Tag Archives: Americana music

Craig and Kara Markley’s Once Upon a Winter Moon

Cleveland-area musician Craig Markley showcases the emerging vocal talent of his daughter Kara in this self-produced offering for the holiday season. In the title track, a plaintive flute melody over brooding synthesizer chords leads into a setting of the medieval … Continue reading

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Various artists’ Work & Pray: Historic Negro Spirituals and Work Songs From West Virginia

John D. Benninghouse wrote this review. This album is the fruit of the labors of Cortez Reece, who recorded these performances from 1949-53 as part of his doctoral thesis, “A Study of Selected Folk Songs Collected Mainly in Southern West … Continue reading

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Various artists’ Wade in the Water Volume 1: African American Spirituals: The Concert Tradition

Rebecca Swain wrote this review. I once read of Harriet Tubman, a famous African American who several times led American slaves to freedom, that she carried a gun with which to shoot anyone who tried to turn back once they … Continue reading

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Mozaik’s Live from the Powerhouse

In the late 1960s an aspiring young Irish folk musician named Andy Irvine traveled through the Balkans. He jammed with local folk musicians everywhere he went and absorbed the different traditions of the region. Irvine then brought these Balkan influences … Continue reading

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How the pedal steel guitar stole my heart

The pedal steel guitar has long been one of my favorite instruments. There’s just something about its sound that can go from quicksilver pure to rough and distorted in the blink of an eye that captured my heart at some … Continue reading

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SUSS’s Heat Haze

Heat Haze picks up where the New York ambient country band SUSS left off with their previous offering, Night Suite left off. That five-song EP, you’ll recall, dropped unexpectedly in October 2021. It took the listener on a nighttime journey … Continue reading

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The Everybodyfields’ Nothing Is Okay

This is one of the saddest albums I’ve heard in a long time. The Everybodyfields are mostly Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews, of Johnson City, Tennessee. They wrote the 12 songs on Nothing Is Okay, their third CD. And they’re … Continue reading

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Angel Olsen’s Big Time

Angel Olsen has been on quite the journey. Since before her 2012 full-length debut Half Way Home she’s been pouring her life experiences into obliquely confessional songs. In the ongoing process of finding her voice and growing as an artist, … Continue reading

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Kelly Joe Phelps’s Brother Sinner And The Whale

Kelly Joe Phelps has gone back to the well and emerged with a deeply satisfying album of deeply spiritual songs. Brother Sinner And The Whale is Phelps’s 10th album since his 1994 debut Lead Me On on Portland, Oregon’s independent … Continue reading

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Cowboy Junkies’ In the Time Before Llamas

John D. Benninghouse wrote this review. Some eleven years ago I had a college roommate who was seemingly in love with all things relating to cowboys, however loosely. I recall his nose planted in the Lonesome Dove series when he … Continue reading

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