Author Archives: Steven Stone

Megan Slankard

Token of the Wreckage

Megan Slankard is difficult to pigeonhole. Equal parts country soul, folk, pop, and alt rock, though still in her early 20s, Token of the Wreckage is her third disc, and amply demonstrates why she’s so popular. Some of Slankard’s original songs are bouncy and fun (more…)

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Brian Wright

House On Fire
Sugar Hill Records

Off kilter, warped, but addictive, Brian Wright’s music grabs your attention. He describes it as, “…situated somewhere between Woody Guthrie and The Velvet Underground.” Where exactly, depends on the song. Beyond writing the songs and singing lead vocals on House On Fire, Wright plays all (more…)

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Carrie Elkin

Call It My Garden
Red House Records

How many versions of the song “If That Mocking Bird Don’t Sing” have you heard? I’ve listened to more than I can count on all my digits. So when I heard Carrie Elkin veer into “Mocking Bird” during the chorus of “Jessie Likes Birds” (more…)

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Ben Hall

Ben Hall
Tomkins Square

After violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini died in 1840, several violinists claimed to be possessed by his spirit when they performed his violin concerto. I wonder if Chet Aktins has managed a similar supernatural transposition through Ben Hall. To say this young picker plays like Chet (more…)

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The Wailin’ Jennys

Bright Morning Stars
Red House Records
The Wailin Jennys THUMB

The concept of a “folk supergroup” sounds strange, sort of like “the folksinger’s Porsche.” But no musical amalgamation deserves this moniker more than The Wailin’ Jennys. With three world-class lead vocalists who are equally accomplished songwriters, The Wailin’ Jenny’s deliver polished folk music that (more…)

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Tim Mahoney

Live From the Sky

Tim Mahoney’s latest work combines elements of heavy-metal power pop with ethereal folk ballads, and his mix of guitar raunch and lyricism makes for an addictive musical cocktail. Musically, Mahoney is something of a chameleon. Songs like “Greatest Life” are riff-driven roots-rock anthems with soaring guitar leads. “Lay Down Low” is a jam-bandish groove tune […]

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The Boxcars

The Boxcars
Mountain Home Music Company

Fresh from his double win at the 2010 International Bluegrass Musicians Association (IBMA) awards for “Mandolin Player of the Year” and “Instrumental of the Year,” Adam Steffey teams with The Boxcars on arrangements tight as Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver, but with a broader musical palette. (more…)

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John McCutcheon


John McCutcheon is one of a small minority – an unabashed folk singer. On Passage, he performs 14 new original tunes that demonstrate his mastery of the idiom known as “folk music.” McCutcheon’s subject matter touches the usual folky bases – love, social injustice, the (more…)

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Jeffrey Foucault & Lisa Olstein

Cold Satellite

Cold Satellite is a concept album with songs co-written by Jeffrey Foucault and Lisa Olstein. Longtime friends, they began to collaborate in 2007, when Olstein sent Foucault a bunch of unpublished poems plus snippets of poems. Foucault sat with his guitar and began to (more…)

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Don Stiernberg with Rusty Holloway and Jeff Jenkins

Swing 220
Blue Night Records

Many musicians play swing, but few swing with the authenticity of Don Stiernberg, with whom the expression “Dig your well deep” comes to mind. On Swing 220, Stiernberg is joined by Jeff Jenkins on guitar and Rusty Holloway on upright bass. For this session, Jenkins uses a (more…)

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