Chris Castino: Fresh Pickles, Chicken Wire Empire, and the soul of Jackson County

May 26, 2022
Tim Newby

Chris Castino / photo: Tyler Hellbeck

Chris Castino first came to prominence with the Big Wu, a band he helped found in 1992. The band established itself as a mainstay of the roots and jamband scene, releasing five studio and five live albums and earning a reputation as one of the hardest touring bands on the scene. As the Big Wu slowed their heavy touring schedule, Castino stayed busy and when the COVID pandemic shut the world down, he dove head-first into a new project highlighting his lifelong passion for bluegrass.

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Joan Osborne Unpacks a Treasure Trove of Goodies

May 3, 2022
Marty Halpern

Everyone has boxes their attic that are never opened, filled with old books, clothes that don’t fit, and memories of the past. Those memories hold more value than the items themselves.

When Joan Osborne got around to opening her boxes, she unearthed a career’s worth of recordings, interviews, and photographs – enough material to release “Radio Waves,” a collection of unreleased recordings spanning her entire career.

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Scott Metzger pays homage to bats, Katy Perry, and Hindu slide guitar in “Too Close to Reason.”   

March 18, 2022
Marty Halpern

Scott Metzger / photo: Andy Hess

There’s plenty of Scott Metzger’s music to be heard in the world. The guitarist has been creating music for over two decades, from WOLF! to his role in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.

Despite such a prolific career, one thing has been missing from his resume: a solo record. With “Too Close to Reason,” Metzger can finally cross that benchmark off his list.

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Hard-living, hard-times, lost years: the “Glory” of the Lost Dog Street Band

January 25, 2022
Tim Newby

Lost Dog Street Band - photo: Justin Dye

“They turned me away because I was unclean / So I kicked down the doors of the Grand Ole Opry,” sings Benjamin Tod on “Until I Recoup (Glory I),” the opening track on the Lost Dog Street Band’s latest album ”Glory.”  Tod spits the line with venom, born from years of hard-living and hard-times. The song, while defiant and a big middle finger to the status quo, is also a statement of purpose, Tod’s declaration that no matter what he and the Lost Dog Street Band will be heard and accepted, albeit on their own terms and by their own rules. 

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There’s Plenty of Leftover Salmon to go Around

July 28, 2021
Marty Halpern

photo: John-Ryan Lockman

Leftover Salmon has been creating music for over a generation., and their accomplishments have let them travel the world, playing in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Never one to phone it in, the band has released “Brand New Good Old Days,” an impressive collection of songs that sets the current course the band is heading.

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Blast from the past with The Tragically Hip’s Sasksadelphia

June 1, 2021
Josh Mintz

The Tragically Hip; photo: Jim Herrington

In the summer of 1993 I went to a sleepaway camp in Starlight, Pennsylvania. I was a 15-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, and a few of my cabin mates were from Canada. We did all of your typical summer camp things, and playing music loud was obviously one of them. Over the several weeks we spent together I fell in love with a band my Canadian bunkmates introduced me to – The Tragically Hip, a massively popular rock band north of the border that I’d never heard of. To this day, they’re still one of my favorites, and recently released a ”new” album, “Saskadelphia.”

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Farmer Dave Speaks of Love, Heartbreak, and Utopia

October 13, 2020
Marty Halpern

Multi-instrumentalist and shaman to the California music scene Farmer Dave Scher has released a four-song EP titled “Speak of Love,” his first solo release since 2009’s “Flash Forward to the Good Times.” While Farmer Dave is legendary both musically and artistically, his main output has been as part of bands such as Beachwood Sparks, The Skiffle Players, and Kurt Vile and the Violators. This offering affords Farmer Dave the luxury of an unfiltered platform to get his message out.

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It’s flooding in Texas…so The Greyboy Allstars made an album

August 14, 2020
Marty Halpern

Greyboy Allstars / photo: Josh Mintz

Covid shutdown or not, 2020 is proving to be a productive year for Greyboy Allstars. In July, the band released “Como De Allstars,” its first album of new material in seven years. In August, they re-released their 1994 debut album “West Coast Boogaloo” on vinyl. Had it not been for that famed Texas rain, “Como De Allstars” might not exist.

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