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Three music thoughts in four days

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 [...]

Jackie Greene and Joan Osborne

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

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

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

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

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?

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 [...]

That ’70s sound

That ’70s sound

  Not long ago I wrote of my quest to find a new sound, to get outside the now-overcrowded genre of “Americana” – acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle. While I still love the music played by some of the bands in the genre, it is so oversaturated that it is getting impossible to distinguish one [...]

Shock and ugh

Shock and ugh

Michelle Shocked changed my musical life forever – and for that I’ll be forever grateful. But I believe that the joy she gave me will also never return. When I first heard her album “Short Sharp Shocked” in 1988, I was listening to almost exclusively classic rock. Yes, the Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd. I had [...]

Goodbye, Newport

Goodbye, Newport

Goodbye, Newport. I’m very sorry but I will not be attending this year. The Newport Folk Festival has been one of my favorite summer events for many years. It’s one of the best music festivals on the East Coast: the venue is amazing, with its stage looking out past the vast audience onto the surrounding [...]

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