For the last 10 years or so, seeing Old 97's live has been the sonic equivalent of comfort food for me, my musical bacon-wrapped meatloaf, if you will.
Nikki Lane's newest record, "All or Nothin'," isn't just an album title. It's a statement of character: you either like her or you don't. You take her as she is, or you don't get anything at all.
I slipped into the Gramophone shortly after opener Leif Vollebekk, an acoustic troubadour from Montreal, took to the stage. As the crowd chattered and clinked their glasses, Vollebekk stood alone with a grateful grin on his face, projecting silken, Dylan-esque fingerpicking and vocals toward the Gramophone's bar wall.
Co-written with the San Francisco-based poet klipschutz, "The Left Hand and the Right Hand" tells the story of the Mitchell brothers, porn kings of the seedy side of San Francisco, whose rise to power ultimately ended in fratricide. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express make that tale unforgettable in this recording from the KDHX studios.
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.
The countrified, poppy aesthetic of the Mastersons, a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter duo, was forged at a festival in Colorado where the pair first met by chance.