With her fourth album, Undercurrent, Sarah Jarosz makes a studied departure from her previous records, shifting the emphasis from her skills as a multi-instrumentalist to her songwriting and vocal performance. Undercurrent accentuates the growth and maturity that Jarosz, now 25, has achieved since graduating from New England Conservatory and moving to New York City.
Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, a new found sobriety, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell.
Here’s a fun fact about traditional music: it’s not always old even when it sounds like something lifted straight from a vintage ceilidh. For proof, witness The East Pointers – or more specifically, Secret Victory, their exhilarating debut full-length album.
The band’s name comes from two sources: “Hot Club” from the hot jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli’s Hot Club of France, and “Cowtown” from the western influence of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and the band’s love of fiddle tunes, hoedowns, and songs of the American west.
Robbie plays by nobody’s rules–except the ones he hears in his head. He is prodigiously talented, with the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian.
Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festivals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”
For all the innovation and invention that goes into modern music these days, it’s the inspiration derived from one’s roots that proves the most enduring. So credit Galway, Ireland’s We Banjo 3 for finding common ground between old world tradition and authentic Americana by plying their banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin in an innovation fusion of styles that they dub “Celtgrass.”
The Dustbowl Revival is a Venice, California-based roots collective that merges old school bluegrass, gospel, jug-band, swamp blues and the hot swing of the 1930’s to form a spicy roots cocktail. Known for their inspired live sets, the Dustbowl Revival boldly brings together many styles of traditional American music.
The early rumblings of critical praise for his first EP were confirmed when his first headlining gig sold out Chicago’s storied Schubas Tavern in 2008.
Although the personally charged, organically soulful Didn’t It Rain is her first release under her own name, Amy Helm has been making music for most of her life. She’s already won widespread praise as a singer, songwriter and live performer, first as a member of the celebrated alt-country collective Ollabelle and subsequently for her extensive work with her father, musical icon Levon Helm, who passed away in 2012.
Though they call western Massachusetts home, Parsonsfield draws their name from the rural Maine town that’s home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer.
Throughout Hawaii in the 1920s and 1930s, one could find orchestras playing Hawaiian Swing and the house would be jumping. Kahulanui borrowed from these influences and performs classic Hawaiian songs in a syncopated style making Hawaiian Swing vibrant and alive in Hawaii today.
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own.
When Lindi Ortega went in search of some quiet last year, the award-winning artist was pleasantly surprised to find a voice she hadn’t heard in some time – her own.