Album Reviews

  • Album Review: Sarah Jarosz, ‘Blue Heron Suite’

    • May 07, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    Sarah Jarosz brilliantly weaves thematic lines through the entire suite of songs, and her lyrics rise and soar from disappointment and dread to optimism and hope. Blue Heron Suite captures the feelings of transience that lurk around the edges of our lives and that come into the light in times when we face possible loss, but in these songs Jarosz demonstrates that we can be transported, momentarily at least, above our bodies and this earth on wings of hope and anticipation.

  • New Country Music for Your Bandcamp Friday

    • May 07, 2021
    • Devon Léger

    This Bandcamp Friday, Devon Léger shares a deep and wide roundup of new country music celebrating rural roots, a love of home and family, the working class, drinking and dancing the two-step, and so much more.

  • Album Review: Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, 'They're Calling Me Home'

    • May 04, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    They’re Calling Me Home is one of those starkly beautiful albums on which every song provides entry into a wondrous sonic landscape where tendrils of mourning and loss twine around longing and hope. Every song shimmers with the spare beauty of Rhiannon Giddens’ emotionally intimate vocals, her circling minstrel banjo, Francesco Turrisi’s free-flowing accordion strains, Giddens’ deeply resonating cello bowings, as well as the trills of Emer Mayock’s Irish flute.

  • Album Review: Danny Burns, 'Hurricane' [EP]

    • April 30, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    Danny Burns is playing at the top of his game on Hurricane. It’s a powerful testimony to his songwriting and his vocal ebullience, and the album celebrates, even in the midst of songs of lament, the overwhelming solace music brings to our souls.

  • Album Review: Ashokan Songlab, 'Vol. 1 - Resilience'

    • April 21, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    Released on Earth Day, the EP celebrates the beauty and wonder of the natural world, as well as reminding us of its fragility and the efforts we need to make to take care of it. The EP takes wing by honoring the great pollinators—the bees and butterflies—on the bright, lilting “Bees Are Buzzin’,” which opens with bouncy electric piano chords before blossoming into chorus of humming voices that evoke the sounds and activities of these harbingers of spring hovering over flowers, reminding us of the vibrant beauty of nature. With its jangly and quasi-psychedelic folkiness, the song sounds like it would be right at home if it were sung at a celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970.

  • New Nordic Roots for Bandcamp Friday

    • April 02, 2021
    • Devon Léger

    With Spring blooming around us, it may seem strange to move to the Northern climates of Europe for this month’s Bandcamp Friday roundup, but any month is a good month to be listening to new Nordic music! Dive in to some new music from the Nordic world and you’ll see that these old traditions are alive and well today and getting pushed in some very new and exciting directions!

  • Album Review: No-No Boy, '1975'

    • April 01, 2021
    • Devon Léger

    No-No Boy’s 1975 is a remarkably powerful and moving album from an artist who may be new to the folk world, but clearly understands the power in the idiom. It’s also a reminder that America is larger than this country. We seem too often to be limited by our own borders, limited by the idea that the white American perspective “founded” this country and moves it forward. In reality, America should be one of the most connected countries in the world. Our history of continual immigration leaves us with strong ties to every country we came from, and projects like No-No Boy remind us that all of the stories of the world live here as well.

  • Album Review: Peter Case, 'The Midnight Broadcast'

    • March 17, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    The Midnight Broadcast illustrates Case’s canny genius as a songwriter and his ingenious ability to take traditional songs and turn them into shimmering gifts for a new generation of listeners. Case’s midnight broadcast is one we never want to miss.

  • Album Review: David Huckfelt, 'Room Enough, Time Enough'

    • March 01, 2021
    • Henry Carrigan

    David Huckfelt's Room Enough, Time Enough illustrates the power of song to speak love to power, to create an atmosphere in which we ponder what it means to be human, and to evoke the power of memory to liberate and to provide hope.