Kelley Mickwee: You Used To Live Here

Kelley Mickwee

Kelley Mickwee You Used to Live Here (CEN/Red) 3.5 out of 5 stars The name may be unfamiliar to most, but just because this is Kelley Mickwee’s solo debut doesn’t mean she isn’t a veteran performer with thousands of miles and hundreds of shows under her belt. First as half of folk twosome Jed & […]

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The Last Hombres: Odd Fellows Rest

Last Hombres Odd Fellows Rest

The Last Hombres Odd Fellows Rest (Louisiana Red Hot Records) 3.5 out of 5 stars It’s unusual to kick off and close your first album in 11 years with the New Orleans funeral sound of the Hot 8 Brass Band. But little about  The Last Hombres follows any sort of blueprint. The quintet released their critically acclaimed […]

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Richard Thompson: Acoustic Classics

Richard Thompson Acoustic Classics

Richard Thompson Acoustic Classics (Beeswing) 3.5 out of 5 stars UK veteran Richard Thompson’s previous Buddy Miller-produced release was entitled Electric, so this oppositely named follow-up provides the unplugged response. But instead of new material, Thompson raids his existing bulging catalog to rearrange earlier tunes, adding a few obscurities, for solo acoustic guitar. Anyone who […]

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Louise Goffin: Songs From The Mine

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Louise Goffin Songs From The Mine (Majority Of One) 3.5 out of 5 stars It doesn’t seem to bother Louise Goffin that as the daughter of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, one of history’s most legendary songwriting couples, there might be increased pressure to follow in her parents’ giant footsteps. In fact, after an initial […]

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Jack Clement: For Once and For All

For once and for all jack clement

Jack Clement For Once and For All (I.R.S. Nashville) 4.5 out of 5 stars The late “Cowboy” Jack Clement was a lot of things — legendary country songwriter, Sun label engineer, talent scout, studio owner, song publisher and producer of everyone from Waylon Jennings to U2 are just some of the hats he wore—but a […]

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Phox: Phox

PHOX album cover

Phox Phox (Partisan) 3.5 out of 5 stars “Everything I do, I do in slow motion,” sings Phox frontwoman Monica Martin, in a voice that flutters from echoed lows to soaring highs with such ease that you forget there might be notes that exist in between. The song, “Slow Motion,” is layered with everything from […]

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Bry Webb: Free Will

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Bry Webb Free Will (Idee Fixe) 4 out of 5 stars The Constantines – for all intents and purposes – were a punk band. They played big, noisy rock music heavily influenced by the likes of Fugazi and The Clash, and their live shows invariably found the Ontario-based group funneling all of their energy into […]

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First Aid Kit: Stay Gold

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit Stay Gold (Columbia) 4 out of 5 Stars “We spoke of dreams that came to us when we were young/ But as the morning rose, we spoke with forked tongues,” sing Johanna and Klara Soderberg on their third album as the folk-pop duo First Aid Kit. It’s just one of many declarations […]

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Jenny Lewis: The Voyager

Jenny Lewis Painting

Jenny Lewis The Voyager (Warner Bros.) 4 out of 5 stars At 28 years old, Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis laid a bucket full of twenty-something angst on the table in a song called “Portions For Foxes.” Loneliness, poor decisions, self-loathing – it was all there, culminating in a catchy refrain of “Baby, I’m bad […]

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Peter Himmelman: The Boat that Carries Us

Peter Himmelman - The Boat That Carries Us

Peter Himmelman The Boat that Carries Us (Himmasongs) 4 out of 5 stars He’s no household name and at this late stage in a long discography that started when he fronted Midwestern new wave faves Sussman Lawrence back in the early 80s, it’s pretty clear he is never going to be. But that hasn’t stopped […]

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John Hiatt: Terms of My Surrender

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John Hiatt Terms of My Surrender (New West) 4 out of 5 stars “I can be rough/sometimes I can be tender,” sings John Hiatt on the title track of his twenty-sixth studio album, and that’s a reasonable summation of both his career and recent output. The Midwestern singer/songwriter has been on a late life roll, […]

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Billy Joe Shaver: Long In The Tooth

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Billy Joe Shaver Long in the Tooth (Thirty Tigers) 3.5 out of 5 stars Country radio may not show much love for classic old timers such as Billy Joe Shaver, but thankfully younger guns like Todd Snider have no such reservations. It was Snider’s encouragement that got the 75 year old Shaver to record his […]

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