Concert Gallery: The Contenders at Lizard Lounge

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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

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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

Lucero at the Sinclair

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This gallery contains 32 photos.

Almost a month ago I caught the last night of a three night series of Lucero shows at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA. The band played an acoustic set followed by an electric set. At one point front man Ben … Continue reading

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

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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

Books, Beer, & Conversation with Jason Myles Goss

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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

Will Dailey and Mia Dyson at Davis Square Theater

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This gallery contains 28 photos.

Last Saturday, June 7, I went to Davis Square Theater in Somerville to see Boston’s own Will Dailey and Australia’s Mia Dyson in a show presented by the The Co-Op, “a central hub for musicians working together to create art … Continue reading

Parlor Sessions Profile: Dean Fields

FB_profiles_DeanTonight’s profile is the last in the Parlor Sessions profiles, which means that the tour starts in just a couple days.  If you’re in or near Charlotte, Atlanta, Richmond, Wilmington, Asbury Park  Middletown, Cambridge, Philadelphia, DC, and especially the tour’s first stop in New York City, you probably need to get your tickets soon! The tour starts June 5, makes a stop a night for 10 nights, and then is over!

Now that I’ve introduced Andy, Jason and Eliot, three fantastic artists whose music I, myself, have just discovered, I’ll come clean now and say that the order of these profiles wasn’t 100% random. Because I’d stated this series of posts with questions for Dean Fields about the tour itself, it felt like it would give the series a sense of symmetry if I also ended with his interview, so I made a decision to do so early on.

Plus there was the fact that I knew his music and how good it is already. I’d even interviewed him before for this site, and knew that savvy readers could find that. So I wanted to get the word out about the Eliot, Jason and Andy. Now, though, let me introduce you to Dean Fields, the only guy I know who turn stepping in dog crap into a love song, or make telling a woman she takes too long get ready seem, like a compliment.
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Jamie Cullum Live: Bottle That and Sell It

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This gallery contains 28 photos.

Man! If I could figure out how to just get a little hit of that whenever I’m feeling down or just need a boost energy, I’d be just fine! No, I’m not talking about some new energy drink or other … Continue reading

The Parlor Sessions Profile: Jason Myles Goss

FB_profiles_JasonToday’s Parlor Sessions Profile is of Jason Myles Goss, a songwriter with uncanny ability to step outside of himself and write songs from another point of view that ring utterly true. He’s a storyteller whose songs can transport us into the boxing ring, to the boardwalk on Coney Island, to a fishing boat in Maine, to name a few places.

In describing the influences on his most recent album Radio Dial, his website states:

…in his latest collection of songs, Jason displays a broad range of influences, from the stark and eclipsing lyricism of Gillian Welch and A. A. Bondy, to the lush, melody-driven, pop/rock ambitions of Ryan Adams’ “Gold” and The Wallflowers’ “Bringing Down the Horse.”

I do hear that, but I’d add there is something Springsteenesque in his ability to evoke the working class so empathetically in his lyrics.

He’s now based in Brooklyn, but he grew up in Hopedale, MA, and in 2003 at the age of 21, when he was selected as a finalist in the first Newport Folk Festival Songwriters’ Contest, he was the youngest finalist by 10 years. It’s one of a number of awards and accolades he’s received.

Yesterday I posted the responses of Andy Zipf to a series of questions about the Parlor Sessions Tour. I asked Jason Myles Goss, another of your four musical “hosts” in the Parlor the same questions. His answers make me think maybe he’ll be the comic relief in the minivan.  They’re followed by a video of “Black Lights,” one of those evocative narratives songs I mentioned in the beginning of this piece, from his most recent album Radio Dial. Continue reading