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the civil wars

The Civil Wars Officially Break Up

It wasn’t difficult to see this one coming, but it’s saddening nonetheless. After coming off the road suddenly in late 2012 (and being on indefinite hiatus since), country/folk duo The Civil Wars (née Joy Williams and John Paul White) have officially called it quits, according to an official statement released Tuesday. In tandem with the statement, the pair have released a cover of “You Are My Sunshine” as a final […]

First aid Kit cedar lane

Check Out First Aid Kit’s New Video “Cedar Lane”

Sweden has definitely proven herself a leader in the electro-pop market these days, but Americana?  That’s for, you know, Americans.  Right? Think again. Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the Swedish siblings performing under the moniker First Aid Kit, have spent the last few years building a reputation for giving the American Americana artists (say that five times fast) a run for their money, proving that when the passion is there, “foreigners” […]

Bob Dylan

Croatian Group Sues Bob Dylan for “Racism”

Here’s a bit of double irony to start your week: Bob Dylan is being sued by a Croatian group in France over alleged racist remarks made in an interview with Rolling Stone last year, according to Slate.fr via Business Insider. The irony is double in that first of all, we’re talking about one of the civil rights movements’ most outspoken supporters being sued for racism; and secondly, the allegedly offensive […]

Bob Dylan music video

Bob Dylan Releases “Like A Rolling Stone” Interactive Music Video

Official video coincides with huge box-set release

A classic rock song goes high-tech. After 48 years, Bob Dylan finally made an official music video for his song “Like a Rolling Stone.” And how. The perfect combination of old and new, Dylan’s video for the 1965 song features an interactive virtual television with 16 channels of people lip syncing to the song on their various shows—and the viewer can actually flip through the different channels and watch them. […]

Over the Rhine Meet Me

Over the Rhine Hit the Mark with “Meet Me At the Edge Of the World”

Great Speckled Dog Records (2013)

There’s a reason why husband-wife indie duo Over the Rhine have developed such a loyal cult following over nearly two decade: they keep putting out amazing music, and they keep putting a fresh spin on things. So it’s no surprise that the arrival of their latest, Meet Me At the Edge Of the World, was met with such eager anticipation—and I can tell you the double album is worth every […]

The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars Live In the Tension on New Self-Titled Album (review)

sensibility recordings/Columbia (2013)

For the record, Joy Williams and John Paul White (known collectively as The Civil Wars) are still not getting along. In fact, last month Williams admitted to the Associated Press that she and her bandmate aren’t even speaking right now. When the duo unceremoniously and abruptly called off their tour last fall citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition,” it was unclear whether we’d ever hear from them again. […]

Jason Isbell Southeastern

Jason Isbell Finds His Stride on “Southeastern” – Album Review

Southeastern Records (2013)

(Sigh) I could listen to this stuff all day. Seriously. It has to be hard for singer/songwriter Jason Isbell to keep being referred to as “that guy from Drive-By Truckers” (a band he left seven years ago). Two albums under the moniker Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have helped build a modest reputation for their Muscle Shoals-tinged Americana vibe, but in my own opinion Isbell has remained fairly underrated […]

The Civil Wars Unveil Advance Single “The One That Got Away”

After a brilliant rise to fame thanks to a rustic, country/folky sound with impeccable harmonies; after their debut album Barton Hollow went gold and went on to win two Grammys; at the end of 2012, it suddenly appeared that the duo known as The Civil Wars were unfortunately living up to their name. Fans were shocked when the band announced on their Facebook page that they were abruptly cancelling their […]

Milk Carton Kids “The Ash & Clay” – Album Review

Anti- (2013)

Is it just me, or has the indie folk scene gotten a bit crowded? It seems like the raw, stompy, banjo-ey sounds of Mumford & Sons and their ilk have sparked a flurry of new acts playing the heck out of their acoustic guitars, mandolins and banjos, attempting to turn folk into the new rock. If (like me) you were folk before folk was cool, you are probably looking for […]

Acts to Watch: The Lone Bellow

If you haven’t heard about The Lone Bellow yet, get ready, because chances are you’re going to hear their name a lot this year. The latest in a string of acts to emerge in the new-folk vein, this Brooklyn-based trio is poised to hit it big with their self-titled debut, already available on iTunes and set for wide release next week. With the momentum already created by the likes of […]

Up-and Comers: Alt-J

While UK-based act Alt-J is not actually a “new” band (they used to go by the moniker “Films”), they have recently been generating a lot of buzz worldwide over their unique combination of folk, alternative and electronic elements—a sound some are referring to as “folk-step.” Whatever you call it, I think it’s a highly catchy sound—and apparently a lot of other people do, too. The band’s debut album An Awesome Wave, […]

Must Listens: First Aid Kit “The Lion’s Roar”

“Must Listens” is a new feature series I’m launching on my column to highlight songs or albums by indie or alternative acts that aren’t necessarily new releases but are getting lots of buzz. This first installment features “The Lion’s Roar” by First Aid Kit.   If you live in Europe, you’re likely to be familiar with Swedish sister folk act First Aid Kit; if you live in the U.S., you […]

Andrew Bird “Hands Of Glory”: Album Review

Mom + Pop Records (2012)

For Andrew Bird, 2012 might very well be looked upon as the “year of looking back.” With this year’s earlier release Break It Yourself, the eclectic folk singer/songwriter dialed back his overdubbing and post-production mojo to create a simply arranged, tasteful collection of Americana folk rooted in the sounds of yesteryear. Billed as a follow-up to that record, Hands Of Glory (releasing tomorrow), takes this trend even further. Recorded live […]

The MIMO Interview: Mindy Smith

Mindy Smith began making waves in the Americana music scene nearly a decade ago when she performed a haunting cover of “Jolene” for the Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I’m a Woman. The performance resulted in Parton herself getting involved, appearing in the music video (below) and performing with Smith on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Since that initial introduction to the world, the singer-songwriter has released four […]

Bob Dylan Unleashes a “Tempest”—Album Review

Columbia (2012)

One thing I’ll say off the bat about Bob Dylan’s new record Tempest—I’ve never heard an album by a 71-year-old musical icon sound less like someone trying desperately (and in vain) to hang on to past glories. At the very least, the 35th (!) album by America’s dark troubadour presents the listener with the same amount of passion, color and oomph as the early work that first established Dylan as […]