Among up-and-coming old-time and Americana artists, Betse Ellis is surely one of the most versatile. A deft songwriter, accomplished fiddler and a moving singer, Ellis draws on influences ranging from John Hartford to the Clash. "Golden Road," from her 2013 album "High Moon Order," finds the Kansas City-based musician in a reflective, lush, pedal steel-dappled mood.
The adventurous sound of Funeral Bonsai Wedding is something entirely new for songwriter Steve Dawson, long-known as leader of Chicago rock band Dolly Varden and accomplished solo artist. Suffused with free-swinging jazz and physically-intense romanticism, "As Soon As I Walk In" captures the expressive power of an open-ended musical approach.
Steve Dawson has received recognition and success in the Chicago music scene for almost two decades, but even with all his accomplishments he remains down-to-earth and his music true to his Idaho-based roots.
Classically-schooled, Sydney-based musicians Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown formed Falls as a couple, but broke up just after recording their debut EP "Hollywood" in 2011.
A storyteller in the tradition of Woody Guthrie or Bruce Springsteen, Otis Gibbs has released the new album "Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth," a collection of raw and honest tales of the common man and his trials and tribulations. His stories are clear, and he sings with such weathered emotion that you'll surely stop and listen to what he has to say.
"They're trying to put the weight of life on us," sings Massimiliano Morini of Moro & the Silent Revolution. "Our first rule should be to never look behind." It's a dose of folk-pop optimism that's well-worth heeding and hearing.