Jon Sobel's reviews of music releases from independent artists and labels, collected and published about twice a month.
An ironic awareness earns this Brooklyn band its serious moments on this fine disc.
Cole has evolved a strong vocabulary of smartly constructed adult pop that's eminently accessible yet all her own.
New recordings of old English and Scottish ballads prove there's life in the old lays yet.
Kree Woods is that rare pop singer-songwriter with all the puzzle pieces: vocals, songwriting, and a great sound.
The '90s star enlisted legendary bassist Tony Levin, some humpback whales, and her own emotional depth.
Gurf Morlix inhabits "the muddy" – the fecund reading room of a library of idioms encompassing folk, country, and blues.
The rise and fall and rise again of a soul singer and songwriter like no other.
1960s completists remember the long-deceased singer-songwriter's participation at Woodstock, even though he didn't make it into the movie.
This disc is just about as close to flawless as today's mainstream bluegrass gets.
Working in an earlier decade, Tim Mahoney would be a star, and his uncomplicated but sophisticated heartland pop did get him onto TV's The Voice.
The Dave Douglas Quintet's jazz improvisation coordinated surprisingly well with O'Donovan's studied folk stylings on the "sublime" 2012 album Be Still.
Jacob Blazer heads in a minimalist direction with his new EP.
Brian James's earthy Americana is a welcome break from crystal-clear but soulless sounds and as-loud-as-possible mastering.
Smart, literate, well-constructed lyrics and a softspoken adult musical sense add up to a batch of groovy alt-country/Americana.
Canadian powerhouse singer-songwriter Treasa Levasseur continues broadening the soul music tradition into the 21st century with her latest release.
On The Great Unknowns' long-awaited second album, Becky Warren's soft alto retains its ability to soothe and wrench at the same time.
Each song is a shiny chip off a mysterious compound of intelligent thought and honest feeling.
Norwood detours from the traditional path of the bluesman and delves into the deep, piney woods of acid-blues and even trance-blues.
Sophisticated, tuneful, soul-inflected pop is Eoin Harrington's specialty, and his new disc is loaded with it.
The Dunn Boys' debut is the perfect disc to get you up and out of bed after a whiskey-fueled night.