Album Reviews

Reviews of recent albums

Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness Of Dancers

Mike (MC) Taylor brings forth his fifth full-length record under the Hiss Golden Messenger moniker, on Merge Records, Lateness Of Dancers, released September 9, 2014. The usual suspects are all accounted for -- William Tyler handles some lead guitar work, longtime cohort Scott Hirsch glues the rhythm with his bass guitar, while doubling as sound engineer, and Megafaun’s multi-instrumentalist brotherly duo, Phil and Brad Cook, round out fills and solos -- to name only a few. What transpires is yet another ethereal journey through the guitar-toting, folk mainstay’s brand of soul-strumming,...

The Gypsy Lumberjacks: Pied Pipers Who Carry a Heavy Vernacular Load Like Pros

The Gypsy Lumberjacks showed their impulse to wander by venturing into territory that so far remains a wasteland for them. Milwaukee, specifically, a gig at Catch 22 -- a sports bar where virtually all downtown dwellers were outdoors, savoring some of the last few beautiful summer evenings. So, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, September can be a pretty damn cruel month, too.  Yet these woodsy gypsies  “bred lilacs out of the dead land”  -- performing a set of fresh inspiration and forward-thrusting bloom, to their own high professional standards on the premise that people...

The Marshall Tucker Band - Live! Englishtown, NJ 9/3/77

It was a perfect day for a concert -- and what a venue, right beside the Englishtown, NJ, race track. It was a hot, late-summer afternoon. My friends and I pulled into the outskirts of Englishtown and decided to park a good walk away, because we asked and heard that the small town was full of cars, and people were paying to park on peoples' front yards.  So, we walked about thirty, forty-five minutes to Raceway Park, right beside where the concert was going to be. It was a huge area surrounded by 18-wheeler trailers for a fence, and the huge stage took up a large area...

Louise Mosrie - Lay It Down

Balancing personal landscapes with historical reflections At the dawn of the 21st Century, Mosrie released a couple of acoustic pop recordings, then in 2004 relocated to Nashville and set about refocusing her approach to songwriting. Between 2009 and 2011, success came her way in festival song contests at Kerrville, Wildflower, Telluride, and Falcon Ridge. Early 2010 witnessed the release of Mosrie's rootsy collection Home. Peaking at #1 on the Folk DJ chart, the album consolidated her standing as a touring acoustic folk/country musician on the rise. Mosrie’s life journey...