April 22, 1988 |
The best show of the week is Sunday night's double bill of 10,000 Maniacs and Tracy Chapman. The Maniacs are a folk-rock quintet featuring the songs and voice of Natalie Merchant. Listeners attracted to the group's In My Tribe by its fetching cover version of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" were quick to find that 10,000 Maniacs had even better originals. "Hey Jack Kerouac" is a knowing portrait of the Beat Generation writers, and "Don't Talk" is an alluring tune about a one-sided conversation with a drunk.
January 10, 1988 |
Lyle Lovett's debut album last year established him as a talented singer- songwriter who was accepted in the country-music genre, but his follow-up, Pontiac (MCA ) is a puzzle. Little of this music could be characterized as country, and Lovett's voice sounds more than ever like that of cult folk-rock performer Jesse Winchester. Lovett also exposes a nasty streak in such sexist junk as "She's No Lady" and "She's Hot to Go. " In general, this is a disappointment. House of Freaks Monkey on a Chain Gang (Rhino )
April 19, 2013
1DAWES "Cosmic American Music" offers bittersweet, Southern California-style folk rock that will scrub you clean but might break a romantic heart. 2OLLY MURS Hot British pop export pumps out vigorous, danceable tunes in the Bruno Mars vein on "Right Place Right Time. " Don't slip! 3FLAMING LIPS Chill with "The Terror," a spacey, techno-tuned set of ambient hippie rock. 4KIM RICHEY Alt-country devotees will enjoy sharing the shower with this Americana girl's best set yet, "Thorn in My Heart.
June 21, 1997 |
Rock isn't dead, it's just wheezing on life support. For proof, check the trends on Billboard's Top 200. The highest-charting hard guitar band lands all the way down at No. 24 (the Foo Fighters' "The Colour and the Shape"). For more loud guitars you have to scroll down to 28 (Aerosmith), then plunge to 42 (the still-struggling U2). Other genres can't be crying over this. For makers of pop, country and rap, things couldn't look sunnier. The current Top Ten features two hip-hop records - "Wu Tang Clan Forever" at No. 1 and Notorious B.I.G.
August 16, 1996 |
Earnest folk, cool jazz, and flip, hip, beat poetry all coexisted comfortably in the smoky coffeehouses of the 1950s. So why shouldn't those art forms cohabit now? That's one ambition of the worldly wise and often wonderful new Devonsquare album "Industrial Twilight," a three-suite journey through existential dilemmas and contemporary survival. The group will be introducing the material live tomorrow at Tin Angel. "Frankly, it's been a reach for radio to play it," concedes the group's Herb Ludwig.
April 12, 2010 |
"This is not a rock concert," Midlake's Eric Pulido announced midway through its show Saturday at the TLA. "This is a soft folk-rock soiree. " Given that Pulido was one of the seven-piece band's four guitar players, the remark was more than a little tongue-in-cheek. But there's little doubt that Midlake spent much of the four years preceding the January release of The Courage of Others internalizing the sound of British folk-rock giants like Fairport Convention and Pentangle, as well as present-day descendants like Philadelphia's Espers, whose mixture of acoustic fingerpicking and electric power-chords set the scene for Saturday's show.
February 19, 2013 |
With a shiny new Grammy Award under their belts, English folk-rock juggernaut Mumford & Sons stormed the Camden Waterfront on Saturday for the first of two sold-out nights at the Susquehanna Bank Center. The band emerged from behind a curtain adorned with its top-hatted Gentlemen of the Road logo to kick off the set with "Babel," the title track of the newly minted best album of 2012. In the midst of a whirlwind couple of weeks, the band members - Marcus Mumford on guitar, mandolin, and kick drum, Winston Marshall on banjo and guitar, Ben Lovett on keys and accordion, and Ted Dwayne on electric and standup bass - lived up to their reputation as stellar live performers, playing most of the set as a harmonizing four-man front before a largely unmanned drum set. Save for a few songs on which Mumford (who began his career as Laura Marling's skinsman)
January 10, 1988 |
It's a rock band's nightmare. The band is booked into a South Jersey club for a five-night stand. This is the big one, the gig that band members are hoping will lead to stardom: a steady job in Atlantic City, an appearance on Star Search, a recording contract with Columbia Records, the opening act at the Spectrum. . . . But wait - the bass player has quit with only three days' notice. It's the sort of problem that Bob Federici and Michael Fortuna, both 26- year-old Pennsauken rock musicians, have seen plague their colleagues all too often.
December 13, 1987 |
The most clever and moving collection of old rock material to be released this year is Heyday (Hannibal ) by Fairport Convention. This album gathers a dozen songs that this legendary English folk-rock group recorded in 1968 and '69, tunes ranging from Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" to Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone," all of them witty, knowing and passionate. JOHN GORKA I Know (Red House ): What a fine folk-music record. Gorka's strong, warm voice is instantly disarming, confiding, and his lyrics are sharply observant about subjects ranging from his lover's hair to cows standing in a winter field.
November 9, 1998 |
The difference between musicians who flip burgers during the day and those who wake around two in the afternoon after a night of rocking packed concert halls is a secret the men don't know but the little girls understand. Take the Goo Goo Dolls, for instance. After nine years of churning out catchy, if forgettable, power pop over the course of five albums, three on a major label, band members were still working day jobs. And then along came a song called "Name," an achy-breaky folk-rock carol that played in seeming perpetuity on radio, and the boys named Goo could finally leave the spatulas and the paper hats behind.