We just caught the Newport Folk Fest, the musical jewel of the summer… other than its older and meaner brother the Newport Jazz Fest. Why should you head over to the Newport Jazz Fest? Because Bela Fleck and the Most Amazing Living Bassist (ie Victor Wooten) are headlining Friday. Because Rhiannon Giddens, who played one of the best sets at the Folk Fest has a double-header with the always excellent Trombone Shorty. (Giddens fits in incredibly well with the power of her jazz voice, too.) Because you missed the Folk Fest, and you need NEED your fix of the Newport-hosted music scene. There are tooRead More →

Last Tuesday, we headed over to the Paradise Rock Club in Boston to catch introspective Brit Laura Marling, with Valley Queen as her opener. Valley Queen, based in L.A., was something of a shocker: vocals that remind us of Lady Lamb and arrangements that feel vaguely like art-rock, a good complement to Marling. Here are two of the quartet:   We aren’t going to say they are a perfect band – Wogensen hit some “juicy notes” on bass (that is to say, we prefer our notes a bit more dry, *ahem*) and Carol doesn’t have the power female voice that always seems to take usRead More →

One man, one guitar (oh and one wifey). Photo (c) Matthew Keefer REVIEW CONTRIBUTED BY MARIE AMARA Morton opened set with “Poor Bastard” off his 2016 solo debut, What Will Destroy You, and delivered to the hungry audience a few more songs off the album. I have never heard an audience so quiet during a show. Morton’s songs always have a tragic feel to them, but stripped bare of the dense instrumentation, with just his voice and minimal guitar, I was not the only one in the audience mesmerized. When Morton suddenly broke into Typhoon favorite “Belly of the Cavern” (2010 EP Hunger and Thirst),Read More →

It’s true. This Wednesday. You might catch folkers next year like this guy: Four guesses: C,S,N or Y? …who happened to be incredible at this past summer’s Newport Folk Fest. So you know we’re partial to this particular Fest. We might have something of a history with this one. And you can, too, but only if you’re able to grab a ticket. (And be warned, they’ve been selling out within a day… except for Friday. So…) Again, reminder: This Wed, Nov. 30th. 10 am Eastern Time. Click this kind of link to get to the Folk Fest site. And again, last July weekend in 2017:Read More →

Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. Photo (c) by Timothy Saccenti. Boston House of Blues, Boston, MA. Fri. 10-21-16, Doors. 7pm, Show 8pm. $25-$45. Electro-pop duo Phantogram has strikingly few dates in the New England area. In fact, they have just one, which is a shame, considering a good portion of their dates are selling out. We’re going to make the trek to Boston for this one, because, well, they’re releasing their aptly named album Three and we feel like electro-dancing our ass off. Possibly to a single like this one. This would be our first time catching Barthel and Carter, and we’re certainly excited to feelRead More →

Joan Shelley (all photos (c) Matthew Keefer) This was where we started off the third and final day of the Newport Folk Festival. She’s actually the second act of the Harbor Stage, having missed the first one (whom we later discovered was an amazing highlight of the whole Folk Fest – Ian Fitzgerald with Smith and Weeden…). But here we buckled down for a bit, sat and enjoyed Joan Shelley’s acoustic duo, nice, simple, sparse. Kind of a palate cleanser, musically speaking. Refreshing start to the day. And if Joan Shelley’s brand of folk is refreshing, then the Oh Hellos are just a knock-out, high-octaneRead More →