When she was 16, Sarah Jarosz came into the acoustic-music scene seemingly fully formed. She has continued to demand and hold our attention ever since.
Putting a contemporary, jazzy spin on the driving bluegrass sound, Blue Canyon Boys will appeal to fans of dyed-in-the-wool old-time country and lovers of acoustic music in general. The honky-tonkin' "Heartaches Welcome" is the Colorado band at its pickin' and harmonizin' best.
Eight bands from St. Louis paid tribute to one of the grand masters of songwriting on Saturday night at Off Broadway. And they all did Leonard Cohen's poetry proud.
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.