The War on Drugs truly creates a genre of its own, combining the electricity of psychedelia with the craftsmanship of veteran songwriters. It may be hard to fathom, but worry less about categorizing and temporarily drift away via "Lost in the Dream."
Often described as dexterous and original, Marisa Anderson's guitar playing stretches the limitations of conventional blues, combining American folk, blues and country music in each song.
Over years on the singer-songwriter circuit, Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt have built a musical friendship that they fulfill on their first duo record, "For Keeps," which leads off with the graceful, carefree "Two White Clouds." If this song wasn't made to welcome in the summer, no song could be.
Two Aussie brothers Anthony and David Gill make up the core of City Walls Autumn Falls, a band now based in Brooklyn, New York. For their new album "Factory," they went to the same Woodstock, New York hills that inspired some of Bob Dylan and the Band's greatest work. The track "Sheltered Me" proves the trip wasn't just a random errand into the folk wilderness.
Bobby Bare Jr was born into country music royalty, with George Jones and Tammy Wynette as next door neighbors, and many opportunities for the easy path lay at his feet, but he took a route of his own design.
I have to admit that lately, I'm feeling the effects of age. On the back end of my 40s, my body is letting me down, my short-term memory is shot through with holes and I feel my aesthetic and artistic sensibilities are, to say the least, unappreciated by the current crop of whippersnappers coming up.
Amy LaVere's new work captures her lonely, desperate and complicated teenage years, and the wandering mind of a runaway, full of confusion and angst.
Fear not. Evil Forces isn't another black-metal band skulking out of obscure reaches of the Nordic lands. Evil Forces is a folk group from Jyväskylä, Finland, and its sound, especially on the plaintive, wintery "Parcels of Sleep," couldn't be more inviting.