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Category Archives: Music

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings


Eighteen years of embroidered cowboy suits, stellar alt-country songcraft, and stylish guitar work has made legends of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Now they’re back with their eighth album, the rich and rewarding South. Think of the band as the Canadian version of the Flatlanders, but don’t get them confused. Like the Texas band, this […]

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Eric Gales Trio

Ghost Notes

Eric Gales is arguably the most underrated guitarist of his generation. Emerging in the early ’90s with a post-Hendrix blueprint that combined a fusion of blues, rock, and gospel, he never sustained the visibility of artists like Kenny Wayne Shepherd or Joe Bonamassa. Perhaps it’s because they had better representation or stayed out of prison, […]

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Anders Osborne


On his third full-length recording for Alligator, Osborne has hit the jackpot. While his songwriting has always been precise, soulful, and detailed, he nails every song here with a straightforwardness. Lyrically, the themes can be dark, but also seem hopeful. Musically, his mix of rock, soul, grunge, and blues recalls days when rock’s best singer/songwriters […]

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The Band

Live at the Academy of Music 1971

The Band’s double-LP Rock of Ages was released in August 1972, their first live collection – as well as their last before they disbanded with 1978’s The Last Waltz. As phenomenal as their finale show was, guest stars and all, the earlier collection captured them at a creative peak and was a much more characteristic […]

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Jimbo Mathus

Dark Night of the Soul

None other than Jim Dickinson once christened Jimbo Mathus as “The singing voice of Huckleberry Finn.” Huck Finn with a hot-wired and hoppedup electric guitar in hand, that is. And now he’s back with his ninth solo album. Mathus is best known as the ringleader of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, which fused old-timey jazz, blues, […]

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Calvin Keys

Electric Keys

To some, Calvin Keys is already a legend; to far too many, he’s an unsung hero or, worse, an unknown. In addition to being honored with Pat Metheny’s tribute “Calvin’s Keys,” on the composer/guitarist’s Day Trip album, in his 50-plus-year career Keys has toured with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Ray Charles, and six of the heaviest […]

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Nick Knirk

Nick Pickin'

As soon as this Louisiana native finished high school, he relocated to Denton, Texas, near Dallas, where he got a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He lists Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Cliff Gallup, Danny Gatton, Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Dick Dale, Brian Setzer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robben Ford, […]

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Leo “Bud” Welch

Sabougla Voices

In this day and age, it’s downright incredible that 81-year-old Mississippi bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch has remained unknown to the broader musical world. Unknown – until now, that is. Welch was born in 1932 in Sabougla, a crossroads burg in central Mississippi that’s so small most maps can’t find it. Welch has called the area […]

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Pierre Bensusan


In a career spanning four decades, acoustic virtuoso Pierre Bensusan has created some of the most enchanting guitar music ever heard, much of it in his beloved DADGAD tuning. Oddly enough, even with near-continuous touring, he’s still a cult commodity. Encore, his three-CD set of live recordings from the mid ’70s to today, may cure […]

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Uncle Tupelo

No Depression Legacy Edition

Some fans of the late, great Uncle Tupelo claim solace in the fact the band’s acrimonious split resulted in two great bands – Jay Farrar’s Son Volt and Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco. Others dismiss this as only so much cold comfort. A few listens to Legacy’s deluxe reissue of Uncle Tupelo’s debut, No Depression, should convince […]

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