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OTR_BenGibbard

Benjamin Gibbard | Former Lives

"It's been a basement of a year," Ben Gibbard sings over a perky two-chord strum on the saccharine "Oh, Woe." It's hard not to take him literally.
Barsuk Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  October 12, 2012
GIANT_Berklee-Ray-Charles-ART-12_list

The church, R&B, country, jazz, and Ray Charles

Pan-stylistic fiddler and Berklee professor Matt Glaser was trying to come up with a selling point for his bosses at school on an idea for his American Roots Program — a symposium on blues, country music, and jazz.
Ultimate fusion
By JON GARELICK  |  September 07, 2012
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Anti-Immigrant Stupor(1)

Go back to Africo!
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  June 22, 2012
Kin - Crowell and Karr

Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell | Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell

Kin is a finely crafted country ode to home and family from a couple of writers who know the territory.
Vanguard (2012)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  June 08, 2012
Being Jewish In France

Review: Being Jewish in France

"A love affair gone sour," is how one of the writers quoted in director Yves Jeuland's documentary describes the Vichy collusion with the Nazis, which ended with thousands of French Jews rounded up by Gendarmes and shipped to death camps.
Yves Jeuland's documentary
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 16, 2012
Alex Chilton - Free Again

Alex Chilton | Free Again: The ''1970'' Sessions

Post–Box Tops and pre-Big Star, Alex Chilton was an 18-year-old Memphis boy on his way to his dual identity: former #1 pop hitmaker, perpetual underground hero.
Omnivore (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  January 13, 2012


beat2_lomax_list

More twangy pop from the Lomax

The Lomax are a six-piece outfit who look and act more country than they sound.
Here we go again
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 18, 2011
beat1_labseven_list

Labseven are re-Formulated

With the little hip-hop renaissance we're having locally, it's only fitting that Labseven, who've been at it longer than most in the city that encourages everyone to rise again, should get back in the action.
Empires of the Mind
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 11, 2011
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The Mekons | Ancient & Modern

Considering that the Mekons have made almost 20 albums and have been around since CHiPS debuted on television (1977), they are keeping it pretty fresh.
Bloodshot (2011)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  September 23, 2011
beat_Dirigo_list

I wanna Jamericana

For some of us, the title of Dirigo's debut album makes perfect sense. But I can't tell you how many times I've been asked: "So, it's like Jamaican reggae, but played in America?"
Carry on, wayward sons (and daughter)
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 02, 2011
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Jeff Bridges | Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges hit on a successful formula with the rich country sound of the Crazy Heart soundtrack, and he doesn't vary it much on his self-titled major-label debut.
Blue Note (2011)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  August 19, 2011


good mornin old sport

Mornin' Old Sport launch our pop-up video series with jazz-inspired '20s country

Allston's Mornin' Old Sport play jazz-inspired country songs, brimming with three-part harmonies and a rare chemistry amongst the group's four members.
Sound on the streets
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 12, 2011
Nicole Atkins is back

Nicole Atkins finds peace in her darkness

A lot seemed to go wrong for Atkins after Columbia Records released her classic-pop imbued debut Neptune City four years ago. The singer of the newly rechristened Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea watched everyone responsible for getting her signed to a
Fade to black
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 12, 2011
I wrestled a bear once

The schizoid stronghold of Iwrestledabearonce

The experts claim irony is dead, but the experts are stupid morons. Irony is an abstract concept. It was never alive, therefore cannot die.
Metal hedge
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  August 05, 2011
beat_trickybritches_list

Enjoy getting pantsed by Tricky Britches

Most often, I think, whatever "chemistry" is results from a band playing together like their lives depended on it.
Fighting the good fight
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 15, 2011
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Withered Hand | Good News

Good News is the sound of a gifted writer declaring his humanity in all its filthy, fucked-up glory.
Absolutely Kosher (2011)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  March 18, 2011


Sutton_T

The David Wax Museum and Tierney Sutton bridge tradition with the here and now

"Is that the jawbone of an ass?", I ask Suz Slezak in the lobby of the Paradise, giving the question my best Biblical inflection. She'd been playing the strange percussion instrument with her band the David Wax Museum in their opening set for the Caroli
Border crossings
By JON GARELICK  |  February 04, 2011
beat_BuckEdwards_list

Buck Edwards | Loaded Gun

We don't get a whole lot of cowboy-hat country in Portland — Travis James Humphrey would be an exception — so Buck Edwards is something of an enigma. Is his twangy, '50s-style rockabilly and pop country completely on the level?
Buck Edwards shoots from the hip
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 21, 2011
Too-Many-Doors_list

Review: Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons' dazzling new disc

Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons trump their impressive 2007 debut Bury Your Problems with the forthcoming White Lighter . The disc features an all-star array of acclaimed local artists chipping in — and was completed with the aid of fans who hel
White light, white heat
By CHRIS CONTI  |  December 03, 2010
beat2_AmyAllen_list

The next great young singer you need to know: Amy Allen

Just after graduating from Waynflete and off to college this fall, Amy Allen joins an impressive cadre of young female singers (Clara Berry, Amanda Gervasi, Aly Spaltro, Marie Moreshead) doing great things locally.
Chasing Amy
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 01, 2010
1008_dae_list

Review: Bran Nue Dae

The music does range from gospel to filmi to country — but there isn't a hook anywhere.
It's not just the spelling that's problematic
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  September 10, 2010


haggard.mccaffrey_list

Girl Haggard let loose with Country and Eastern

An adorable, Tennessee-bred country-bumpkin whose idea of the perfect evening out begins and ends with shots and beers at the E&O Tap? What else could a man ask for?
Cowboy junkies
By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 03, 2010
hamilton list

Up in the County

Is it bluegrass if it doesn't have a banjo? Or a fiddle, for that matter? Hamilton County, a three-piece acoustic outfit who debut their first CD, Brokedown Breakdown , next week, sure do a good impersonation of a bluegrass band, even if purists might
Hamilton's Brokedown Breakdown
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 05, 2009
090605_gardot_list2

Mixed messages

Given the sound of its first track (which is also the title of the album), you'd have every reason to think that 3play+'s debut CD is about to plunge you into Bill Frisell–style Americana.
3play+ do what they wanna; Melody Gardot follows her instincts
By JON GARELICK  |  June 05, 2009
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Going down the road

When John Paul comes to Slainte in a couple weeks, he'll be returning to the Portland scene where he got his start in the biz,
John Paul brings Belmont Boulevard back to Maine
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 01, 2009
090209_phos_list

Phosphorescent | To Willie

No stranger to ragged, defeatist country/folk, Matthew Houck and friends sound right at home on To Willie.
Dead Oceans (2009)
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 03, 2009


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O’Death | Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin

O’Death, from the rural backwater town of New York City, are a little bit country and a lot more calamitous power-folk.  
Kemado (2008)
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  October 28, 2008