The cover photo of this disc is a composite of Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, one image overlaid on the other. It's hard to see who belongs to which hands, or which head goes with which shirt, and indeed, the music on this disc continues in that vein -- they play so closely together, it is as if the two minds have become one. It's unreal.
Lera Lynn is a rising Americana star on the move.
The Lowest Pair has a timeless old-time sound. Promo photos aside, Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee make no pretensions to authenticity. On a track like "Moving On," the beauty of their harmonies and intricate banjo-and-fiddle arrangements speaks for itself.
Memphis, Tennesse isn't generally thought of as a hotbed for chamber-folk music, but it depends on your vision of "chamber" and "folk." The vision of Memphis Dawls -- featuring a varied cast of musicians, including Holly Cole, Jana Misener and Krista Wroten -- is as inspired by classic Memphis soul as it is the complex, emotional pop of Big Star (the group recorded in the hallowed halls of Ardent studios). The new song "Please Don't Leave Me Now" expresses a string-drenched yearning that defies narrow definitions.
Recorded under the sparest of conditions -- apparently just two microphones and an open door -- Gwyneth Moreland's "Little Black Flies" finds the Northern Californian in a timeless, contemplative folk mood that lingers long after the small but lovely song is through.
The title to the new cut "Baseline" by Ann Arbor, Michigan songwriter Vincent Colbert describes both his theme and his pared-down but still intricately acoustic sound. "Addicted to progress and chained to sucess, we're holding our breath just to fill these shoes." Words to try to live by in these often maddeningly competitive times.
Strictly speaking, Carolina Chocolate Drops aren’t simply an Americana band. They’re a bona fide history lesson.
Singer and songwriter Dave McPherson, best known for his work with UK alt-metal band InMe, demonstrates the power of his plaintive voice, furtive guitar and searching lyrics on the new solo acoustic track "Nothing Is Enough."