Author Archives: Dennis Pernu



That title – copped from the name of the storytelling gal in Arabian Nights – begs some pithy comparison between Scheherazade’s beguiling tales and the manner in which Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean continue to beguile fans more than a decade after their (more…)

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Jonny Wickersham

Social D Guitarist Does ’70s Cali Rock
Jonny Wickersham

Best known as the Les Paul Junior-slinging guitarist stage left of Mike Ness in Social Distortion, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham speaks with a laid-back SoCal drawl and peppers his conversation with modest asides. The uninitiated would never suspect he has just dropped his first solo record, (more…)

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American Man

Fans of four-barrel, huevos-to-the-wall roots rock will do well to investigate the latest from this Denver-based trio. Foregoing bass in favor of guitars and drums (à la Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), Yawpers ply their trade on the continuum between Steve Earle’s well-crafted lyrics and the (more…)

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Son Volt

Trace (Expanded & Remastered)

The 20-year nostalgia arc rewards alt-country fans with a glorious expanded (37 more tracks!) reissue of what remains one of the subgenre’s quintessential releases. In ’95, Jay Farrar formed Son Volt following the dissolution of the critically acclaimed Uncle Tupelo. Featuring original UT drummer Mike Heidorn (more…)

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The Bottle Rockets

South Broadway Athletic Club

The Bottle Rockets return with their first studio LP since 2009, and it’s yet another terrific gumbo of power-pop, burly rock, and alt-country – a collection of mostly sub-three-minute gems featuring lyrics liable to leave listeners grinning like mules. The closer “Shape Of A (more…)

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Dave Rawlings Machine

Nashville Obsolete

Americana fans are no strangers to guitarist Dave Rawlings. Largely building his rep on several releases by his musical partner Gillian Welch, Rawlings and his flatpicked Epiphone Olympic first stepped out as the Dave Rawlings Machine in 2009. This new disc is the (more…)

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Penelope Spheeris

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization Collection

Was the Germs’ incoherent Darby Crash, writhing on stage while fans write on his forehead with indelible marker, really so different from W.A.S.P.’s incoherent Chris Holmes, floating in his pool and chugging three bottles of Smirnoff as his Mom looked on? Tough to say, (more…)

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The Minus 5

Dungeon Golds

Former R.E.M. fifth man Scott McCaughey is more significantly the longtime leader of Pacific Northwest rock legends Young Fresh Fellows, the brilliant Baseball Project, and the Minus 5. Considering the latter collective’s revolving cast, it’s remarkable that McCaughey has flown under the radar to the (more…)

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The Jayhawks

Live At The Belly Up

Recorded in January 2015, this digital-only live show captures the legendary Minneapolis alt-country outfit’s 1997 lineup running through chestnuts from throughout their catalog, including some of their more decidedly un-Americana tracks. Lead guitarist and vocalist Gary Louris sounds more effortless than ever, channeling Crazy Horse ferocity, (more…)

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Worland Prairie

Built For Speed

Worland Prairie Price: $1,950 Info: www.worlandguitars.com. It’s been well-documented how car-crazy vets and teens in postwar America reimagined the American automobile. Some shaved, sprayed, and slammed contemporary two-door sedans, creating the custom car. Others invented the hot rod when they stripped prewar coupes and roadsters (more…)

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