Category Archives: folk

Review: Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang – White Rabbit

Label: SideOneDummy Records Released: August 18, 2009 Having performed for over a decade with the increasingly popular Celtic folk/punk act Flogging Molly, Nathen Maxwell is faced with the double challenge of living up to yet not rehashing his band’s strong body of work. On his solo debut, White Rabbit, Maxwell brings songs that have been simmering inside of him, some… Read more »

Review: Brian Bond – Fire & Gold

Label: self-released Released: March 10, 2009 Folk and punk has found some common ground over the years. From Billy Bragg’s incendiary love and politics to Elliott Smith’s dark beauty, the two genres have occasionally met in strange ways that have never been entirely one genre or the other, yet clearly rooted in both. Brian Bond is a similar artist in… Read more »

Review: Kate Mann – Things Look Different When the Sun Goes Down

Label: Orange Dress Records Released: March 17, 2009 On the surface, Kate Mann finds herself channeling a bit of Joni Mitchell and a bit of Janis Joplin, her music swinging gently across the short space between folk and blues. While it is that bit of Joni that shows up in a clever musical phrase here and there, it also manifests… Read more »

Review: The Weather Station – The Line

Label: self-released (distributed by Fontana North/Universal) Released: April 28, 2009 Terms like lo-fi and DIY have become quite commonplace these days. Unfortunately, these terms are often applied to music that could also be described as contrived or just rotten. The Weather Station is certainly the epitome of both of those common terms, but not of the descriptions which often destroy… Read more »

Review: Paula Sinclair – Steadygirl

Label: Old Sombrero Music Released: March 17, 2009 Some albums are amazing in the way they push the boundaries and change the rules while others are amazing in the way they perform within existing boundaries and prove long established rules. There isn’t much that’s new in Paula Sinclair’s music. She plays something that walks a fine line between country and… Read more »

Review: Amadan – Pacifica

Label: Afan Music Released: December 9, 2008 Amadan incorporate bits of the Clash, Billy Bragg, John Fogerty and the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, but what I suspect they’re really going for is the Pogues mix of traditional Irish folk and biting punk rock swagger. They don’t nail the latter, but their success in other areas makes them a worthwhile listen. There’s… Read more »

Review: Fall Horsie – Devil (e) Danger

Label: Youth Club Records Released: October 28, 2008 There is a lot of music out there that isn’t rock music in any way, shape or form…and yet it thoroughly rocks. None of this is headed for mainstream success, but it is often some of the most interesting music in even the broadest sense of the rock sphere. Fall Horsie is… Read more »

Review: Avett Brothers – The Second Gleam

Label: Ramseur Records Released: July 22, 2008 The Avett Brothers’ breakthrough album, last year’s Emotionalism, was a work whose broad influences were felt throughout and whose quiet ambition made it both huge and intimate at the same time. The Second Gleam, while keeping to the Avett’s signature sound, doesn’t share its predecessor’s breadth. Instead, it focuses on intimacy and gentle… Read more »

Review: Christina Carter – Original Darkness

Label: Kranky Released: October 27, 2008 The first time I listened to Original Darkness, I wondered what in the world I’d write about it. Now that I’ve listened to the CD a half-dozen times, I wonder how I can possibly say everything I want to say within the confines of a record review. My notes alone are nearly 600 words,… Read more »