Heartless Bastards Arrow Partisan Records By Al Kaufman Heartless Bastards answer the all important question: What if Adele was backed by a Texas band? Erika Wennerstrom, the vocal storm behind the band, has penned 11 songs that show off all her abilities. The soulful “Marathon” is followed by the poppy “Parted Ways,” until the song [...]
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Cloud Nothings Attack on Memory Carpark By Al Kaufman Almost every band for the past five years has made the lead of song for their album, if not their best one, at least one that reaches out and grabs, that pulls the listener in. Dylan Baldi, the man behind Cleveland, Ohio’s Cloud Nothings, does just [...]
Red Wanting Blue From the Vanishing Point Fanatic Records By Al Kaufman Red Wanting Blue plays slick, mainstream pop-rock songs. That could be the whole review right there, but it would leave the layout for this review wanting. It’s like Train or Hootie and the Blowfish, or, to a lesser extent, Counting Crows. It’s that [...]
CD Review: Dare Dukes — Thugs and China Dolls; Playing Highland Inn January 21 and Grocery on Home February 4
Dare Dukes and the Blackstock Collection Thugs and China Dolls Starland Records By Al Kaufman When Savannah’s Dare Dukes released his debut, Prettiest Transmitter of All, in 2008, he established himself as a gifted songwriter who could write a catchy (but not obvious) hook. But, most importantly, he demonstrated that he has a penchant for [...]
By Al Kaufman Do you know how about 400,000 actually attended Woodstock but a few million claim that they did? Well, lower that down a notch or two and you have the situation at The EARL on December 29 when Diamond Rugs play their very first show. There will be a couple hundred people there, [...]
Sarah Siskind Novel Red Request Records By Al Kaufman It would be easy to write Sarah Siskind off as just another hippie chick. Just read some of the liner notes on Novel: “All drums and percussion were handmade or household objects.” Or how about, “Sarah makes unique jewelry made from beads, charms and the like [...]
Minus Ned Are We Finally Fitting In? Nedhead Records By Al Kaufman When guitarist Ned Bridges decided to form a band with fellow Connecticut friends Zach Guglin (vocals/drums) and Michael Martens (guitar), he probably thought the band would just break up when he took off for college. Instead, the two remaining members recruited guitarist Mark [...]
Girl in a Coma Exits & All the Rest Blackheart Records By Al Kaufman If ever a band name has been a misnomer, than it is for Girl in a Coma. Yes, this trio from San Antonio grew up as Smiths fans (hence the band name), but their music is very much alive.
Memoryhouse The Years Sub-Pop By Al Kaufman The Toronto duo, Memoryhouse, released a four-song EP, The Years, on Arcade Sound a little over a year ago. On this version for Sub-Pop, they’re up to five songs (replacing “the Waves” with “Modern Normal” and “Quiet America”). They also re-recorded the remaining three songs. At this rate, [...]
Ron Pope Whatever It Takes Mason-Dixon Railroad By Al Kaufman Ron Pope loves love. His love songs are strong, strident, and unabashedly sappy. There are no songs about a girl done him wrong here, only songs about how happy his girl makes him feel. Ron Pope loves two other things; his guitar and majestic songs. [...]
David Jacobs-Strain Live from the Left Coast self-release By Al Kaufman At the ripe old age of 25, David Jacobs-Strain is a seasoned vet in this folk-blues guitar game, and he sounds like it. He plays that slide guitar like a girlfriend. Live from the Left Coast, recorded at the Rolling and Tumbling temporary juke [...]
Wild Flag Wild Flag Merge By Al Kaufman Supergroups of any type rarely live up to their hype, but since the hype for Wild Flag was practically non-existent, and since the women in this band don’t care about such petty things, their debut album far surpasses any expectations that may have been garnered.
Hannah Miller O Black River Self-released By Al Kaufman “I’m not ready to settle. I’m still looking for where I belong,” purrs Hannah Miller on her fifth release, O Black River. The angelic-voiced one now calls Nashville home, but she grew up in Alabama and cut her musical teeth in Columbia, S.C. Her music has [...]
By Al Kaufman With The Big Roar, The Joy Formidable created the album that people in England have been waiting for years to hear. Ever since the Welsh trio offered up the 2009 eight-song EP A Balloon Called Moaning fans have been clamoring to see what the guitar-heavy shoe gazers would do with a big [...]