Terry Roland's Blog (170)

Riley Etheridge Jr. Comes in on the Straight and Narrow

There’s something deep into the core of New York City singer-songwriter Riley Etheridge Jr.’s new release, The Straight and Narrow Way, that carries with it a deeply Stax/Muscle Shoals realized sonic bloodline. It’s this sense of the music from these sessions that celebrates, travels, dances, thinks, feels, dreams and, at times bleeds, that links it to the finest soul music of the last several decades. It’s a roadhouse romp and big city blues jam fused with South Louisiana…

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Added by Terry Roland on April 8, 2014 at 12:00am — No Comments

Jesse Winchester - An Appreciation

 

Five Years ago I had the pleasure of talking with legendary singer-songwriter, Jesse Winchester. Our conversation was beyond pleasant. We connected and found a great time of laughter together.  I'm still no veteran when it comes to interviewing artists, especially those I admire. But in 2009, I was just plain green. He was kind, funny, open and self-effacing about his own legacy.  

Jesse Winchester and especially his first…

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Added by Terry Roland on April 6, 2014 at 11:30pm — 7 Comments

Michael Nesmith: A Cosmic Monkee on the Rise

If any Texas born country singer-songwriter could be considered a cosmic cowboy it would have to be Michael Nesmith. After even a brief perusal of his 70’s solo albums it becomes clear if Gram Parsons coined the term “Cosmic American Music,” Nesmith certainly defined and expanded it. A listen to his current album, Rays, solidifies his credentials as a surveyor and journeyman in the American music landscape extending beyond any label, which he believes only limits the…

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Added by Terry Roland on April 3, 2014 at 10:30pm — 20 Comments

Ernest Troost's O Love-CD Review

By day, Ernest Troost is an Emmy award winning composer of film and television music. His best known score is for the camp-horror classic, Tremors.  But, by night, his blood is filled with the blues of the Piedmont region of the deep South,  the folk songs and tales of the Appalachians and the eccentric stories of Flannery O’Connor with just a twist of the big city folk-pop sensibility of Paul Simon.  The mix is a good one. Throughout his songwriting career and on his new…

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Added by Terry Roland on March 28, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Lucinda Williams: The Cosmic Queen of Americana Music

Her voice is smokey, rough, and sweet at the same time. She’s has been described as one part bourbon; two parts honey. Her path to success has been strewn with personal tragedy. It’s been an earthbound trail of loss that has parallelled her success. Even so, her songwriting stands out from the overpopulated world of singer-songwriters in her refusal to allow self-indulgence, introspection, and self-pity to seep into her work. At 61, Louisiana born singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams…

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Added by Terry Roland on March 17, 2014 at 3:30am — 3 Comments

David Bromberg: Unsung Treasures of Hope and Faith

“The reason man created stringed instruments: David touched them with a lover’s fingers and they moaned that true love right back at him. Wood and wire and flesh spoke.” —Jerry Jeff Walker

Every American artist worth their salt has a story to tell. Many from our musical heritage have left us in flames of self-destruction. Others have lived long, had their downturns, returned restored, and have given back the hope they found in the depth of…

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Added by Terry Roland on March 12, 2014 at 11:00pm — 8 Comments

Rod Melancon Haunts His Own Parish Lines

If Louisiana native singer-songwriter Rod Melancon's debut solo album, My Family Name, was a Valentine to Hank Williams and the Outlaw Movement of the 70's, then his outstanding new album, Parish Lines, released March 4th on Medina River Records, is certainly a love letter to Bruce Springsteen and the alt country movement of the last 20 years.  

That's a very good thing when…

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Added by Terry Roland on March 7, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

The Long Dusty Road of L.A.'s The Far West

There is a point, when listening to a music created with a specific vision where looking back connects us to the present and the shows us the road to the future.  

The Far West, who have just released their sophomore album, Any Day Now, on the San Antonio based Medina River Records illustrates this experience. Along with L.A.…

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Added by Terry Roland on February 28, 2014 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Remembering Pete Seeger: A Time to Sing

“He passed away, that doesn’t mean he’s gone.” Arlo Guthrie

Sometimes it seems life spins us through a series of  circles and cycles. Along the way we find the wise ones; heroes we call them. Our cultural heroes sit uncomfortably on a pedestal we make for them. When we have the opportunity to get to know them, the once famous legends in our eyes, become human with strengths and flaws like the rest of us. Of course, that’s because they are the ‘rest of us.' This has…

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Added by Terry Roland on February 21, 2014 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Richie Furay Travels Hand in Hand with Kind Woman

by Terry Roland

There is no one more infectious in their passion and energy for music than Richie Furay. The former co-founder of Buffalo Springfield and Poco, now going into his 70th year, shows no signs of letting up. In fact, in a recent phone conversation from his Colorado home, he stated with his own brand of energy and…

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Added by Terry Roland on February 12, 2014 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

North Mississippi Allstars Bring World Boogie From Home

There is great joy in the blues. It’s an irony easily overlooked. But the North Mississippi Allstars on their 2013 release, World Boogie Is Coming, bring it on so completely it’s almost overwhelming. This is not your ordinary blues-rock trio. It’s as if these artists could have been plucked from the streets of Tupelo in the late ’40s when Sam Phillips was scouting for the likes of Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf,…

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Added by Terry Roland on January 19, 2014 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

Rosanne Cash Follows the Call of the River and the Thread

There is an unbroken line that runs through the deep South like a river. It can be traced through history, through the anguished soul of the land and its people. It's where our nation divided itself during the Civil War. It's where the restless outcry for justice gave birth to the Civil Rights Movement. The South has been destroyed and rebuilt. It has been enslaved, judged, condemned and made to conform. But, it has also given birth to an angel-muse that spoke through the music and…

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Added by Terry Roland on January 4, 2014 at 7:00pm — 10 Comments

Rick Danko's 70th Birthday: A Voice for the Ages

Today, Rick Danko, a key member of The Band, arguably the best American group of the last 50 years, would have been 70 years old. He died in his sleep in 1999. According to legend and fact, reality and lore, Danko was everything a rock and roll musician should be; wild, free, funny, excessive, childlike and wise as an owl. Unfortunately, that meant an early death as well.  He was part of the trio of vocals( including Richard Manuel and Levon Helm) that helped to give The Band it's…

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Added by Terry Roland on December 29, 2013 at 3:30pm — 44 Comments

Terry Roland's Ten Best Albums of 2013

Once, when I interviewed "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" songwriter, Jack Tempchin, he said the writer's greatest tool is a deadline. While I see the wisdom in his statement, I am a walking contradiction of the concept. I get a deadline, I forget, I procrastinate and eventually, the blessed event has come and gone. So, as Stephen Stills once famously said, for what it's worth, here's mine. 

But first, let me say, I found 2013 in Americana music to be exceptional.  Many of new…

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Added by Terry Roland on December 20, 2013 at 11:30pm — 12 Comments

The Blind Boys of Alabama-A Christmas Story

There is nothing more unique than the sound of the human voice. From it comes all of the sounds of our spirit, our emotions, our deepest selves. Today, I sit here in the warmth of a small apartment, the rain pouring outside onto the Pasadena streets as I listen to the Blind Boys of Alabama defy time and spiritual boundaries to sing their love songs to Jesus. “Hold Me Jesus(in the Palm of Your Hand)” resonates and implodes into my weary brain with near perfect harmony and the raw,…

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Added by Terry Roland on December 18, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Yonder Mountain String Band Find New Life in the Studio

There is a funny kind of enigma to the music of Yonder Mountain String Band. Are they a jam band with a singer-songwriter mentality or are they a singer-songwriter band with jam tendencies?  It doesn't really matter.  However characterized, in addition to…

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Added by Terry Roland on December 5, 2013 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

John Oates Finds The Good Road Home

Sometimes the best roads are the ones that lead us back home. After a 30 year odyssey that has taken him through the multi-colored world of pop super stardom, as one half of the popular duo, Hall & Oates, John Oates finds himself walking a road back to where he began, in the best sense. His road home returns him into the arms of the best in American musical traditions: Namely, the R&B of his hometown, Philadelphia & to the folk and blues he once absorbed there. During…

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Added by Terry Roland on November 20, 2013 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments

Mary Gauthier: Stories of Loss & Triumph

If great art depends on the reflection of the artist's soul in their work, then the act of songwriting can be a daunting, at times risky and intimate experience. A painter, a poet or a writer can leave such reflections on the canvas or the printed page. However, the songwriter often finds her work's full realization in performance before a live audience.  Once a song is captured in the studio, in the hands of singer-songwriter, Mary Gauthier the art of the song continues to…

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Added by Terry Roland on November 5, 2013 at 2:30pm — 3 Comments

Dan Crary: His Bluegrass Thunders the Nation

Dan Crary may not be a household name to many folks today. That is, unless you’re a bluegrass fan or a student of acoustic guitar. Then, hearing his name conjures up the sound of some of the most eloquent and well-executed flat-picking on acoustic guitar imaginable. Beyond that, Crary is among one of the few who…

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Added by Terry Roland on November 4, 2013 at 10:57pm — 3 Comments

Brian Wright Rattles Our Chains

In the world today, what’s new is new. If it shines, we love it. But, what’s new becomes gradually and increasingly old, by the minute. In the world of popular music this is numbingly true. Trends are created by corporate nobodies then marketed, followed as bridges and trails are blazed and burned away.

Then, once in a great while, artists like Brian Wright come along. He’s new, but his sound is old, in the best…

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Added by Terry Roland on October 23, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.