The Steel Wheels at Club Passim


This gallery contains 18 photos.

I’m a huge fan of the Steel Wheels, and not just because they hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, my home state.  In fact, it was an article about their tour on bicycles that made me check out … Continue reading

Concert Gallery: The Contenders at Lizard Lounge


This gallery contains 9 photos.

Guitarist Jay Nash and drummer Josh Day are The Contenders, and they have recently released their debut EP. It’s a fantastic collection of original Americana songs with strong, evocative lyrics, that are set to tunes that are both soulful and … Continue reading

Concert Gallery: Ryan Bingham in DC


This gallery contains 39 photos.

It’s no secret I think Ryan Bingham is one of the most exciting artists touring today.  I said as much 4 years ago in a post on my Random Thoughts and Ideas blog, and many of you agreed.  That post was … Continue reading

Four Singer-Songwriters and a minivan: The Parlor Sessions Tour


This gallery contains 35 photos.

Tomorrow night Eliot Bronson, Dean Fields, Jason Myles Goss and Andy Zipf will wrap up their 15-day, 15-city tour at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC. In five previous posts you can read about the tour and what was planned.  … Continue reading

The Parlor Sessions Profile: Eliot Bronson

FB_profiles_Eliot-1Today we continue our series of profiles on the artists of the Parlor Sessions Tour with Eliot Bronson who was born in Baltimore where The Sun called him a “folk singing wunderkind.” The year after earning that praise he moved to Atlanta where he’s also earned similar praise from the press and built a sizable following.  He formed the duo The Brilliant Inventions which won a number of awards and built a sizable regional following until 2010 when his partner decided to pursue a career in photography.

For his part, Eliot continued his music career, releasing a solo album, Blackbirds in 2011, and an album called Milwaukee with his band the Yonder Orphans in 2012. He continues to receive accolades for his work, including first place in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest (, an award whose laureates include Gillian Welch, Johnny Williams, and Tift Merritt.
Continue reading

Concert Gallery: Nickel Creek and The Secret Sisters


This gallery contains 48 photos.

On May 1 the Boston show of a long awaited reunion tour of Nickel Creek at the House of Blues and The Secret Sisters opened.  It’s not my intention to review the show, but I’d like to make three quick … Continue reading

Season Ammons is Living Her Dream

Season Ammons, Courtesy of the artist

Season Ammons, Courtesy of the artist

Texas-born, Florida-based, singer-songwriter Season Ammons has been making music in front of an audience since the once shy child found found her voice in a middle school choir.   When she was just 17 she moved to Nashville to pursue her dreams.  She had some brushes with quick success, such as being advanced as a finalist for the USA Network show Nashville Star in 2004.  Ultimately she wasn’t chosen, yet she refused to give up doing what she loves and kept building a following.

In a phone interview she told me that when she finally released her first studio recorded CD, tellingly titled “I’m Alive,” she intended to make a statement.  The self-produced disc what her way of asserting that she was in the music business to stay.  I wanted to announce that I’m here, I’m doing this full time, and I wanted to show people what I could do.” As an independent artist responsible for every aspect of the project from the songs and sound to the packaging and marketing, there was a lot to do and a lot on the line, and she had to learn fast.   Continue reading

Concert Gallery: Dean Fields and Ari Hest Play Passim


This gallery contains 30 photos.

I had a chance to chat with Dean Fields before his show at Club Passim last Friday, opening for Ari Hest.  I was excited to hear about his upcoming tour with Eliot Bronson, Jason Myles Goss, and Andy Zipf.  All … Continue reading

Offbeat Holiday Music

a1023094489_2On Friday at Rockwood Music Hall Delcan Bennet played a new single, “Father Christmas Knows,” that comes from the perspective of the black sheep of the family, the one too often left out of the celebrations. The song has bells and is dark, but optimistic at the same time.

Now I have to admit, I have warm and fuzzy feelings toward Christmas, and I like Christmas music, especially the traditional stuff. Continue reading

Another Like You? Profiling Hayes Carll While Avoiding Lazy Comparisons He Hates

Hayes Carll fronts the Warren Hood Band at Johnny D's on June 11

Hayes Carll fronts the Warren Hood Band at Johnny D’s in Cambridge, MA on June 11

Known for his clever lyrics and turn of a phrase, I didn’t know what to expect when I interviewed Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll. The man writes incredibly clever lyrics that can be awfully sharp-witted at times. And I had given him reason to be annoyed with me.  I live in Boston, MA; he in Austin, TX and we set up a time on my lunch break from my real job for a phone interview. I called as scheduled, only in spite of working for nearly a decade for a national non-profit that had one of it’s primary offices just north of Austin, it slipped my mind the city is in the Central Time Zone, so I called an hour early. I sent a contrite text and nervously awaited a reply. Over the next couple hours and a business like exchange, we set up another interview the next day. I expected some sort of reprimand, a demand to keep the interview short, or at least a snide remark. I got none of that, only a gracious acceptance of my apology. It struck me that Hayes might be a nice guy. What a relief! I really needed this interview! Continue reading