Category Archives: Music.

Allison Russell forges her own path.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Allison Russell perform at the Third Man Blue Room for Nashville Forward, a project seeking a basic universal income in North Nashville. She was brilliant. But I knew she would be.

Earlier this year, she released her debut solo album, Outside Child. It’s brilliant. But I knew it would be. The Montreal native first began her career two decades ago. She eventually created Birds of Chicago before moving to Nashville where, in 2019, she formed Our Native Daughters with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah. The group is nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at this year’s Americana Awards, while Russell and Kiah are nominated for Emerging Act of the Year. Both will open a night of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s annual Ryman residency this October.

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Adeem the Artist creates Their Bud.

I watched American Aquarium open their summer tour at the Basement East a few weeks ago with Adeem the Artist. They’ll be opening some dates later on the tour, and they got to hear me scream-sing most of the catalog as a primer for the occasion. Everyone was there; it was Nashville’s main event for cool kids that evening. Adeem ran into comedian Drew Morgan, who told Adeem that he “liked his vibe.” Marcus King was there, so were Tyler Mahan Coe and Katie Pruitt. It was a lot of fun to be in a packed club with people watching live music again.

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Andrew Bryant returns to find ‘A Meaningful Connection.’

Andrew Bryant had a big year. He finally released what may or may not be the final Water Liars record with his longtime partner Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster in July of last year, and he also released his own fourth solo album, Sentimental Noises. But most importantly, he got sober, and that was a major influence on his fifth solo album, set to be released on Friday, A Meaningful Connection.

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Chapel Hart make their first trip to Birmingham.

Poplarville, Mississippi isn’t near much of anywhere. It’s in that part of Mississippi you really have to be trying to find. Southwest of Hattiesburg; northeast of Biloxi. It’s a little over an hour to New Orleans, though, and that’s where Chapel Hart found their home.

The country trio released its’ debut in 2019, and since, its’ gotten a stamp of approval from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Things locked down shortly after the full length, but now, the girls are taking their show on the road, and they’ll make their way to Birmingham for the first time this holiday weekend.

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Adam Sanders is ready to prove that he’s right.

Adam Sanders has been writing some of the biggest country radio songs you know for a while. He co-wrote “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” for Cole Swindell, the massive 2014 breakout hit for the latter. He also co-wrote a number one for Dustin Lynch, “Hell of a Night.” He’s spent the better part of a decade working Music Row, writing songs for Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Tyler Farr, among others. Now, at 32, he has a feeling he’s ready to do it on his own. What if he’s right?

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Birmingham’s The Williamson Brothers release debut album.

I had never eaten at Irondale Cafe, and that’s a regular stop for Adam and Blake Williamson, so we met for lunch a few weeks ago. It’s true what they say about the fried green tomatoes.

As we were walking in, Blake says to me, “So how did you end up with the name Blake?”

“It was the lead character on the 80s primetime soap opera Dynasty,” I said.

“Yeah. Blake Carrington. Me too,” he replied. “I imagine there’s a bunch of us that were born there in that little window of time.”

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Azure Ray releases ‘Remedy’ on Friday, their first record together in 11 years.

For the first time in 11 years, Birmingham natives Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink have come together to release a new record as Azure Ray. Well, they didn’t quite “come together,” but Remedy will nonetheless be the band’s first release as one in more than a decade.

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Sarah Lee Langford opens the Homewood Theatre Music Series on Saturday.

Sarah Lee Langford is slowly getting back in front of audiences. Her debut album, Two Hearted Rounder, was released just five months before the pandemic abruptly shut things down. She just wrapped an appearance at Six Mile Fest just south of Montevallo, and she’ll open the Homewood Theatre Music Series on Saturday with her pedal steel player Ford Boswell.

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Harper Grae returns with emotional new single “Still Your Mother.”

Harper Grae graduated from a K-12 school in Reeltown, Alabama. Unincorporated Tallapoosa County–not close to much of anything. It’s “sorta” near Lake Martin and Dadeville and Tallassee and Waverly, but really, if you didn’t grow up there or spend a lot of time driving to Auburn, do any of those even manage to ring a bell?

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B.B. Palmer wants to bring the sitar on the road.

Bernard Palmer is the namesake of B.B. Palmer, a band that has called Opelika and Lee County home for most of its’ life. Palmer himself grew up on the west side of Mobile Bay before moving to the area after high school. Now, he’s heading across the state to Demopolis, where his longtime musical partner Josh McKenzie resides with wife, Birmingham native and musician Taylor Hunnicutt. They all typically tour together, as their bands are interwoven and it makes things easy.

Bernard played around Auburn and Opelika for years–first in cover bands, then in bluegrass bands, the in psychedelic bands. All of those–and his foray into religions that were new to him shaped the band’s new ongoing project, Krishna Country, an EP that finds a way to combine Eastern sounds with the twang that was always familiar to an Alabama native like Palmer.

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