PARADISE LOST | Uncles

Article by David D. Robbins Jr. Album: Uncles “Replacing Words With Other Words” (2010) WHEN WORDS MATTER: Don’t let the nonchalance of the title of Uncles’ debut album, “Replacing Words With Other Words” fool you. This record is full of a type of lyricism and command of mood that you rarely run into in music.…

A WARM ABYSS | Bill Callahan

BETTER WITH AGE: Bill Callahan, aka Smog, is following up 2009’s  “Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle” with a live recording of 11 older songs called “Rough Travel For a Rare Thing”. Callahan has always had a way with words, and this sparse album is a reminder of just what a good songwriter he…

SPEAKING FOR THE BREEZE | Sam Amidon

THE BRIDGE-MAKER: The songs on Sam Amidon’s album “I See the Sign” come in like a cool breeze, his voice soft among an elegant rustle of brass and woodwind, arranged by the talented Nico Muhly. It’s so seamless, Amidon makes these eleven intricate and complex arrangements feel as easy as swinging in a hammock. But…

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE | Carrie Rodriguez

COVERING THE GREATS: I first ran across Carrie Rodriguez, years ago, on the album “Red Dog Tracks”, where she sung a number of duets with country legend Chip Taylor. It mixed toe-tapping country, Americana, pretty harmonies and romance. I fell in love, particularly, with a song called, “Big Moon Shinin’” — where the pair sung…

VIDEO | Emily Jane White

I’ve written about Emily Jane White before on this blog — and her beautiful way of bridging country, alternative folk and foreboding Americana. Thanks to the wonderful folks at La Blogotheque website, you can watch a video of White performing a set (which includes the track “Victorian America”) for a crowd at a Paris bookstore.…

LEAVING THE LIGHT ON | Joey Kneiser

THE INTIMATE SONGSMITH: What a mind Joey Kneiser has. He’s a troubadour. He’s a rural reveler. A wanderer. A beautiful observer of things. A storyteller of the first order. In the song “The Big Ocean” — he describes one character as the kind of man who “could con a flood into thinking it needed rain.”…