CD Reviews

Marklyn Retzer

Dandelion Tatoo

Dandelion Tattoo is the latest from Marklyn Retzer. The five-song EP follows two full-length efforts, including 2014’s Presence, by the beach rocker, a teacher by day whose music typically celebrates good times, surfing, and love without drifting too far into the lanes mapped out by Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz. Produced by Ben Moore, it […]

George Lawton & Rick Heller

Songs of Woody Guthrie

Most folk music fans recognize Woody Guthrie, but many may not realize that he wrote more than 1,000 songs. He was not only a folk singer but a folk hero, a role model for the organized labor and peace movements. Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way/ Songs of Woody Guthrie offers a glimpse into the […]

Mike Slayen

DUDE: A Guitar CD

I take the CD, DUDE: A Guitar CD, 12 Notes & the Truth, from the jewel case and pop it into the CD player. The disk is by Mike Slayen, who has been making a name for himself as one of the finer classical guitarists in southern California. So I prep myself for a nice […]

Scot Taber


Scot Taber plays acoustic flamenco, Spanish, Brazilian jazz guitar, and related modes; he is a comfortable master of his craft who has been heard on solo discs since 2002 and in combos with Arturo Gaibay and, more recently, in Paper Moon with Daniel Dever and Joe Amato. His latest album is Patternalia, which collects a […]

Scratch Acoustic Soul Trio

Operation Demo

Scratch Acoustic Soul Trio has been playing locally for years, doing covers of popular songs; the members include Simeon Flick, Eric Oberschmidt, and Michael Strawbridge. All sing and play guitar, and they play an eclectic song list featuring tunes by just about everybody in multiple styles. No surprise, then, that their EP Operation Demo is […]

Danny Green Trio

One Day It Will

With their new CD, One Day It Will, the Danny Green Trio give us a musical tour de force with ten compositions that combine Green’s stellar jazz trio with a quartet of some of the top local string performers. The music is, at times, engaging, thrilling, and sublime. The genesis of this project goes back […]

Nathan Hubbard

Ogd_S(11) Translation Has Failed: isolation clause

It was 1978, and I was in my dorm studying for my class on mediæval feminist literature. It was past midnight, a time when the local radio station took liberties with the top 40 format, when they eschewed the screaming guitars of Peter Frampton and Boston and the Bob Seegerness of Bob Seeger. Already feeling […]

Jon Stickley Trio

Maybe Believe

Playing instrumental music that straddles multiple genres by design, the John Stickley Trio from North Carolina has toured heavily and released five CDs and an EP since 2007. Acoustic guitarist Stickley teams up with violinist Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Patrick Armitage on material that is mostly original, but mixed with occasional covers; they play songs […]

Eric Andersen

The Essential Eric Andersen

What is essential in an artist’s work, whose legacy reaches back a half century? Unless the artist in question has an unusually consistent body of work, the question can be daunting. Fortunately, in seminal singer-songwriter Eric Andersen’s case there has been consistency as well as the kind of inspiration that follows the joy and toil […]