Music Writing

My bylined music features in Rolling StoneGuitar Player, Guitar AficionadoMix, The ‘Sip and other publications profile artists like Jason Isbell, The Roots, Old Crow Medicine Show, Samantha Fish, Uncle Tupelo and more. I’ve also interviewed artists such as Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), Frank Black (Pixies), Steve Earle, Joe Satriani and members of Wilco, Slipknot, Duran Duran, Megadeth, Pantera, Superchunk, Fugazi, Widespread Panic and more. Find more articles on music and musicians on the blog, or click here for the “My Life in Five Riffs” series.

Uncle Tupelo’s ‘Anodyne’ at 25: An Oral History

When Americana pioneers Uncle Tupelo released their major-label debut, Anodyne, on October 5th, 1993, it should have been the beginning of something big. In a way, it was. Led by Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy from tiny Belleville, Illinois, the alt-country movement’s promising breakout band was packing clubs in major cities across America and Europe, not just the college towns where they spent … Continue reading Uncle Tupelo’s ‘Anodyne’ at 25: An Oral History

Anderson East on the Redemption of Performing Live, New Album ‘Encore’

Anderson East emerges from side stage just in time to grab the microphone and give it a windmill twirl before singing the opening lines of “Sorry You’re Sick,” the energetic, Ted Hawkins-penned clap-along from his new album, Encore. With his hard-charging band laying down the driving beat and joyous horns blowing the melody, he reaches … Continue reading Anderson East on the Redemption of Performing Live, New Album ‘Encore’

Jason Isbell’s Slide Magic

If the slide guitar hook that binds “24 Frames,” the jangly first single from Jason Isbell’s fifth album, Something More Than Free [Southeastern Records], sounds a little tricky, that’s exactly what its architect wanted. “The main riff on that song has a pull-off I do with my pinkie in front of the slide,” says Isbell. … Continue reading Jason Isbell’s Slide Magic

Samantha Fish: Blues Traveler

Samantha Fish climbs the steps of her 19th-century New Orleans home, shouldering her Arctic White Gibson SG as she retreats from the midday summer sun into a wide parlor. The air is thick with bayou humidity, but as a Kansas City native who spent her first 20-something years weathering winter blizzards, Fish doesn’t seem to … Continue reading Samantha Fish: Blues Traveler

JoJo Hermann: Stuck in Oxford with the Mississippi Blues

Ever since William Faulkner brought fame and occasionally shock to the community, Oxford, Miss., has attracted a free-spirited bunch. That community of writers, musicians and artists is alive even after the passing of lynchpins like Barry Hannah. Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann is one of the more recent artists to find a new start in this Mississippi college … Continue reading JoJo Hermann: Stuck in Oxford with the Mississippi Blues

The Original Muscle Shoals Sound

It’s all there—the booth where Mick Jagger cut vocals, the toilet where Keith Richards finished writing “Wild Horses,” the original insulation tiles that heard a generation’s worth of landmark music. Now, Muscle Shoals Sound is coming back to life at its original location, 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Ala., thanks to a grant from Beats … Continue reading The Original Muscle Shoals Sound