• Grassy-as-funk and capo-driven

    Last week, we deliberately inflicted pain on ourselves and discussed the topic of album reviews, with actual samples (that I made up, but does it really matter?). Specifically, we examined the categories of the Everybody Gets a Rave and the

  • The school of album reviews

    No recording artist likes bad reviews. In fact, most recording artists are pretty unhappy with reviews that are even mediocre. When was the last time you heard an artist say, “Well, it was a pretty bad review, but it was

  • Check out my new CD: Album Name Here

    After a new recording project is mastered, photos have been taken, perhaps someone has been hired to write some liner notes, you’ve replaced the tracks of the guitar player who just quit, one of the last jobs still remains, and

  • Getting there is half the battle

    One of the basic requirements of any professional band is to be able to get to the gig, wherever it might be. It’s one (sometimes the only) common bond we all share. Some bands carry a P.A. system, some do not.

  • Junior and the Cow

    Junior Williams, banjo player with Newtown and legitimate funny guy, has agreed to send us occasional iPhone videos. Here he is with John Cowan, who is doing some touring with his own band during a break in his schedule with

  • Just what do you mean by that?

    Last week I was preoccupied with another side business I have, which is the raising of prize miniature llamas (one of the llamas had gone off her feed and would eat nothing but stir-fried alfalfa pellets, and the whole thing

  • Bordergrass from Platarapido

    Well looky here... Monroeville claims to have discovered an ethnomusicological missing link. I'll admit to a bit of skepticism here. Monroeville says that the outfit in this video is a mariachi band called Platarapido which they encountered along the US southern border, but

  • Bluegrass to English translations

    Chris Jones, our dutiful chronicler of bluegrass whimsy, found himself low on time this week, so we are re-running this clever column, originally published in April 2012. People that are new to bluegrass music sometimes need some help in translating our jargon.

  • 2013 Bluegrass Knowledge Test

    Well, it’s that time of year again (isn’t it always?). I really had no follow-up to that statement; it just seemed like a snappy way to begin this column. It’s at least safe to say that it’s a time of year