Steve Thorngate's Music Reviews
On Alynda Lee Segarra's fifth album as Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Puerto Rican Bronx native wraps social commentary around Americana references.
Now in his seventies, Aaron Neville can still locate the incredibly sweet spot between full voice and falsetto. The R&B legend’s singing remains mellow but quietly forceful—as if he could let loose at any moment but chooses not to.
The best hyphenated genres don’t combine disparate worlds; they embrace commonality.
Most Americana duos don’t sound as much like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings as people say they do. But the Milk Carton Kids’ resemblance is uncanny.
Another day, another talented Americana songwriter immersed in the language of a faith he doesn’t profess.
Malian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rokia Traoré has long blended West African music with occidental influences. Her fifth album, produced by P. J. Harvey collaborator John Parish, features the strongest rock element yet.
I once wrote that the Felice Brothers have one capable lead singer at best: while Ian Felice sings more expressively than his brother James, it’s not a pretty sound. But I was overlooking the Catskills folk-rockers’ third brother, Simone.
Growing up, my listening habits progressed from the evangelical subculture’s schlockiest pop to its Americana fringe to secular alt-country. One common thread: prolific sideman Phil Madeira.