moon counts as her 5th studio release. Tift Merritt always constructed finely read more...

Common Ground

Review of: Walter Trout

(waltertrout.com) Walter Trout’s latest epic Common Ground represents everything I love about music. His 20th album is extremely well written, well executed tunes, with Walter’s heartfelt guitar playing (He was voted the #6 all tine finest guitarist read more...


Review of: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

(Reprise Brothers) Mojo counts as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers first studio album in 8 years. Mojo revolves mostly around the rural south. TP & The Heartbreakers have read more...


Review of: Will Scott

(willscottmusic.com) You ever just fall in love with an artist’s music the very first time you heard them play? Such was the case with the music of Will Scott. From the very first song on his CD, “Jack’s Defeat Creek,” I was hooked in. But when read more...

Pass The Jar

Review of: Zac Brown Band

The Zac Brown Band & Friends Live from The Fabulous Fox Theatre (Atlantic) Now this is what I call a downright fun live album. A double album actually, complete with a DVD when you buy the hard copy, but the digital download is enough to rock my read more...

Life is a Wheel

Review of: Ragged Jack

Just every once in a while a CD comes across my piled-under desk that stands head and shoulders above the other dozen plus submissions we receive at GRITZ every week. A CD that shines from the moment you open the package. The cover art looks great, the band name is cool, and you read more...

Truth & Salvage Company

Review of: Truth & Salvage Company

Silver Arrow Records The rare collection of songwriters in Truth And Salvage Company originates from Atlanta, New Orleans, Tupelo and Ohio, read more...

Dirty Side Down

Review of: Widespread Panic

(ATO Records) Dirty Side Down, Widespread Panic’s 11th studio album, returns to the read more...

Bo Bice 3

Review of: Bo Bice

(Saguaro Road Records) I have been following Bo Bice since the very first American Idol audition way back when, and have always liked him a lot. The guy has a great voice, a lot of guitar ability, and just a whole lot of performing savvy. After read more...

The Southern Part of Heaven

Review of: Barry Lee Harwood

barryleeharwood.com The first time I ever saw Barry Lee Harwood play was around 1980, at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. He was playing guitar with the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash survivors in a red hot new read more...

Tears. Lies and Alibis

Review of: Shelby Lynne

(Everso) Tears. Lies and Alibis counts as Shelby Lynne's 11th studio album. The basic tracks were recorded in her home studio, finished in Nashville complete with ten original compositions and released on her own label. Guests on the album include Muscle Shoals read more...

Toler/Townsend Band

Review of: Toler/Townsend

(Garage Door Records) There have been a lot of Southern Rock “supergroups” to come out of the woodwork over the past ten years. Some were good, some were great. Well sir, Toler/Townsend falls into that “great” category.

Preacher Stone

Review of: Preacher Stone

(www.preacherstone.com) North Carolina is rolling out some of the finest Southern Rock bands in the country, and Preacher Stone is right up in the front contenders. This band rocks. Don’t believe me? read more...

The Way of the World

Review of: Mose Allison

(Anti-Records) At 82, Mose Allison stands as one of the hippest musicians in American music. His solid foundation of jazz and blues influenced artists such as

Live On The Sunset Strip

Review of: Otis Redding

(Concord Music Group) This 2-CD collection documents Otis Redding’s historic 1966 performance at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles.

Way Out West

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

(Shout! Factory) In September of 1973, a young band from Spartanburg, SC found themselves on the stage of the famous Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California opening for The Allman Brothers Band. This is their show from that evening, a one hour show packed read more...

The Deep End

Review of: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez

(Horizon) If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Christine is the lead vocalist with the Saturday Night Live band. The “Beehive Queen” is a hard rocking Memphis soul fueled dynamo, and The Deep End may be her finest album yet. read more...

Geniune Negro Jig

Review of: Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Nonesuch Records) “Tradition is a guide, not a jailer. We play in an older tradition but we are modern musicians,” says the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Justin Robinson. The North Carolina-based ‘Drops’: Dom Flemmons, Rhiannon Giddens and Robinson read more...


Review of: Shannon McNally and Hot Sauce

(shannonmcnally.com) Recorded in two days at Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch Studios during the spring of 2009, Shannon McNally’s Coldwater defines read more...

The Big To-Do

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(ATO Records) The Drive By Truckers represent one of America’s finest bands in the last 20 years. The Big read more...

Love It, Don't Choke It To Death

Review of: David Barbe & The Quick Hooks

 (Ruth St. Records) David Barbe ranks as an influential sonic guru/producer/player on the Athens, Georgia, music scene. He’s produced records for

In The Meantime

Review of: Randall Bramblett

(Blue Ceiling) It's truly a rare thing to run across an album that just captivates my attention from the first spin, from the very opening notes. Such is the case with the new release from multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter Randall Bramblett, a man best known to read more...

It Shined: The Saga of The Ozark Mt. Daredevils

Review of: Michael “Supe” Granda

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were one kick ass Southern Rock band by anyone’s standards, a group that cracked the Top 40 several times during the 1970's while building a massive following of fans who even today speak of the band with reverence and broad, sometimes read more...

Crazy Heart

Review of: Various Artists

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (New West) Well, I haven’t seen the movie yet but after listening to the soundtrack a few times, I can hardly wait to see Crazy Heart. The actors in this movie do some fine singing. Not only Jeff Bridges, who read more...

Day Out of Days: Stories

Review of: Sam Shepard

(Knopf) Mystery And Manners' Honorary Southern Artist Sam Shepard’s new book Day Out of Days proves the read more...

Home Sweet Home

Review of: South Memphis String Band

(Memphis International) The South Memphis String Band is Luther Dickinson (

One More Day

Review of: Joe Pitts

(Kijara) On his new release Arkansas native Joe Pitts comes out of the chute kicking with the most excellent “Lowdown, Mean and Dirty,” a blues rocker that hints at shades of Gov’t Mule. Just a couple of minutes into the album Pitts takes his first read more...

Slung a Rod

Review of: Atomic Boogie

(Resaca Records) The first time I saw Atomic Boogie live they were opening a show down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Rome, Georgia. The three-piece rockabilly band captivated my attention for 45 minutes of solid bombastic twang. No small wonder I could hardly wait to read more...

I Got News For You

Review of: Bekka Bramlett

(Shongaloo) Finally! I have been lurking and eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Bekka Bramlett solo album for several years. I have always been in love with the girl’s voice. I guess that goes al the way back to my love of her parents’ music - Delaney & read more...

Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan

Review of: Waylon Jennings

(Collector's Choice Music) Folk Country counted as Waylon Jennings’ debut RCA release. RCA wanted to lure the folk crowd, but Jennings remained country on these songs. Four of the compositions were originals, four were Harlan Howard songs and three were read more...

A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkment (There is no C)

Review of: Ray Wylie Hubbard

(Bordello Records) Ray Wylie Hubbard is an Oklahoma native who later moved to Texas and fell in with the likes of Waylon Jennings, Doug Sahm,

West Cross Timbers

Review of: Amanda Shires

Singer and fiddler Amanda Shires is a long time alumnus on the Texas music scene. I say ‘long time’ because she started playing with Tommy Allsup and the Texas Playboys at the age of 16 and has played with her alt-rock side band, The Thrift Store, and other known read more...

By a Thread

Review of: Gov't Mule

(Evil Teen) I have to admit, I had begun to lose interest in Gov’t Mule following the death of Allen Woody and following the all-star tribute records. The Mule seemed to have lost much of it’s passion and fire. Sure the music was still rockin.’ Hey, read more...

The Live Anthology

Review of: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

(Reprise Records) These four CDs--48 songs--comprise Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' hand-chosen most emotive live recordings in their 30 year career. The Anthology’s track read more...

Jerry Christmas

Review of: Jerry Douglas

(Koch Records) A new Christmas album by Jerry Douglas is a no-brainer. His main instrument of choice, the squareneck Dobro, has a range of sound that is well-suited for holiday fare, and Douglas is the best Dobro player in the world. But as this new album shows, Douglas is read more...

Joy To The World - A Bluegrass Christmas

Review of: Charlie Daniels and Friends

(Blue Hat) Charlie Daniels is just so good at making you feel like you are smack-dab in the middle of the party. In this case, one of the most joyous of Christmas parties ever held. Besides members of the Charlie Daniels Band, Joy To The World is read more...

Panic In the Streets

Review of: Widespread Panic

(Zomba Video) On April 18, 1998, Widespread Panic’s Light Fuse Get Away album release performance in downtown Athens, Georgia, set the attendance record for at read more...

Cabin Fever

Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Cabin Fever represents an official documentary of The Black Crowes' 13-day Before The Frost...Until The Freeze recording sessions at

Willie and the Wheel

Review of: Willie Nelson and Asleep At The Wheel

Through The Scattered Trees

Review of: Lingo

(lingomusic.net) When I saw this young band open for The Tommy Talton Band in Athens earlier this year I was simply blown away. It’s been a while since I witnessed a band this young display so much sheer talent. The band is made up of four guys read more...

Live/Agora Ballroom - Cleveland, Ohio May 13, 1990

Review of: Kentucky Headhunters

(Mercury/UMe) The Kentucky Headhunters have always been a Southern rock band to me. Yeah, I know they have scored a slew of country hits, but them fellas have got the Southern rock spirit. In past interviews with GRITZ, both Greg Martin and Richard read more...

Onward And Upward

Review of: Luther Dickinson/Sons of Mudboy

(Zebra Ranch) Three days after Memphis luminary Jim Dickinson died, his oldest son

A Good Excuse

Review of: Dixie Tabernacle

(Storm Dog Records) Every time I hear Jimmy Hall open his mouth to sing, I feel like I’m in church. Better yet, an old fashioned Southern tent revival. His is a voice born of gospel and blues roots, mingled with a bit of Southern rock and delivered from deep read more...


Review of: Jefferson Ross

(Jefferson Ross Records) Every spring, my mother would beckon me to help her empty out the ashes from our fireplace. We would then take it and spread it at the base of all the azaleas in our backyard. When I asked why we did this, she simply said, “The read more...

Penn's Peak

Review of: Blackfoot

Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet Penn's Peak, Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania October 16, 2009


Review of: Sister Hazel

(Rock Ridge Music) When my buddy Scott first introduced me to this new band that he was into several years ago, I was immediately taken by their tight harmonies, catchy pop riffs and great lyrics. The Gainesville, Florida band was Florida’s version of our own read more...


Review of: Isaac Hayes

(Concord/STAX) Isaac Haynes rose from the Memphis slums to the top of the list in the black music world. In 1971, Hayes’ Shaft soundtrack, recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis, became a read more...

Do It Like We Used To Do

Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

(Songs of the South) Do It Like We Used To Do—Live From 96-08—highlights the first ten years of The North Mississippi read more...

They Say I'm Different

Review of: Betty Davis

(Light In the Attic) North Carolina native Betty Davis--former wife of Miles Davis--ranks as a pioneering diva. She took pride in her individuality as well as her songwriting. Ice Cube, Ludacris, and Talib read more...

Tarpits And Canyonlands

Review of: Bombadil

(Ramseur Records) Bombadil remains a breath of fresh Carolina air.  Upon hearing their previous album, A Buzz, a Buzz, the listener could instantly understand that this is a band with a read more...

Montreal 1997

Review of: Widespread Panic

  (Widespread Panic Archives #4) At Montreal’s Club Soda Club venue on September 8, 1997, Widespread Panic crossed geographical and musical borders. All the read more...

At The Cut

Review of: Vic Chesnutt

(Constellation) Athens, Georgia, singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt has existed as a musical force since the late 80s when R.E.M’s Michael Stipe produced his first two records. Madonna, Hootie & the Blowfish, The Smashing Pumpkins and R.E.M. have covered his songs.

Great American Bubble Factory

Review of: Drivin N Cryin

(Vintage Earth Music)   Great American Bubble Factory counts as Drivin N Cryin’s first release in 12 years. The band originated in 1985, and earned a strong southern following. Leader Kevn Kinney pursued his solo career for the last read more...

I and Love and You

Review of: The Avett Brothers

(American Recordings) In an era when speed is everything and change is measured in seconds and minutes rather than years, the career of the Avett Brothers has been a refreshing change to that rule.  Starting first as almost an acoustic experimental offshoot to the read more...

The Essential, Limited Edition 3.0

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

(Shout! Factory) I remember a time back the mid 1990s when the whole internet thing was just beginning to catch on. I was among the members of a small group of fans online that were building tribute pages to The Marshall Tucker Band. We all came together with our common love read more...

God & Guns

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

(Roadrunner) Slated for Release September 29, 2009 I have read so many opinions for so many years regarding the “original” Lynyrd Skynyrd vs. the “current” band, and my opinion has always remained the same. The original band can read more...

Closer to the Bone

Review of: Kris Kristofferson

(New West) Closer to the Bone finds one of the greatest poets of our time at the very peak of maturity, yet stripped down to his most basic elements, both in voice, read more...

Betty Davis

Review of: Betty Davis

Betty Davis Betty Davis Light In The Attic By James Calemine Born in Mabry, North Carolina, Betty Davis ranks as a classic diva. She married Miles Davis and turned him onto

Rock This Country

Review of: Swampdawamp

Swampdawamp is back. This North Carolina based Southern Rock band really and truly does “keep it real.” They have the guitars, the licks and attitude, but they also possess that rare element that is so rare in music these days. They are originals.

Art of Field Recording Volume 2

Review of: Dust To Digital

Art of Field Recording Volume 2 Dust To Digital Dust To Digital By James Calemine On the heels of the GRAMMY-winning Art of Field Recording Volume read more...

Cody McCarver

Review of: Cody McCarver

(E1) I have been listening to Cody McCarver for years, both as a member of Confederate Railroad (a band he joined in 1999)  and as a solo artist. He is a staple of the annual Angelus event down in Tampa. Cody’s self penned “Through God’s read more...

Truth & Salvage

Review of: Truth & Salvage

Truth & Salvage EP Truth & Salvage Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Truth & Salvage consists of four songwriters: Smitty Smith, Joe Edel, Walter Young and Scott Kennebrew. Asheville, North Carolina, served as the band's read more...

Wilson Street

Review of: Charlie Faye

Austin's Charlie Faye is an amazing talent. She’s a gifted songwriter with a very pleasing singing voice that falls somewhere between Mary Chapin Carpenter and Debbie Harry. In fact, the smooth pop sound and flowing melody of “Jersey Pride” is more than a little read more...

Before The Frost...

Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Recorded live at Levon Helm’s barn on February 21, 22, 28 and March 1, 2009, Before The read more...

The Fine Print

Review of: Drive By Truckers

The Fine Print ( A Collection Of Oddities And Rarities 2003-2008) The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine These 12 unreleased and rare Drive read more...

Acquired Taste

Review of: Delbert McClinton

(New West) For his 30th studio album, Delbert McClinton enlists the help of Grammy Winning producer Don Was, and combined with some just plain excellent songwriting, he turns in the most introspective and intelligent record of his fifty year career. Delbert read more...

When The Devil's Loose

Review of: A.A. Bondy

After releasing one of 2008's best records, American Hearts, A.A. Bondy returns with the equally compelling When the Devil's read more...

One Foot In The Ether

Review of: The Band of Heathens

One Foot In The Ether The Band of Heathens BOH Records By James Calemine The Band of Heathens avoid a sophomore jinx with their latest release,

Among The Gold

Review of: Cheyenne Mize and Bonnie "Prince" Billy

"Old music is a major passion of mine. As I mentioned, I play a little old-time fiddle and have always loved old gospel music. The idea of keeping old music alive is very important to me" -  Cheyenne Mize Considering the substance of Mize’s read more...

Boy Meets Girl

Review of: Stax Records

Boy Meets Girl Classic Soul Duets Stax/Concord Music By James Calemine Stax/Concord Records just released these 18 classic soul duets. Most of the artists compiled on this CD ranks as soul legends such as

Sing Chapter I

Review of: Wynonna

(Curb) Wynonna Judd is one rockin’ country girl. If there was a shred of doubt in your mind, it will be obliterated after a single listening with her new release Sing Chapter 1. Wynonna has decided to have some fun. She selected a handful of read more...

Anchors & Anvils

Review of: Amy LaVere

Anchors & Anvils Amy LaVere Archer Records By James Calemine Produced by Memphis luminary Jim Dickinson,

The Screamer

Review of: Big Pete Pearson

(Modesto Blues Records) There are some slick sounding and slickly produced blues albums out there right now. Not that they are bad or that the genre shouldn’t be moved forward, but now and again it is good to hear the real deal from those few musicians left from read more...

Died of Love

Review of: Amy LaVere

Died of Love Amy LaVere Archer Records By James Calemine Amy LaVere's

Love is a War

Review of: The Corduroy Road

(Mule Train) The Corduroy Road formed in 2006 by Kentucky friends  Drew Carman and Dylan Solise. The band has a knack for blending bluegrass, Americana, folk rock, and old-time country into a totally unique stew. Today, the band calls the Classic City of Athens, Georgia read more...

Restless Soul

Review of: Bruce Marshall

Bruce Marshall has been one of my favorite performers ever since I heard him live with the Toy Caldwell Band. He was a member of the TCB from 1989 - 1990 and lent his vocals to many of Toy's classics like "Running Like the Wind" and "Take the Highway" as well as read more...

I Like Her But

Review of: Lee Bogan

Lee Bogan is one of the hardest working songwriters in Nashville, having scored may a hit, including the classic country tune “Honky Tonk Attitude.” Lee is currently recording and touring with Ronnie McDowell, and has co-penned several songs for Ronnie’s upcoming read more...

Tight Knit

Review of: Vetiver

Vetiver is the musical brainchild of Andy Cabic, who is part of a loosely organized group of musicians from the Swampland Footprint who have made their way out to California seeking creative refuge.  Some of the more famous members of his coterie are the Black Crowes' Chris read more...

Please Call Home: The Big House Years

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

A few years back I paid a visit to the famous “Big House” on Vineville Avenue in Macon, Georgia. Kirk and Kirsten West made me feel at home in this beautiful place, and I enjoyed every single moment I spent visiting. Even then, the house was beginning to become a museum. read more...

Live at The Old Quarter Houston, Texas

Review of: Townes Van Zandt

(Fat Possum) The Holy Grail of Townes Van Zandt albums...during this July 1973 performance Van Zandt operated and the apex of his powers. With only his acoustic guitar

Around The Well

Review of: Iron And Wine

In less than five years, Iron and Wine rose from a batch of unadulterated home recordings to become one of the indie scene's most influential and successful artists.  For those late to the party, Iron and Wine has but one member, Sam Beam who was born and raised in South read more...

Electric Dirt

Review of: Levon Helm

Electric Dirt Levon Helm Vanguard Records By James Calemine As a follow up to Levon Helm’s award-winning

127 Rose Avenue

Review of: Hank Williams, Jr.

(CURB) Hank William’s, Jr has released his best album since 1987’s Born to Boogie. There is simply not a bad song on the album. Bocephus manages to combine his Outlaw Country and Southern Rock stylings with thought provoking lyrics that grab your read more...

Shout! Live

Review of: Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Review

Featuring the McCrary Sisters (INO) Well, here’s the short story on Mike Farris; he lives the rock and roll dream as a member of the band Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, gets tired of the excesses of life on the rock and roll road read more...

Love Filling Station

Review of: Jesse Winchester

Jesse Winchester's songs have been recorded by songwriting legends like Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, Ralph Stanley, Delbert McClinton, and the Everly Brothers too name a few.  

The Boys Are Back

Review of: Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys were riding high during the 1980’s due largely to their mega-hit “Elvira,” but this excellent quartet, whom I had played many years before when they were a Southern Gospel group and I was a young DJ, have been away for a while. Well, they are read more...

Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers

Review of: Commander Cody

(Blind Pig) I was thrilled when I heard Commander Cody and his band had been signed to Blind Pig Records and would be recording a new album. After all, I have been a Cody fan for many a year. The new album is quite good, although I do harbor a few minor complaints, such as read more...

Freebird Child

Review of: Tammy Van Zant

(Radio Records) Ronnie Van Zant’s oldest daughter Tammy has a sweet voice. She’s not a powerhouse belter like a lot of the female vocalists of today, but she is quite pleasing to the ear, especially when backed up by the stellar pickers who play on her read more...

Delta Blues

Review of: Ted Gioia

Delta Blues:The Life and Times of Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music by Ted Gioia W. W. Norton, 2008 Reviewed by bluesman Billy C. Farlow Delta Blues read more...

The Concert

Review of: Creedence Clearwater Revival

(Fantasy) CCR was one hell of a band. I was a huge fan of theirs, and all through high school I was convinced that they were based in Louisiana and were a Southern Rock band. I had no idea they were actually from the San Francisco Bay Area. The read more...

In Session

Review of: Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan

In Session Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan STAX/Concord Records By James Calemine Stax Records released Albert King’s seminal albums (like read more...

Song Up In Her Head

Review of: Sarah Jarosz

(Sugar Hill Records) "Song Up In Her Head" is the title of the excellent debut album by singer, songwriter and mulit-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Jarosz’ album is a wonderful example of the music being made by the newer read more...

Hot Buttered Soul

Review of: Isaac Hayes

Hot Buttered Soul Isaac Hayes STAX/Concord Music By James Calemine STAX/Concord Records have just reissued

Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)

Review of: Patterson Hood

(Ruth St. Records) A sharp guitar riff opens the CD in the title track, and Patterson Hood sings in his merciless, gravel-tone voice, “I killed Oscar/Shot him in the head/Put the gun in his read more...

Take Me To The Water

Review of: Dust To Digital

Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music Dust To Digital Dust To Digital Recordings By James Calemine Dust To Digital’s latest release, a handsome book called Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage read more...

Saints & Sinners

Review of: Jackson Crossing

A few years ago I was blown away by a band out of my hometown of Spartanburg, SC called Sevenmoore. The band featured some of Sparkle City’s finest players, including two founding members of The Marshall Tucker Band, Paul Riddle and Jerry Eubanks. As great as they were, I was read more...

Street Singers, Soul Shakers, Rebels With A Cause

Review of: Candice Dyer

Street Singers, Soul Shakers, Rebels With A Cause : Music From Macon This amazing coffee table book weighs in at nearly 300 pages, and is chock full of beautiful photographs and articles on the many great artists who called Macon, Georgia home. read more...

Huntsville 1996

Review of: Widespread Panic

Huntsville 1996 Widespread Panic Widespread Panic Archives Release #3 By James Calemine On April 3, 1996, Widespread Panic performed at the Von read more...

For Our Heroes

Review of: Montgomery Gentry

For Our Heroes is an amazing collection of “greatest hits” from country rockers Montgomery Gentry that collects twelve of their best loved songs for a very special cause. Eddie and Troy have partnered with

$5 Cover Memphis

Review of: Craig Brewer

$5 Cover: Memphis Craig Brewer MTV Networks By James Calemine The director of Hustle And Flow and Black Snake Moan, Craig Brewer, serves as the catalyst read more...

Roadhouse Sun

Review of: Ryan Bingham

Roadhouse Sun Ryan Bingham Lost Highway By James Calemine “We’re playing rock and roll. This ain’t no country band,” Ryan Bingham told me as he sat in a club in Luckenbach, Texas, waiting for soundcheck for that read more...

Together Through Life

Review of: Bob Dylan

Together Through Life Bob Dylan Columbia Records By James Calemine Dylan produced Together Through Life, his 33rd studio read more...

Blame it On My DNA

Review of: Diane Durrett

dianedurrett.com When I met Diane Durrett down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Georgia last year, I had no idea who I was meeting. I never knew just what an accomplished singer/songwriter I was shaking hands with. I read more...

Driving Music City

Review of: Diane Durrett

Diane Durrett moved from Atlanta to Nashville with a head full of dreams and a heart full of song. Once there, like most others, she immediately found that she needed a day job in order to work on her songwriting and pursue her dreams of performing. While most songwriters end up as read more...

All Points in Between

Review of: Rebel Pride

rebelprideband.com On this, Rebel Pride’s sophomore release, they kick it up even bigger and better than on the first album. This Florida band manages to bring us a sound very similar to that of the read more...


Review of: Steve Earle

Townes Steve Earle New West Records By James Calemine "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on



(Vanguard) I was so thrilled to receive the new release from those hip youngsters, known all over as The Boxmasters. Their debut album was excellent, as was their 2008 Christmas release, but I must admit, Modbilly eclipses even those slabs of wax. Modbilly once read more...

Valdosta 1989

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic Archive Series #2 Valdosta 1989 Widespread Panic By James Calemine Volume 2 of the mighty Widespread Panic’s Archive Series read more...

Carbondale 2000

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic Archives Release #1 Carbondale 12/1/00 Widespread Records By James Calemine “ Jack was really a jester Who held his one good eye on the queen…” By December 2000—when

Make A Move

Review of: Hill Country Revue

Make A Move Hill Country Revue Razor & Tie By James Calemine The North Mississippi Allstars’ Cody Dickinson formed the Hill Country Revue in 2008. The group includes Cody read more...

Naked Willie

Review of: Willie Nelson

The iconic Willie Nelson began his career crafting songs for others to perform. Songs like Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” But pretty soon the powers that be on Nashville's Music Row began to see a marketability in Nelson. Not only were his songs top drawer, but he had a read more...

Last Time

Review of: Evanscapps

(Rock Ridge Music) The first time I heard this record was a few years ago. The guys had put it out independently, and I recall thinking it was just a really great rockin’ record. Well, after a few years, and after serious remastering and with a great record read more...

Warpaint Live

Review of: The Black Crowes

Warpaint Live The Black Crowes Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Last March The Black Crowes released their first studio CD in seven years,

Exit/In, Nashville

Review of: Candy Coburn

Nashville, TN April 28, 2009 Candy Coburn hit the stage at the legendary Exit/In tonight and took no prisoners. This girl reminds me of Pat Benatar in a way. That is, she’s tiny as can be, but when she sings, it is with the strength of read more...

Potato Hole

Review of: Booker T. Jones

Potato Hole Booker T. Jones Anti Records By James Calemine Memphis luminary Booker T. Jones released his first solo CD in two decades on April 21, 2009. This instrumental CD, recorded in Athens, Georgia, and San Francisco, California, proves a read more...

Words & Music

Review of: Various Artists

I have always been a fan of songwriters. They are the soul of the music. Without songwriters, there would be no country or Southern Rock stars. And for the record, I really prefer hearing the songwriter sing their own songs. That goes all the way back to my youth. Many of the read more...

Me And My Friends

Review of: Matt Butcher

The best records shoot right to the heart with a truth and a passion that almost immediately puts them in constant rotation in your cd player, turntable, iPod, or, most importantly, in your mind.  It usually starts with the basic ingredients of a set a first-rate songs read more...

The Reason

Review of: Thomas Wynn & The Believers

Orlando, Florida already knows the best kept secret in Southern music. As for the rest of the world, if this new CD is an indicator, they will all know soon enough. Thomas Wynn & The Believers have been blowing away audiences all around Florida with a unique sound read more...

I'm That Way

Review of: Beth McKee

Is it something in the water?  Something in the land? People can analyze all they want, but Southerners have a different relationship to music than others.  Beth McKee is prime example number one. This Jackson, MS girl has toughed it out as a musician with a career read more...

Baby, You Can Get Your Gun!

Review of: Snooks Eaglin

Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! Snooks Eaglin Hepcat Records By James Calemine Born in New Orleans in 1939, this legendary blind guitarist died in February 2009. He began his recording career in 1958. He operated as Allen Toussaint’s lead read more...

Live Notes From Athens

Review of: The Tommy Talton Band

(Hittin’ The Note) The Tommy Talton Band kick it up yet another notch on this, their sophomore release, recorded live in Athens, Georgia in 2008. The show was held at The Melting Point, a beautiful listening room in Athens. Besides the guitar man himself, the read more...

Fork In the Road

Review of: Neil Young

Fork In the Road Neil Young Reprise By James Calemine        “Got a pot belly. It’s not too big. Gets in my way when I’m driving my rig.        Driving read more...

Genius: The Ultimate Collection

Review of: Ray Charles

Genius: The Ultimate Collection Ray Charles Concord Records By James Calemine This 21 song anthology contains Albany, Georgia, native Ray Charles' most influential recordings for Atlantic, ABC-Paramount and the Tangerine labels after 1960. read more...

Already Live

Review of: The Derek Trucks Band

(Sony/Victor Records) Somehow guitarist Derek Trucks talked his big time record label into releasing a bit of musical lagniappe for his fans. A mere months after his latest studio album hit the stores, the well-received “Already Free” released on the Sony/Victor read more...

A Picture of Me/Nothing Ever Hurt Me

Review of: George Jones

A Picture of Me (Without You)/ Nothing Ever Hurt Me (Half As Bad As Losing You) George Jones American Beat Records By James Calemine This double-barreled re-issue captures two of George Jones’ strongest albums. One cannot quibble read more...

Black Moses

Review of: Isaac Hayes

Black Moses Isaac Hayes Concord/STAX By James Calemine Isaac Hayes proves a pivotal figure in Memphis music. Hayes, a multi-instrumentalist, played sax with The Mar-Keys and began his recording career with

Don’t Wake Albert

Review of: Highly Kind

(Rockin’ Camel) Johnny Sandlin told me months ago that he was producing an album for a band called Highly Kind, and that it was going to be a good one. Well, he was right. The name of the band had me thinking “jam band.” I kind of read more...

Written In Chalk

Review of: Buddy and Julie Miller

(New West Records) A broken heart grown cold is the hardest burden you can find

Rebel Road

Review of: Edgar Winter

(Airline Records) I have always included Edgar Winter in my conversations about Southern Rock. Sure, the Texas singer/multi-instrumentalist fronted one of the finest r&b bands of the seventies with Edgar Winter’s White Trash, and he also led The Edgar Winter read more...

Buckaroo Blue Grass

Review of: Michael Martin Murphey

(Rural Rhythm Records) I’ve always been a fan of Michael Martin Murphey’s early work from the 1970’s. Songs like “Wildfire,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “Flowing Free Forever,” and “Carolina In The Pines” have read more...

Let It Shine

Review of: Colleen McFarland

(9th Child Records/High Horse Records) www.colleenmcfarland.com “Let It Shine” is the new album by singer and songwriter Colleen McFarland, an artist who proves to be talented in both read more...

Last Exit To Happyland

Review of: Gurf Morlix

Last Exit To Happyland Gurf Morlix Conqueroo By James Calemine Last Exit To Happyland counts as Gurf Morlix’s fifth studio album. Morlix contends as a longtime musician in the Austin, Texas music scene. In one way or another read more...


Review of: Porter, Batiste and Stoltz featuring Page McConnell

(Highsteppin’ Productions) Moodoo is the new live album by Porter, Batiste and Stoltz, otherwise known as PBS. The group is made up of New Orleans funk legends George Porter Jr., bass player for read more...

Juke Joint Jump/Struttin' My Stuff

Review of: Elvin Bishop

(Raven) Elvin Bishop was right in the middle of that whole Capricorn Records scene in Macon during the seventies, and although I already knew him as a primo guitarist with Paul Butterfield's Blues Band, it wasn’t until he “went country” that I became a die read more...

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Review of: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

(Lightning Rod Records) This CD follows up Jason Isbell's first solo venture, Sirens of the Ditch, and contains a diverse collection of songs that verifies Isbell's undeniable read more...

Nashville Songwriter Sessions

Review of: Guy Gilchrist

A staple of the annual Angelus benefits in Tampa, Florida, Guy Gilchrist is best known as the professional cartoonist responsible for the legendary “Nancy and Sluggo” cartoon strip. He was also chosen by the late Jim Hinson to create the “Muppets” comic read more...

The Year I Grew Up

Review of: Clay Cook

I’ve been watching and listening to Clay Cook for years. The first time I ever heard any of his music I was at his Grandmother’s home, doing interviews for a book I was writing about his uncle, her son, Doug Gray. The late Peggy Gray was so very proud of her son’s read more...

Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again

Review of: Bloodkin

(Sci-Fidelity Records) Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again counts as

Tijuana Bible

Review of: Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat

Jim Suhler is one of the best guitarists to ever come out of Texas. The Dallas rocker is right up there with his friends Billy Gibbons and Johnny Winter, as well as Austin legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. Along with his band, Monkey Beat, Jim rips it up from top to bottom on his latest, read more...

Love Songs

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The first thoughts that cross your mind when you think about The Marshall Tucker Band might not necessarily be thoughts of love songs. After all, these two fisted hombres have come to be known for rootin’ tootin’ cowboy songs, songs about cattle drives and hard living, read more...

What I'm For

Review of: Pat Green

(RCA) In a press release, Green says of his new album, "I wanted to make a perfectly circular record -- one that you could just put on repeat and really live with for a while." To that I say, “Mission accomplished.” The artist has gone directly to his read more...

Ready For the Flood

Review of: Mark Olson & Gary Louris

Ready For the Flood Mark Olson & Gary Louris New West Records By James Calemine It's been over 14 years since Mark Olson and Gary Louris collaborated on The Jayhawks' 1995 read more...

Take The High Road (Silver Travis)

Review of: Silver Travis

 The Silver Travis Band is back with their second album, and if you thought their debut was great, wait until you get a load of Take The High Road.

The Last Pale Light in the West

Review of: Ben Nichols

(Liberty And Lament) Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel Blood read more...

Welcome to the South

Review of: Rebel Syndicate

(Bad Creeks Rising) I am simply blown away by this band. The CD has been on my desk, sitting there in the “In box” for a few weeks now, and I keep saying “I gotta check these guys out.” Well sir, this morning I did, and they are amazing.

Already Free

Review of: The Derek Trucks Band

Already Free The Derek Trucks Band RCA/Victor Records By James Calemine Already Free, Derek Trucks’ sixth studio release opens with an absolutely killer rendition of

Art of Field Recording Volume 1

Review of: Dust To Digital

Art of Field Recording Volume 1 Dust-To-Digital Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This Grammy nominated collection contains music that's never be heard until the relase of the Art of Field Recording Volume 1. Dust To Digital releases read more...

No Good Deed

Review of: Skinny Molly

For anyone who cries out that Southern Rock is dead, I have two words for your butt....Skinny Molly. Mike Estes ain’t about to let our legacy go away, even if he has to single handedly hold it up to the light. The former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist leads the read more...


Review of: Jerry Douglas

(Koch Records) I considered the 2002 release “Lookout For Hope” by Jerry Douglas to be an acoustic masterpiece, which found his squareneck Dobro stretching out on an array of original compositions highlighted by guest artists that made every cut special. read more...


Review of: Mainstream South

Mainstream South is a trio whose roots stem from the heart of the Lynyrd Skynyrd family tree. Guitarist Barry Lee Harwood and drummer Derek Hess were both members of the post-plane crash band Rossington Collins, and pianist Steve Perez played in bands with Harwood and Hess, as well read more...

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise

Review of: Chris Darrow

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise Chris Darrow Everloving Records/Conqueroo By James Calemine Chris Darrow made two great albums--Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise--in 1973 and 1974. This year these two classics will be read more...

Homage Au Passe

Review of: Pine Leaf Boys

Homage Au Passe Pine Leaf Boys Lionsgate Music By James Calemine The Pine Leaf Boys’ latest CD, Homage Au Passé, is nominated for a Grammy. However, the album does not hit the streets for another several weeks. Since read more...


Review of: Mad Buffalo

This is the third release from Mad Buffalo (aka: Randy Riviere, an award winning wildlife biologist, environmentalist and conservationist.) The music reflects his heartfelt concern for the planet and all creatures great and small, and does it with a sound that is reminiscent of read more...

The Spirit of Christmas

Review of: Ray Charles

The Spirit of Christmas Ray Charles Concord Records By James Calemine Originally released in 1985, Ray Charles' Spirit of Christmas ranks as one of the most soulful Christmas albums ever recorded. Concord Records recently re-released read more...

Christmas Cheer


(Vanguard) Those wacky Boxmasters are back again with their second release inside of a year, and boy howdy, is it ever a stone cold gas, man. The boys wrap all of their British Invasion influences in a shroud of Hillbilly Country, just like they did on this read more...

More Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country

Review of: Various Artists

More Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country Various Artists Trikont By James Calemine The genius of this collection resides in defying musical prejudices. This CD proves black artists appreciated and recorded songs by white country musicians. read more...

B.B. King And His Orchestra Live

Review of: B.B. King

B.B. King And His Orchestra Live B.B. King Acrobat Music By James Calemine Originally recorded in 1983 at the international MIDEM industry gathering in Cannes, King's standard songs are rendered with an orchestra led by Calvin Owens. This read more...

Boots, Buckles and Spurs

Review of: Various Artists

(Legacy) “I grew up dreamin’ of being a cowboy/ And loving the cowboy ways Pursuin’ a life of my high ridin’ heroes/I burned up my childhood days...” -Willie Nelson. “My Heroes Have read more...


Review of: Taylor Swift

(Big Machine) It seems like every article or review I read about Taylor Swift starts off with some variation on the theme of her age and the fact that she has accomplished so much in her career and has just now turned eighteen. Sure, there have been countless teen idols read more...

A Tribute to a Legend

Review of: Les Paul & Friends

(EMI/Capitol) The title of “legend” gets tossed around a lot by music critics. I myself plead guilty as charged to the overuse of the term. But no matter how you look at it, shake it up, smell it and pour it back out, there’s no denying the fact that read more...

Monte Montgomery

Review of: Monte Montgomery

(Thirty Tigers) I first heard of Monte Montgomery back in 1999, by way of a nice guy in Texas who worked in some capacity for Jerry LaCroix. He sent me some Monte music and I was hooked. I had never heard anyone “go up side a guitar” like Monte. Especially read more...

Piece Of My Heart: The Best of 1969 - 1978

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

(Raven/Australia) I maintain my opinion that Bonnie Bramlett is still the "Queen of Southern Rock and Soul." If you don’t believe me, just check out this new compilation disc from Raven Records in Australia. It’s enough to make a brother shout.

Rockin' The Blues: Live in Germany 1964

Review of: Howlin' Wolf

Rockin' The Blues: Live in Germany 1964 Howlin Wolf Acrobat Music By James Calemine Rockin’ The Blues captures Howlin’ Wolf in his prime. This CD features The Wolf backed by his stellar Chicago band that included guitarist read more...

Preachin', Prayin' and Singin'

Review of: Charlie Daniels and Friends

Charlie Daniels an Friends Live From Nashville (Koch DVD) On April 25, 2005, Charlie Daniels took to the stage in Nashville to debut songs from his bluegrass-gospel album Songs From the Longleaf Pines. Charlie also brought read more...

Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet

Review of: Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet

Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet Polk Miller Tompkins Square By James Calemine James "Polk" Miller was born in Virginia during 1844. His story is important because he was one of the earliest examples of a white read more...


Review of: Jimmy Herring

Lifeboat Jimmy Herring City Hall Records By James Calemine Jimmy Herring is a seasoned professional. Currently serving as lead guitarist for the mighty

Lucky Old Sun (Deluxe Version)

Review of: Kenny Chesney

(Blue Chair) I have seen a lot of other reviews of Kenny Chesney’s new album that berated him for the lack of what they call “country music” on his new album, and kind of dismissing it as “island music.” well, truth be known, it read more...

Free and Easy

Review of: Charlie Tatman

(charlietatman.com) Charlie Tatman rocks, brothers and sisters. Sporting a whiskey soaked voice and a smoking guitar, the big Ohio man has true Dixie heart, and it comes through loud and clear in this read more...

The Truth

Review of: Superswamp Heroes

Pawley’s Island, SC brings us a fresh, new Southern Rock band with a fistful of excellent songs and a whole lot of musical passion. On this, their debut album, the quartet steps up to the plate ready to smack one out of the park.  “Living Proof” gets read more...

Live In London and Paris

Review of: Otis Redding

Live In London and Paris Otis Redding Stax/Concord  By James Calemine In March of 1967 Otis Redding, at the peak of his career, crossed the Atlantic to perform for his read more...

Learn to Live

Review of: Darius Rucker

(Capitol Nashville) It came as no surprise to me when I caught wind of the story here a while back that Darius Rucker had “gone country.” After all, several years before Hootie and The Blowfish had their gazillion selling Cracked Rear View album, read more...


Review of: Don Chambers and Goat

Zebulon Don Chambers & Goat Warm Electronic Recordings By James Calemine Recorded in Athens, Georgia, Don Chambers’ Zebulon ranks as one of the best releases of 2008.

Ike & Tina Turner Sing The Blues

Review of: Ike & Tina Turner

Ike & Tina Turner Sing The Blues Ike & Tina Turner Acrobat Music By James Calemine Ike & Tina Turner Sing The Blues serves as a definitive collection of their musical roots. In 1969, Ike Turner leased two albums worth read more...

50 Years

Review of: Kenny Rogers

(Cracker Barrel) The first time I ever heard Kenny Rogers sing was back in the sixties when he and his band The First Edition hosted a Saturday afternoon TV show called Rolling On The River. I loved that show, and thought Kenny was just a great singer. I had read more...

Acid Tongue

Review of: Jenny Lewis

Acid Tongue Jenny Lewis Warner Brothers By James Calemine Founding member of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis was a child actress and continued acting until 2001. Then Lewis began recording with the

The Imus Ranch Record

Review of: Various Artists

(New West) Bekka Bramlett has a mystical effect on me. She always has, even as backing singer for Faith Hill, or dueting with Sam Moore, Billy Burdette or Joe Cocker. But like her mother before her, soul sensation Bonnie Bramlett, and her daddy Delaney for that matter, she read more...

Motion To Rejoin

Review of: Brightblack Morning Light

Motion To Rejoin Brightblack Morning Light Matador Records By James Calemine Alabama natives Rachel Hughes and Nathan Shineywater began playing music together as kids. read more...

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club

Review of: Marc Ford

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club Marc Ford Shrapnel Records By James Calemine The Neptune Blues Club counts as Marc Ford's third solo CD. Of course, Ford's musical read more...

George Clinton & His Gangsters of Love

Review of: George Clinton

George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love George Clinton Shanachie By James Calemine The Funkadelic/Parliment legend and North Carolina native George Clinton recruited a plethora of talent--including Texas born

The Blues Rolls On

Review of: Elvin Bishop

(Delta Groove) What makes this new Elvin Bishop record so amazing is the roster of special guests he has been able to assemble. This lineup shows just want a respected guitarist Elvin is with his peers. The guests on the album include B.B. King, George Thorogood, read more...

Orange Blossoms

Review of: JJ Grey & Mofro

Orange Blossoms J.J. Grey & Mofro Alligator Records By James Calemine Orange Blossoms counts as Mofro’s fourth disc. The album title read more...

A Tail of Two Cities

Review of: Gov't Mule

(ATO) All I can say is “wow!” The Mule is burning white hot on both of the two live shows in this double DVD set. The first show was recorded at the Orpheum  Theatre in Boston back in 2004. Warren Haynes and the boys knock it read more...

You Can't Help But Love Me

Review of: Amanda Martin

(amandamartin.net) Amanda Martin could very well be the next big thing in Nashville’s huge circle of young female artists. To make it these days, you have to possess something special and different read more...

Love on the Inside (Deluxe Fan Edition)

Review of: Sugarland

(Mercury Nashville) I have really enjoyed watching Sugarland’s rocket ride to the top of the country charts over the past few years. Like so many others, I was hooked from the very first time I saw Jennifer Nettles smiling and singing “Baby Girl” on read more...

The Jeopardy Of Circumstance

Review of: Carrie Elkin

CARRIE ELKIN The Jeopardy of Circumstance There used to be an adage: When you don't want to do Nashville, you do Austin. That may not hold as true today, but there was a time when when just about everything filtering to the country-fied (meaning fans read more...

Midnight In Mississippi

Review of: Blue Mountain

Mississippi's Blue Mountain has regrouped after splintering few years back, done in by divorce, disappointing sales, and overall malaise.  It's easy to see why a band with such great promise could have let a series of heartbreaks get to them.  But like

Now It's Tomorrow

Review of: Randall Bramblett

(New West) For his seventh solo album, Randall Bramblett sticks with the same band, producer (Gerry Hanson) and Atlanta studio he used for his excellent 2006 CD Rich Someday, and the read more...

Volkswagen Catfish

Review of: Fiddleworms

Of all the newer bands I have run across here at GRITZ over the past five years, none have burned their music into my brain any stronger than The Fiddleworms. This Muscle Shoals, Alabama rock band read more...

Doc Holliday

Review of: Doc Holliday

(Rock Candy) After building a reputation throughout the south for nine years as Roadhouse, Doc Holliday changed their name and came blazing out of Warner Robbins, Georgia in 1979 with read more...

Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation & Journey

Review of: Delbert McClinton

(JC Communications) Delbert McClinton hosted his first ever Blues Cruise in 1995. Thirteen years later, the event is one of the most successful events of its type ever. McClinton has played host to everyone from Bonnie and Bekka Bramlett to Jimmy Hall, from Paul Thorn read more...


Review of: Grayson Capps & The Stumpknockers

Rott-N-Roll Grayson Capps & The Stumpknockers Hyena Records By James Calemine Rott-N-Roll, Grayson Capps’ third disc, sounds like gut-bucket, read more...

One Foot In The Groove

Review of: Donnie Fritts

Donnie is simply one of the best songwriters around.  "One Foot in the Groove" is humorous, clever and heartbreaking. Everyone should own it.

The Gleam II

Review of: The Avett Brothers

We're definitely on a good run.  We feel like this is the core of it. We're going to change.  As the songs change, we'll change  We're looking forward to a lot of years of playing together.

Nudge It Up A Notch

Review of: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere

Nudge It Up A Notch Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Concord Music/STAX By James Calemine Recorded last year in Nashville, Nudge It Up A Notch features the latest work of Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere.

Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters

Review of: Billy Bob Thornton

Merrimack Hall, Huntsville, Alabama Friday, August 1, 2008 Merrimack Hall in Huntsville, Alabama is a beautiful, intimate, 300-seat theatre and concert hall that has been going strong for a little over a year. In fact, I believe the first show they read more...

Snake Oil

Review of: Lefty Williams Band

Down in Atlanta, Georgia there lives a young man who is destined to join Duane Allman among the greatest Georgia based guitarists ever to play blues and Southern Rock. His name is Lefty Williams, and the reason he is called Lefty is because he is missing a right arm. But hey, read more...

A Deeper Blue

Review of: Robert Earl Hardy

A Deeper Blue: The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt Robert Earl Hardy University of North Texas Press By James Calemine “But the aces only flew through heaven And the diamond jack called no man friend…” read more...

Sidewalk Caesars

Review of: Scrapomatic

Sidewalk Caesars Scrapomatic Landslide Records By James Calemine Scrapomatic is a band full of seasoned professionals. Mike Mattison (vocals) and Paul Olsen (guitars/vocals) are old friends. The rhythm section—Ted Pecchio on read more...

The Very Best of Little Richard

Review of: Little Richard

(Specialty) People are always asking me, "Buffalo, who were the original Southern Rockers?" Well, I always say The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The truth, however, is that Southern Rock and Roll was born as far back as 1955, when read more...

Forever Green

Review of: Chuck Leavell

Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest Chuck Leavell Longstreet Press By James Calemine          “The Earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed accordingly read more...

Perfectly Clear

Review of: Jewel

I have been a fan of Jewel since her first video appearance on MTV. I was blown away by the weet and innocent vocal of “You Were Meant for Me,” and the young girl with the crooked teeth and pretty smile who sang it. I bought the album, and every one since, even the read more...

Let's Start Something

Review of: Rob Roy Parnell

(Blue Rocket Records) Rob Roy Parnell has got that Texas Roadhouse thing goin’ on big time, and his new album - his first in nine years - Let’s Start Something, rocks from beginning to end with a Fabulous Thunderbirds meets Delbert read more...


Review of: Emory Joseph

(Iris Records) Emory Joseph is a born entertainer. Not only that, but he is also a fine songwriter, as evident in his 2003 epic Labor and Spirits. On this outing, however, Joseph puts down the pen long enough to pay tribute to a pair or true musical legends, read more...

My Name is Jimmie

Review of: Jimmie Van Zant

Jimmie Van Zant may have taken a while to get the attention he deserves, but with the release of My Name is Jimmie, there’s no doubt he will get lots of buzz. It seems Jimmie is hitting on all cylinders. with great musicians, backing vocals, top flight production and read more...

Back When I Knew it All

Review of: Montgomery Gentry

(Sony) I’ve been enjoying Eddie and Troy since Hillbilly Shows in 1999, and have seen them live many times down at the Angelus benefits thrown by Charlie Daniels. I have also reviewed every album they have put out, and I have long held onto my belief that read more...

Two Men With The Blues

Review of: Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis

Two Men With The Blues Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis Angel Records By James Calemine Recorded in 2007 at the Lincoln Center when Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis read more...

With Roots and Wings

Review of: Angel Band

Angel Band With Roots and Wings Appleseed APRCD-1108 For Nancy Josephson, the long arm of the South stretches all the way to the Canadian border. Northern bred, the summers of her youth were spent traversing the backroads and byways of her parents' read more...

Nobody's Fault But Mine

Review of: Edwin McCain

(Saguaro Road Records) Living here in Greenville, SC, I watched Edwin McCain’s rise from local favorite to opener for his friends Hootie and The Blowfish, and onward and upward to read more...

Fire Songs

Review of: The Watson Twins

Fire Songs The Watson Twins Vanguard Records By James Calemine Chandra and Leigh Watson are identical twins from Louisville, Kentucky. Fire Songs, their read more...

Traveler's Rest

Review of: Outformation

(Red Eye USA) Atlanta’s Outformation falls into that narrow gap between Southern Rock and jam band, and on this, their second album they display elements of both. Traveler’s read more...

Rollin' with The Flow

Review of: Mark Chesnutt

(Lofton Creek Records) I had a hard time getting past the first track on Mark Chesnutt’s new CD. I mean, the laid back melody, the beautiful pedal steel, and the wonderful lyric of “Things to Do in Wichita” had me at “hello.” read more...

Devil in the Details

Review of: Hogjaw

Hogjaw is back and they are dishing up their heavy Southern Rock with an oversized ladle. The cover art on the CD rocks, which really sets the stage for the music, which is like a cross between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Metallica. Jonboat Jones (vocal/guitar), Craig Self (lead guitar), read more...

Bleedin' Black and White

Review of: Lee Sinclair

(Ruff Patch Music) Spartanburg, SC is once again a hot bed of great music with a whole new generation of players who grew up in the shadows of The Marshall Tucker Band reaching out and grabbing their own brass ring. Then once in a while, we get new music from read more...

From The Reach

Review of: Sonny Landreth

Sonny Landreth From The Reach Landfall Records Sonny Landreth returns with his first record in 5 years.  With his deep catalog of work both as a solo artist and a collaborator/contributor to others (

Dual Hawks

Review of: Centro-matic/South San Gabriel

(Misra Records) Centro-matic's music comes on like a sound from a distant dream, something new, yet unmistakably familiar. Clear images adding up to something a little vague, but in such a comforting way.

The Last Country Album

Review of: Heybale

(heybale.com) Now this is some real country music, fellow babies. Heybale has the real, honest to God country sound I grew up listening to in the 60’s and 70’s. I didn’t realize just how read more...

Deep Cuts

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White Deep Cuts Swamp Records Tony Joe White, quite simply, is one of the most underappreciated musical forces of the last 50 years.  This doesn't mean that people haven't read more...

From The Mud...To The Sky

Review of: Tom Coerver & Goin' South

Tom Coerver is back with his fourth album, his second accompanied by his band Goin’ South, and quite possibly his best work yet. As has been Coerver’s M.O. in the past, he blends original songs with covers. And might I add, an eclectic mix of covers.

All I Intended To Be

Review of: Emmylou Harris

All I Intended to Be Emmylou Harris Nonesuch Records By James Calemine All I Intended To Be counts as Emmylou Harris’ first solo album in five years. Recently inducted into the

Everybodys Brother

Review of: Billy Joe Shaver

(Compadre) I love Billy Joe Shaver. He is one of the best songwriters of our time and one of the most soulful country voices of our generation. What is particularly special about his latest release is that it is all gospel music. Sure, it’s Shaver-ized read more...

Riverbend Music Festival: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Riverbend Music Festival Chattanooga, Tennessee The Black Crowes 6/6/08 By James Calemine Chris and Rich Robinson played their first official gig in read more...

City That Care Forgot

Review of: Dr. John

City That Care Forgot Dr. John 429 Records By James Calemine Dr. John’s latest disc, City That Care Forgot, proves an essential volume in his prestigious discography. These songs contain more of a cultural-political read more...

See The Light

Review of: Bo Bice

There’s no doubt whatsoever as to where Alabama boy Bo Bice derived his musical influence. Anyone who was watching his rise from American Idol auditions all the way to the second place winner position (barely beaten out by current country superstar Carrie read more...



(Vanguard) It seems like these days everyone is imitating whatever the flavor of the month is in any given genre of music, and it is truly a rare and original thing to come across something totally fresh and original. I guess that’s why the new double read more...

Amy LaVere: Live at The Variety Playhouse

Review of: Amy LaVere

Amy LaVere Live Variety Playhouse Atlanta, Georgia 5/30/08 By James Calemine                          “We gon’ read more...

Lay It Down

Review of: Al Green

Lay It Down Al Green Blue Note By James Calemine Soul legend Al Green needs no introduction… Lay It Down marks Green’s first studio album in three years. On this disc, Green employed hip-hop read more...

Outlaws Forever

Review of: Tumbleweed Junction

(tumbleweedjunction.com) There’s more than a little influence from Hughie Thomasson and Toy Caldwell in the music of Tumbleweed Junction, whether they are cooking on a Southern Rocker like read more...

Lady Antebellum

Review of: Lady Antebellum

(Capitol) They’re young, they’re hot and most important of all, they are damned good. Their breakout single “Love Don’t Live Here” kicks off the album with a sound that brings to mind what Hootie and The Blowfish might read more...

Lie Down In The Light

Review of: Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Indie-hero Will Oldham began his career in "entertainment" as a teenage actor.  Most notably, he carried John Sayles' Matewan as a miner and a young read more...

Someone Else's Shoes - In Europe

Review of: Tommy Talton

(Hittin' The Note) I had this dream the other night, and I was walking in the park. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, and just before dusk when I stopped at one of the many park benches that lined the walkway. As I started to sit down, I noticed a pair of men’s read more...

Thing Of The Past

Review of: Vetiver

Vetiver is simply one of America's best bands, and some of the most vital and timeless music being made. Andy Cabic's understanding and deep knowledge of great songs and dynamic music is astounding, it does not suprise me that he cut his teeth in North Carolina, he has a way of read more...

Gator Country Live

Review of: Gator Country

Let me just start by stating a cold hard fact. These old Molly Hatchet tunes have never sounded better. With four former Hatchet members leading the pack - Jimmy Farrar, Bruce Crump, Steve Holland and Riff West, along with extraordinary guitar work from Linni Disse and Paul read more...

Tooth of Crime

Review of: T-Bone Burnett

Tooth of Crime T-Bone Burnett Nonesuch Records By James Calemine Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Burnett grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. Burnett’s career continues gaining steam over the years. He’s worked with

Plunder, Beg and Curse

Review of: Colour Revolt

(Fat Possum Records) Colour Revolt come from that ramshackle tradition that rose from the Memphis music scene, post MTV.  Taking blues and punk as a basis, Memphis became a home for some disaffected musicians who wanted to make music that didn't exactly jibe with the read more...

A Buzz, a Buzz

Review of: Bombadil

Named for a character from J.R.R. Tolkien, Bombadil takes the idea of fantasy to heart in their music.  They lead the listener on a aural journey in a way that few bands do.  In the same way that fantasy combines the past with futuristic sensibilities, Bombadil has found read more...

Keep Your Silver Shined

Review of: Devon Sproule

Keep Your Silver Shined Devon Sproule Waterbug Records There are only a handful of musicians good enough to pack the house with other musicians, and Devon Sproule is one. She is a magnet to them as much as music is a magnet to her. B.J. Cole knows. read more...

35 Biggest Hits

Review of: Toby Keith

(Show Dog Nashville) Toby Keith began his country career as one of those cute, curly haired pretty boys, but it didn’t take long for him to find his inner Outlaw and Southern rock roots. That’s when ol’ Toby really started dominating the charts. Since then, read more...

My Life's Been a Country Song

Review of: Chris Cagle

(Capitol) With this, his fourth release, Chris Cagle kicks things up a couple of notches, with a blend of country, rock and blues that slides very nicely nto your music read more...

American Hearts

Review of: A.A. Bondy

A.A. Bondy American Hearts Fat Possum Records The South is one of the last places as far as I know where they try to preserve their way of life. They don't want strip malls, or maybe the strip malls don't want them. It's just darker and weirder to read more...

The Band of Heathens

Review of: The Band of Heathens

The Band of Heathens The Band of Heathens BOH Records By James Calemine The Band of Heathens should be heard. This debut release certifies the Austin group’s songwriting strength and musical ability that allows the compositions read more...

Mojo Man/Arkansas Rockpile

Review of: Ronnie Hawkins

Mojo Man/Arkansas Rockpile Ronnie Hawkins Collector’s Choice Music By James Calemine                    “He was the most read more...

Back Down To Louisiana

Review of: Dale Hawkins

Dale Hawkins Back Down To Louisiana Plumtone Records For those who don't read more...


Review of: Mudcrutch

Mudcrutch Mudcrutch Warner Brothers By James Calemine

Five Moons

Review of: The Beat Daddys

(beatdaddys.com) Larry Grisham and his band have been burning up the blues from their Alabama home and throughout the land for a lot of years now, and we have seen them cosistantly deliver the goods both live read more...

The Mighty Handful Volume One

Review of: The Mighty Handful

scottymoore.net The Mighty Handful is one helluva band. Headed up by former Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore, the band features Billy “I Can Help” Swan on vocals; Bob Moore, also a read more...

Another Country

Review of: Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt Another Country Fantasy Records The

Me and Pepper

Review of: Mel Tillis

Me and Pepper Mel Tillis Collectors' Choice By James Calemine Born in Tampa, Florida, during the Great Depression, Mel Tillis began stuttering at age three. However, when he sang Tillis did not stutter. His speech impediment made him a sort of hero to read more...

The Bourbon Dynasty

Review of: The Bourbon Dynasty

The Bourbon Dynasty The Bourbon Dynasty Night World Records It's good to have Charles Walston back making music.  Almost a decade ago, Walston's previous band, the Vidalias, were part of a roots and country music resurgence in read more...

The Very Best of Outlaw Country

Review of: Various Artists

(Legacy) The thing that sets this compilation apart from the plethora of others that are always being flooded into the market is the fact that it brings together Southern rockers and “outlaw” country artists on one excellent CD. It could be used as a read more...

One Hell of a Ride

Review of: Willie Nelson

(Columbia/Legacy) Willie Nelson is a Southern music icon. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has never heard of Willie, and equally challenged to find anyone who doesn’t like his music. As for me, I have been spinning Willie read more...

Trouble in Mind

Review of: Hayes Carll

(Lost Highway) Hayes Carll seems to be cut from the very same magic songwriter cloth that Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snyder and John Prine were cut from. While I really enjoyed his previous two albums, Trouble in Mind knocks those in the dirt. This one is chock full of read more...

Fortune Teller 2.0

Review of: Ghost Riders

(Mira Vista) www.beyond.fm Florida’s Ghost Riders are a Southern rock treasure. Lead off by Steve Grisham (The Outlaws) and featuring Barry Rapp (Henry Paul Band), Phill Stokes (Pure Prairie read more...


Review of: Carlene Carter

Stronger Carlene Carter Yep Roc By James Calemine Stronger counts as Carlene Carter’s first album of new material since 1995. Severe read more...

Backbone & Gristle

Review of: Mac Arnold

macarnold.com Mac Arnold blew everyone’s mind a few short years ago when he quit his day job to return to his true love, playing the blues. His first album, Nothin’ to Prove, backed by his most read more...


Review of: Shawn Mullins

Honeydew Shawn Mullins Vanguard Records By James Calemine Atlanta, Georgia, native Shawn Mullins gave up a military career for songwriting. He began recording in the early 90s and his songs soon found their way into radio and TV read more...

Runnin' Down A Dream

Review of: Peter Bogdanovich

Runnin’ Down A Dream Peter Bogdanovich Warner Brothers By James Calemine Born in Gainesville, Florida, Tom Petty became one of America’s read more...

Little Grey Sheep

Review of: Danny Schmidt

Little Grey Sheep Danny Schmidt Waterbug WBG79 It isn't enough that Danny Schmidt starts out his

Just Us Kids

Review of: James McMurtry

Just Us Kids James McMurtry Lightning Rod Records By James Calemine Austin, Texas, musician James McMurtry’s new CD--Just Us Kids--proves an uncompromising collection of 12 songs. Years ago, McMurtry read more...


Review of: A. J. Roach

A.J. Roach Revelation Waterbug Records Some guys have roots and some guys have roots. A.J. Roach has roots growing out of the bottoms of his feet. Make no mistake, Roach is not tied to the roots, but he lives and breathes read more...

Do What's Right

Review of: Jack Pearson

(Candlefly) jackpearson.com Jack Pearson is one of our greatest living guitar players. Like many others, I fondly recall the brief tenure he enjoyed as a member of The Allman Brothers Band, and the bootlegs of read more...


Review of: William Friedkin

Bug William Friedkin Lionsgate By James Calemine Kentucky girl Ashley Judd was recently nominated for a Saturn Award for this film. Judd plays a lonely read more...

Trucker Tracks Vol. 1

Review of: Various Artists

(Spec Records) There are thirteen tracks on Trucker Tracks, filled with some genuine houserockin’ Southern Rock and Outlaw country songs, all about that special breed of individual read more...

Honey Songs

Review of: Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players

Honey Songs Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players Yep Roc Records By James Calemine North Carolina native Jim Lauderdale's new CD, Honey Songs, contains various read more...

Street Survivors - Deluxe Edition

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Street Survivors - Deluxe Edition 30th Anniversary (Geffen/UMe) Mere days after the release of Street Survivors in 1977, the Freebird fell to the ground, silencing one of Southern Rock’s finest voices in Ronnie Van Zant. read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

Warpaint The Black Crowes Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Warpaint represents Atlanta, Georgia’s, The Black Crowes’ seventh studio album. Seven years have elapsed since the Crowes recorded an album of read more...

Dog Eat Dog World

Review of: Chris Hicks

Chris Hicks has paid his dues and more. First, as lead guitarist and vocalist for Loose Change, a band that caught the ear of music mogul Alan Walden, who maintains even today that Hicks is the “best undiscovered artist of our time.” Then Hicks was hired to play read more...


Review of: Gary Louris

Vagabonds Gary Louris Rykodisc By James Calemine Gary Louris, co-founder of the Jayhawks, proves songwriting remains his strength. Louris, an outstanding guitarist, concentrates on the flowing word grams of his lyrics amid this read more...

Brothers of the Southland

Review of: Brothers of the Southland

Brothers of The Southland is one of the best of the plethora of “all star” bands playing today, and their debut CD is a sheer joy from beginning to end. This is the kind of music that gets me downright excited. Maybe that’s why I named it as the best Southern Rock read more...

Gileah & the Ghost Train

Review of: Gileah & the Ghost Train

GILEAH & THE GHOST TRAIN Gileah & the Ghost Train The Love Library TLL-100 Gileah is a talent of many faces (and phases) . A music-driven Gileah Taylor first forayed into songwriting and recording with a collection of children's songs, read more...

Margie Joseph

Review of: Margie Joseph

Margie Joseph Margie Joseph Collector’s Choice Music By James Calemine This 1973 Atlantic Records self-titled debut brought high expectations of Margie Joseph, a Mississippi native whose voice reminded folks of her Atlantic read more...

A Long Way from Tupelo

Review of: Paul Thorn

(Perpetual Obscurity) Paul Thorn hails from Tupelo, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta country. A former pro-middleweight boxer, Thorn is a talented painter and a roots rocker who has toured with some of the top names in country and rock. His new read more...


Review of: William Tonks

Catch William Tonks Ghostmeat Records By James Calemine  Recorded within a year at David Barbe's Chase Park Transductions Studio in Athens, read more...

Solos, Sessions and Encores

Review of: Stevie Ray Vaughan

(Epic/Legacy) When Stevie Ray Vaughan died in 1990, the world of Southern blues and rock and roll was dealt a devastating blow. We had lost another great in his prime, and the wounds we all felt left scars that remain unhealed eighteen years later. Thankfully, Stevie read more...

A New Kind of Blues

Review of: Delaney Bramlett

(Magnolia Gold) Delaney Bramlett is nothing less than a musical treasure. Now into his fifth decade as a musician, writer, producer and all around music mogul, Delaney sounds just as good as ever. A New Kind of Blues is his latest masterpiece, a collection of eleven read more...


Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

(Rockin' Camel) With the music business in a state of flux, it is indeed refreshing to come across an artist who isn’t struggling to reinvent herself daily to fit a fleeting slot that may not exist in a week’s time. The new offering from Bonnie Bramlett, read more...


Review of: Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel

(www.bobbywhitlock.com) Joined by a stellar group of musicians, music icon, Bobby Whitlock and wife, CoCo Carmel, have released a new CD, appropriately titled “Lovers” for Valentine’s Day. The ten tracks, recorded and produced mostly in Austin, TX chronicle read more...

Free Somehow

Review of: Widespread Panic

Free Somehow Widespread Panic Widespread Records By James Calemine The Athens, Georgia, band

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(New West) Athens, Georgia's Drive-By Truckers are the undisputed torch bearers of Southern Rock in the 21st century. They are as Dixie Fried as  Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker or the Allman Brothers. They blend all of their influences from Southern rock, country, folk, punk read more...


Review of: Caroline Herring

Caroline Herring Lantana Signature Sounds SIG-2010 Caroline Herring knows exactly who she is, though her view of her world shifts like dunes in a windstorm. Wife, mother, musician, philosopher and poet live inside her, and probably a handful of other read more...

Change in the Weather

Review of: The Dust Devils

(Little Train) On their new release, Texas country rockers The Dust Devils com out of the chute with a pure Austin-style country title track, with Barbara Malteze giving 110 percent as she always does. If the rocker “Looking for Pearl” was my favorite cut read more...

Volume One

Review of: Johnny Neel & The Criminal Element

(Breakin’ Records) Johnny Neel is one funky white boy. He pours the funk on heavy with the opening track, “Toasted.” It’s Tower of Power meets Edgar Winter’s White Trash, with a little George Clinton tossed in for good measure. The band read more...

Just A Little Lovin'

Review of: Shelby Lynne

After an early career spent bucking against the Nashville system, Alabamian Shelby Lynne has emerged as one of our Footprint's significant artists.  Her latest, Just A Little Lovin', displays the vistas of her imagination and the strength of her read more...

Outlaws & Renegades

Review of: Galloway & Kelliher

In my line of work I get to hear some pretty awesome Southern rock and country music. Sometimes I get blown away by the artist and musicianship, other times it’s the songwriting that draws me in. It’s rare to see a performer that brings it all to the table, but Galloway read more...

The Trailer Tapes

Review of: Chris Knight

(Drifter's Church 0010) Some albums are just meant to be heard. Chris Knight recorded 'The Trailer Tapes” in 1996 more to put the songs he'd written on tape than for release, but some songs are just not made to stay in the can. Last year, co-producers read more...

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Review of: Drive By Truckers

Brighter Than Creation’s Dark Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine                  “Trying to hold steady on the righteous read more...


Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

Hernando North Mississippi Allstars Songs of the South By James Calemine Hernando is the town in Mississippi where legendary producer Jim Dickinson read more...

Darius Goes West

Review of: Logan Smalley

“Something’s gonna happen like…Just spark the whole world,” exclaims Darius, the star of the award-winning independent documentary feature film Darius Goes West (DGW), 2007. read more...

Frankie Ray

Review of: Jonathan Wilson

Frankie Ray Jonathan Wilson Pretty And Black By James Calemine North Carolina native Jonathan Wilson's Frankie Ray contains the work of a talented songwriter. These quiet songs evoke a subterranean sound. Astral lyrics painted around read more...

Conversations With Tom Petty

Review of: Paul Zollo

Conversations With Tom Petty Paul Zollo Omnibus Press By James Calemine Tom Petty writes in the foreword of this book about writer Paul Zollo: “We met many times in 2004 to 2005 for talks that came to necessitate my read more...

Pride and Joy (DVD)

Review of: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

(Epic Legacy) Released just after his death, Pride and Joy was a must-have VHS compilation of Stevie’s music videos shot between 1983 and 1989, including “Cold Shot,” “Lovestruck Baby,” “Superstition” and others. Of read more...

Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Review of: Arthur Alexander

(Hacktone) In 1993 Arthur Alexander cut one of the most important records of his career, Lonely Just Like Me.  Thirty years earlier he had written songs that inspired The Beatles ("Anna"), Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and read more...

Review of: John Hammond

(Raven) Blues man John Hammond has recorded some fine albums during his long and varied career, including the Muscle Shoals inspired Southern Fried, but the two included on this CD are two of his very best. Source Point, produced by read more...

Death Proof

Review of: Quentin Tarantino

Death Proof Quentin Tarantino Genius Productions By James Calemine Quentin Tarantino always gives a nod to the south in his films. Most folks are aware of Knoxville-native Tarantino films such as True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, read more...

Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T.

Review of: Tom T. Hall

Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T. Tom T. Hall Blue Circle Records By James Calemine These days Tom T. Hall lays relatively low. Known as a top-drawer songwriter and storyteller, Hall's latest release Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie read more...

How Low Can You Go?

Review of: Anthology of the String Bass

How Low Can You Go? Anthology of the String Bass Various Artists Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This 3 CD set explores the earliest recorded history of the string bass. These recordings include a scope of symphony read more...

Desperate Man Blues

Review of: Joe Bussard

Desperate Man Blues: Discovering The Roots of American Music The Story of Joe Bussard Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine Desperate Man Blues tells the story of Fonotone read more...

I Belong To This Band

Review of: Sacred Harp Recordings

I Belong To This Band: Eighty-Five Years of Sacred Harp Recordings Various Artists Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This 30-song collection serves as a companion to the film Awake, My Soul: The Story of Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp Singing read more...

Blues Sweet Blues

Review of: Music Maker Relief Foundation

Blues Sweet Blues Various Music Maker Artists Music Maker Series #91 & #92 By James Calemine Most of these songs (recorded from 1994-2006) on Blues Sweet Blues can be heard for the first time. Only Music Maker's stellar read more...

Dirt Farmer

Review of: Levon Helm

Dirt Farmer Levon Helm Dirt Farmer/Vanguard Music By James Calemine Turkey Scratch, Arkansas native, Levon Helm’s voice epitomizes the American music storyteller. Of course, Helm sang some of

Spokesman For The Shoeless

Review of: Cydney Robinson

Spokesman for the Shoeless CYDNEY ROBINSON B'Dangit Records She calls what she does alternative mountain music and there is something in the presentation or the music or her voice that makes you believe it. She could be from the Appalachians or read more...

The Woodstock Album

Review of: Muddy Waters

The Woodstock Album Muddy Waters Chess/MCA Records By James Calemine Recorded in two days at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York, during February 1975, this album marked Muddy Waters' last session for Chess Records after 27 years of read more...

Live At the Avalon Ballroom 1969

Review of: Gram Parsons With The Flying Burrito Brothers

Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969 Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers Amoeba Records By James Calemine If you're reading this review, chances are you've heard of

Live From Austin, Texas

Review of: Doug Sahm

Live From Austin, Texas Doug Sahm New West Records By James Calemine This essential CD/DVD retains the glory of Sir Doug Sahm. Born November 6, 1941, in San Antonio, Texas, Sahm--a guitar prodigy (and superb fiddler)--was invited to join The read more...

Song of America

Review of: Various Artists

Song of America Various Artists 31 Tigers Records By James Calemine This 50-song, 3 CD collection tells the story of America through songs from the year 1492 through modern times. Song of America contains a diverse line-up of artists read more...

Blues From The Gutter

Review of: Champion Jack Dupree

Blues From The Gutter Champion Jack Dupree Atlantic Records By James Calemine ...One from the vaults... Orphaned at an early age, Champion Jack Dupree grew up in New Orleans. Dupree spent most of his time in the mean streets and music joints read more...

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding

Review of: Otis Redding

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding Otis Redding STAX Records By James Calemine Dreams To Remember emerges as the first full-length Otis Redding DVD. December 10, 2007, represents the 40th Anniversary of Redding's death. This read more...

Raising Sand

Review of: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant

(Rounder) I have seen many unlikely duos in music over the past say, 20 years, but none more unlikely than the front man for Led Zeppelin pairing with the angelic bluegrass singer. It’s one of those situations where magic just seemed to happen without read more...

Beautiful Door

Review of: Billy Bob Thornton

(New Door/Universal) Billy Bob Thornton is the real deal. His music and songwriting are just as special to me as his movies, and the new record may just be his best yet.

I Don't Want No Trouble

Review of: Don Nix

I Don't Want No Trouble Don Nix Section Eight Productions By James Calemine Songwriter Don Nix's latest CD, I Don't Want No Trouble, should attract a wide audience of music fans. Nix, an obscure music hero, helped create 'The Memphis read more...


Review of: Ryan Bingham

Mescalito Ryan Bingham Lost Highway By James Calemine This CD ranks as one of the best releases in 2007. Recorded at Compound Studios in California, Ryan Bingham's Mescalito proves this young man is a musical force. Ex-

Killers From Space

Review of: James Luther Dickinson

Killers From Space James Luther Dickinson Memphis International Records By James Calemine Recorded at Zebra Ranch in Independence, Mississippi, during February and March of 2007, Killers From Space marks another interesting release by read more...

The Scene of the Crime

Review of: Bettye LaVette

  Bettye LaVette The Scene of the Crime Anti

The Bluegrass Sessions

Review of: Merle Haggard

The Bluegrass Sessions Merle Haggard McCoury Music By James Calemine Merle Haggard's new release, The Bluegrass Sessions, upholds his reputation as one of America's finest musicians. After 40 years, Haggard continues to record read more...

Coltrane:The Story of a Sound

Review of: Ben Ratliff

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound Ben Ratliff FSG Books By James Calemine Ben Ratliff wastes no words in this book of John Coltrane's life. Instead, Ratliff chooses to write read more...

Live at the Bohemian Caverns

Review of: Carla Thomas

Live at the Bohemian Caverns Carla Thomas Stax Records By James Calemine Recorded live at the Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 1967, this new Carla Thomas CD serves as timeless testimony to her golden voice. Carla Thomas, daughter read more...

Never Say Die - The Final Concert Film

Review of: Waylon Jennings & The Waymore Blues Band

(Legacy) Waylon Jennings was one of my all time favorite country singers, along with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and David Allan Coe. I remember when Waylon died, my heart just sank. What an entertainer he was. If there was ever any doubt, all you have to do is listen to the read more...

Camp Meeting

Review of: Bruce Hornsby

(Legacy) Virginia boy Bruce Hornsby can do it all. He has given us Top 40 pop classics like “Mandolin Rain” and “The Way it Is.”He has performed as a member of The Grateful Dead. He has worked with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, horn man Branford read more...

Live From Iraq

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Blue Hat/Koch) The CDB put every bit of their heart and soul into these performance, recorded during various shows for American troops in Iraq. It’s an amazing, high energy show with Charlie firing the guys and girls up with his patriotic anthem “In read more...

Under The Influence of Buck

Review of: The Derailers

(Palo Duro) The Derailers are one hot band. Brian Hofeldt, Ed Adkins, Scott Matthews, Sweet Basil McJagger and Chris Schlotzhauer are some rockin’ Texans. On their new CD, the guys pay tribute to the late great Buck Owens, and they do it right. read more...

Billy Bob Thornton Rocks Myrtle Beach

Review of: Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton The Fabulous Boxmasters House of Blues North Myrtle Beach, SC August 16, 2007 Not only is Billy Bob Thornton my favorite read more...

Ex Tempore

Review of: Johnny Irion

(Rte 8 Records) The very first thought that ran through my mind the first time I played the new Johnny Irion CD was, “This guy reminds me of Neil Young.” Now let me be very clear, that is a good thing in my book. I had honestly never read more...

Clear Blue Flame

Review of: Delta Moon

(Jumping Jack Records) Whether playing the slide-guitar laced smooth groove of “Cool Your Jets” or the moonshine soaked title track, “Clear Blue Flame, “ Delta Moon continue to prove themselves as one of the very best of the newer Southern read more...

Review of: Steep Canyon Rangers

(Rebel Records) The Steep Canyon Rangers are one of the finest bluegrass bands playing today. They have already won the IBMA’s “Emerging Artist” award and are just beginning a career that is sure to keep them at the top of the read more...

Angel In Disguise

Review of: Leon Russell

Angel In Disguise Leon Russell MRI Records By James Calemine Angel In Disguise contains 11 new Leon Russell songs. Russell's prodigious discography proves his influence and talent read more...

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

Review of: Ahmet Ertegun

(Atlantic DVD) Let me tell you a story. According to The Rolling Stones and Led Zappelin, that is the way Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun began his conversations, almost every time. When Ahmet was 14, he read more...

My December

Review of: Kelly Clarkson

(RCA) The original "American Idol: is back with a rocking new album that is sure to please her gazillion fans worldwide. The young Texan delivers a "one-two" punch with her current single, "Never Again," a ticked-off break up read more...

Bobby Bare Sings Lullaby's, Legends, and Lies

Review of: Bobby Bare

(Legacy) This classic double-album has been given the remaster treatment for it's CD debut. This is a truly wonderful release from Bare, featuring songs written by the late Shel Silverstein. Excellent songs include "Marie Laveau," a spooky song read more...

Black Snake Moan

Review of: Craig Brewer

Black Snake Moan Craig Brewer-Director Paramount Vantage By James read more...

Come Early Morning

Review of: Joey Lauren Adams

Come Early Morning Joey Lauren Adams-Director The Weinstein Company

I Will Obey

Review of: Jo Jo Billingsley

(jojobillingsley.com) JoJo Billingsley, best known as one of Ronnie Van Zant's three "Honkettes" during Lynyrd Skynyrd's peak popularity, is delivering a new kind of message these days. A message read more...

Sirens Of The Ditch

Review of: Jason Isbell

(New West Records) Recorded several years ago at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Sirens of the Ditch represents ex- Drive By Truckers Jason Isbell’s first solo CD. Mixed read more...

Brothers Of A Feather

Review of: Chris & Rich Robinson

Brothers Of A Feather Chris & Rich Robinson Eagle Records By James Calemine    Recorded in April 2006, during a break from the Black Crowes tour, Atlanta’s Chris and Rich Robinson showcase 14 songs on Brothers Of A read more...

Living Dangerously

Review of: TGZ

(King Mojo) TGZ stands for Toler, Gary and Zinner, namely “Dangerous” Dan Toler, formerly of The Allman Brothers Band and more recently Dickey Betts and Great Southern; Ron Gary, the piano wizard who plays with Webster Young and Tom Browne; and Matt read more...


Review of: Jason Aldean

(Broken Bow) Georgia boy Jason Aldean, the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist for 2006, is back with a brilliant second release that features several tunes co-written with John Rich. Aldean is once again produced by Michael Knox. Jason read more...

On My Way to You

Review of: Daniel Lee Martin

Florida export Daniel Lee Martin is different. He fits into the mold of the Nashville country formula, but at the same time, he has a uniqueness that sets him apart from the flavor of the moment. It’s his personality. Ask anyone who has met him. I have, down read more...

Build Your Own Fire

Review of: Jimmy Hall & The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Collective

(Zoho Roots) Jimmy Hall is one of the finest singers working today. I don’t say that just because he is the Southern fried lead vocalist of Wet Willie, or because he has recorded with everyone from Bonnie Bramlett to Jeff Beck. I say it because it is the read more...

Coast to Coast

Review of: Winters Brothers Band

(South Star Records) The Winters Brothers Band’s 1978 album Coast to Coast is now available on CD, and includes bonus acoustic tracks and much more. The album, originally recorded at Capricorn Studios during the hey day of Southern Rock was read more...

Red Dirt Marijuana & Other Tastes

Review of: Terry Southern

Red Dirt Marijuana & Other Tastes Terry Southern Citadel Underground By read more...

To Live's To Fly

Review of: John Kruth

To Live’s To Fly: The Ballad of The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt John Kruth

The Very Best of Little Texas: Live and Loud

Review of: Little Texas

Country rockers Little Texas turn out a fine concert recording that not only read more...

A Love Supreme

Review of: John Coltrane

A Love Supreme John Coltrane Impulse By James Calemine Born September read more...

The Complete Recordings

Review of: Robert Johnson

The Complete Recordings Robert Johnson Columbia Records By James read more...

40 Greatest Hits

Review of: Hank Williams

40 Greatest Hits Hank Williams Polydor By James

Straight No Chaser

Review of: Thelonious Monk

Straight No Chaser Thelonious Monk Warner Brothers DVD By James read more...

Dislocation Blues

Review of: Chris Whitley & Jeff Lang

Recorded in Sydney, Australia, eight months before the Texas guitarist Chris Whitley died of lung cancer at 45, Dislocation Blues marks Whitley’s final studio album. These 13 spooky read more...

The Point

Review of: Tishamingo

(Magnatude Records) One of Athens, Georgia’s rockingest ensembles,Tishamingo is back with their third release, The Point, produced by John Kerzweg (Creed, Jewel, Puddle of Mudd). Tishamingo is an outstanding example of what I call the read more...


Review of: Thelonious Monk

Criss-Cross Thelonious Monk Columbia Records By James Calemine Born October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Thelonious Monk's family soon moved to New York City. Monk worked as a professional musician since his early teens as an organ player read more...

Atlanta Twelve String

Review of: Blind Willie McTell

Atlanta Twelve String Blind Willie McTell Atlantic Records By James Calemine Perhaps the most gifted of all blues artists, Blind Willie McTell ranks as a seminal figure in American music. Born in Thomson, Georgia, in May of 1898 (some say 1901); McTell's read more...

An All-Star Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd

Review of: Various Artists

(New West) No other band has been milked for all it’s worth more than Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’m not being cruel, just honest. The new All Star Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd is the latest album to capitalize on the legacy Ronnie Van Zant left behind following his read more...


Review of: Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Trubadours

(DPR Records) I have really been having fun listening to this one, Trailercana, the new release from Antsy McLain and The Trailer Park Troubadours. It’s kind of like a country-fried Barenaked Ladies, with witty southern lyrics and infectious hummable melody read more...

Rich Someday

Review of: Randall Bramblett

I was first introduced to Randall Bramblett during his days with Sea Level, and his prowess on sax, vocals and keyboards have only grown throughout the years. His current band is super funky, as witnessed during their set for the Big House Foundation gala a few months back. read more...

Ultimate Gospel

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Columbia Legacy) I have been a Johnny Cash fan my entire life. Seriously. Ever since my dad turned me onto his old 78 RPM records like “The Wreck of The Old 97” and of course “Folsom Prison Blues,” I have loved the man's work. Cash was read more...

The Lost Crowes

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Lost Crowes The Black Crowes Rhino Entertainment Company By James Calemine The Lost Crowes comprises two Black Crowes recording sessions that remained buried a decade before their release. The first CD, Tall—an old read more...

AKA Grafitti Man

Review of: John Trudell

AKA Grafitti Man John Trudell Rykodisc Records By James Calemine John Trudell, a Native-American poet, recorded this classic spoken word CD twice. Trudell formed the Grafitti Band with Oklahoma Native-American guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. Davis read more...

Breakin' it Up, Breakin' it Down

Review of: Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter & James Cotton

(Epic Legacy) If I had to describe Breakin’ it Up, Breakin’ it Down in two words, I’d simply call it “buried treasure.” This full length live set, available here for the first time, was recorded during three shows back in 1977 following read more...

Stax Records 50th Anniversary Celebration

Review of: Stax Records

Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration Concord Music Group By James Calemine This 50 song, 2 CD boxset stands as the most comprehensive Stax collection ever. Concord Music Group has released various classic Stax CDs and prepares to release other recordings. Stax read more...

Dear Y'all - The Songwriter Sessions Vol. 1

Review of: Eddie Hinton

Dear Y'all: The Songwriting Sessions Vol 1 Eddie Hinton Zane Records By James Calemine Eddie Hinton died in 1995 at the age of 51. When Hinton served as the session guitarist at Muscle Shoals read more...

Georgia Drumbeat

Review of: James Davis

Georgia Drumbeat James Davis Music Maker Relief Foundation By James Calemine Born in 1931, James Davis grew up on a farm in Perry, Georgia, located in rural Houston County, near Macon. He began playing guitar as a child. His sister is the read more...

Get Your House In Order

Review of: Mudcat

Mudcat  Get Your House In Order 30 Miles Up By James Calemine Music Maker trustee Mudcat recorded 16 songs with no overdubs in September 2006 at Zero Return Studios in Atlanta. Ten of the compositions are originals. Several of the other tunes were read more...

Live At The Summit Club

Review of: Johnnie Taylor

Johnny Taylor Live At The Summit Club Stax Records R & B great Johnny Taylor existed on the classic Stax/Volt roster. Born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, in 1938, Taylor began performing in Memphis after honing his vocal skills in gospel read more...

Sound Grammar

Review of: Ornette Coleman

  Sound Grammar Ornette Coleman Born on March 9, 1930, in Fort Worth, Texas, Ornette Coleman remains one of America's greatest living jazzmen. With musical influence steeped in R & B, Coleman began playing saxophone at an early age. read more...

New Lease On Life

Review of: William Bell

New Lease On Life William Bell Wilbe Records William Bell's music epitomizes the classic Stax/Volt sound. With Stax Records, Bell joined other musicians like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, Issac Hayes, read more...

The Queen Alone

Review of: Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas The Queen Alone Stax Records By James Calemine Carla Thomas--the great Rufus Thomas' daughter--experienced a first rate musical experience growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. The angelic Thomas was later dubbed the Queen of Soul and Stax read more...

Swig From the Acid Bottle

Review of: Three Five Human

Three Five Human Swig From the Acid Bottle By James Calemine Three Five Human ranks as a formidable rock and roll group. The Atlanta band's third CD, Swig From the Acid Bottle, contains various jewels that may propel them into mainstream exposure. The read more...

The Next Adventure

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band revives the old school “brotherhood” on their latest album, The Next Adventure, bringing in family and friends to help out in the grandest tradition established back in the 1970’s Capricorn Records era. The core band is read more...


Review of: The Avett Brothers

(Ramseur Records) After a measured path of artistic progression (4 studio records, 2 live records, and a few EPs), Emotionalism stands as the Avett Brothers breakthrough record.  It read more...

Some People Change

Review of: Montgomery Gentry

With their latest release, Some People Change, Montgomery Gentry goes far beyond their past efforts, bringing a new level of maturity into play that was foreshadowed on their last album, My Town. Make no mistake, the boys are not even thinking of hanging up their read more...

Portraits and Songs From the Roots of America

Review of: Various Artists

Enclosed within the new Music Maker book titled Portraits and Songs From the Roots of America rests a CD featuring 22 different Music Maker artists. This collection reveals some of the country’s most neglected Southern musicians who remain pioneers and vital sources read more...

Fruit Tramp Ballads of the Great Northwest

Review of: Dave McGrew

Dave McGrew’s Fruit Tramp Ballads of the Great Northwest preserves a testimony to those hardworking folks who may never experience the elusive “American Dream”. Taj Mahal (bass, mandolin, harp), Cool John Ferguson (guitar, piano), and Tim Duffy assist read more...

Follow Your Heart's Desire

Review of: Pura Fe

Pura Fe is her birth name. In Spanish it translates, “Pure Faith”. Born in 1959, Pura Fe was named by her Puerto Rican father, and raised by her Tuscarora mother in a family of female singers. “We can count four generations of seven singing sisters in a row, read more...

David Allan Coe - The Handlebar, Greenville, S.C.

Review of: David Allan Coe

DAVID ALLAN COE The Handlebar, Greenville, SC July 22, 2006 David Allan Coe took over that audience so fast it would make your head spin, and played a simply amazing show, opening with “Statesborro Blues,” and doing one read more...

The Marshall Tucker Band, Voodoo Lounge, Riverside

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND THE RAVERS Voodoo Lounge, Riverside, California November 18, 2006 To start off, the evening of Saturday, November 18, 2006 in a Southern California town named Riverside, CA, the Marshall Tucker Band took the "Long read more...

Toot Blues

Review of: Guitar Gabriel

Guitar Gabriel’s Toot Blues originally existed as a cassette in 1991. That same year, Tim Duffy discovered Gabe, one of the original Music Maker recipients, who served as a cornerstone to the organization’s provenance. Gabe died in 1996 just as read more...

The Feelings Of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

Review of: Beverley "Guitar" Watkins

Recorded at Cleantracks Studio in Vinemont, Alabama, these ten songs illustrate the true guitar mastery of Beverly Watkins. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 6, 1939, Watkins played guitar for the legendary Piano Red when she was a teenager. This new release read more...

Chicken Raid

Review of: Frank Edwards

The quiet droning sound of Frank Edwards’ Chicken Raid resembles a blues mantra from a man who dedicated his 90-year old life to music. Edwards actively played the blues for nearly 80 years, from 1923 until 2002. Frank Edwards ranks as one of Atlanta’s greatest read more...

Etta Baker with Taj Mahal

Review of: Etta Baker

Etta Baker was born in 1913 amid the hills of Morganton, North Carolina. She began playing guitar at age four. Baker remains the premiere female Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist in the country. Taj Mahal, tireless Music Maker consultant, elucidated on read more...

High Steppin' Mama

Review of: Clyde Langford

Clyde Langford learned guitar from Texas blues great Sam “Lightning” Hopkins’ older brother Joe “Thunder” Hopkins. Born in Centralville, Texas, Langford worked in cotton fields, joined the Army, and dug wells for a living, but never stopped playing read more...

Raw Sugar

Review of: Cootie Stark

Raw Sugar provides 71 minutes of old-time music enhanced by a warm, clear sound quality. Cootie Stark, a Greenville, South Carolina native, survives as one of the last authentic Piedmont blues guitarist/singer alive. Stark played on the streets of Knoxville, Greensboro, read more...

Born In Newton County

Review of: Cora Mae Bryant

Cora Mae Bryant is the daughter of Georgia guitar legend Curly Weaver. She grew up on the countryside outside Atlanta. As a girl, Cora Mae attended house parties with Curly Weaver and Blind Willie McTell. On Cora’s latest soulful release, Born in Newton read more...

Edgar Winter Group - Live at The Galaxy

Review of: Edgar Winter

Edgar Winter Group Live At The Galaxy (Classic Pictures) Edgar Winter’s rockin’ just as hard these days as he did back in 1973, and his new group sounds great. Yeah, I will always have fond memories of White Trash read more...

Southern Rock Allstars - Trouble's Comin' Live, Th

Review of: Southern Rock Allstars

Southern Rock Allstars Trouble’s Comin’ Live- The DVD (Tazer) For the many of us who have been waiting for so long to see this release, allow me to say, the wait was well worth it. Here we get the very best of The read more...

The Black Crowes - Freak 'N' Roll...Into The Fog

Review of: Black Crowes

The Black Crowes Freak’N’Roll ...Into The Fog The Black Crowes All Join Hands The Fillmore, San Francisco (Eagle Vision) Damn, it’s good to see Rich and Chris Robinson together again. This show, recorded during their read more...

Gram Parsons - Fallen Angel

Review of: Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons Fallen Angel A Film By Gandulf Hennig (Rhino) Gram Parsons was one of a kind, a pretty-boy with a trust fund and a whole lot of musical genius. He brought country music into the Byrds, performed with Paul Suratt in the read more...

Open Casket

Review of: Minton Sparks

Minton Sparks Open Casket (Ruckus Films) Minton Sparks is a wonderful storyteller. Her tales are true to life, southern fried stories made into free form poetry, set to a bed of music by John Jackson, Steve Conn, Pat FLynn read more...

A Salute to Hee Haw - Collector's Edition

Review of:

A Salute To Hee Haw Collector’s Edition (Time Life) This 5-disc DVD is jam packed with all the downright corny jokes and excellent musical performances that made Hee Haw a multi-generational success story. Hosted read more...

Robert Earl Keen - Live At The Ryman

Review of: Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen Live At The Ryman (Koch) The Ryman Auditorium is the best sounding music venue in the world. No wonder everyone wants to play there. Pair up that venue with the superior talent of singer-songwriter Rovert Earl Keen, read more...

Old Union & Mile 8 - October 29, 2005 EXIT/IN

Review of: Old Union

Old Union and Mile 8 October 29, 2005 EXIT/IN When two of Nashville’s favorite bands decided to stage the ultimate Halloween jam band concert, no one knew just how great the show would go down and what a fantastic DVD would come read more...

Country Music Changed My Life

Review of:

Country Music Changed My Life by Ken Burke (Chicago Review Press) My first exposure to Ken Burke was through his writings in Goldmine Magazine. His articles and reviews were always well written, and when Country Music read more...

Sing My Way Home: Voices of the New American Roots

Review of:

Sing My Way Home Voices of the New American Roots Rock by Keith and Kent Zimmerman (Backbeat Books) The Zimmerman brothers have really done their homework, and our libraries are just a little bit richer because of it. read more...

Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver

Review of: Billy Joe Shaver

Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver (University of Texas Press) Billy Joe Shaver had lead a very interesting life, to say the least. We have all been privy to certain chapters of the Texas singer/songwriter’s life by read more...

No Saints, No Saviors

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

No Saints, No Saviors My Years With The Allman Brothers Band by Willie Perkins (Mercer University Press) Between the years of 1970 and 1989, Willie Perkins worked for the Allman Brother’s Band and as read more...

Between Rock And A Hard Place: Chuck Leavell

Review of: Chuck Leavell

Between Rock And A Hard Place Chuck Leavell with J. Marshall Craig (Mercer University Press) Chuck Leavell is a musician that has been around to see a lot of music history, and has been a big part of music history. In his new read more...

Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams

Review of: Hank Williams

Lovesick Blues: The Life Of Hank Williams by Paul Hemphill (Viking) So much has been written about Hank Williams Sr., arguably the greatest figure in country music, that it comes as a shock to find that a biography could be produced read more...

The Unsolved Murder of Lynyrd Skynyrd Bassist Leon

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

The Unsolved Murder of Lynyrd Skynyrd Bassist Leon Wilkeson by Dale Bowman (Jaguar Publishing) When Leon Wilkeson was found dead in a Florida hotel back in 2001, the world not only lost a great bassist, but a totally unique, kind read more...

Rock 'N Blues Stew

Review of:

Rock 'N Blues Stew by Mitchell D. Lopate (Authorhouse) In his debut book, Gritz contributing writer Mitch Lopate collects many of his interviews, reviews, thoughts, essays, and commentaries into one fine volume. Many read more...

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

Skydog The Duane Allman Story by Randy Poe (Backbeat Books) I have been waiting on this book for years, and to coin a cliche, it was well worth the wait. Randy Poe has gone deep, digging through source material with read more...

Louisiana Truckstop

Review of: Barbara Cue

Barbara Cue contains an abundance of talent. This all-star Athens, Georgia, line-up has crafted a timeless Americana banquet on Louisiana Truckstop. Todd Nance and William Tonks shared a common passion for NRBQ (whom Barbara Cue opened an Athens show for last year) and soon read more...

To Tulsa and Back

Review of: JJ Cale

To Tulsa and Back serves as J.J. Cale’s first studio album in eight years. Cale returned to Tulsa, his hometown, and recruited some old friends to play on the record. It’s common knowledge that Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, the read more...

Another Joyous Occasion

Review of: Widespread Panic

“Four train days get me back to New Orleans,” are the opening lines on Widespread Panic’s new live release, Another Joyous Occasion. The eleven song recording is Panic’s debut read more...

Electric Blue Watermelon

Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

The Dickinson Brothers pay homage to their Hill Country brethren and Memphis musical kin on Electric Blue Watermelon. The album was produced by their father Jim Dickinson. Luther and Cody rise to the read more...

Perfect Day

Review of: Chris Whitley

Chris Whitley stands as a real troubadour. Perfect Day, Whitley’s sixth CD, is a collection of cover songs. Whitley manages to elude crippling industry labels by never staying in one place too read more...

Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Review of: The Byrds

The Byrds’ classic country record, 1968’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo, has been reissued with unreleased Gram Parsons vocal tracks. This new two-CD release proves worth the price for just the read more...

Smiling Assassin

Review of: John Hermann

John “JoJo” Hermann’s new record, Smiling Assassin, consists of eleven country-hearted blues songs, and includes an all-star musical cast. Hermann, the Widespread Panic read more...


Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Koch) I could not have imagined a better DVD from our old friends The Charlie Daniels Band. In this, their first ever concert DVD, we get a full length, absolutely smoking live set from Charlie Daniels, Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, Charlie Hayward, Bruce read more...

Live From Austin, Texas Cash, Hiatt, Yoakam, & Tex

Review of: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash John Hiatt Eric Johnson Dwight Yoakam Texas Tornados Live From Austin Texas - (New West) With the latest installment of DVD’s and CD’s culled from the archives of the read more...

Back Where It All Begins

Review of: Dickey Betts & Great Southern

Back Where It All Begins - Live At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum (Eaglevision) Like many, I was really and truly bummed out a few years ago when Dickey Betts left the Allman Brothers Band. I just knew it would read more...

The Man, His World, His Music

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Sanctuary) Watching this DVD is a little like looking at home movies. Actually, a lot of it is old home movies. And the fact that many of us children of the sixties and seventies felt like Johnny Cash was a part of our family, causes it all to make sense. read more...

The Legends, Live in 1971

Review of: Ike & Tina Turner

Ike and Tina Turner The Legends - Live in 1971 (Eagle Vision) Red hot, smokin’, funky, get down, Soul Train, sexy, sweaty, rhythm and blues soul, delivered by the masters. Filmed at the pinnacle read more...

Live From The Garden State

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Live From The Garden State 1981 (Shout! Factory) During it’s very first year on television, MTV brought us real music, everything from punk to new wave, pop to Southern rock. It was during that read more...

Tom Dowd & The Language of Music

Review of: Tom Dowd

(Palm Pictures) thelanguageofmusic.com The documentary Rolling Stone calls “brilliant” and rock critic Dave Marsh cites as “ a truly beautiful picture,” pays read more...

All Star Bluegrass Celebration

Review of: Various Artists

(Sugar Hill) Both the DVD and the CD of this live show, recorded onstage at the revered Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, are absolutely indispensable to any lover of Bluegrass music. I mean, the cream of the crop of today’s pickers are on hand, and the read more...

Heartworn Highways

Review of: Various Artists

(Catfish Entertainment/Snapper Music) In the early 1970’s outlaw country music came onto the scene to clear the air. The mainstream country music ideology of the day was known as the Nashville Sound, but folks like Willie and Waylon chose to do it read more...

John D. Wyker & Eddie Hinton - Johnny Wyker Video

Review of: John D. Wyker & Eddie Hinton

(MFOV) Once in a very blue moon, something crosses my desk that is absolutely, without a doubt, totally unique. Well sir, they don’t come any more unique than my buddy John D. Wyker. But more than just being cool and unique “John Wyker Volume 1” is read more...

Live at The Beacon

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

( Sanctuary) The Allman Brothers Band’s annual spring pilgrimage to New York’s Beacon Theatre has become a rock-n-roll ritual, and in 2003, the band returned again to the Beacon for another series of sold out shows featuring the current lineup of read more...

Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

(Sanctuary) Recorded live in Nashville at the Amsouth Amphitheater in July, 2003, Lyve is an excellent documentation of the highly successful Vicious Cycle tour the band has taken around the world during 2003. The set list features all of the read more...

Alison Krauss and Union Station - Live

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Alison Krauss and Union Station Live (Rounder Records CD/DVD) Alison Krauss and Union Station are on a roll. They have carved out an audience that supports their shows to the tune of sell-out after sell-out. Now, with the read more...

Soldier of the Cross - The Concert

Review of: Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (Skaggs Family) Ricky Skaggs brings his award winning gospel album Soldier Of The Cross to the stage for a rousing, spirit filled, bluegrass fueled set. Along with guest artists The Whites and Jerry read more...

Pieces and Bits

Review of: Johnny Winter

(LLC) The long awaited video compilation produced by Val Minett (with Johnny's manager Teddy Slatus acting as Executive Producer) is now available, and it is nothing short of a beautiful thing. Previously unseen photos of Johnny taken by his wife Susan open read more...

Jammin' For Danny Joe Brown

Review of: Various Artists

(GWP Records) One of the most emotional all-star jams in recent history took place at Orlando, Florida's Club LaVela on July 18, 1999. A benefit to help offset the vast medical expenses of original Molly Hatchet lead singer Danny Joe Brown, the event , read more...

Live At The Atlanta International Pop Festival

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band Live At The Atlanta International Pop Festival (Columbia/Legacy) At the risk of sounding cliche, or even worse, like a fan-boy who lives and breathes in peach hues and mushroom induced hallucinations of grandeur, I just gotta say read more...

Lyve - The Vicious Cycle Tour

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve - The Vicious Cycle Tour (Sanctuary) Lynyrd Skynyrd is riding the wave of a true career resurgence. Not since the days of Ronnie Van Zant has the band been so heavily in the public eye. Last year’s Vicious Cycle was hailed by read more...

Drive Train

Review of: 38 Special

38 Special Drive Train (Sanctuary) This ain’t your father’s 38 Special,kids. 38 get their rocks out on Drive Train in what many are calling their best album ever. Yep, you heard right - ever.

Ghost Train From Georgia

Review of: Grinderswitch

Grinderswitch Ghost Train From Georgia (New South) On their first all-new album in 30 years Dru Lombar and his band turn in an utterly fantastic record. “Dixie Flyer” has already been getting good air play in Europe, and read more...

Under The Influence

Review of: Various Artists

Under The Influence A Jam Band Tribute To Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sanctuary) First came Skynyrd Frynds, with an eclectic mix of country and pop stars covering the Ronnie Van Zant song book - then came Lonesome Skynyrd Time, read more...


Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Anthology (Shout! Factory) As a homeboy fan of The Tucker Boys, I have seen the collected “hits” packaged, repackaged, and repackaged again. Some were winners, some were just more rehashes. But now, read more...

Corn Pickin' and Slick Slidin'

Review of: James Burton and Ralph Mooney

James Burton and Ralph Mooney Corn Pickin’ and Slick Slidin’ Merle Travis and Joe Maphis Country Music’s Two Guitar Greats Speedy West Steel Guitar (Sundazed) It’s no secret read more...

Straight To Hell

Review of: Hank Williams III

Hank III Straight To Hell (Bruc) The grandson of Hank Williams is a true original. He keeps you guessing. One minute, he is crooning a country ballad that would make grandpa proud, and the next minute he is rockin’ out punk read more...

Back To The Well

Review of: Lee Roy Parnell

Lee Roy Parnell Back To The Well (Universal South) Lee Roy Parnell is the mac daddy. He is a guitar player’s guitar player. We love to hear Lee Roy. And on Back To The Well, he dips deep into that cool water, and anyone who’s read more...

Roots, Blues, and Jazz

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett & The Mr. Groove Band

Bonnie Bramlett & The Mr. Groove Band Roots, Blues, and Jazz (ZOHO Music) The legendary Bonnie Bramlett has teamed up with the very excellent Mr.Groove Band for an outstanding recording featuring a couple of original songs and some read more...


Review of: Marshall Chapman

Marshall Chapman Mellowicious (TallGirl) I’ve always felt that Marshall Chapman is a brilliant writer, and I’ve been following her career since her debut album, Me, I’m Feeling Free came out on Epic Records back in the read more...

Rebel Souls

Review of: Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday Rebel Souls (Phoenix) Doc Holliday pays apt tribute to some of their own musical heroes on their latest outing, Rebel Souls, including not only Southern brothers like The Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker and Lynyrd read more...

Out Of The Ashes

Review of: Jessi Colter

Jessi Colter Out Of The Ashes (Shout! Factory) Jessi Colter, widow of the King of Country Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, is back with what can only be called the finest album of her career. Produced by the enigmatic Don Was, read more...


Review of: Delaney and Bonnie

Delaney and Bonnie Home (Stax) For their second album back in 1969, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett found their true “home” among the black musicians at Stax Records. Backed by Booker T. and the MG’s and an read more...

What's Wrong With Right

Review of: Hacienda Brothers

Hacienda Brothers What’s Wrong With Right (Proper) The Hacienda Brothers, led by singer/songwriter Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez, ripped up the charts with their debut album last year, a fantastic “Western Soul” read more...

That's How They Do It In Dixie

Review of: Hank Williams, Jr.

Hank Williams, Jr. That’s How They Do It In Dixie (Curb) Bocephus is back with the ultimate “Greatest Hits” collection, along with a pair of hot new tunes.”Stirrin’ It Up” is typical Hank, Jr., and the read more...

It's Never Too Late

Review of: Donna Hall

Donna Hall It’s Never Too Late (donnahall.net) For those of us who have followed Donna Hall as backup singer for Wet Willie since the early 70’s, this one has been a long time coming. Like the title says, “It’s read more...

Amsterdam Live

Review of: Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy Amsterdam Live (Munich Records) The Big Bill Broonzy boxed set features live performances from two outstanding shows recorded in Amsterdam back in 1953. The songs are supplemented with Bill’s story telling.


Review of: David Kimbrough Jr.

David Kimbrough Jr. Shell-Shocked (Blues Cool Records) David Kimbrough, the son of the late and great North Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough, recorded this album called “Shell-Shocked” less than a week after getting out read more...

29 Dances

Review of: Jan Smith

Jan Smith 29 Dances (Landslide Records) I am always leery when I get CDs in the mail such as Jan Smith’s “29 Dances” - original songwriter I’ve never heard of, singing her own stuff on a small label, with some read more...

The Soul Jazz Sessions

Review of: Moe Denham

Moe Denham The Soul Jazz Sessions (Thortch Recordings ) Back in the day, some of the coolest vinyl recordings that you could find would be by the Hammond B-3 organ artists who would kick it up on the keyboards and totally swing it. read more...

Rebel Meets Rebel

Review of: David Allan Coe & Cowboys From Hell

David Allan Coe & Cowboys From Hell Rebel Meets Rebel (Big Vin Records) Country’s favorite outlaw teams up with his pals from Pantera to rock the freakin’ roof off the house, blending metal and country into something read more...

Goodbye Guitar

Review of: Tony Gilkyson

Tony Gilkyson Goodbye Guitar (Rolling Sea Records) Tony Gilkyson has been there and done that in the music world. His father, Terry Gilkyson, was a songwriter for the Disney Company who wrote well-known songs such as “Memories Are read more...

American Minor

Review of: American Minor

American Minor American Minor (Red Ink) When Rob McCutcheon’s wailing vocals and the twin guitar attack of Bud Carroll and Josh Gragg enter on ‘Walk On’ it’s immediately obvious that you’re about to read more...

Live At Bonnaroo

Review of: Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes Live At Bonnaroo (ATO) Around these parts, we all agree on one thing. Warren Haynes is “da man.” This Asheville, N.C. born musician does it all, and does it well. From his band Gov’t Mule to his position read more...

Billy and the Kid

Review of: Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver Billy and the Kid (Compadre Records) Tinkering with unfinished recordings made by a gifted artist can be a tricky proposition. From the Beatles’ “Free As A Bird” to countless similar efforts (Townes Van Zandt’s A read more...

Kevn Kinney's Sun Tangled Angel Revival

Review of: Kevn Kinney

(Compadre) Singer-songwriter, troubadour, former Drivin’ and Cryin’ front man Kevn Kinney has assembled his own Southern theme album, with help from Gibb Droll, Bryan Howard and Dave Johnson along with Dave Schools, Edwin McCain, and a slew of others, and read more...

Deja Voodoo

Review of: Gov't Mule

Gov’t Mule Deja Voodoo (ATO) The Mule is back! On this, the band’s first release since finding permanent replacements for the late Allen Woody (it takes two to fill the Wood man’s shoes) - Andy Hess on bass and Danny read more...

Lonely Runs Both Ways

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Alison Krauss and Union Station feat; Jerry Douglas Lonely Runs Both Ways (Rounder Records) The new album, Lonely Runs Both Ways, by read more...

This Old Road

Review of: Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson This Old Road (New West) One of America’s all time greatest song-writers is back, stripped bare of any ornamental musical enhancements, just the man and his wonderful songs. Producer Don Was has once again woven read more...

Thank You, Mark

Review of: Danielle Howle

Danielle Howle Thank You, Mark (Valley ENT) South Carolina girl Danielle Howle returns with one of her best records ever, full of personality and intelligent lyrics. The read more...

Try A Little Kindness

Review of: Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-press

Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-press Try A Little Kindness (Rounder Records) Well, what the heck do you do when you’ve had a 50-year career in music with your brother, having won award after award, having been inducted into read more...

Under Pressure

Review of: Duwayne Burnside and the Mississippi Mafia

Duwayne Burnside and the Mississippi Mafia Under Pressure (Blues Cool Records) Duwayne Burnside has stepped up with a new recording of his own called Under read more...

There Will Be A Light

Review of: Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama

Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama There Will Be A Light (Virgin Records) Ben Harper produced There Will Be A Light, which transcends the same tiresome self-indulgent music, and emerges as a classic gospel album. Recorded in two sessions read more...

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist

Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist was originally recorded in 1978 for Atlanta’s Pine Tree Records. Terminus Records has now re-released the album, complete with three bonus tracks. Colonel Bruce is a rare breed—he abides by no conventions or read more...

Playing Around - The Songwriter Sessions Vol. 2

Review of: Eddie Hinton

(Zane) When the word went around that there was another volume of unreleased Hinton material about to hit that was amazing enough - but not enough to prepare for just how good it was going to be. 18 studio tracks and two ‘bonus’ live recordings read more...

Beyond The Horizon

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Beyond The Horizon (Shout! Factory) It’s been a while since we’ve heard a new album from The Marshall Tucker Band, but boy howdy - it was worth the wait, sports fans. The current lineup read more...

Double Wide & Live

Review of: Southern Culture On The Skids

Southern Culture On The Skids Double Wide & Live (Yep Roc) The South’s #1 party band is back with a red-hot, Dixie-fried, live set that smokes from beginning to end. Recorded live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,

In The Beginning

Review of: Townes Van Zandt

Ten undiscovered Townes Van Zandt songs demoed for an early Nashville publishing contract in 1966 remained unheard for thirty-seven years until now. A new CD titled In The Beginning emerges as a read more...


Review of: Chuck Leavell

Chuck Leavell commands respect in the music world. He’s played piano with the Rolling Stones (for half the band’s history), Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Dr. John, The Allman Brothers, Sea Level, The Black Crowes and many others.  Leavell’s read more...


Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

Colonel Bruce Hampton’s album Arkansas, like his 1978 One Ruined Life of A Bronze Tourist, has been recently re-released on Atlanta’s Terminus Records. Arkansas was originally recorded in 1987 and released on Landslide Records. Arkansas certainly read more...

If I Could Only Fly

Review of: Merle Haggard

The name Merle Haggard carries a heavy weight in country music. Haggard remains a maverick who stared into the face of decadence during peaks and valleys of his legendary music career—thirty-nine number #1 country hits, IRS troubles, addictions, prestigious accolades, extreme read more...

Journal On A Shelf

Review of: Bill Sheffield

Journal On A Shelf, Bill Sheffield’s eighth CD, evokes a fluid musical tapestry that creates a laid back mood. The songs sound as if he were playing his old Martin guitar over a whiskey jar on the rotted steps of some front porch.  Recorded in his read more...

New Earth Mud

Review of: Chris Robinson

New Earth Mud sounds like a man surviving his worst professional fear…in this case Chris Robinson facing the breakup of his band, the Black Crowes. These twelve songs evoke a quiet, laid back mood as if subdued sounds reconcile a faded past with an unknown future. read more...

The Mess Is On

Review of: Mudcat

The Mess Is On counts as Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck’s fifth CD. Dudeck, a great slide guitarist serves on the Board of Directors as a vital musical contributor to the nonprofit organization Music Maker, an establishment dedicated to assisting poor southern read more...

Guitar Heaven

Review of: Cool John Ferguson

Cool John Ferguson’s Guitar Heaven stands as his second Music Maker album. Born on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina, in 1953, the son of Gullah people, Ferguson began playing guitar at the age of three. He played church music professionally by the read more...

I'll Be Young Once Too

Review of: Mudcat

I’ll Be Young Once Too serves as a mighty fine musical lubricant… Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck recorded and mixed this new release, his fifth, in three days during August 2004 at Cabbagetown Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. An inveterate road read more...

Ragged Old Flag

Review of: Johnny Cash

Originally released on Columbia Records in April 1974, Ragged Old Flag consists of twelve original Johnny Cash compositions. In the liner notes, Cash revealed, “I got so excited writing the songs in this album that you’d think I just started in read more...

Lee Gates and the Alabama Cotton Kings

Review of: Lee Gates

Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi in 1937, Lee Gates moved to Milwaukee as a teenager where he’s been playing juke joints for over fifty years. Blues legend Albert Collins is his first cousin. After several rotations of this CD, its evident Gates’ playing evokes a genetic read more...

Hard Luck Guy

Review of: Eddie Hinton

Eddie Hinton, the Muscle Shoals singer/songwriter, did not live to complete the 1999 Capricorn release Hard Luck Guy. In July 1995, Hinton died of a heart attack during the sessions. Hard Luck Guy should be a contender for soul album of the year.

Taking The Long Way

Review of: Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way (Columbia) Since the release of their last album, 2002's Home, the Dixie Chicks have been ridiculed, scorned, banned from country radio and called out onto the carpet a gazillion times read more...

Live From Across The Pond

Review of: Robert Cray

Robert Cray Band Live From Across The Pond (Nozzle/Vanguard) I remember the exact moment in time when I first heard Robert Cray. I was sharing a place in Union, SC with my buddy Gregg, who played guitar in a band with me. The read more...

Heard It In A Love Song

Review of: Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt Heard It in A Love Song (CBUJ Ent) It wasn’t just the title of this album that caught my eye, although anyone who reads my writings on a regular basis knows just how big a fan I am of The read more...

Bougainvillea's Call

Review of: Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts Bougainvillea’s Call The Very Best of 1973-1988 (Raven) This excellent compilation includes all the best of Dickey Betts’ best work between the mid-seventy and late 1980’s. The lone Allman read more...

Where A Country Boy Belongs

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Where A Country Boy Belongs (Shout!Factory) This compilation collects the cream of the crop of country flavored tracks from The Marshall Tucker Band, from the beginning in 1972 all the way up to 2006 read more...

Where We All Belong

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

Where We All Belong The Marshall Tucker Band (CD Shout! Factory) (Review of Vinyl) MTB singer Doug Gray says that this is his favorite MTB album, and I can see why. Released in 1974 on Capricorn Records as a two read more...

Lady's Choice

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

Lady's Choice Bonnie Bramlett (Capricorn Records CP-0169) 1976 Produced by Johnny Sandlin Recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Engineered by Sam Whiteside and Carolyn Harris Talk about a read more...

Mad Dogs and Okies

Review of: Jamie Oldaker

Jamie Oldaker’s Mad Dogs & Okies (Concord) Rock n’ roll drummer Jamie Oldaker, best known for his work with Eric Clapton, has assembled a magnificent all-star cast for “Mad Dogs & Okies,” with read more...

The Essential Marty Robbins

Review of: Marty Robbins

Marty Robbins The Essential (Columbia/Legacy) During his 30 year recording career, Marty Robbins was not only considered one of country music’s finest singers, but also one of Columbia’s best selling pop artists. “ A read more...

Classic Southern Gospel

Review of: Various Artists

Various Artists Classic Southern Gospel (Smithsonian Folkways) Sixty minutes of gospel hymns delivered by classic bluegrass artists like Bill Monroe, Red Allen, The Watson Family, The Country Gentlemen, and The Indian Bottom Association read more...

Mile Markers

Review of: Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash Mile Markers (Texas Cali Records) To answer the obvious first question,yes, prior to his passing, the man in black himself gave these guys permission to use his name within their own. How read more...

Year Of The Cock

Review of: Fiddleworms

Fiddleworms Year Of The Cock (Heart of Gold) Alabama’s own Fiddleworms are the next big name in jam bands. Yep, you read it here first, well, I assume you read it here first, anyway. The guys have a unique sound with read more...

This World Is Not My Home

Review of: Amy Levere

Amy Levere This World Is Not My Home (Archer) My first spin of Amy LaVere’s new CD evoked memories of my first exposure to Norah Jones or Jewel. They all have one thing in common, real star quality. Amy is assisted by some read more...

Flying Under The Radar

Review of: Kentucky Headhunters

Kentucky Headhunters Flying Under The Radar (CBuJ Entertainment) I don’t care what you say, The Kentucky Headhunters are a Southern Rock band. You can feel it in the music. Not only that, but read more...

Lost in America

Review of: Edwin McCain

Edwin McCain Lost In America (Vanguard) Here in Greenville, SC everyone seems to know Edwin McCain. It reminds me of growing up in Spartanburg (just 30 miles away) during the 1970’s when everyone “knew” The read more...

Highway Companion

Review of: Tom Petty

Tom Petty Highway Companion (American) Tom Petty is back kids. One of the most enduring, talented artists to ever mine the field called classic rock, Petty never seems to fail. Highway Companion is loaded with excellent read more...

Sugar Hill Records: A Retrospective

Review of: Various Artists

Sugar Hill Records A Retrospective (Sugar Hill) Sugar Hill has assembled a 25 -year retrospective boxed set that is absolutely amazing. Four discs, 81 tracks and a DVD featuring artist interviews, videos and more. Not a back track, from read more...

Longest Meow

Review of: Bobby Bare, Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr Longest Meow (Bloodshot) Bare, Jr. is back with an awesome record that vacilates between a seventies glam rock vibe, psychedelic Pink Floyd flavor and down and dirty 4-wheelin’ Southern Rock. Co-written with read more...

The Best Kept Secret

Review of: Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas The Best Kept Secret (Koch) Hands down, Jerry Douglas is the best Dobro picker ever, but besides that, he is a major innovator. The Bluegrass icon has turned out another of his “virtually bluegrass - read more...

A Hot Piece of Grass

Review of: Hayseed Dixie

Hayseed Dixie A Hot Piece of Grass (CKV) I have been a fan of Hayseed Dixie for years now. Their tongue in cheek approach to rock-n-roll played bluegrass style has provided at least two great records, one a tribute to AC/DC and read more...

Green Winter

Review of: Love Tractor

Love Tractor Green Winter (Fundamental) I have always liked Love Tractor, and with Green Winter, the Athens, Georgia band once again turns in an excellent album. This is the second record in less than a year from the read more...

Flirtin' With Disaster

Review of: Molly Hatchet

Flirtin with Disaster Molly Hatchet (Epic) 1979 There’s no arguing the fact that Flirtin’ with Disaster is one of Southern Rock’s most classic Lps.  It’s Southern Rock the way it was meant read more...

Molly Hatchet

Review of: Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet (Epic) 1978 Hatchet’s first album remains their finest to this day, kicking off in fifth gear with “Bounty Hunter” and never missing a beat as they lunge into “Gator Country,” a song that basically read more...

High and Mighty

Review of: Gov't Mule

Gov’t Mule High and Mighty (ATO) What can be written about Asheville, NC native Warren Haynes that hasn’t been written before? Not much. Besides being the new “hardest working man in show business,” Haynes has read more...

American V: A Hundred Highways

Review of: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways (American/Lost Highway) Let me just start by saying that this is a beautiful album. I just can’t stop listening to it. I am, like many others, a huge Johnny Cash fan. Have been my read more...

Friends Of Old Time Music

Review of: Various Artists

Friends Of Old Time Music The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 (Smithsonian Folkways) Between 1961 and 1965, New York’s Friends of Old Time Music presented 14 concerts that introduced dozens of traditional musicians to city folk for the very read more...


Review of: John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker Hooker (Boxed Set) (Shout! Factory) In a beautiful 4-CD set that both begins and ends with his most well known hit “Boogie Chillin,” blues legend John Lee Hooker is given all due respect with a read more...


Review of: Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke Nashville (Shout!Factory)

Last Man Standing

Review of: Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis Last Man Standing (Artist First)

You're Gonna Need That Pure Religion

Review of: Reverend Pearly Brown

Born August 18, 1915 in Abbeville, Georgia, Reverend Pearly Brown lived his life preaching and singing about the word of God to common folk in the streets. Rev. Brown spoke of his childhood: “I was born blind so I have never seen the world. My mother died when I was quite read more...

Stompin' Room Only

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Stompin’ Room Only (Shout! Factory) Who says you can’t go back? With Stompin’ Room Only, we get a chance to read more...

Killers and Stars

Review of: Patterson Hood

"When they thaw out Uncle Disney, gonna be some changes made/Pointing fingers, asking questions/forty years of decisions made" appear as the opening lines of Patterson Hood's debut solo album. Best known for his leading role in the hard-driving Drive-By read more...

The Hard Way

Review of: Tinsley Ellis

The Hard Way represents Tinsley Ellis' ninth solo album where for the first time he serves as the read more...

The Heroines

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White's work inspired many great musicians like Ray Charles, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, John Mayall, Waylon Jennings, and many others to cover his songs. Just tunes like "Polk Salad Annie", "Rainy Night in read more...

Lonesome In Black - The Legendary Sun Recordings

Review of: Johnny Cash

This definitive collection features Johnny Cash's recordings for the Sun Records label from 1955-1958. These stark classics serve as a strong foundation to Cash's undeniable legacy. Born in Kingsland, Arkansas, John R. Cash joined the air force and spent his early years read more...

The Road To Escondido

Review of: Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale

Some of Eric Clapton's biggest hits ("After Midnight" and "Cocaine") were J.J. Cale songs, so it's only fitting the two guitar slingers finally recorded an album together.

A Blessing And A Curse

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(New West Records) Recorded at David Barbe’s Chase Park Studios in Athens, Georgia, A Blessing And A Curse marks

The Dirty South

Review of: Drive By Truckers

The Dirty South The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine The Dirty South stands as

Decoration Day

Review of: Drive By Truckers

Decoration Day The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine             “Just cause I don’t run my mouth don’t mean I got nothing to say…”

What You See

Review of: Super Chikan

(Fat Possum Records) The Mississippi based Fat Possum Records has a knack for finding artists that are trapped in a another time. Their rediscoveries of Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside helped to renew blues by bringing it closer to its roots. In the read more...

Donnie Fritts and Friends

Review of: Various Artists

Donnie Fritts and Friends Norton Auditorium University of North Alabama Florence, AL January 22, 2000 Donnie Fritts began his lifetime in music read more...

I Am Shelby Lynne

Review of: Shelby Lynne

(Mercury Records) Sometime it's hard to be born with beauty and blessed with the voice of an angel. You can ask Shelby Lynne. She came to Nashville at the age of 18 itching to sing pure country music. Her voice caught the ear of George Jones read more...

Muscle Shoals Sounds: The Rhythm Of The River

Review of: Various Artists

Back on November 13, the University of North Alabama hosted a symposium dedicated to the musical history of the Muscle Shoals area. The event mainly covered the area's musical past, but also included segments on the business of songwriting, modern studio production, read more...

Gentleman Of Leisure

Review of: Jesse Winchester

(Sugar Hill Records) Born into a Memphis family of prominent heritage, young Jesse James Winchester hightailed it to Canada when he received his Vietnam draft notice. Filled with the sounds of Memphis music in his head, he started writing the songs for read more...

Lying To The Moon & Other Stories

Review of: Matraca Berg

(RCA Records) Matraca Berg provides an excellent example of how major labels can ruin promising careers. A Nashville vet at age 18 when she wrote her first #1 for T.G. Sheppard, Berg got a chance at a solo career when RCA Records released her first read more...

Wildcat Tamer

Review of: Dale Hawkins

(Mystic Music) The problem with "revival" records from "oldies" artists is that they usually fall into two categories. Either the recordings try to meticulously recapture their old sound with an almost sterile purity, or they are a shameless read more...

Pizza Deliverance

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(New West Records) Pizza Deliverance counts as The Drive by read more...

Deep Dark Black

Review of: D. Braxton Harris

D. Braxton Harris "Deep Dark Black" Ideal Records Still at work on the Quinsonic's new demos, leader D. Braxton Harris has put them aside and fashioned a quiet, transitional statement instead.  As a result, "Deep Dark Black" read more...

Chock Full Of Country Goodness

Review of: Amazing Rhythm Aces

Amazing Rhythm Aces "Chock Full Of Country Goodness" Breaker Productions Born out of soul music's ashes, this six man ensemble played country music - meaning the music defined by Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, and sometimes Al read more...

Say It One Time For The Brokenhearted

Review of: Barney Hoskyns

In the wake of Ray Charles's new country music box set as well as Lambchop's recent soul dabbling both on their own and with Vic Chestnutt, this reprint of Barney Hoskyns's "country soul" study couldn't have come at a better time. "Say It One Time For the read more...

Loose Strings

Review of: Carlo Nuccio

Carlo Nuccio Loose Strings Monkey Hill Records Carlo Nuccio has been kicking around New Orleans for over a decade serving as the drummer in residence for the roots rock scene in the Crescent City. Some might recall him from the Continental Drifter's read more...

Rest Of Our Days

Review of: Pawtuckets

Memphis has always seemed to exist in contrast to Nashville. Years ago as Nashville grew with country music, Memphis became one of the birthplaces of rock and roll. The dicotomy between these two Tennessee cities has been immortalized by fringe Nashville artist John Hiatt in his read more...


Review of: Drive By Truckers

Gangstabilly The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine Gangstabilly counts as the first

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