Jon Sobel's reviews of music releases from independent artists and labels, collected and published about twice a month.
Carey Ott's new 20-song opus, almost an hour and quarter of genre-coasting pop-rock, feels like a concept album—except the concept is the human experience.
This experiment in mixing musical cultures feels overly restrained.
Loaded with luscious multi-part harmonies, Kentucky Thunder's debut is a feast for the authenticity-starved soul.
From Tommy & the High Pilots, sweeping little power-pop suites with multiple parts that hold together and never lose their grip.
John Lee Hooker Jr. blasts out high-powered, recession-era blues.
If we didn't know we needed a true soul music revival, now we do.
Some of Karling's songs really sound like they could have been written in the 1920's.
Good feelings all around—that's the spirit of this uneven but overall quite worthwhile disc.
Mark Bates makes slow-rolling, emotional, but light-footed roots music a la The Band.
I'd dig the new Drive-By Truckers disc a lot more if more of the songs cohered.
Olney and his main co-writer, John Hadley, have felt-tipped a subtle new entry in the Great American/Americana Songbook.
Mark Tolstrup and Dale Haskell make an excellent blues pairing, like a smooth but hearty wine with a comfort-food dinner.
The veteran Americana rockers make everything sound easy on this scorcher of a disc, their first of new material since 1996.
Delta Moon's blues-rock-soul music is as emotional as it is economical and tough, with time-worn themes couched in powerful and sometimes poetic imagery.
Ray Wylie trudges on, ever ruminating on death and glory in a dusty America of the imagination.
Chris Schutz's CD is one of the top pop debuts of the year.
In a minor key, Malcolm Holcombe's grey, gravelly voice can sound like an extended death rattle.
The Kentucky Headhunters finally release a live album, nineteen years later, and it's a winner.
In a perfect world, Brown's superhero songs would be distributed in goodie bags at Comic-Con.
Mark Stuart makes it sound easy, with or without the Man in Black.