Steely Dan, Elvis Costello Turn Summer Cool

Steely Dan at Austin 360 Amphitheater on July 18

Oh the ‘70s, there certainly was some dreck on the radio back then. If you weren’t around for those years, just imagine what it was like to sit in the car with a top-40-loving parent and face aural assaults from Donny Osmond or Dr. Hook. Or Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka or Olivia Newton-John. There were […]

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Our January/February 2015 Deathbed Winner Explains His Picks

sticky fingers

Our January/February 2015 contest winner Roy Clark talks about his winning choices for our last issue’s Deathbed Contest. Be sure to enter the March/April contest by submitting your top 10 Blues albums for a chance to win a Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar and SP Lifespan Acoustic Guitar Strings. Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones My first holy shit moment with music. […]

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Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes – Various Artists


Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes Various Artists (Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars On Nov. 4, Bob Dylan released The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Volume 11, a six-disc, 138-track box set that marks the first time every recording from his 1967 Basement Tapes sessions will be compiled in […]

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Lyric of the Week: Jesse Winchester, “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding”


The world lost a wonderful songwriter last week when Jesse Winchester passed away at age 69. Winchester never broke through to the mainstream due to a combination of circumstance and his own reticence to deal with the pop machinery. Yet other songwriters were aware of his brilliance, covering his songs and clamoring to work with […]

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R.I.P. Jesse Winchester, A Songwriter Admired By Bob Dylan And Many More


Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away Friday morning, after a long fight with cancer. Winchester, who was born in Louisiana and moved to Montreal in 1967 when facing the impending Vietnam war draft, was revered by countless songwriters and musicians, despite never achieving widespread commercial fame. Many of Winchester’s songs, which include standards like “Mississippi You’re […]

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Song Premiere: Esmé Patterson, “Valentine”

Esme Patterson

The Artist: Singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson of the band Paper Bird The Song: “Valentine,” from new album Woman to Woman out April 15th. Fun Fact: Each song on Patterson’s album is a response to a popular love song about a woman, showing what the other side of the story might be. “Valentine” was written as a response […]

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Musicians Sing The Praises Of Neil Young’s Pono Player

neil young pono stephen stills

On Tuesday, Neil Young launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Pono, his long-awaited digital music service and player. Young hopes his new invention will put and end to the inferior sound quality of the common CD and MP3. Fans and investors ponied up $800,000 to aid Young’s cause in a mere ten hours. […]

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Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Peace In Our Time”


Nostalgia might not be the right word, but the pomp and celebration surrounding the recent Winter Olympic Games in Moscow provided a benign perspective for reexamination of a time when the Cold War was at its iciest and the United States and Russia were positioned as superpower enemies. (So too, for that matter, has The […]

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American Songwriter Presents: The List


15 Classic Songs About Dogs 15 Iconic Songs About New York City The Top 15 Philosophical Songs 15 Classic Songs About New Orleans The Top 15 Paul Simon Songs The Top 10 Performances from Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration 15 Legendary Cover Songs The Top 50 Albums Of 2013 The Top 50 Songs […]

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Elvis Costello: The American Songwriter Interview

elvis costello

This story appears in our January/February Legends Issue. “I don’t know what anyone else knows or what they don’t know or what they care about,” says Elvis Costello.“I’m just doing what I’m doing now, and I know what the value of the songs I’ve written is to me. I perceive what certain members of the […]

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Elvis Costello Plays Obscure Nuggets And Prime Cuts in Pennsylvania

Elvis Costello 2013

Elvis Costello at the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA, November 25, 2013 Early on in the evening at his solo stop at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Elvis Costello announced that he was going to play anything that popped into his head. He lived up to that promise, going deep into his seemingly […]

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Jonathan Rice


Good Graces is the latest release from Scottish-American singer-songwriter Jonathan Rice, and it’s his first solo project in quite a while. Since releasing his second album in 2007, Rice has focused on collaborative work – with Jenny Lewis (the pair became Jenny & Johnny), Elvis Costello, and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. He chats with American […]

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