Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Year in Review: My favorite musical picks for 2017

While 2017 will be remembered for many things, it turned out to be a great year for new music. Artists including Steve Earle & the Dukes, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Rhiannon Giddeons and Jason Isbell turned out some amazing albums over the past 12 months, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Instead, I am going to focus on my own purely subjective list that evolves mainly from music festivals I attended, interviews I conducted and stories I published online on this blog, or on HuffPost that features my favorite genres (primarily folk, Americana, country, rock) and up-and-coming artists that I hope you will take the time to listen to in the coming year and beyond.

And now, in no particular order, here’s my picks for the best listens of 2017. Happy listening! Continue reading

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Don’t miss Yarn, Town Mountain and Amanda Anne Platt performing at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 16-17

Let me give you the bad news first, The Connells and Billy Strings shows are sold out this weekend.

The good news is that you can still get tickets to see three of my favorites this weekend at the Lincoln Theatre: Yarn and The Dune Dogs on Saturday in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, and Town Mountain and Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters are bringing their Asheville Holiday Hang to the Triangle on Sunday.

If you’ve been to Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, you’re already a fan of formerly Brooklyn-based Yarn, alt-country, roots rockers who now call North Carolina home. And the Ocracoke, North Carolina-based Dune Dogs call themselves “country-fried swamp n’ roll.”

The Asheville Holiday Hang is an event focused on highlighting talent from the Asheville music community, while raising awareness and donating partial proceeds to Feeding America food banks in each city. Continue reading

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The Honeycutters heading back to studio for 2017 album, performing at Muddy Creek Music Hall on Sunday, Feb. 26

The Honeycutters may just be the best country roots band out there that you aren’t listening to.”

I wrote that in May 2016 when the Asheville, North Carolina-based, rock-roots-country group released its fourth studio album, “On the Ropes,” since 2009 and the second on Organic Records.

The Honeycutters headed back to the studio in January to record their fifth studio album to be released later this year as the band’s third release on Organic Records. And they are scheduled to perform at Muddy Creek Music Hall , 5455 Bethania Road, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Sunday, Feb. 26. Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are $12 or $15 at the door.

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The Honeycutters poised to catch on with fourth studio album release

The Honeycutters may just be the best rock, country roots band out there that you aren’t listening to. That should change with this weekend’s release of the group’s fourth studio album, “On the Ropes,” on Organic Records.

MerleFest fans may remember frontwoman and principal songwriter Amanda Anne Platt from her stint as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest in 2011.

The native of the New York village Hastings on the Hudson moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in January 2007 with the intention of literally making music – in the form of becoming a guitar builder – rather than writing and performing songs. Instead, she found a community  of like-minded musicians and the music, well, it just stuck. Like, uhm, honey.

And we’re all better for it. But don’t take my word for it. Listen for yourself.

Find out if the band is coming to a town near you here.