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    With On to Something Good, Ashley Monroe puts her beguiling voice through its paces, delivering toe-tapping boogies, soul-tinged ballads, and summer-loving boppers.

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    Having set the artistic bar so immeasurably high with Southeastern, Jason Isbell challenged himself to best that effort with his new LP, Something More Than Free, and both he and producer Dave Cobb believe he did.

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    Alabama has a lot to be proud of when it comes to musical heritage, from both then and now. One of the Cotton State's newest treasures is soul-based singer/songwriter Anderson East.

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    Politically outspoken, in his life and his art, Steve Earle learned his craft from the masters -- guys like Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Dylan -- who often ran toward a challenge rather than away from it.

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    For over 30 years now, the Indigo Girls have continually pushed their music forward, switching up styles and sounds as their muses demand -- because, despite their activist and acoustic leanings, they've never been mere folk singers.

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    Chris Stapleton's soulfully rocking take on country music sidles up alongside Tim McGraw as naturally as it does Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson, carving out a middle ground that may well suit the mainstreamers, the upstarts, and the outlaws, alike.

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    Maybe not quite to the level of Johnny and June or Sonny and Cher, but the Weepies' Steve Tannen and Deb Talan are a much-beloved husband-wife duo who have been making delightful folk-pop records for the past dozen years or so.

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    No one has ever been able to pin Buffy Sainte-Marie down, and her new album continues that tradition. With more fire and less folk, it brings her music and mindset all the way into the 21st century.

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    From the opening strains of the title track through all the howls and hollers that follow, Alabama Shakes' new album is a huge step forward, artistically… though not a surprising one to anybody who knows their work and certainly not to the band.

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    Ben Gibbard has long been considered one of the most literate and compelling voices on the rock scene, indie or otherwise, and on his eighth Death Cab for Cutie album, Kintsugi, he has staged a return to form that even he acknowledges.

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    Lee Ann Womack makes the kind of country music that country used to be -- the kind of country that sings about heartaches, not tailgates. And it's the kind of country that proves how much she still has to offer and how ready she is to offer it.

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    While Ani DiFranco's latest release, Allergic to Water, may seem more peaceful than a lot of her works, it's no less puissant. No longer someone who is living in clip, DiFranco offers a languid meditation on life as she knows it, in this moment... not the next.

Suffer No Fools: An Interview with Sarah Bettens

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Artist Interviews
Suffer No Fools: An Interview with Sarah Bettens

As both a solo artist and the front woman for K’s Choice, Belgian rocker Sarah Bettens has long been a staple in the LGBTQ music community, even before she officially came out more than a dozen years ago. Around that same time, Bettens put K’s Choice on hold and settled into a domestic life with […]

Rosanne Cash Begins Residency at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 in Concert Reviews
Rosanne Cash Begins Residency at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Since the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum began its annual artist-in-residence program back in 2003, only two women have graced its stage — Connie Smith, in 2012, and Rosanne Cash, this year. Last night marked Cash’s first-of-three performances at the Hall with a nearly three-hour performance, during which she and her band played […]

The Gay Ole Opry: An Interview with Marlene Twitty-Fargo

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 in Artist Interviews
The Gay Ole Opry: An Interview with Marlene Twitty-Fargo

Although Music City has more than a few country music princesses, it has only one true queen: Marlene Twitty-Fargo. Backed by her band of top-notch players — known collectively as the Twat Biscuits — Marlene puts on what she likes to call “an X-rated show for a Jesus-loving crowd.” It’s an experience unlike any other […]

Greatness Never Fades: Jonatha Brooke at City Winery

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 in Concert Reviews
Greatness Never Fades: Jonatha Brooke at City Winery

Folk-pop maven Jonatha Brooke hasn’t toured a whole lot in recent years and so was met with easy, eager applause from a roomful of Nashville fans on Sunday night at City Winery. Brooke has long been one of the most literate songwriters in the business, playing with words and imagery like few others… save maybe Neil Finn. […]

Magnetic and Magnificent: Ruby Amanfu at the High Watt

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 in Concert Reviews
Magnetic and Magnificent: Ruby Amanfu at the High Watt

From the first notes out of her mouth, Ruby Amanfu makes it perfectly clear why everyone from Jack White to Weezer wants to sing with her. Quite simply, she’s one of the most elegant singers and souls you’ll ever encounter. And she pours herself into every single note of every single song. Such is the […]