Pennsylvania native Sean Scolnick (a.k.a. Langhorne Slim) describes his own sound as "country punk," but it's not out of line to call him a sort of supercharged folksinger. He's got a big, ragged voice and a bigger personality — and little trouble grabbing a crowd's attention with raucous songs from his newest album, 2012's The Way We Move.
Hear Langhorne Slim and his band The Law perform as part of the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 27 in Newport, R.I.
Raised in Alabama and based in Brooklyn, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck makes moody, searching, raggedly pretty music that reflects the sounds of both his respective homes. But there's also a wise, homesick weariness to Houck's voice that transcends time and place: Listen at just the right time, and a Phosphorescent record feels like a warm conversation with a friend who understands loneliness.
The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles makes some of the most good-natured chamber-pop music around, led by the unmistakably kind voice of Matt Bishop. Naturally, given the band's size, Hey Marseilles gets to make the most of a wide array of warm sounds, from cello and viola to horns and accordions, but those ingredients are all wisely wrapped around songwriting that exudes sweet, hooky sunshine.
JD McPherson provides a refreshing reminder that retro roots music isn't timid: His debut album, Signs & Signifiers, synthesizes blues and rockabilly and old-school rock 'n' roll with an unmistakable punk spirit. Throughout the record, he finds the delicate balance between a classic, traditionalist sound and the understanding that the styles he's emulating are rooted in rebellion, menace and even danger.
The Boston band Kingsley Flood has spent the last few years polishing, refining and expanding its folk-rock sound, in the process incorporating horns, more strings and ever-brighter production. The sextet sounds more confident than ever on its new album, Battles, which continues to explore some of Kingsley Flood's favorite subject matter: the balance of hopes and dreams, expectations and the everyday.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:56 pm
On the evening of the area's biggest 2013 storm so far — thousands lost power across the Twin Cities metro area — Dessa took the stage to celebrate the release of her new record, Parts of Speech, in front of a sold-out Fitzgerald Theater.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:52 pm
Jeff Lynne isn't quite at the forefront of '70s and '80s classic rock, but he was responsible for some formidable records with Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys; later, he produced releases for Wilbury collaborators Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison.
Garland Jeffreys makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Jeffreys began recording and making music in 1966 in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., where he still lives. He's honed his enigmatic rock sound for more than four decades now, often combining blues, reggae, R&B and soul into an amalgam that's sometimes difficult to categorize.