"I'm just a weird guy trying to make everybody happy," Ryan Adams proclaimed halfway through his set on Sunday night. A crowd had gathered near the front of the Peabody Opera House stage, and those trying to see the show from their seats seemed visibly (and in one case, physically) disgruntled. After some pushes and grumbles from the crowd, Adams stepped in.
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."
Jackson Browne wrote "These Days" when he just a teenager, but the song has become something of a standard, a song that reveals new feelings and meanings every time it's sung with soul. And that's just what Chicago-based singer-songwriter (and Fort Frances frontman) David McMillin does on this new solo acoustic version.
London-raised, New York-based singer and songwriter Cariad Harmon comes into her own on the sparkling and soulful ballad "Like You," a love song meant for clapping and humming along to, if ever there was one.
A stop at the "Bluegrass Shack" with a mention of the name John Prine elicited a distinctive response from Earl, who sat behind the counter: “He's a legend.” With that thought in mind, Prine fans, including plenty of St. Louis singer-songwriters and KDHX DJs, filled the Touhill Performing Arts Center on Friday night.
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.
I needed some of what singer-songwriter John Moreland would refer to as "God's Medicine" -- a night of literate, acoustic music, people and spectacle.
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.