Jake Xerxes Fussell deftly balances the imperatives of research and performance. A second-generation folklorist raised in Columbus, Georgia, he draws much of his material from field recordings made throughout the American south. His four albums, all released by North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors, scrupulously credit the folk-song collections from which he sources his material. […]
Marisa Anderson’s solo guitar provides solace and forges community
Guitarist Marisa Anderson, based in Portland, Oregon, is a veteran solo performer, but solitude isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when she plays. In concert and on a string of solo albums, her reverberant, gritty instrumentals tap into the capacity of blues, gospel, and folk music to bring people together. Anderson’s recent […]
Peter Berkow has spent five decades traversing at least that many genres
Chicago native Peter Berkow has been a producer and a professor, and moved from folk to funk to fusion to prog and back.
Goodbye to songwriter Michael Smith
With “The Dutchman” and other widely recorded songs, Michael Smith created emotional realities that let you feel along with his characters.
Folk genius Dwain Story died a legend to the few who still knew his music
Dwain Story roomed with Phil Ochs and made a fan of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, but mental illness denied him a career like theirs.
If you don’t know Megon McDonough, blame the maleness of Chicago’s 70s folk scene
Folk singer Megon McDonough made her 1972 debut LP while still in high school and in 1990 joined Christine Lavin’s Four Bitchin’ Babes.
Folksinger Kristin Lems has been a favorite of the women’s movement—and of Dr. Demento
Evanston native Kristin Lems has shared stages with John Prine and Gloria Steinem, and she’s currently working on a play with songs about Jane Addams.
Decades after Stumpwater put out their only single, the Aurora folk-pop group ride again
Dan Berg, Dan Haligas, and Joe Gloor released two songs in 1975 and split up in ’80, but now they’re back to writing, recording, and gigging.
Jenna Lyle of Parlour Tapes on a cowboy prophet with a didgeridoo
Current musical obsessions of Parlour Tapes cofounder Jenna Lyle, techno artist and composer Eric Fernandez, and Reader critic Peter Margasak
Folk polymath Rhiannon Giddens honors the musical cultures of the oppressed
Carolina Chocolate Drops cofounder Rihannon Giddens sings fables of struggle from a diversity of peoples and eras.
Rhiannon Giddens, Ron Trent, D.C. blues, and blockchain: music stories from around the Web
The Reader‘s weekly roundup of music journalism that didn’t happen here
Al Scorch plays roots music with unlikely roots
Chicago banjo fiend Al Scorch talks about his inspirations—including freak bikes, DIY hardcore, and Kelly Hogan.
Ryley Walker performs tonight to raise awareness for Chicago’s homeless
The jazz-folk prodigy plays a show for a good cause.
Ryley Walker continues making gorgeous folk music on ‘Primrose Green’
Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is the gorgeous title track from the fingerstyle prodigy’s upcoming LP.
Folk guitarist Ryley Walker and free jazz drummer Ben Billington jam tonight for a good cause
The duo team up at Cole’s tonight to benefit the Carrefour Collaborative.