Author Jackson Truax

The Grammy-nominated Americana powerhouse Della Mae have found themselves releasing their fourth album, the staggeringly satisfying Headlight, amidst a global pandemic and the effective caesura of live music. In a moment when professional musicians are navigating how to best replace the touring-related income gained through ticket and merchandise sales, Della Mae is continuing to break new ground with an exciting band page on Patreon. While the crowdfunding platform has been helping content creators monetize their work via the subscription model since launching in 2013, there’s a sense of innovation in Della Mae’s effort to collectively reimagine the communal live music…

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In the past year, Leslie Mendelson has toured with Jackson Browne and opened twice for The Who at Madison Square Garden. This spring, Mendelson is releasing her third album, If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, a rapturously satisfying song cycle that proudly lives in the singer-songwriter tradition, while seamlessly incorporating a range of influences to create an album that’s equally resonate, delightful and unapologetically mind-blowing. If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… may be best described as an album that incorporates the best instincts of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Joni Mitchell’s For The Roses and The Moody Blues’ A Question of…

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Last spring, Rock Cellar interviewed Carsie Blanton about her latest album, Buck Up. Next week, Blanton will kick off her 2020 “World Worth Saving 2020 Tour,” including three upcoming dates in California. The California shows will be opened by Adron, an equally engaging and memorable singer-songwriter. Adron’s most recent album, Water Music, brilliantly places R&B and soul influences on a symphonic pop landscape, featuring a style of guitar-playing heavily rooted in Brazilian music, particularly of the sounds and feelings most closely associated with the Saudade tradition. Having recently moved to Los Angeles from Atlanta, Adron has spent the last year…

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Singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill, equally influenced by the topical folk music of Greenwich Village and the expansive pop song cycles of Brian Wilson’s Smile period, seamlessly melded these influences with her own personal stories and unique perspectives in creating 2017’s The Adventurist. While the album was conceived as an expression of Berryhill’s experience caring for her late husband, Crawdaddy founder Paul Williams, what makes The Adventurist a thoroughly joyous and emotionally engaging achievement is the omnipresent resilience pulsating throughout. While the songs were written and recorded during a time of grieving, The Adventurist serves as an awe-inspiring testament to the…

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Keyboardist Marco Benevento is best known for having spent over twenty years playing music with his seventh grade buddy, drummer Joe Russo. In addition to their extensive history of playing as the Benevento/Russo Duo, the two have spent the last six years in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a band whose genre-bending improvisations and virtuosic interplay have made them an increasingly revered live act. When not playing in the band colloquially referred to as “JRAD,” Benevento has continued to front his own band, currently touring in support of Benevento’s latest solo album, Let It Slide. Benevento recently spoke over the phone…

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Since recording her first album in 1993, Garrison Starr has continued to blend folk-rock, Americana and singer-songwriter influences with incredible deftness and to compelling effect. On Garrison Starr’s forthcoming album, Girl I Used To Be, Starr stays unwaveringly true to the emotional landscape she has explored throughout her career, confronting the most confessional, introspective and vulnerable aspects of herself and her experience. Starr’s recent live shows, launching her Patreon, and Girl I Used To Be, all find Starr reclaiming space as a solo artist, after spending the last few years focusing on interesting collaborations and varied side projects while writing…

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Over the course of thirteen years and five studio albums, the kaleidoscopic jam band Howlin Rain has ingeniously explored the ever-evolving relationship between avant-garde psychedelia and blues-based southern rock. Their latest studio album, The Alligator Bride, and new live release, Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts, Vol 1, both offer immersive listening experiences that are as emotionally and energetically invigorating as they are awe-inspiring in their influences and impressive in their innovations. The musical and existential journeys of Howlin Rain are navigated by the rudimentary compass of singer, guitarist and bandleader Ethan Miller, who founded the band in Oakland,…

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Saxophonist, singer, songwriter, flutist and bandleader Karl Denson has just completed his third tour with The Rolling Stones, whose touring lineup he joined in 2015, filling the shoes left by the late and legendary Bobby Keys. Having once again spent the summer thrilling stadium-sized audiences by flawlessly executing the iconic sax solo that makes “Brown Sugar” one of the greatest songs of all time, Denson is now looking forward to getting back to work with his funky jam band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and his soul jazz outfit The Greyboy Allstars. https://open.spotify.com/album/56MQoYzvGvaaECXTN9rUFY?si=mZwuYG4sTE2AO40TH8BBIw Earlier this year, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe released…

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For his latest Turn Me On column entry, Jackson Truax shines a light on singer/songwriter Alice Howe … Alice Howe’s debut album, Visions, is at once a finely-crafted opening statement and beautifully rustic Americana treasure. Howe’s artistry is itself an expression of loving reverence to her greatest influences including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. While Visions fits comfortably in the traditions of their best albums, Howe has extensively developed her own voice as both a singer and a songwriter. Therein lies the triumph of Visions, in which Howe presents something both entirely familiar as well as infinitely fresh.…

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In the tradition of The Beatles Anthology, the Martin Scorsese-directed No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and the Grammy-nominated Long Strange Trip, the rapturously engaging new documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name serves as an equally definitive portrait of the titular two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Though at ninety-five minutes, David Crosby: Remember My Name feels less akin to a multi-hour, career-spanning travelogue and more of a karmic double feature with this summer’s Rocketman. Whereas Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic was a $40 million musical extravaganza, what made it spectacular was the emotional arc of watching a universally…

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