CD Reviews

James Lee Stanley

Without Susie

The latest from James Lee Stanley is Without Susie, which collects a dozen new originals by the LA-area singer-songwriter who frequently performs locally. Stanley is a prolific musician who has 34 releases over a span dating back to the early 1970s. His music is finely crafted acoustic folk and pop that features his world-wise vocals […]

Tim Flannery

The Light

Tim Flannery is a true 21s-century Renaissance Man, a Kentucky native who was a fan favorite as an athlete on the Padres, continuing in baseball as a coach and manager, then a TV analyst. During more than 30 years in these careers, he was also active making music and writing songs, and he has released […]

Auni Keast

Being Me

If you are unfamiliar with the name Auni Keast, do not despair! Although she has been around music all of her life, she only began her journey as a songwriter, singer, guitar and ukulele player back in 2014 even though she played the cello as a child. Auni’s father, the redoubtable bassist Gunnar Biggs, is […]

Donna Larsen & the Messengers

The self-titled new album by Donna Larsen and the Messengers finds the singer/songwriter in a full band setting, moving comfortably between pop and rock idioms on a dozen originals. Larsen is a take-charge vocalist who can deliver a variety of personae from lush ballads to fronting a grinding guitar rock crew. Her songs may jump […]

Bill Hartwell


Local Americana fans who have heard one of Bill Hartwell’s four previous releases since 2008 already know that the singer/songwriter plays mellow and endearing folk and country rock. He frames it primarily in acoustic, silk-smooth arrangements and loads the lyrics variously with the introspective and personal, often telling observational stories about his, and our, world. […]

Kevin Roth

The Deviant Dulcimerist

Kevin Roth is a leading innovator of the dulcimer with a worldwide reputation as a player; he writes and sings intimate folk music, ranging from instrumentals to children’s songs. He’s an old pro, first signed to a recording contract 45 years and 48 albums ago, and has played at the White House twice. He moved […]

The Sea Monks


The Sea Monks are a local rockabilly crew that prove the time-tested sayings about the family that plays together and age just being a number. Their new album is Gasoline, and it is a delight thanks to the three members: dad Jason Kapchinske (bass) and sons Kai (drums) and Noah (lead vocals and guitar). When […]

Finnegan Blue

North Park’s Finnegan Blue wants to be everybody’s everything; the sextet plays originals that touch all the bases with folk-inspired rock, gospel, reggae, Irish and American bluegrass, even NOLA-based horn chart soul music. On their self-titled CD, perhaps the most interesting thing is the sense of surprise brought on by such a range of music […]

The Byrds

Sweetheart of the Rodeo: Legacy Edition

When founding member David Crosby was ousted from the Byrds toward the end of 1967 due to conflicting agendas/egos within the group, it was the second significant departure from the quartet that had managed to thrive after vocalist/songwriter Gene Clark’s exit the year before. But when guitarist Roger McGuinn and bassist Chris Hillman were reduced […]