Highway’s Song

  • An Appreciation: Kris Kristofferson—Wide Awake and Feeing Mortal at 80

    Singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, who turned 80 last month, is known for saying “heroes happen when you need ’em.” If that is so, then I’ve needed Kristofferson—in persona, songs, stories, and poems—for the last 50 years. After writing so many tributes to great artists who have left us for that song circle in the sky, it […]

  • Jimmy Webb: A Major Player in the Summer of the Great American Songwriter

    San Diego has rolled out an exclusive bucket list of Great American songwriters for the summer. Unlike the upcoming autumn version of Coachella, starring Bob Dylan, the Stones, Paul McCartney, and others, three local shows featuring songwriters from the same hearty ’60s vintage were offered at ticket prices that didn’t force parents into depleting future […]

  • A New Life for Tom Petty and Mudcrutch

    The first question any worthy Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fan may ask about the new release, Mudcrutch 2—as well as the first 2007 eponymous album—is why have this side project for an artist and a band with little to prove? Isn’t listening to any musical project by the stringy blond-haired veteran rocker, who carries […]

  • DakhaBrakha: From Kiev to San Diego

    DakhaBrakha is an avant garde folk music quartet from the Ukraine that is making its San Diego debut as part of ArtPower’s “Global” series at UCSD. The music of this one-man/three-woman ensemble is acoustic, droning, dramatic, and distinctly eerie. Traditional vocal melodies are made to float uneasily over hand percussion, cello, and accordion, like wind […]

  • Becoming Elvis

    When Declan Patrick MacManus was born in a London hospital in 1954, he was welcomed into the cradle of great musical traditions and pathways. It would be a road he would spend his life traveling. His mother, Lilian Alda, was a native of Liverpool, where, soon enough, John Lennon and Paul McCartney would soon meet. […]

  • Tex-Mex Star Augie Meyers to Shine Locally This Month

    It is unfortunate that far too many people in this world recognize the Sir Douglas Quintet only from the 1965 hit “She’s About a Mover.” That top 20 song was pegged as an attempt by a gifted American band to cross over into British Invasion territory, but was actually a simple R&B progression with a […]

  • Patty Griffin Calls on You to Use Your Voice

    Patty Griffin is on a mission. It is not personal—in fact, it’s public. Actually, she has been on a mission since she first arrived on the music scene in 1996. But, today, she is reaching out beyond her folk, country, and gospel roots into civic and political action. But, it’s not a call to be […]

  • John Hammond Jr. Brings his Timeless Music to Town

    He’s a great force of nature. John sounds like a big train coming. He chops them all down. — Tom Waits By the time he was 23, John Hammond Jr., had absorbed the country blues and associated himself with great future rock icons like Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, and the Band—then known as the Hawks. […]

  • Calico and the California Country Tradition

    Calico, with their debut release, Rancho California, stand in the stream of a rich tradition of country music, a homegrown tradition in the Golden State. With a triple threat consisting of the distinctive writing and vocal and instrumental talent of Kirsten Proffit, Manda Mosher, and Aubrey Richmond, they have left a strong imprint on the […]