Michael Bialas's Blog (130)

Welcoming Back the (Mighty) Duhks: An Interview With Leonard Podolak and Jessee Havey

photo 1 Jessee Havey remembers the day she took the Duhk call like it was ... well ... 2011.

Four years after leaving the Duhks, one of the Canadian neo-folk scene’s most influential roots acts, the stunning songbird was sitting in the backseat of a taxicab heading toward her day job as school administrator at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg.

Leonard Podolak, who had known Havey since she…


Added by Michael Bialas on June 15, 2014 at 10:00am — 7 Comments

Introducing House of Hats: British Group Making Move with Debut Album, New Video, and First U.S. Tour

Officially open for business, House of Hats is a worthwhile investment opportunity.

The folk-rock quartet based in Brighton, Eng., starts with brothers Alex and Rob Gigante, both of whom happen to have a thing for fashionable headwear (as any of their performance videos on YouTube will prove).

After older brother Alex (guitars, piano, soulful Cat…


Added by Michael Bialas on June 10, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison Go on the Record about Life after Our Year

Kelly Willis &  Bruce Robison are getting ready to take a break from each other.

Now don’t get alarmed. It's not what you think. The tuneful toast of Texas twosomes who helped make Austin awesome aren’t for a split second sailing into the sunset like Captain & Tennille.

Married with four children, Willis and Robison put aside…


Added by Michael Bialas on May 14, 2014 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

St. Vincent in Concert: As Performance Artist, Annie Clark Shows Her True Colors

One of the most intriguing aspects about attending a St. Vincent concert is the anticipation. What will Annie Clark do next?

That’s what one high-strung son of someone was thinking for the rest of us while pressed up against the barrier leaving just enough breathing room between entertainer and her target audience as March wound down while that inevitable day for April fools waited…


Added by Michael Bialas on April 13, 2014 at 10:00am — 6 Comments

In First Visit to eTown, Lake Street Dive, Eilen Jewell Feel Right at Home

Lake Street Dive Rachael Price sings Walking into Boulder's eTown Hall (yes, little "e," big "T") for the first time is something like basking in the afterglow of a religious experience.

General admission seating on each side of the venue includes rows of wooden pews, and the source of inspiration for the modestly sized stained-glass window must be Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church for country singers of yesteryear as well as today’s Americana artists.

Gauging the number of first-time…


Added by Michael Bialas on April 2, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

The Sea The Sea Present New Video, Play 20 Questions

Charlie Chaplin clip On the first day of spring, flowers were blooming and romance was in the air, signaling a fresh start in life or renewed hope and faith. As birds chirped and bees buzzed, what could not be denied is love, promising love.

A smart, sweet and embraceable singing-songwriting duo known as The Sea The Sea convey all those feelings in a what's-old-is-new video that is presented here today.

"Fists Full of Flowers" is a beautiful song…


Added by Michael Bialas on March 21, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Peek Into Lake Street Dive’s Album of Bad Self Portraits and Fall in Love With Rachael Price’s Voice

Rachael Price couldn’t spend Valentine’s Day at home in Brooklyn with her sweetheart, so she sang her heart out instead. Thus, another in a series of torrid love affairs between performer and audience was unleashed.

Yet Price’s most enduring relationship began as a childhood crush.

“I never wanted to do anything else but sing,” said Price, the breathtaking voice behind Lake Street Dive, one of the busiest, buzziest,…


Added by Michael Bialas on February 19, 2014 at 9:30am — 13 Comments

After Becoming Pen Pals, Musician Mary Fahl and Author Anne Rice Form an Everlasting Bond

image001 Mary Fahl didn't need to become a vampire to achieve pop culture immortality. Famed author Anne Rice gave it to the enduring singer-songwriter by sinking her teeth into one memorable passage in her latest novel, The Wolves of Midwinter:

The radio was playing an old dreamy melodic song from the nineties. He…


Added by Michael Bialas on February 12, 2014 at 10:05am — No Comments

Nashville’s Amy Stroup Takes a Dark Turn Into Tunnel

It took going through a long, dark Tunnel for Amy Stroup to find herself.

The Nashville-based singer-songwriter is many things to many people these days. Perhaps most identified in music circles since 2012 as Sugar, the fun-loving, hip-swinging R&B and retro rock star of Trent Dabbs’…


Added by Michael Bialas on February 4, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

Todd Snider and David Schools Represent Today’s Hard Working Americans

Hard-Working-Americans-for-BT Todd Snider was rummaging through his mail during a three-way cross-country phone conversation in early December, when Christmas apparently came early.

“Holy shit, I think someone just sent me a bunch of drugs,” the funky folk singer-songwriter announced from Nashville. “That’s mushrooms.”

David Schools, Snider’s quick-thinking partner in the…


Added by Michael Bialas on January 11, 2014 at 12:16pm — 21 Comments

Personal Best: 13 Sound Choices in 2013

This year in music was all about playing favorites.

Oh, occasionally a few artists who were a delightful pleasure to hear for the first time managed to move in among the familiar faces. But, for the most part, this top 13 of ’13 list includes players I either reviewed and/or interviewed during the past year for The Huffington Post and No Depression, the…


Added by Michael Bialas on December 27, 2013 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

Sound Proof: The Lone Bellow Live in Denver

The Lone Bellow was literally in the middle of a stunning performance at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on the first day of December, gripping an audience in the cramped but energized room with tunes that went from exuberant to emotional in a matter of minutes.

Then one lone bellow filled the room.

Zach Williams, the group’s animated frontman, showman and funnyman, acoustic…


Added by Michael Bialas on December 15, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Stevie Nicks Sound Mix: She Stirs Up a Hot Pot of Fleetwood Mac, Dave Stewart and American Horror Stories for This Witches Brew

This must be the Season of the Witch.

Not only did the brilliantly warped minds behind American Horror Story, Ryan and Murphy and Brad Falchuk, create a Coven of them for Season 3, but they also made the witchiest woman of them all part of it.

And Stevie Nicks couldn’t be more delighted. Her summation of the role: “I’ve never done anything like it in my entire…


Added by Michael Bialas on December 9, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Wild Ponies Just Might be Americana’s Next Dark Horses

You’re a happily married couple who share a 24-7 existence, mostly writing songs while roaming free in what’s left of the open country. Yet when you put your first two names together, the act sounds like a finger-snapping folk duo resembling the fictitious Mitch and Mickey, who were reunited in the 2003 mockumentary A Mighty Wind.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but ... If you like your lyrics dark, your melodies moodier, your Christmases not quite so merry…


Added by Michael Bialas on November 29, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Dido Delivers Greatest Hits With Beauty, Style, Grace

Dido eyes Ultimately, Dido believes her upcoming collection of songs is “the crazy diary of my life” rather than a greatest hits record.

Dido’s Greatest Hits, available on November 25 through RCA Records in standard and deluxe editions, covers almost 15 years, beginning in 1999 with the release of…


Added by Michael Bialas on November 21, 2013 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

East Meets West: Benefit Brings Heather Maloney to Boulder

Heather Maloney (right) admittedly didn’t know what to expect when she joined forces with There With Care in late September.

The singer-songwriter born in New Jersey but now based in Northampton, Massachusetts, has remained primarily in her Northeastern comfort zone since leaving the solace of a meditative life to become a full-time musician in 2009.

So flying to Colorado to perform two…


Added by Michael Bialas on October 15, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Made in the Shade: ZZ Ward Brings Blues to Colorful Colorado

ZZ Ward pick It was pouring buckets that wreaked havoc in Colorado the week that ZZ Ward arrived in mid-September with her Down and Dirty Shine tour.

“I was getting a little nervous about the weather,” Ward said, acknowledging the situation more than halfway through her set at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on September 14. Her previous day was spent at the…


Added by Michael Bialas on September 23, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Vienna Teng Takes Aims to Another Level

“It’s such cool and eccentric but such deeply emotional and innovative music and it’s so hard to achieve all of those things at the same time.”

Vienna Teng was expressing her admiration for another musician last week when she said that, not for a moment considering she was describing her own latest ambitious and remarkable project.

So let’s say it for her: Witness the musical rebirth of Vienna Teng with…


Added by Michael Bialas on September 17, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Family Valuable: It’s Easy to Relate to He’s My Brother She’s My Sister

HMBSMS Rachel Kolar hair close Some groups are just so irresistible, you can’t help but root for them like they’re one of your own. He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is one of those groups whose cheeks you just can’t wait to pinch.

Besides having one of the best band names in recent memory (check out Faye Dunaway’s startling revelation to private dick Jack Nicholson in all-time favorite…


Added by Michael Bialas on September 5, 2013 at 11:05am — 2 Comments

Going 2-on-1 With Over the Rhine’s Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist

Karin Bergquist There are a lot of terrifically talented and youthful singer-songwriting couples today who, when they’re not making out, breaking up or making up, are capable of making beautiful music together.

Now all of them should listen up, especially if they aspire to reach the level of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, a perfect match of team players who are complementary and complimentary.

The affable husband-and-wife tandem that comprises Midwestern roots act…


Added by Michael Bialas on August 30, 2013 at 1:30am — 4 Comments

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