London-raised, New York-based singer and songwriter Cariad Harmon comes into her own on the sparkling and soulful ballad "Like You," a love song meant for clapping and humming along to, if ever there was one.
Like a polished update of the ever-elusive sound of the Band, Hiss Golden Messenger's "Saturday's Song" rollicks and rolls with sweet mandolin, piano, country-funk guitar and a rhythm meant for skipping all the way from front to back porch, and never spilling a drop of whiskey along the way.
Tailor made for indian summer, "September Fields" stretches out with an easy-going soul groove -- dig the horns, dig the B3, dig the responsive harmonies -- and Frazey Ford's expressive, trilling voice. Like a warm fall day, you wish it would last forever.
"There's no hope for myself trying to be a good pearl," sings Arum Rae on the brooding "2001." "Tried to walk the line and see the light/But as the sun sets, the lonelier I get." Backed by grimy electro-blues and with her voice filtered as if through a cistern, she doesn't just sound haunted. She sounds like she has personal hellhounds on her trail.
J Mascis, leader of heavy-rock band Dinosaur Jr., continues his acoustic explorations with the gorgeously harmonized and elegantly finger-picked "Wide Awake." The song may be unplugged but it's fully charged with electric imagination.
The St. Louis Folk & Roots Festival returns September 25-28 to Grand Center. With a full schedule and lineup, the festival promises to be packed with great music and activities for all.
Ben Cassorla has been a go-to helping hand for bands like Washed Out and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, but he also dabbles in solo work as Cassorla. The new single, "The Right Way," is pure digital bedroom pop for guitar riff-loving people.
Putting a contemporary, jazzy spin on the driving bluegrass sound, Blue Canyon Boys will appeal to fans of dyed-in-the-wool old-time country and lovers of acoustic music in general. The honky-tonkin' "Heartaches Welcome" is the Colorado band at its pickin' and harmonizin' best.
There's nothing quite like a driving, wailing, sawing, old-time fiddle track. Old Buck, featuring Riley Baugus on banjo and vocals and Emily Schaad on fiddle, delivers just that on the classic tune "Chilly Winds."
Rushing by on a slipstream of bowed bass and sometimes trembling, sometimes wailing vocal rounds, "Although You’re Gone" defines the "dark Americana" sound of Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings.