As I’ve aged, my musical obsessions have shifted a bit. I still enjoy noisier, headier sounds—psychedelia, prog, garage trash, punk, experimental music—but I often want a “peaceful easy feeling” instead, which calls for some heartfelt country rock. I’ve always responded to the groups that put down the genre’s roots, especially the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gene […]
Nothing is more precious than the relationship between parent and child, and it’s a hell of a thing when they’re separated by death—especially when the child is the one to go. Justin Townes Earle, the firstborn son of singer-songwriter Steve Earle, was a well-established Americana artist in his own right when he passed away from […]
For more than a decade, Chicago singer-songwriter Lee Ketch has used his band Mooner to perfect an earthy indie-rock sound that draws equally from Americana and power pop. On the group’s new third album, The Alternative Universe of Love (Aerial Ballet), he reflects on his past with an irresistible combination of nostalgia, regret, and forgiveness. […]
This week’s featured gig poster was created by Chicago illustrator and designer Ryan Duggan.
On her new third album, That’s How Rumors Get Started, Margo Price spins her modern outlaw-country sound into golden strands of pop-friendly Americana, tackling her critics, rock ’n’ roll mythology, and expectations of success. The LP, which was produced by fellow country renegade Sturgill Simpson, showcases Price’s knack for storytelling that pulls at the heartstrings; […]
Lucinda Williams writes raw, visceral songs filled with beaten-down people liberating themselves from bullies. “I changed the name of this town / So you can’t follow me down,” she sings on “Changed the Locks,” from her 1988 self-titled album. Her new record, Good Souls Better Angels, takes on similar demons, though its antagonists don’t just […]
Drag has become so much more than queens lip-synching covers of diva classics. The more original your act is, the better, and in 2020 the possibilities are endless. The art form has permeated pop culture’s language, fashion, and notions of beauty, and it’s crossed over into other creative disciplines as well, including comedy, television, and […]
For emo-rock outfit All Get Out, the 2010s were a turbulent decade. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, the band made their breakthrough in 2011 with their second full-length, The Season, before relocating to Texas, where it took them five years to put out their follow-up, 2016’s Nobody Likes a Quitter (Bad Timing). Though it was […]
Classically trained vocalist and masterful banjo and fiddle player Rhiannon Giddens is celebrated as one of the leading proponents of what’s variously called Americana or roots music. Though her aesthetic has wide appeal, she toughens it with her uncompromising determination to bear witness to the ongoing (and too often neglected) Africanist voice and history in […]
This year’s best jazz records include a large-ensemble concept album about conspiracy theories, a tug-of-war between loops and live-band grooves, and an amazing hybrid of jazz and hip-hop.
Andrew Bird talks to Brett and Rennie Sparks of the Handsome Family.
American roots music pushed this way and that, with mixed results.
Isa Giallorenzo’s Street View 107
Memphis rocker John Paul Keith, who plays at the Hideout Thursday night, lassos a huge variety of American music into his sound.
The Berwyn venue hosts its annual Fourth of July festival, featuring Trombone Shorty, Bonerama, the Blasters, Joe Ely, Susan Cowsill, C.J. Chenier, and others.