login | Register

Mystery and Manners 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...


Blunderbuss

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


1966

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


A Hell of a Woman

Review of: Jim Thompson

(Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)  Jim Thompson's novel A Hell of a Woman contains no soft-hearted sentiments the Oprah crowd would applaud. A Hell of a Woman tells the story of salesman/killer Dolly Dillon. Mr. Dillon tried to do the right thing, but read more...


The Rum Diary

Review of: Bruce Robinson

 The Rum Diary This review was written to coincide with the 7-year anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson's death on February 20, 2005. I watched read more...


Rhyton

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: read more...


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...


Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House

Review of: Old Clinton BAR-B-Q

James Calemine's "Never Ending Soul Food Tour" includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment serving memorable vittles. All Photos by James Calemine  Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House 4214 Gray 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...


Reverie

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...


Overlook

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...


Underground

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,


Teatro

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...


Still Looking Up At The Stars

Review of: Bruce Piephoff

(Speranza Recordings) Greensboro, North Carolina, native Bruce Piephoff has been writing, recording and performing songs for over 40 years. His latest release counts as his 21st studio album. Piephoff published his second book of poetry--Fiddlers and Middlers--in read more...


Palmer's Village Cafe

Review of: Palmer's Village Cafe

Palmer's Village Cafe 223 Mallery Street Saint Simons Island, GA 31522 912-634-5515 James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment 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...


Believers

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...


Crescent

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 Ballad of Little River

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(The University of Alabama Press) The Ballad of Little River: A Tale of Race and Unrest in the Rural South revolves around church arson in Little River, Alabama. In 1997, Little River, Alabama, emerged as the site of the U.S. government's first conviction under a 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...


Transformation

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


Avos

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...


Drifting Into Darien

Review of: Janisse Ray

(The University of Georgia Press) "I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and, to the citizen, most dismal swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place,--a sanctum sanctorium. There is the strength, the marrow, of nature."


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...


Citrus County

Review of: John Brandon

(McSweeney's) Floridian John Brandon arrived in 2009 with his debut novel Arkansas which immediately created a literary voice deserving attention.  Arkansas told the interweaving stories of a pair of small time criminals, their divergent, but 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...


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...


Comecrudos

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...


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...


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...


Photographs

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...


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


The Bayou Trilogy

Review of: Daniel Woodrell

(Mulholland Books) Thanks to the success of the Academy Award nominated film Winter's Bone based on his novel of the same name, Daniel Woodrell has received wider recognition as a one of today's most significant literary voices.  Another fantastic film Ride 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...


Distillation

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...


Arghiledes

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...


A Painter's Psalm

Review of: Redding S. Sugg, Jr.

(University Press of Mississippi) When he was alive, Mississippi painter Walter Anderson lived as a recluse in his Ocean Springs home. Nature served as the fulcrum of every Anderson painting. Redding S. Sugg, Jr., edited The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis 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...


Florida Frenzy

Review of: Harry Crews

(University Press of Florida) Florida Frenzy culls 13 essays and articles along with 3 short stories into one of the finest collections written by Harry Crews. These stories span from 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...


Circuital

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...


Long Gone

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Iver R. Dee, Publisher) Long Gone is a baseball story. Stud Cantrell manages a Class-D Florida team in 1956. Stud's life intersects with his lover Dixie Lee Box, a young second baseman named Jamie Weeks and a black catcher--Jose Brown pretending to be read more...


Hotel

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...


Revelator

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...


Never Ending Soul Food Tour: Monroe's Smokehouse

Review of: Monroe's Smokehouse BBQ

Monroe's Smokehouse BBQ 4838 Highway Avenue Jacksonville, FL 32254 904-389-5551 James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits 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...


Defender

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...


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,


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...


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...


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...


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...


Inclusions

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...


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...


Fay

Review of: Larry Brown

(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) Trouble finds Fay Jones wherever she goes. Fay leaves her north Mississippi home on foot with two dollars, rotting tennis shoes, a half-pack of cigarettes and a serious survival instinct. Fay meets various men throughout the book who all pay 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...


Ugly Ways

Review of: Tina McElroy Ansa

(Harcourt Brace & Company) Macon, Georgia, native Tina McElroy Ansa published her second novel, Ugly Ways, in 1993. Ansa ranks as an influential novelist, teacher, filmmaker and journalist who lives on the Georgia coast. Ugly Ways tells the story of read more...


Crazy Horse

Review of: Larry McMurtry

(Lipper/Viking) This economical 141-page biography of Crazy Horse proves why this Sioux warrior exists as one of America’s most revered legends. Texas author Larry McMurtry has written over twenty bestselling novels including Lonesome Dove and The 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...


Revealed

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...


When The Women Come Out To Dance

Review of: Elmore Leonard

(Harper Paperbacks) Born in New Orleans during 1925, Elmore Leonard ranks as one of America’s finest writers. His family soon moved from the Crescent City to Detroit when he was a child, and Leonard never moved away from the Motor City. Author of 45 novels, Leonard read more...


Discovering Life's Trails: Adventures in Living

Review of: Tom Dennard

(Rainbow Books, Inc.) Published in 1993, Discovering Life’s Trails: Adventures in Living remains a seminal account from one of the south’s greatest travelers. This counts as Tom Dennard’s first of four books. Born in Pineview, Georgia, a 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 (


Blessed

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


Loveland

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Croweology

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...


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...


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...


Mojo

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...


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...


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...


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.


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...


Coldwater

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


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 (


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,


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...


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


Onward And Upward

Review of: Luther Dickinson/Sons of Mudboy

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


Azalea

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...


In The Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir

Review of: Neil White

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir Neil White William Morrow By Diann Blakely Neil White had--or thought he had--everything. A newspaper/magazine entrepreneur read more...


Shaft

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...


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


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...


Burning Angel

Review of: James Lee Burke

Burning Angel James Lee Burke Hyperion Books By James Calemine James Lee Burke’s Burning Angel revolves around detective Dave Robicheaux. AA attending 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...


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...


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


Anchors & Anvils

Review of: Amy LaVere

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


Died of Love

Review of: Amy LaVere

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


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...


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


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.  


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...


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...


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...


$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...


Townes

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


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...


In The Electric Mist

Review of: Bertrand Tavenier

In the Electric Mist Bertrand Tavenier Image Entertainment By James Calemine Based on the James Lee Burke novel, In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead, this 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,


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...


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...


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...


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...


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


Written In Chalk

Review of: Buddy and Julie Miller

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


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...


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...


Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again

Review of: Bloodkin

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


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...


The Last Pale Light in the West

Review of: Ben Nichols

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


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Lifeboat

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


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...


Zebulon

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...


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


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


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 Tiger Walk Through History

Review of: Paul Hemphill

A Tiger Walk Through History: The Complete Story of Auburn Football from 1892 to the Tuberville Era Paul Hemphill Pebble Hill Press By James Calemine This 246 page book serves as a comprehensive anthology for the history of 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


Rott-N-Roll

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...


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.


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...


Never Ending Soul Food Tour

Review of: Jinright's

Jinright's Seafood House 2815 Glynn Avenue Brunswick, Georgia 31520 912-267-1590 James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment 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...


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...


Ecology of A Cracker Childhood

Review of: Janisse Ray

Ecology of A Cracker Childhood Janisse Eay Milkweed Editions By James Calemine


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...


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...


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.


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...


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


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...


The Sunset Limited

Review of: Cormac McCarthy

The Sunset Limited Cormac McCarthy Vintage International By James Calemine Cormac McCarthy's latest book, The Sunset Limited, stands as a novel in 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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Mudcrutch

Review of: Mudcrutch

Mudcrutch Mudcrutch Warner Brothers By James Calemine


Another Country

Review of: Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt Another Country Fantasy Records The read more...


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...


Stronger

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...


Honeydew

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...


Revelation

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...


Bug

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...


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...


Warpaint

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...


Vagabonds

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...


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...


Catch

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...


Cocaine Angel

Review of: Damian Lahey

Cocaine Angel Damian Lahey Cinema Libre Studio By James Calemine This independent film was shot in Jacksonville, Florida. Cocaine Angel tells a dark tale of drug addiction in a way only independent filmmakers get away with because no read more...


Big Bad Love

Review of: Larry Brown

Big Bad Love Larry Brown Vintage Books By James Calemine Mississippi writer Larry Brown wrote ten published books. Big Bad Love, his second collection of short stories, ranks as a formidable collection of fiction. Other essential Brown read more...


Free Somehow

Review of: Widespread Panic

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


Lantana

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...


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...


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...


Hernando

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...


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...


Buy The Ticket: Take The Ride: Hunter S. Thompson

Review of: Tom Thurman

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film Starz Entertainment By James Calemine


Cappy's Oyster Bar (Volume One)

Review of: Cappy's Oyster Bar

Cappy’s Oyster Bar 2500 Cobb Parkway Kennesaw, Georgia 30152 770-590-9881 By James Calemine 


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...


Salvation On Sand Mountain

Review of: Dennis Covington

Salvation On Sand Mountain Dennis Covington Penguin Books By James Calemine “This descent into himself will, at the same time, be a descent into his region. It will be a descent through the darkness of the familiar into a world 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


Never Ending Soul Food Tour

Review of: Southern Soul Barbecue

James Calemine's "Never Ending Soul Food Tour" includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment serving memorable vittles. All Photos by James Calemine Southern Soul Barbecue (Part Two) 2020 Demere 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...


Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West

Review of: Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West Cormac McCarthy Vintage Books By James Calemine ...A classic volume of southern literature... Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West ranks as one of


Feast of Snakes

Review of: Harry Crews

Feast of Snakes Harry Crews Macmillan Publishing By James Calemine November in Mystic, Georgia, means it's time for the Feast of Snakes. This novel remains one of the Georgia writer


GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson

Review of: Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour

GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour Little, Brown and Company By James 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...


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...


Mescalito

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 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...


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...


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


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...


Southern Soul Barbecue

Review of:

Southern Soul Barbecue 318 Mallory Street Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522 912-634-7516 www.southernsoulbbq.com By James Calemine  James Calemine’s read more...


Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room-Savannah, Georgia

Review of:

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room 107 West Jones Street Savannah, Georgia 31401 912-232-5997 James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any read more...


Red Dirt Marijuana & Other Tastes

Review of: Terry Southern

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


Jesus Out To Sea

Review of: James Lee Burke

Jesus Out To Sea James Lee Burke Simon & Schuster By James read more...


Cigar City Mafia

Review of: Scott M. Deitche

Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of The Tampa Underworld Scott M. Deitche


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


A Love Supreme

Review of: John Coltrane

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


The Getaway

Review of: Jim Thompson

The Getaway Jim Thompson Vintage Crime By James Calemine Jim 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 read more...


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...


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...


Criss-Cross

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Emotionalism

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Southscape

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...


Arkansas

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...


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...


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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Gangstabilly

Review of: Drive By Truckers

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


View Archives from different years

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Copyright 1998-2009 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.