Dave Matthews may have skipped Alpine Valley — which he has called one of his favorites in the country — to play Summerfest last year, but he’s back in 2015 to a crowd that’ll surely be happy to see him. The jam band has been visiting Alpine Valley since 1999, building up a concentrated form of their regular devoted fan base in the Midwest as a result. Their two-night tenure at the festival will feature twice the DMB goodness, with one acoustic set and one electric.
With Blitzen Trapper in town, it really will be a fantastic holiday weekend for Madisonians. The experimental country/folk act got its start in Portland, Oregon, and stayed there for a while, but when their self-released album Wild Mountain Nation went big in 2007, they found themselves sharing their gifts with the world and picking up influences from it too. New album VII carries on the tradition, with bluesy motifs lifted from their travels throughout the country.
Why does the Eaux Claires Festival exist?
Every career has its watershed moments, times when the nature, direction and fortunes of a life change forever. Singer/songwriter Paul Anka says one of his was a 1968 meeting with Frank Sinatra.
As the belated appreciation for Nina Simone's talent continues to grow, a new collection of interpretations of some of her greatest performances is tagged to the release of the powerful documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?
Kacey Musgraves’ unexpected Grammys last year for best country album and best country song were no fluke, and this album proves it. Ignoring contemporary standards for commercial country music, Pageant Material is a beautiful follow-up that will soothe with its melodies and delight with its simple, direct lyrics. Lead single “Biscuits” offers a tongue-and-cheek chorus line, “Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.”
The songs still ran long. To the uninitiated, the communal rituals of the faithful fans probably looked strange. Was it trippy? Well, this was a Grateful Dead show, after all, the first in a handful over the next week that are said to be the last.
The four surviving members of the Dead, joined by a trio of well-versed companions, launched their “Fare Thee Well” mini-tour on June 27 in Northern California, where the legendary jam band got its start 50 years ago and almost two decades after the death of beloved lead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
The talented R&B vocalist Jill Scott has taken a long, roundabout path to her fifth studio album, Woman. But it is worth the wait. Never content with the grooves of conventional R&B, she smooths things out on “Fool’s Gold,” digs deep into gospel wailing on “You Don’t Know,” and explores Prince-influenced territory on the slinky “Beautiful Love.” “Closure” gets irrepressibly funky, a kiss off to a former love. If there is a thread that holds the entire album together, it is the exploration of love and sex in all its forms. Jill Scott is wise and experienced, and her voice is a treasure.
Country artists are struggling to articulate their feelings about the Confederate flag’s history and symbolism amid heightened debate following the recent massacre at a South Carolina church.