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So Long to All That: Jeff Tweedy Tells His Story

Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy creates a frank, plain-spoken tale of love, perseverance, and recovery in his memoir, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back).

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Music

Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Pond Scum

To have Johnny Cash perform any song of yours early in your career indicates a pinnacle moment paramount to reaching Mt. Everest or being the first musician in space.

Music

Heartless Bastards: Restless Ones

Heartless Bastards' dusty, rusty Restless Ones finds so much joy in its detours that it’s hard to argue with its wanderlust logic.

Music

Too Many Things on Josh Rouse's Mind

"Exercise, don't drink too much, and call your parents. I don't practice these as often as I should but they are good ideas!"

Robert Daniel Evers
Music

Murder By Death: Big Dark Love

Love may be a many-splendored thing, but in the hands of Murder By Death, it’s also an instigator of pain and horror.

Music

Old 97s: Hitchhike to Rhome

Twenty years on, the Old 97’s see their indie debut re-released in deluxe packaging by Omnivore. It’s worth the plunge.

Music

The Jayhawks: Sound of Lies / Smile / Rainy Day Music

This Jayhawks reissue campaign makes us reconsider the band's legacy and shows how a band turned uncertainty into a new identity.

Music

Joe Henry: Invisible Hour

Lyrically dense and musically intimate, Invisible Hour, aims to be less a part of your hard drive and more a part of your record collection.

Music

Laura Cantrell: No Way There From Here

Cantrell expertly blends a host of influences, instruments, and styles into a brilliant country record. Her lovely voice is just the icing.

Music

Lone Justice: This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983

This lively archival release captures the L.A. band in their early "cowpunk" stage before Geffen got '80s production all over them.

Music

Noam Pikelny: Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe

In a world full of artists jumping on the roots music bandwagon, this is about as honest and heartfelt as it gets.

Music

Starlings, TN: All the Good Times

While the perpetual exploration throughout All the Good Times is breezy and freewheeling enough to avoid bubbles of boredom, it's also the thorn in the record's side.

Music

The Bottle Rockets: Bottle Rockets / The Brooklyn Side

Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side offer a welcome addition to the alt-country pantheon and still hold up as generally great, if slightly flawed, albums.

Music

The Wynntown Marshals: The Long Haul

This album is a love letter to the likes of Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, and early-career Neil Young. In fact, the Wynntown Marshals might be the best original tribute band of all time.

Music

Fourth of July: Empty Moon

While it’s competent enough, Empty Moon is delivered largely with hardly a hint of emotion or alt-rock authenticity.

Music

Son Volt: Honky Tonk

True to its title, this is a somewhat particularly old-timey countrified record, full of squeaky fiddles and luscious lap steel.

Music

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Live from Alabama

Is it cheating when your best album is a live release that covers your entire career?

Music

Johnny Hickman: Tilting

Cracker's axeslinger gets introspective on his long-awaited sophomore album.

Stephen Haag
Music

Murder By Death: Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon

Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon finds the Murder By Death paradigm in place -- tapping and merging American roots music to yield songs at once cinematic in scope and presentation and literary in their lyrical construction and themes.

Music

Patterson Hood: Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

The Drive-By Trucker frontman's third solo album is his best sustained work in years, an immensely satisfying release woven together from relationships past and present, wrecked and whole.

Music

Rhett Miller: The Dreamer

The return-to-roots exercise that is The Dreamer isn't bad; it just seems unnecessary.

Music

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: Wasted

Willie's kid, uh, rolls his own on his jam-friendly second album.

Music

Paperplanes: Rhinestone Republic

Paperplanes' Rhinestone Republic hasn't lost an ounce of its charm since its release in '08 and proves to be worth the revisit in preparation of their upcoming fourth LP.

Steven Spoerl
Music

M. Ward: A Wasteland Companion

Three years since his last solo album, the prolific, melodic M. Ward goes out on his own again (with only some minor supporting appearances from Zooey Deschanel).

Music

Water Liars: Phantom Limb

Swiftly-recorded debut by Theodore frontman's new band is spirited, but heavy on repetitive iconography.

David Bloom
Music

Drunken Prayer: Into the Missionfield

Into the Missionfield is far, far from being a horrible album, but it doesn’t light a torch for a new brand of Americana either.

Music

Buxton: Nothing Here Seems Strange

As solid as Buxton is, they're doing nothing to set themselves apart from other bands in their genre, and they don't quite have the songwriting chops to overcome that lack of character.

Music

Kathleen Edwards: Voyageur

Canadian singer-songwriter Edwards delivers a confusing album co-produced by her current romantic partner, none other than current indie rock "It Boy", Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Music

Nick Jaina: The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone

Nick Jaina teams with series of female vocalists to stunning effect.

Music

Deer Tick: Divine Providence

There's a lack of musical exploration here, but the Providence alt-country rockers embrace their love for booze and rebellion more than ever on this record.

Reviews

Ryan Adams: 21 October 2011 - Seattle

Ryan Adams' sold out show at Seattle's Benaroya Hall proved the world's most sensitive singer-songwriter has almost unlimited talent and a sense of humor too.

Music

High Flying: Pop Goes Country

1991 was a significant, even historic year, for country music, giving a strong indication of the direction it would take from then on to now.

Music

Blitzen Trapper: American Goldwing

Portland alt-countryish rockers Blitzen Trapper take to the road with an accomplished sixth album steeped in a bygone America.

Music

Old 97s: Grand Theatre Volume 2

Venerable alt-country bingers double dip on fan-approved album series.

Music

Hidden Pictures: Synchronized Sleeping

On their debut LP, the Kansas band offers twee and alt-country in equal measure. Just not enough personality.

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