CD Reviews

Steve Poltz

Stardust and Satellites

It’s hard to believe Steve Poltz is now 62. He still sits in the mind as the young, 30-something smart-aleck leading the Rugburns at Winston’s in O.B. But here we are, 30-plus years on, with his 15th (or 16th, or 17th, depending on how you’re counting them) solo album, in addition to his Rugburns stuff […]

Juan Carlos Quintero

Table for Five!

Jazz guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero has released nearly a dozen albums since 1990. Table For Five! is his latest effort, featuring a solid quartet along for the ride, including Eddie Resto, bass; Joe Rotondi, piano; Aaron Serfaty, drums; and Joey DeLeon, percussion. Recorded and mixed deftly by Talley Sherwood at Tritone Studios in Glendale, California, […]

Slack Key 'Ohana

In my most mad scientist imaginings, I picture myself in possession of a time machine, one that not only allows me to traverse the ages but one that lets me finagle with the particulars of history. Not the big things, like the birth of Jesus or the fall of the Roman Empire, just some of […]

Lindy and the Hops

Kicking and Screaming

Tom Dorsey had it. His brother Jimmy had it as well. Count Basie and Duke Ellington had it in spades. For that matter, even Fred Warring had some of it when he presided over his Pennsylvanians. What I’m talking about is the ability of a bandleader to gather together talented musicians and get them to […]

Michael J. Dwyer

Borderlands, Volume 2

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, San Diego based singer/songwriter and guitarist Michael J. Dwyer has a voice that has an appealing, husky texture, dusty and measured in how it mulls over a lyric and shares it with an audience. He sounds like the better moments of Dylan or Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, throughout the […]

The Innocent Bystanders

Book of Life

The Innocent Bystanders are a San Diego-based troupe of roots-rockers who’ve assumed the mantle of being this area’s premier practitioners of a music that is often called Americana. To clarify, Americana is a contemporary musical approach that combines and blends many kinds of American roots-oriented genres. There is a always the threat that unrestrained eclecticism […]

Whiskey and Burlap

Around the Bend

Around the Bend is the debut album from the trio Whiskey and Burlap. It’s a delightful collection of 12 original tracks featuring Camille Sallave (vocals, percussion, banjolele), Ethan van Thillo (mandolin, vocals), and Craig McIntosh (guitar, violin, bass, and vocals), recorded and mixed nicely by Kris Towne at Capricorn Studios in San Diego. There are […]

Sarah McQuaid

The St. Buryan Sessions

Singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid is not going to be every person’s cup of tea, especially on her new release, The St. Buryan Sessions, 15 tracks with a total running time of a little over an hour in length. Recorded live in a church in Cornwall, England by Martin Stansbury, with no audience due to Covid-19, McQuaid […]

Dave Preston

Tehachapi Line

It’s not every day that you receive a CD with an almost entirely a one-man production, but that’s the case with Dave Preston’s new release, Tehachapi Line. Recorded at his home studio, On Track Recording, in Imperial Beach, Preston’s ten tracks of original tunes, all mixed and mastered there as well, feature him playing guitar, […]