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.

Continue Reading

Seth Walker Puts His Troubles Behind Him

May 17, 2022
Marty Halpern

Seth Walker – Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins

The last few years have been rough on Seth Walker even without the chaos caused by COVID-19. Dealing with the end of a long term relationship, the musician decided to pack up and move from Nashville, TN to Asheville, NC, not far from where he grew up. He needed the Blue Ridge Mountains’ tranquility to try and answer some serious life questions, and the fresh air and family time were exactly what Walker needed.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

CATS Recasts with Neal Casal Disciple

March 3, 2022
Marty Halpern

When Circles Around the Sun (CATS) founder Neal Casal passed away in 2019, it was clear his wish was for the band to keep at it, a big challenge for a band that was never meant to exist. When the dust settled after Casal’s death, bassist Dan Horne, keyboardist Adam MacDougall, and drummer Marc Levy followed their leader’s wishes, and kept the music going.

Continue Reading

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. 

Continue Reading

Grateful Shred Still Hotter than Nashville Chicken

December 3, 2021
Marty Halpern

After a meteoric rise from obscurity to a national touring band, Grateful Shred has made the most of its time in the spotlight. The initial lineup, featuring Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci alongside Shred core two Austin McCutchen and Dan Horne, woke the Grateful Dead cosmos with a unique laid-back harmony driven sound. The band literally went from playing the Shakedown Street vendor area prior to Dead and Company shows to touring the United States.

Continue Reading