If country music is tilapia -- bland, good with everything, unremarkable, nutritionally average -- then old time music, like that played by Foghorn Stringband, is a can of sardines: pungent, strong, an acquired taste, and also infinitely richer.
When she was 16, Sarah Jarosz came into the acoustic-music scene seemingly fully formed. She has continued to demand and hold our attention ever since.
The jacket design of Willie Watson's "Folk Singer Vol. 1" is pure 1963 camp: he's got a pipe, and the presentation is sparse to look like a Lomax field recording from the period.
The key to playing music is listening to music, being aware of what is out there, taking cues and ideas, and using all those things to build a musical palette.
When the Duhks first came on the scene in 2001 they were, right off the mark, as challenging as they were entertaining, and as infectious as they were affecting.
It's easy to forget that there are lots of ways to be involved in the music industry. Rodney Crowell, though not a household name, is a giant of his craft, and getting your mind around the length and breadth of his career can be daunting.
After seven years apart, Nickel Creek is back with “A Dotted Line.” As in the early part of their career together, Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins are doing things that no one else is doing while serving an audience that is interested in picking up the Nickel Creek story where it left off.
There is an interesting moment in a recent interview with Dave Holden, guitarist of the Irish band I Draw Slow, when he notes that in America their music is described as Irish, and in Ireland, it's American. The problem might simply be in knowing too much; the band may be from Ireland, but this is American music, drawing from the folk traditions of Appalachia.
Darol Anger is one of the most skilled fiddlers working today. He is interested in taking the instrument into new places, though he's not interested in developing an entirely new vocabulary for the instrument, and I think that's an important distinction.
The Infamous Stringdusters came on the scene in 2007 and, right out of the gate, commanded a lot of attention, a lot of accolades, and some very impressive awards.