The world has brought us the instruments that have been integral to the evolution of American music.
Last Thursday night at Concordia Turner Hall I closed my eyes and was instantly transported to 1965, a calliope tooting in the distance, watching the banks of the Mississippi River glide past from a porthole on the S.S. Admiral.
If you have never seen the Carolina Chocolate Drops live, you must immediately fill up your biggest thermos with tar-black coffee, get in the car and follow them to Indianapolis for their gig on Saturday.
Derided in countless jokes, often by the very people that play it, the banjo just might be poised to show us why it really is the greatest instrument ever. Or, at the very least, to make a good case as to why it isn't the worst.
Veteran Knoxville-based band Jerry Butler and the Blu J's don't want to stretch your bluegrass boundaries, which is kind of nice for a change.
Widely recognized as one of the greatest living American fiddlers, Bruce Molsky captures the whole range of traditional folk music.
As Edgar Lee Masters was to the small towns of Illinois, so Frontier Ruckus is to the strip malls and suburbia of Detroit. The band's debut for the Ramseur label, Deadmalls and Nightfalls, evokes the mysteries and memories that haunt these everyday places.