Following up his acclaimed album with Emmylou Harris in 2013, Rodney Crowell draws on songs written a few years back and rekindles his creativity with musicians from his '80s career. The result is his 14th solo achievement, "Tarpaper Sky."
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.
From broadcasting out of a tower in Arnold, Mo., to the second floor of the Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media on Washington Avenue, Steve Pick, host of "Sound Salvation," has seen and heard it all.
The Delines are a new project led by songwriter and novelist Willy Vlautin and Amy Boone of the Damnations TX, and including members of Richmond Fontaine, the Decemberists and the Minus 5. As heard on the luminous, country-soul track "I Won't Slip Up," the band's sound is as familiar and consoling as a favorite drink in a favorite bar, and as memorable and bittersweet as the hard-luck stories shared there.
The old devil is at it again. For a simple farm-to-stage musician, William Elliott Whitmore can make a helluva lot of noise.
"Got a quiver full of fire and a head full of rain, and I've been clinging to the drifting air," begins Patrick Park's lyrically majestic and musically humble "My Holding Hand Is Empty." It's the kind of song that only a serious songwriter could write; that it's so well sung and performed just makes it all the more remarkable.
Katie and Mike West, aka Truckstop Honeymoon, are back with more tales of everyday life, love, sadness and happiness, all written and sung with all the heart and humor of the American heartland. "Sometimes I Cry" ranks with some of their most honest and affecting ballads.
Pick a genre: punk, cowpunk, rock, alt country, singer-songwriter and you will find that Alejandro Escovedo has done it all.