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.
Recording under the name Slight Birching, Vancouver-based songwriter Sean Travis Ramsay fuses Morricone atmospheres, lo-fi rock and ruminative folk on the new track "Currency."
A dark, foggy night puts visibility at zero. Footprints on a muddy road lead to a house. A man sits on the porch alone with a world full of memories and a hollow-body guitar full of stories -- this man is none other than Ray Bonneville.
You know providence is smiling on you when you play the Newport Folk Festival and find one of your heroes in the greenroom waiting to sing "Happy Birthday" for you.
Here's my list of favorite albums and songs, from the singer-songwriter and Americana genres -- of the first half of 2014.
"Use me, make me suffer, hold me under till my grip unfolds…." These are not the typical words of a simple romantic song, let alone of a simple Friday night. In the imagination -- melodic and lyrical -- of Montreal-based songwriter Jesse Daniel Smith, however, they capture the beauty and terror that sometimes accompanies love.