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Category Archive for 'Folk'

“Intuitive cooperation is what makes Nickel Creek so special. It’s in the way Thile’s mandolin runs launch or follow Watkins’ fiddle parts in instrumentals like ‘Elsie,’ and in the band’s harmonies, which breathe in sync the way family harmonies so often do. It’s remarkable, showing how three distinct voices can come together in the service [...]

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“Forty-four years is a long time between albums, but for singer/songwriter Linda Perhacs it has been exactly that… [T]his set picks up where her hallucinatory classic left off….It’s spacy yet bright and fluid. The Soul of All Natural Things… is unmistakably an extension of the sonic, spiritual continuum Perhacs began — and probably thought she [...]

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Noah Gunderson: Ledges

“Born into a musical but very religious family, Noah Gundersen didn’t hear many secular songs as a child, perhaps explaining the subtle and hushed gospel intensity and sincerity he brings to his songs….This is a low-key, autumnal-sounding album that impresses with its unhurried pace and thoughtful, muted sincerity. The songs sound sad but each carries [...]

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“Nearly eight years after Rosanne Cash last released a set of original songs, 2014′s The River & the Thread finds her in a reflective mood….[S]he’s learned to make every word and every note count, and this album confirms once again that she’s matured into a singular artist with the talent and the vision to make [...]

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Bill Frisell: Big Sur

“Bill Frisell’s Big Sur… collects 19 individual pieces in a suite commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival. He spent ten days in retreat at Big Sur’s Glen Deven Ranch, where he composed most of it….On Big Sur, Frisell delivers an inspired musical portrayal of the land, sky, sea, and wildlife of the region with majesty, [...]

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“Inside Llewyn Davis gains its power through precision as the whole idea of the project is capturing a specific point in time, the great Folk Scare of the early ’60s, when Kingston Trio and Peter Paul & Mary were having crossover hits, the time just before Bob Dylan arrived in Greenwich Village….[I]t winds up as [...]

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“The Devil Makes Three are a very special trio, mixing old country blues, gospel, banjo reels, ragtime, and back-country stomp into a potent brand of folk-punk that has made their live shows near legendary….[T]he band sounds like a feisty mix of the Lovin’ Spoonful and Country Joe & the Fish on a careening moonshine-and-coffee jag. [...]

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“It’s imbued with a sense of timelessness: a very 21st century record that sounds like it should be playing through a battered old valve radio in an Edward Hopper painting – Nighthawks, perhaps? And apart, perhaps, from someone to make you that damn fine cup of coffee, that’s just about everything you could ask for [...]

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“Given how infrequently she records, a new album from Linda Thompson is always an event. Won’t Be Long Now is her first album in six years. The set’s contents reveal an artist fully in the moment, who understands the importance of the present and doesn’t hold anything back….Won’t Be Long Now is, as has proven [...]

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Sting: The Last Ship

“The Last Ship tells the tale of a British shipyard in the ’80s, one laid low by changing times, so there’s naturally an elegiac undertow to Sting’s originals, a sensibility underscored by his decision to ground nearly all these songs in the folk of the British Isles….[T]his is Sting’s tightest collection of songs in ages, [...]

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“[C]onsciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge….Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Lyrics hint at disquiet beneath the surface, but so much of The Civil Wars can be appreciated merely upon that surface, hearing Williams and White ease into their harmonies as they tastefully conjure spirits of the past to inhabit the present. Ultimately, the Civil Wars are impeccable craftsmen, taking weathered elements and repurposing them for [...]

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“Rush makes each song seem as dependable and solid as the earth itself, somehow mixing a wistful weariness in his voice with an underlying and unerring joyfulness, the same sort of thing he’s been doing for half a century now. That he’s still doing it as well as he ever has is a testament to [...]

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“Civil War: Songs of the North collects 15 Union-centric instrumental ballads like ‘Weeping Sad and Lonely/When This Cruel War Is Over,’ ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home,’ and ‘The Battle Cry of Freedom,’ all of which are impeccably performed by Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist Craig Duncan and a small army of talented session musicians.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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“Reflective and homespun, yet nimble enough to dabble in multiple genres (indie pop, Americana, psych-folk) without ever losing sight of its traditional singer/songwriter-oriented foundation… and is as inviting and unguarded as it is wily and unpredictable.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Martin and Brickell are no accidental tourists. This is a sweet-sounding album with subtle depths, not really bluegrass, but a precisely gentle folk album that grows more graceful and revealing with each listen.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The resulting Beast in Its Tracks, written in the wake of his divorce, treats the situation with anger, warmth, despair, humor, honesty, and most importantly, empathy for both of its subjects, something that many records of a similar disposition fail to achieve.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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The Lumineers: The Lumineers

“The Lumineers, a folk-rock trio out of Denver, Colorado, have a pretty interesting sound, an Americana mesh of folk, rock, and gospel that is similar in tone to the Waterboys, say, or an alt-folk version of Bob Dylan circa Desire, thanks in no small part to Neyla Pekarek’s inventive cello.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“There isn’t a note out of place anywhere, even though the band is adventurous and skews off in any direction imaginable within the arrangements of the songs. This is a wonderful album, full of great players playing like the best back-porch string ensemble one is likely to hear, and with Tornfelt’s vocals giving things a [...]

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