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Category Archive for 'Folk'

“[A]miable, quaint, mischievous, sad, and disarmingly sincere. …[A] relatively simple, country-folk record, albeit one with a college degree, and when it connects it hits that sweet spot between joy and despair that has served as the target for many a dusty brimmed singer/songwriter over the years. The Avett Brothers aren’t rewriting the book, they’re just [...]

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“On ‘Knock Knock Get Up,’ the Boston-based troupe…weaves bright tunes from border-crossing folk threads. DWM doesn’t deliver straight Mexican or American traditions, instead steeping contemporary writing and performance styles in those influences for a fresh hybrid. The lyrics have matured, now as captivating as the sounds around the words. …DWM has leapt up the ranks [...]

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Beth Orton: Sugaring Season

“[T]he album unleashes a kind of churning, rumbling urgency in which intensity stands in for speed. Ornate but not wispy, these songs aren’t merely pretty; they also convey power that builds subtly. Sugaring Season waits until its closer, ‘Mystery,’ to really dial back to something entirely gentle and spare. When that song finally rolls around, [...]

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Kathy Mattea: Calling Me Home

“When Kathy Mattea made a hard roots turn on 2008′s Coal, a heartfelt examination in classic mining songs of the hard, often dangerous life of coal miners, it sounded like she’d been singing them all her life. On Calling Me Home, Mattea delivers a second album of material that has its origins in coal country [...]

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“[H]e has written sturdy, intelligent songs for over some 40 years now, and if it’s his biggest one, ‘American Pie,’ that gives him the title American Troubadour, well, the title still fits. …The CD set features several live tracks, including those of ‘American Pie’ and ‘Vincent,’… it does span McLean’s entire career and does a [...]

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“Singer and songwriter Sean Rowe is possessed of a truly singular voice. …The Salesman and the Shark is head and shoulders above the work of most of Rowe’s peers, and he possesses a strong identity as a songwriter… .” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Randy Sparks had a vision for a ‘folk choir’ in 1961, a group that would, in his words, combine elements of the Norman Luboff Choir with the Kingston Trio, and…the New Christy Minstrels were born….This 25-song set includes the Minstrels’ signature tracks and is a fine single-disc survey of the group’s [...]

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“Getting the band back together for the first time since 2003, Neil Young corrals Crazy Horse through Americana, a collection comprised primarily of old folk songs — not the weird, forgotten ones scholars have excavated, but the familiar ones taught in elementary schools from sea to shining sea.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Quilt: Quilt

“Weaving a tapestry of float-away guitar sounds with Eastern melodies and languid, intimate vocals, Boston band Quilt lay out a modern take on psychedelic folk.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas

“When Cohen calls this album Old Ideas, he means not just that these are the thoughts of a septuagenarian, but that he’s been turning over these cards for a long while: sex, love, God, and the way the three can be shuffled to relieve the pain of existence. The lyrics on Old Ideas reach for [...]

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First Aid Kit: The Lion’s Roar

“[Swedish] sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg, aka First Aid Kit, blend autumnal folk and wistful ’60s Americana and have gathered a pretty illustrious following since their cover version of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” became a YouTube hit back in 2008. The Lion’s Roar is a mesmerizing listen that — alongside recent releases from [...]

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The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

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“The Lion’s Roar is a mesmerizing listen that — alongside recent releases from the likes of the Tallest Man on Earth and Anna Ternheim — suggests the Swedish folk scene is currently hitting something of a purple patch.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Highlights include British vocal powerhouse Adele (“Rolling in the Deep”), dubstep newcomer Skrillex (“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”), bearded hard rockers Foo Fighters (“Walk”), country-pop giants Taylor Swift (“Siren”) and Lady Antebellum (“Just a Kiss”), indie folk hitmakers Bon Iver (“Holocene”) and Mumford & Sons (“The Cave”), and stadium rock veterans Coldplay (“Paradise”).” –All Music [...]

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“In an era when bluster and overkill are the order of the day in both country and blues, Queen of the Minor Key is a reminder that this music at its best speaks to the wayward impulses of the human heart, and Eilen Jewell embodies that quiet, insistent voice as well as anyone making music [...]

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Gillian Welch: The Harrow & The Harvest

“The music is steeped in the early country, bluegrass, and Appalachian mountain traditions that are her trademark –though it engages rock and roll and blues motifs albeit acoustically–while the melodies and lyrics reflect the darkness and melancholy of Gothic Americana. The Harrow & the Harvest is stunning for its intimacy, its lack of studio artifice, [...]

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The Barr Brothers: The Barr Brothers

“Brad (vocals, guitar) and Andrew (drums) Barr team with Sarah Page (hammer dulcimer, harp) and Andres Vial(pump organ, vibraphone) as the Barr Brothers on this self-titled folk-pop effort, which is both a little rustic in its under-produced sound and also has the quality of chamber music.” –All Music Guide   Check Our Catalog

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Schooner Fare: Roots and Wings

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Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me

“Tell Me manages to maintain the beautifully busted feel of Mayfield’s breakout record, but also succeeds in a new and ambitious sonic landscape. There are different ways, it turns out, to create this kind of crushing space, and this one has more variations and more surprises waiting to creep out of it…Mayfield is a convincing [...]

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“Early in the Morning is Irish singer/songwrtiter James Vincent McMorrow’s debut. He cut it himself over five months in a cottage by the sea. McMorrow claims his influences as Joni Mitchell, Band of Horses, and Sufjan Stevens, but one need listen no further than “If I Had a Boat” — the set’s opener and first [...]

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