CD Reviews

Action Andy & the Hi-Tones

Songs 4 Swingin’ Sinners

Ever since 1955, there’ve been a hundred thousand analytic inquires into the significance of rock ‘n’ roll. Sociologists do their darndest to deconstruct the phenom, but I highly suspect that its main purpose in our culture is to reflect and inspire unabashed/uninhibited joy for its initiates. Isn’t that what got the “squares” so uptight during […]

Ken Lehnig

Holding a Rose

Holding a Rose is the new album by Ken Lehnig. Releasing music on his own or as front man for the Burning Sage Band for many years, he has previously been heard from with his solo CD, 2014’s The American Music Show. That disc and this one share a roster of top-shelf local players in […]

Griffin House

So On and So Forth

Maybe not since the Ohio Players, Slave and Zapp were making Dayton a veritable “Detroit south” of epic ’70s and ’80s power funk has southern Ohio been such a hub of top-flight pop music. While Cincinnati-based Dawg Yawp’s debut sits atop many critic’s “best of 2016” lists, Springfield, Ohio’s Griffin House is back with his […]


To the Dancing Ground

Crooked is an acoustic quartet that plays music best described as a hybrid of bluegrass, folk, Irish, and what might be called jug band without the jug. The band features Anna Levitt on fiddle; Michael Nieman on banjo, harp, and percussion (bones and bodhran); Chad Pittman on upright bass; and Nick Montemarano on tenor banjo, […]

Debora Galán

All About Love

It’s 1985. You turn on the radio. You tune the dial up and down, searching for something new, when you chance across a deep, subdued—it is almost a whisper—male voice. You hesitate to turn the dial. There is something oddly inviting about the mostly incomplete sentences of the man who sounds like he just recently […]

Son of Radul

Insomnia Party Feathers

Marcelo Radulovich is a Carlsbad experimental musician who has been active since the ‘90s as a solo act, and in collaborations with other electronica and avant-garde music artists. He has released music in both English and Spanish, though with his music the overall sound takes precedent over any lyrical message, for the most part. The […]

Sara Petite

The Road Less Traveled

After four CDs, and three San Diego Music Awards, Sara Petite has established herself as a shining light on the local roots scene. Her original songs have the kind of country songbird twang and spunk that made icons out of performers dating from Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton through Lucinda Williams. While her maturing style […]

The Drabs

Here Comes the Joy

The Drabs are a trio of local rockers who bill themselves as a “slack rock/ clandestine pop band.” Whatever that is, what they sound like on their holiday-themed EP Here Comes the Joy is a loosely based update on post-punk artists like Pavement and Paul Westerberg—edgy guitar, bass, drums, and Lou Reed-vibe spoken/sung vocals by […]

Anna Danes

Find Your Wings

Local jazz fans likely know about Anna Danes, from her appearances at various venues including her Jazz on Cedros shows. The songstress is originally from Poland before the communist collapse, and she has a fascinating story, including a mid-life reinvention as a singer. Her first CD release was 2013’s Longing, and she is back with […]