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Favorites of the Year 2015

My end of the year extravaganza is called Favorites of 2015 because I just don’t listen to enough new music through the year to warrant calling it a Best Of list – though I do believe many of the musicians or the albums mentioned should be considered. Anyway, sorry there is no magazine version this […]

Issue No. 39, June 2015

To download the complete issue, click HERE First, let me just say that I have never had so much fun putting together an issue of Modern Acoustic! I want to offer a huge thanks to everyone who participated. It’s hard enough to put pen to paper for any reason. And when someone asks you to […]

Interview with Zack Hickman of Barnstar!

When last we saw the boys of Barnstar!, they were dressed as a band of pirates riding the high seas of Boston Harbor and performing to a rowdy crowd aboard a cruise ship. While the pirate get-up was purely inspired by their surroundings that day, playing to rowdy crowds is standard fare as both band […]

2014 Favorites of Year

To download the full issue pdf, click HERE. FAVORITE ALBUMS “Numbered Doors,” by Lori McKenna and “Milltowns,” by Mark Erelli These two locally produced albums are as authentic and moving as any released nationally. After making two very personal albums, McKenna steps back a bit, lyrically creeping around the hallways of hotels and motels capturing […]

Look out Nashville, Lori McKenna has arrived… (But she still belongs to Boston!)

  To download the full issue pdf, click HERE A recording session is stopped abruptly, and a new-to-town songwriter is introduced, brought in to “fix” the projected hit song for Miss Rayna James, Nashville’s Queen of Country Music. The stranger doesn’t fit the mold of the shiny country music scene: She is short, dark-haired, and […]

Issue No. 38, December 2014

  To download the full issue pdf, click HERE I have a plot idea for the TV show “Nashville” to save it from cancellation. But before we go there, I have admit something that may make you cringe … I am a fan – or was a fan – of the show. I’m kind of […]

One music fan’s boycott of Spotify

I won’t listen to Spotify. In fact, I am personally boycotting it. I’m sure the music streaming executives are quaking in their collective boots over my decision. “Yeah, there go a couple thousand streams we won’t get. Boohoo!” It doesn’t seem to bother Spotify or Pandora that they are ripping off musicians by underpaying them […]

Two New England festivals are all about the music

Here in the New England, we have no Bonnaroo, no Coachella, no Lollapalooza, no New Orleans Jazz Festival: summer music extravaganzas with lineups filled with pop superstars, celebrity spotting and amusement park activities. We don’t have venues like Red Rocks in Colorado or The Gorge in Washington state, where the vistas are even more amazing […]

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 […]