On Bob Dylan's 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' Everything Old Is New Again, Again

Bob Dylan's first album of original material since 2012, Rough and Rowdy Ways, is a suitably grim, brilliant collection of ten songs for our dark times.


The Ruthie Foster Big Band Swings the Best Live Record of the Year So Far

Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.


Jeff Buckley's Voice Returns

Jeff Buckley's journals, photographs, and memorabilia of the late singer are compiled by his mother, Mary Guibert, and Rolling Stone's David Browne in Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice.


Malian Desert Rockers Tamikrest Advocate for Unity and Diversity on 'Tamotaït'

Tamikrest's Tamotaït adds a welcome lyrical side to their brand of Saharan desert rock. The group advocate for both unity and diversity in wonderfully dulcet tones.


Lucinda Williams Right at Home With Writing Partner for 'Good Souls Better Angels'

Able to write and sing the blues, gospel, folk, rock and alt-country with the same amount of true grit and passion, Lucinda Williams comes out swinging while discussing her explosive new album during these troubled times.


​​​Where Are the Good Souls, the Better Angels?​​ Asks Lucinda Williams

On her new searing album, Good Souls Better Angels, Lucinda Williams rages against the darkness of our era and seeks the strength to get through it.


Rory Block's 'Prove It on Me' Pays Tribute to Women's Blues

The songs on Rory Block's Prove It on Me express the strength of female artists despite their circumstances as second class citizens in both the musical world and larger American society.


Bill Withers and the Curse of the Black Genius

"Lean on Me" singer-songwriter Bill Withers was the voice of morality in an industry without honor. It's amazing he lasted this long.


Pokey LaFarge Hits 'Rock Bottom' on His Way Up

Americana's Pokey LaFarge performs music in front of an audience as a way of conquering his personal demons on Rock Bottom.


'Live at Carnegie Hall' Captures Bill Withers at His Grittiest and Most Introspective

Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall manages to feel both exceptionally funky and like a new level of grown-up pop music for its time.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.


The 15 Best Tom Waits Songs

From apocalyptic blues boasts to backwoods chant-alongs, here are 15 songs that encapsulate Tom Waits' incredibly varied career.


Blues Everywhere She Goes: Odetta

Ian Zack's biography gives the often-overlooked Odetta a chance to keeping shining that little light of hers.


Counterbalance No. 8: The Rolling Stones - 'Exile on Main St.'

In 1972, the Rolling Stones were holed up in a rickety mansion in the South of France, writing an epic love letter to American music. Counterbalance examines the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St and separates the fever from the funk house—now!


Counterbalance No. 7: Bob Dylan - 'Blonde on Blonde'

Number seven marks the first appearance of a fellow we’ll be seeing a lot of, one Bob Dylan. He’s a poor fool in his prime on the 1966 opus Blonde on Blonde—Counterbalance has a listen.


Son Little Greets the Complexities of Life on 'Aloha'

On Aloha, Son Little ponders the ambivalence of life and love, and decides he could be right. Or he could be wrong. Either way, the music is soulful and comforting.


Music Is All About Limitations: An Interview with Son Little

Son Little finds commonalities across jazz, hip-hop, soul, R&B, and rock. His latest album grew out of a setback, but he created a stronger, simpler, more ruminative set of songs. Here he talks about creativity and obstacles and how they work together.


Hot Tuna Smoke in Return to the Fillmore

Hot Tuna is power trio rock at its finest as sonic sparks fly in the band's astonishing seventh decade of performing at rock's most sacred venue.


29 Black Music Documentaries for Black History Month 2020

For Black History Month 2020, we are showcasing films and videos featuring Black American artists. Enjoy them and learn about the origin of each Black music legend featured.


Robert Cray Bares His Soul on 'That's What I Heard'

Forty years into his career, Robert Cray has been steadily building one of the most consistent catalogs of pure soul and smooth blues with the help of his stinging Stratocaster and a voice that somehow gets even better with age.


The Wood Brothers' 'Kingdom in My Mind' Features Freewheeling Experimentation

Kingdom in My Mind captures the energy of the Wood Brothers' live performances, and it invites listeners to come jam-out, as long as the lyrics aren't carefully scrutinized.


Brother Dege's Profound Roots on Display via "The Early Morn" (premiere)

Americana's Brother Dege teams with Irish dobro man Tom Portman for in-studio performance of "The Early Morn".


How the Staple Singers Became the Soul of Protest Music

The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.


British Soul/Blues Artist Izo Fitzroy Asks for "Blind Faith" (premiere)

British soul, blues, and gospel singer-songwriter, Izo Fitzroy debuts her latest single, "Blind Faith", inspired by both Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway.


'If You're Going to the City' Illuminates the Cerebral Artistry of Mose Allison

Too adventurous for blues, too raw for jazz, Mose Allison danced on the ivories in both worlds, tipping his hat to singer-songwriter pop along the way. A new tribute album reveals the many avenues worth exploring of one of the most singular voices in music.


Guitarist Marcus King Finds His Voice on 'El Dorado'

Marcus King has a raw ache in his throat that makes him sound as if he's coarsely whispering the words. Even when he's singing about a "Young Man's Dream", King's vocals suggest the experience of age.


Mike Duke Steps Into the Spotlight

Sometimes the story of how an album came to be is as fascinating as the music itself. Southern roots music artist Mike Duke draws from a deep well of influences and pours his heart and soul into everything he plays.


Elizabeth King and the Gospel Souls Rejoice with 'The D-Vine Spirituals Recordings'

This archival gospel soul release never flags, as Elizabeth King fulfills a true calling.


The Rolling Stones Roll Out a Deluxe Edition of 'Let It Bleed'

Although created in the midst of personal and global turmoil, the Rolling Stones' 1969 studio album is routinely considered one of their best. A 50th anniversary deluxe edition is now out and celebrates this masterpiece.


Mike Zito Taps Walter Trout For Cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" (premiere)

Blues rocker Mike Zito pairs with axeman Walter Trout for an incendiary version of Chuck Berry's seminal rock 'n' roll song, "Johnny B. Goode".


A Journey Through Her Mind: An Interview with Beth Hart

Powerhouse blues vocalist Beth Hart teams with producer Rob Cavallo to confront her own sense of spirituality on her intensely personal new release, War in My Mind. She tells us that story.


"Guitar Has Been My Savior": An Interview with Charlie Parr

After an accident that could have ended his career, folk blues artist Charlie Parr recovered and recorded an album comprised largely of older tunes. It marks a particular moment in the musician's life and his belief that songs never die.

Jedd Beaudoin

Blues Cruising Samantha Fish Takes Joy Ride of Her Life on 'Kill or Be Kind' (album premiere + interview)

"Playing more for the song," Samantha Fish feels right at home dealing with various shades of blues in New Orleans, and proves it with a sneak preview of her sixth studio album.


Hama Sankaré Bridges Malian Blues Generations on 'Niafunké'

Old and new Malian blues stars unite on calabash legend Hama Sankaré's latest solo album, Niafunké.


The Commonheart Share a Soulful Message of Love and Positivity on 'Pressure' (album stream + interview)

Pittsburgh soul octet, the Commonheart aim to spread lots of love and positivity on their new album Pressure. Hear the album now before it's release on Friday.


"I've Got My Own Hubcaps": An Interview with Jimmie Vaughan

Blues guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan reflects on his latest album, Baby, Please Come Home, the greatness of T-Bone Walker, and the importance of remaining curious about your instrument.

Jedd Beaudoin
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