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by Derek Lynch
To warm up the crowd on a freezing Thursday night at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Joe Pug invited local super-duo Dusty Heart to play a set consisting of covers, originals, and pure Americana soul. Minnesota folk heroes Molly Dean and Barbara Jean quietly and confidently took the stage without introduction, plugged in, and tuned before the crowd realized anything was happening. Within seconds of their opener, “the River,” the audience was taken on a trip to Appalachia and the far North where music happens in circles around a jug of whiskey with family and close friends. The original song was reminiscent of the storytellers that define Americana music-I couldn’t help but be reminded of Gillian Welch’s light, rhythmic guitar and Alison Krauss’s ethereal voice. Continue reading
Photo By Eduardo A. Colon
by Derek Lynch
As Adam Levy’s six-person backing band took the stage last Saturday night and created a wall of sound that grew in intensity until it melded into the intro of “Eucatastrophe”, a slideshow of grotesque and surreal artwork was projected onto the wall behind them. This was to be a visual counterpart to the underlying focus of mental health and suicide awareness on Levy’s newest record, Naubinway. After the unimaginably tragic loss of his son Daniel to suicide in 2012, Levy managed to carry on by becoming a beacon of support and guidance for families experiencing similar tragedies. As stated by Bill Grey of People Incorporated earlier in the evening, Levy has helped countless others cope by speaking out with his own story, and by writing music to help us all connect with each other. Last night, Adam and friends treated the Cedar to the entirety of the record, all translated beautifully from studio to stage. Continue reading
If this doesn’t start your toes a tappin, you have a serious problem.
“City of Fortune” is the lead single off of Andy Cook’s forthcoming debut EP, due out on March 1, 2016.
By Rebecca Marx
John Louis is releasing his CD Drift at the Aster Cafe on 9/26, and I was privileged to possess an advanced copy to dig into. The CD’s title is well chosen, the work is elegantly paced, slow music if you will, and the piece as a whole is beautifully written. After several listens, I found myself struck by its direct lyrics, and especially obsessed by the track: “So Sorry”. I come by my adoration of music in relation to the lyrics first, a lifelong fan of poetry and prose. Continue reading
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Great track from a new album from Sarah Morris. She celebrates her CD Release with Tim Houhlihan who is also releasing a new album.
By Courtney Schultz
Bluegrass music pockets a way of filling you up from your core and working itself through your entire being. Stir it up with the perfect concoction of sunlight-warmed skin and grass-cushioned feet, and it will lift you off the ground and move you; your soul being summoned to enter the physical world, or perhaps it’s your body entering the spiritual world. Continue reading
By Samuel Wigness
There are few instances in music when the ceramic XXX moonshine jug has been used to great effect. It seemed to disappear after Mungo Jerry’s use in the 1970 hit “Summertime,” perhaps returning to the porch from whence it came. Continue reading
“Hey there,” Ben Burwell and company gladly hail the unknown ear, “…How long has your entire been cold and tired? Give me your hand, we’re gonna find you fire.” This warm welcome greets the listener on “Your Thief,” the first track off of Taj Raj’s latest, Night Speech, and continues for a strong seven minutes. It’s the first of many compositions on this release that pass the five minute mark, leaving the ear well sated. So like the dedication of time lent to the creation of this release, required in return is an investment on part of the listener: to take an hour of the day to press play and let be. Continue reading
By Clara Tsac
Minneapolis-based band Chokecherry puts a fresh spin on your favorite country records in the paradoxically titled The Future Was a Long Time Ago. Folksy, whimsical, sometimes self-deprecating, Chokecherry is a band that makes feel-good music without taking themselves too seriously. Most of the songs intertwine loosely harmonized choruses and mournful blues singing over a mix of country and punk. Continue reading