Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged acoustic

Images of Women, Volume 2

Several years ago, native New Yorker Robin Greenstein issued Images of Women, Volume 1, which delivered fourteen folk songs about women’s depiction in the genre, based on her concert-lecture on the topic. Images of Women, Volume 2 delivers fourteen more numbers about women, mostly traditional in musical style.


Blink and you might miss one of the twelve short, sparsely instrumented songs on Elyse Miller’s new disc, as most last two minutes or less. But Miller packs a lot of punch into these brief, slow-paced numbers, usually accompanied only by acoustic guitar.

Never a Long Way Home

Confession: I don’t know much about country music, and I don’t listen to much country music. But I know what I like, and Steff Mahan’s Never a Long Way Home is damn good music. The opening track, “If I Let You Go,” starts things off rockin’. Mahan bangs away on a distorted guitar while belting out the lyrics. The song is upbeat, but the story isn’t; the narrator can’t let go of a past relationship even though her former lover is with someone new.


A beautiful album, Monika Jalili’s Élan evokes a romantic, and at times, haunting journey through a collection of popular, acoustic Iranian songs. The talented New York-born vocalist originally trained in musical theater, and shares her enchanting voice and love of Iranian poetry in a simple yet sincere album, which features tracks in Persian, Azeri, English, and French.

Poseidon and the Bitter Bug

For more than twenty years, the Indigo Girls have been known for their gorgeous, close harmonies and riveting, emotional lyrics. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are both exquisite singers and talented guitarists. Poseidon and the Bitter Bug is sure to delight fans with ten tracks of mostly-folk songs with pop, rock, and soul influences.

Jewell Ridge Coal

As someone with a very limited knowledge of folk music, I found Jeni & Billy’s second album Jewell Ridge Coal to be like Billy Elliot meets the Mamas and the Papas meets Dolly Parton. A little bit bluegrass, a little bit folk, and all original, the music feels simultaneously familiar and completely new. Acoustic duo Jeni Hankins and Billy Kemp’s unique sound is not only easy to listen to, it creates an atmosphere.

Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation For Compassion Over Killing

Beautiful art graces the cover of this album, entrancing me as I hear Gina Young introduce both the tone and ethics of the compilation. I quickly feel enveloped by the politics and clarity of these artists.

All the Strays

Sitting in a warm living room with your closest friends enjoying each other’s thoughts and company is exactly how you feel when the first song of this album strums - and it only gets better from there. Antara’s third solo album, All the Strays, comes at you like a warm cup of coffee… a fall evening by the fire… or an embrace of an old friend.

Despite Our Differences

Despite Our Differences is Emily Saliers’ and Amy Ray's first release on their new record label, and it shows on an album that feels like a new beginning for Decatur’s own. Taking a slight upward turn in sentiments from some heavy themes on All That We Let In and the acoustic, earthy Become You, fans should be advised not to live without this one.

The Longest Day of the Year

It’s as if The Cure went acoustic, frontrunning the band with the softest sounds of feminine chanteusery. The Reverse is a twosome composed of vocalistic guitarist Tara Emelye Needham and drummer Todd “Todbot” Karasick. Born in Long Island, The Reverse migrated to New York City, as talents tend to do. Unaffected, feet-shuffling wanderings best describe the tone and tunes of this debut album, making one reasons, perhaps, why it is entitled The Longest Day of the Year.