It wasn't until I saw the Avett Brothers live that I understood the big fuss surrounding this stripped-down roots band. The recorded songs I liked from 2009's I and You and Love I attributed to Rick Rubin's studio wizardry, not to the magic of two North Carolinian brothers. After giving a good vinyl listen to … Continue reading Concert Review: Avett Brothers at the Cumberland County Civic Center (3.3.14)
The name Lake Street Dive doesn't exactly invoke classy connotations. The band name makes me think of smoky bars in backwoods towns where shiftless people drink cloudy beer and think shiftless thoughts. The band that hit LL Bean's outdoor stage on Saturday night (7.20.13) was anything but shiftless. With lush, tasteful harmonies, beautiful pop grooves, … Continue reading Concert Review: Lake Street Dive at the LL Bean Concert Series (7.20.13)
If you've found yourself on my blog before, then you most likely read the post where I gush over Josh Ritter. Gush might be too minor a word. Lyrically, the guy can ne'er do wrong in my ears. I'm even willing to let slide the occasional musical shortcoming because atop that shortcoming is usually a … Continue reading Concert Review: Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band Reach New Heights
Now in the throes of the Americana music revolution, there are a glut of bands making the same stripped-down, down-home sound. With any musical movement that is generating revenue, the market gets flooded with opportunistic bands trying to ride the high cresting wave and make a living as artists. (For the record, I begrudge no … Continue reading The Felice Brothers Destroy the Boundaries of Americana Music
Some voices don't age well. Dylan's once mercurial croon is now a raspy drone. And will someone tell Roger Daltrey to please stop. His days of properly belting "Baba O'Riley" are long gone. Some voices, though, seem to grow into their songs as the singer ages. Case in point: the American songwriting genius John Prine. … Continue reading Concert Review: John Prine Live at Portsmouth Music Hall (4.20.13)
This is a question I've been asking myself and fellow musicians for years. I've heard emphatic yes's from musicians who claim it gives their talents an enthusiastic crowd they might not otherwise have access to. I've also witnessed colossal rants from song-writers who demand that the tyranny of the Clash be ended because it waters … Continue reading Is the Clash of the Titans Good for the Portland Music Scene?
Confession: I don't have the stomach for jam bands anymore. Growing up and going to college outside of Burlington, Vermont makes this a hard thing to confess. I gave up smoking weed before leaving VT for Maine, so that might have something to do with it. Mostly, though, my musical palate has changed. I care … Continue reading Concert Review: Trey Anastasio Band at the State Theater, Portland (1.20.13)