Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged alt country

Voice of an Angel: Talking to Jill Andrews

When I first spoke to singer Jill Andrews, I was quite shocked when she first answered the phone. Her voice was low, slow, and groggy, which wasn’t what I was expecting. You see, Andrews quite literally has the voice of an angel. As it turned out, I was waking her up from a peaceful nap with her infant son, Nico. Nico was born around the time that Andrews’ critically acclaimed, Tennessee-based band, The Everybodyfields, broke up.

Middle Cyclone

Music reviews are supposed to be about critical analysis, not deferential boot-licking. But Heaven help me, I cannot help it this time. I love Neko Case. Did you hear me? LOVE. L-O-V-E.

You May Already Be Dreaming

I stepped onto my balcony in the bright, cool morning and put in my earphones. Once I pressed play, everything seemed to slow down. As though following the tempo of this album, traffic slowed from its _Grand Theft Auto _pace and enjoyed the sunshine. Having been compared to The Mountain Goats and Iron & Wine - with lyrics like “I’ve been dying for a year and ten days” or “It's so hard to love your body from the ground” - Neva Dinova’s music has that special something you can’t quite figure out.

Sittin’ in a Tree

If you’re like me, you were totally shocked to learn that Sittin’ In a Tree is Juliana Hatfield’s eighteenth recording.


As a former trailer inhabitant myself, I was quite curious to see how Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours’ latest album, Trailercana, would move me. While I was not immediately turned off as Antsy and his band of rockabilly misfits cranked out twangy opener “Living in Aluminum” and other saloony sing-alongs, Trailercana isn’t an album I’d listen to more than once. Not to say Antsy and the Trailer Park Troubadours don’t do what they do well.

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Deluxe Edition)

Lucinda Williams may be notoriously slow in releasing albums, but such laborious love for her craft is evident in her choice to reissue Car Wheels on a Gravel Road as part of a new deluxe edition set. The set, which combines a remastered version of the original album and live cuts from her performance at Penn’s Landing during the WXPN Singer Songwriter Festival, is a collector’s dream.

The Dust of Retreat

The Dust of Retreat is an impressive, eclectic debut from an eight-piece band that easily navigates the waters of folk rock, chamber pop and alt-country. Like Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, singer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Edwards can tell compelling stories with just an acoustic guitar, but many of his songs, while simple in melody and structure, ascend to thrilling heights when backed by the right combination of instruments.

Ladyfest South (January 25-28, 2007)

Ladyfest South is always a blast because it is back to back lady talent for a good cause. Ladyfest South 2007 happened over four nights at four venues in Atlanta and featured over fifty music and spoken word acts. This year’s beneficiaries are The Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls and The Fund for Southern Communities. Thursday January 25, 2007 - Eyedrum Art Space Phat Man Dee from PA is amazing and fun to see. She sports interesting costumes and sings cabaret camp and pop.

Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul

In much of Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter are a throwback to the experimental and explosive era of singer/songwriter reminiscent of the 1960s and the 1970s. Sykes’ voice has a rough, smoky quality that sounds almost genderless at times, evoking nostalgia about when music was all about challenge and experimentation.

Shades of Dorian Gray

Danny Cohen’s third record for the label ANTI demonstrates his uniqueness as an artist, as did 2005’s We’re All Gunna Die. The 16-track CD takes one on a musical journey of mystical, gothic proportions. Often compared to Tom Waits, Vic Chestnut, Jad Fair, and Daniel Johnston, Cohen has crafted an offbeat musical career spanning some five decades.

Miles Away

I come from the country – from the wide open farms and rolling feed yards of Texas anyway – and I ain’t never heard anything like Gina Villalobos. Released by Face West Records, Villalobos’ third album Miles Away scrawls its own existence into alt-country. Villalobos rough-hews away with a sweet intensity and her heart beats in her voice as she sings, “I got aces on my mind” from the track “Tied to My Side,” recalling country giants Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin and Neil Young.

Engine EP

Langhorne Slim’s songs are deceptively simple, but if you listen to the words, they are anything but. Each song describes the nuances and complexities of human relationships. He breaks us right into this theme with “English Tea,” where he describes loving the details of someone, but not necessarily wanting to be with her.


Here is one golden child in the blended world of rock, roots and Americana; with his sometimes ranting but passion-filled album North, Tim Emmerick & Cold Front County do it up on their debut.

Animal Crackers

In the last few years, so-called 'kid rock' has become big business, boosted by big names, CNN articles, and nationwide tours. Animal Crackers is a folk-rock, alt-country album aimed at children and, presumably, parents driven insane by the thirtieth rendition of "Row, Row, Row your Boat." The singers are Jon Langford, Sally Timms, and Kelly Hogan, backed by Chicago's Devil in a Woodpile. My experimental sample of one, aged two and a half, liked the first track, "Wee Hairy Beasties," and requested an encore.