Hayes Carll at Club Passim


This gallery contains 8 photos.

Hayes Carll, whose song “Hard Out Here” inspired the title of this site, played a great show at Club Passim, one of my favorite venues in the area, on July 16. The sold out show was his second in the … Continue reading

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

Adam Ezra Group Release Better than Bootleg 2 at the Sinclair January 2

The Adam Ezra Group

The Adam Ezra Group

The Adam Ezra Group is celebrating the release of Volume 2 of the Better than Bootleg series with a show at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on January 2. Like its predecessor, Better than Bootleg, Vol 2 is a live recording, but while all the songs on Volume 1 came from one single performance, the recordings on this collection are taken from different shows. (Cl

In an interview conducted on December 13, Adam Ezra explained that it is not a live album” in the usual sense, documenting a single concert from beginning to end.  Rather the collection represents the band’s ongoing experiments at finding the best way to engineer recordings that “translate the energy from our live shows into a recording.”  I quite like the approach taken to this collection.  A live recording of a show on a single night is documentation of that specific night’s, but this approach feels more representative of the band’s live shows in general.  It mixes things up.  The tracks include performances of some of the bands best known songs such as “Burn Brightly” and “Steal Your Daughter,” one cover of James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” as well as some of the newest songs in the band’s repertoire. (Click here to jump to a video of “Hippy Girl,” another song from the album.)   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

Concert Gallery: Paolo Nutini with Phox at House of Blues in Boston


This gallery contains 51 photos.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for a new album from Paolo Nutini, and for a chance to see him in concert for a while.  He’s released a few live recordings and they’re just great!  He teased us in the States a … Continue reading

Gallery: Jason Mraz and Raising Jane at the Wang Theater


This gallery contains 35 photos.

When the folk-rock quartet Raining Jane opened for Jason Mraz at a show at the University of Redlands in Southern California, he was so impressed with their act that he suggested they work together. They accepted, of course, and a … Continue reading

Books, Beer, & Conversation with Jason Myles Goss


This gallery contains 11 photos.

Plus a gallery from a great concert with unexpected audience participation! Narrative songwriting is a staple of American music, but it’s not easy to do well.  The charts are full of derivative, clichéd, sentimental songs that do sell well enough, … Continue reading

From the Bayou to the Red Sands: Pine Leaf Boys and Hassan Hakmoun at the Lowell Folk Festival


This gallery contains 25 photos.

Summer in Massachusetts has been mild this year, too mild for my tastes!  But on one Friday evening a few weeks ago, the Pine Leaf Boys hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana and Hassan Hakmoun, originally from Marrakech, heated up the night … Continue reading

Ramadan Nights: Idir in Tangier – July 20, 2014


This gallery contains 40 photos.

Many American readers of this blog won’t know the Kabylie singer Idir, whose real name is Hamid Cheriet, but he is a veritable legend of Maghrebi Music, and on the World Music scene more broadly.  He was catapulted onto the scene … Continue reading