CD Reviews

Mike McGill

Good Morning Afternoon

Good Morning Afternoon is the latest album from Mike McGill, a North County singer/songwriter who describes his music as “a little surf/ meets folk/meets rockmeets pop.” McGill wears his debt to the laid-back surf/beach soft rock music of Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter on his sleeve, and these influences aren’t a bad place to mine […]

Nathan Raney

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Nathan Raney’s musical bloodlines run deep; he started on drums in grade school, then bass, and started guitar and writing in high school. The guitar DNA comes from dad Jerry, who has played with Glory, the Beat Farmers, and now heads up the Farmers—and frequently adds Nathan during live sets for some lightning-fingered guitar spots. […]

Robert Warren

From There to Here

From There to Here is the latest from Robert Warren, an East County troubadour whose debut album, 2016’s Shuster’s Hill, was a fascinating collection of folk songs with sadness, heartbreak, and pain as prevailing themes; Warren’s nickname isn’t the “king of pain” because he does light pop. The new album has 10 original, country-influenced folk […]


Hot Chicken

Fans of alternative country music that rocks, while having a built in respect for the old time honkey tonk sound and its patron saints, will be glad to hear that Nancarrow has a new album out. The North County group is following up 2015’s Simple Things with another full-length CD, Hot Chicken. Their last effort […]

Tweed Deluxe

Itty Bitty King

A confession, an admission, a sliver of honesty, whatever you want to call it: I am a blues harmonica, 50 years in the practice. Some think what I do is hip, slick, and cool. What I’d say is that I’m not bad at all, and that my love is inspired by Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, […]

A.J. Croce

Just Like Medicine

A. J. Croce is a San Diego success story, a man born into roots music royalty who has now been releasing original music for a quarter of a century. His nine albums have featured his bluesy keyboards and broad musical palette, consistent for his uniquely soulful and heartfelt, old-school vocal personality. What Croce does on […]

Sham Saints

Out of Tune

Out of Tune is a new EP by the Sham Saints, a North County coastal band built around Darius (Degher) and Michael Packard. Both play guitars and sing, and they are joined by Phil Leavitt (drums), Louis Ruiz (bass), Chris Lawrence (Pedal Steel), and Ellen Maisen (backing vocals). Darius and Packard go back to the […]

Patrick Yandall

A Journey Home

Under normal conditions, Patrick Yandall would one of those jazz-inflected guitarists I would go nuts over. The San Diego-based musician is a veteran of the scene, active since the ’90s in many bands and collaborative efforts, and has released 20 albums of his music. His productive longevity is understandable, considering that Yandall is an excellent […]

Aaron Markland

Tide Break

Ocean Beach native Aaron Markland got his musical start with a hardcore punk band in high school, and after a solo project joined with his brother and dad in the hard rock band Markland, recording a 2014 album. That project got his music radio and documentary film exposure, and now he has recorded a new […]