Alexa

Johnny Cash's cabin is setting for fine Todd Snider album

Todd Snider, "Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3" (Aimless/Thirty Tigers) The microphone pops when Todd Snider delivers an especially emphatic lyric, and his chair creaks under the weight o...

Review: New album celebrates Over the Rhine's milestone

Over the Rhine, "Love & Revelation" (Great Speckled Dog) Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler share a marriage and the stage as the duo Over the Rhine, but often write separatel...

Review: Steve Poltz's album not as much fun as his concerts

Steve Poltz, "Shine On" (Red House) Steve Poltz entertained recent concert audiences by impersonating Don Pardo and Harry Caray, reliving a backstage encounter with a naked Flea, and...

Review: Fiancee helps Hayes Carll deliver his prettiest work

Hayes Carll, "What It Is" (Dualtone) Dysfunctional relationships abound on Hayes Carll's new album, from the one-on-one wounds described in the opener "None'ya" to the cultural divid...

Review: Whimsy and boundary-pushing from Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey, "There Is Another World" (Righteous Babe) Midway through Peter Mulvey's new album, he sings about the ravages of time on the tune "Nickel and Dime." It lasts 15 seconds...

Review: Robert Ellis switches to keys on 'Texas Piano Man'

Robert Ellis, "Texas Piano Man" (New West) Texans play guitar. Stevie Ray Vaughan? Willie Nelson? Buddy Holly? Johnny "Guitar" Watson? Guitarists. Elton John is not a Texan, but when...

Review: Wide range of styles on Mark Knopfler's latest CD

Mark Knopfler, "Down the Road Wherever" (British Grove/Blue Note) At age 69, Mark Knopfler says he still loves touring, and even in the studio, the Glaswegian guitarist covers a lot ...

Review: Jason Isbell's live album from the Ryman falls flat

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, "Live from the Ryman" (Southeastern) Jason Isbell has been on a roll of late, finding sobriety, domestic bliss and fame and fortune, thanks to three co...

Review: John Hiatt finds inspiration doing romance dance

John Hiatt, "The Eclipse Sessions" (New West) At age 66, John Hiatt is still writing love songs — and good ones. On "The Eclipse Sessions," he sings about the wonder of love, the tro...

Review: Engaging pop potpourri from Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan, "Karma for Cheap" (New West) When performing on a cruise ship, Aaron Lee Tasjan has been known to play New York Dolls music that sends listeners fleeing for the exi...

Review: A powerhouse debut from duo the War and Treaty

The War and Treaty, "Healing Tide" (Strong World/Thirty Tigers) Along with his considerable talents as a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, bandleader and radio host, Buddy Mil...

Review: 'To the Sunset' is Amanda Shires' best album yet

Amanda Shires, "To the Sunset" (Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers) The start of Amanda Shires' new album sounds like a spin of the dial on an old radio struggling to find a station amid the...

Review: Bracing country rock from Jonathan McEuen

Jonathan McEuen, "Through the Sun Gate" (Rose Lane) Front and center for a change, Jonathan McEuen immediately plays to his strength on "Through the Sun Gate." ''Sunshine ... sun shi...

Review: American Aquarium singer BJ Barham gets personal

American Aquarium, "Things Change" (New West) American Aquarium is a most appropriate name for the band that made "Things Change," because frontman BJ Barham presents his life for al...

Review: Potent pop pastiche from Californian Matt Costa

Matt Costa, "Santa Rosa Fangs" (Dangerbird) Rock 'n' roll is now old enough to draw social security, which means that for contemporary acts, influences become multigenerational. Such...