Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged bluegrass

Apple Core

So much folksy lady rock, so little time. Add Kendl Winter’s Apple Core to the ever-lengthening list of guitar-loving, country-inspired singer-songwriters with a flair for bluegrass. It may not be terribly original, but Winter makes a fine effort on her fourth solo album. At times, her work is hauntingly beautiful; at others, it’s frustratingly cliché.

The Road Home

When I opened my package containing Eliza Blue’s album The Road Home, I was greeted with a little bit of Southern hospitality; the CD was wrapped in a piece of twine and included a hand-written note saying, “Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy!” I felt comforted by that note. It was a little wave “hello” from home, and more than that, a connection between artist and audience.


If there’s one word to describe the works of Nouvelle Vague, it's génial. Generally, I don’t trust cover versions. Many of them are an abomination that spits all over the originals, but somehow, the cover band Nouvelle Vague makes me forget that.

The Holy Open Secret

I would not have selected this album to review if I’d actually read the liner notes. However, I did my due diligence, went to iTunes and listened to a sample or two. I loved singer Sean Hoot’s voice, the uncomplicated lyrics and definite rock beat. When my package arrived with Hoots & Hellmouth’s The Holy Open Secret, my children, who are teenagers, made their way into my room as I played it.

Letter from New Virginia

Did you know that one of iTunes musical categories is “unclassifiable”? Such a description is apt for the music of Donny Hue and the Colors. The group uses many unusual instruments, including autoharp, melodica, glockenspiel, and theremin, as well as guitar and organ on an album that can alternately be described as psychedelic, minimalist, and orchestral. The instrumental “Into the Woods” plays like the opening of a movie, setting the tone for the album.

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.

When Your Feet Hit the Stars

The first time I listened to Carrie Biell’s new album, When Your Feet Hit the Stars, I felt like falling asleep. All but nine of its ten songs are ballads. However, during the second listen I came to appreciate Biell’s smoky, soulful voice. The music is indeed mellow and great to listen to when you are stressed out. However, there are two songs that pick up the pace a bit.


As I listened to Elizabeth Cook’s new album Balls, I wanted to open the window and scream, “Why doesn’t country radio play her songs?” I love country music that sounds authentic, the kind that one has to search the internet to find. Cook’s music definitely fits the bill. I really appreciated the blend of different old-time sounds: bluegrass, rockabilly and traditional country.

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.