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What happens when a band on the rise finds out its name is an obscure racial stereotype?

Meet Parsonsfield (formerly Poor Old Shine) For Poor Old Shine, it started with a song… a traditional prison work song of the American South, called “Ain’t No Cane on This Brazos.” It’s been interpreted by everyone from Dylan and the Band, to the Low Anthem, Lyle Lovett and the Wood Brothers. And it was the […]

Issue 37, August 2014

To download the full issue pdf, click HERE When I started Modern Acoustic, way back in 2004, one of my main objectives was not to be like every other music magazine, which fills their pages with fluffy profiles of bands and overblown CD reviews in order to get as many eyeballs, website hits, and likes […]

Patty Griffin and Parker Millsap at Prescott Park; Sarah Borges at Book & Bar

It was one of those most magical of evenings. Outside, 70 or so degrees, beside the ocean, sun about to set, your favorite concert buddies sitting alongside you. Oh, and it just happens to be the summer solstice. Then, Patty Griffin strides on stage, breaks your heart and lifts you up, again and again. I […]

Three music thoughts in four days

Hopefully, people will read this and won’t think, “wow, this guy is old and cranky.” That is not true – at least the second part. It just happens that in a few days I had some musical experiences that hit me in a way that made me reflect on music now and then. Goodbye, Sister […]

Joan’s arc

In praise of the underappreciated Joan Osborne I recently went to see a band called Trigger Hippy at a concert hall in Boston. As a band, they are not well known. In fact, the band members actually haven’t been a band for very long. But there’s a good chance music fans will know at least […]

The Lone cure

Photo by Reid Simpson/Hear and There Photography   The Lone Bellow made quite an impression in 2013 – even winning over the guy with a bad case of Americana Exhaustion I complained a lot this year. I was hurting and desperate. It wasn’t my fault. I suffered from a bad case of Americana Exhaustion in […]

2013 Favorites of the Year

Favorite Album: Patty Griffin, “American Kid’’ Anyone who follows Modern Acoustic knows just where I stand on Patty. Two words: voice crush. My god, listen to “Wild Old Dog.” The song kills me. It’s so sad, and her voice just brings me to the verge of tears – every time. Many of the songs here – […]

Issue No. 36, December 2013

To see the full issue pdf, click HERE. This year, Hanukkah came early. My musical inspiration came very late, but I’m very excited about this gift. All year, I had been looking for an artist that moved me, really moved me –  the way Gillian Welch and Patty Griffin had done in the past. I […]

Furthur, more or less

Returning to the scene of the Dead 30 years later I went back with some misgivings – no Jerry Garcia will do that to even the most ardent of Deadheads. I’d seen the video clips, heard Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s vocals on those Jerry songs we hold sacred. Was that a keyboard part where […]

Can musicians get fans to put down their cameras?

“At the request of Matt and Zooey, we ask that people not use their cell phones to take pictures and video, but instead enjoy the show they have put together in 3D.” This is a sign posted at recent concerts of She & Him – the duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. The pair […]