Cowboy Junkies reflect on the family dynamic

The Cowboy Junkies have this thing that only they can do, and as easy as it is to recognize that thing when you hear it, exactly what it is remains uncertain.

Rebel Records Roundup, Part 2

By Chris Cooper

Rebel Records, that esteemed purveyor of all that is and has been high and lonesome for the past 40 odd years, has just released (in some cases re-released) a slew of fine discs in the past month or so. Up for review is a new release by the legendary Larry Sparks, an important bit of history from the catalog of J.D. Crowe, and a fantastic collection from bluegrass innovators The Seldom Scene.

Masters of their musical domains

By Chris Cooper

Two very different artists and albums, but similar in the pursuit of uniqueness and mastery in their respective genres: the enigmatic Andrew Bird and Dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas.

For a swinging sound, look no further than downtown

By Chris Cooper

If you’ve wandered down Main Street in the early part of a summer evening over the years, you’ve probably paused mid-step to the sound of a lady singing the blues bouncing off the bricks. And there’s a good chance that the voice belonged to Karen Barnes, long the local purveyor of all things classy and vintage in blues and jazz.

Air skillfully paints a delicate soundscape

What exactly do you say about these guys?

There’s certainly something nostalgic in just how painfully arty what they’re doing is — like the old Sylvian and Gabriel stuff. But then there’s that slick, ultramodern sheen to the music, the lush backdrops of synth against the “water drops in a cavern” digital rhythms.

Newly formed Balsam Range features some of the finest

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Balsam Range, a newly formed group of all-star pickers, will play a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 16 at Haywood Community College.

Y’all come back

By Michael Beadle

The annual foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, kick-up-your-heels music-and-dance show known as the Summit Country and Western Show at Tuscola High School will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend.

Chapin channels something powerful in The Calling

In 1992 Mary Chapin Carpenter released Come On, Come On, and though it’s a little hazy as to how I wound up with a copy, the album has since remained one of my favorite collections of songs and performances.

The Broken West nails vintage pop — in all the right ways

It’s the tambourine that gives it away. Those insistent eighth notes from the piano during the chorus, the sparkly harmonies — yeah, these guys are fans of “power pop,” all right. The good stuff too, like Joe Jackson (no, not Michael’s dad) and Alex Chilton, George Harrison’s earlier solo work and all that other stuff that manages to sound like a blindingly sunny day while somehow still breaking your heart.

The Fine Art of Being Wrong (sort of...)

I spend a considerable amount of time being disappointed by music. It’s sad, because I also happen to love music, and have for as long as I can recall. But when the Grammys were just around the corner, and I took a quick glimpse at some of the nominees, it just seemed a little depressing.

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