CD Reviews

Tom Brosseau & Sean Watkins

In the Shadow of the Hill

The Carter Family made their first recording 93 years ago and, to quote, they were “the most influential group in country music history.” Tom Brousseau pays his respects to these giants on his new album with Sean Watkins, In the Shadow of the Hill: Songs from the Carter Family Catalogue, Vol I. The folk […]

Gaby Aparicio

La Bella Vita

Gaby Aparicio’s has a new release, titled La Bella Vita. The singer/songwriter got back into music after her career was interrupted while in New York in 2005 by the loss of recorded music files to the massive Hurricane Sandy. Changing coasts, she recorded a one-off live EP, in 2014, Live at Pacific Beat. The new […]

David Brauner

Living on a Volcano

David Brauner’s fifth release since 2013 is titled Living on a Volcano, and it is a big, 18-track batch of tunes that presents his unique blend of folk, rock, and pop with both Faith-based and secular themes. He writes music with lyrics that may convey messages about getting right with the Lord in a folk-rock […]

Paul Combs

Unknown Dameron

With the encomia to mark the 200th birthday of Herman Melville last month came the reminder that Moby Dick—Melville’s book of love, loss, self-triumph, a crazed peg-legged captain, and perhaps America’s greatest novel—was almost relegated to permanent obscurity. But decades after Melville’s death, Moby Dick was rediscovered. In addition, Venus de Milo was found after […]

Tennessee Kamanski

Cool Is the Will

Tennessee Kamanski is an LA pop singer/songwriter, originally from San Diego. If roots fans recognize her surname, there’s no surprise: her dad, Paul, has been a local roots fixture with the Coronado-based Comanche Moon as well as Country Dick and the Snuggle Bunnies and other local cowpunk bands. He has also written many Beat Farmer […]

The Mad Hat Hucksters

Live at the Firehouse

The Mad Hat Hucksters got their start in 2015 and have been playing and releasing swing dance music—primarily acoustic, horn-driven music from the 1930s club era. Their newest disc is Live at the Firehouse, a collection of tunes recorded at a show in March 2019. The band includes bandleader Morgan Day (vocals, washboard, drums), Lindy […]

Trains Across the Sea

The Semi Fame

Trains Across the Sea made an impression recently with Before It Ends, a collection of roots tunes by Midwest transplant and bandleader Andy Gallagher. That project included alt-country and pop ballads and rockers, some with protest messages and others with smart, often autobiographical lyrics. It turns out that Gallagher was busy before leaving Columbus, Ohio […]

The Armoires


Politicians and professional athletes enjoy using the term “lucky town” toward a city that has proven fortuitous in the past. Musicians are keen on their memorable locations as well. Take Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko of the Armoires, a Burbank-based group that continues to find connectivity with our city, 130 miles to the south. The […]

Cici Artemesia

The Lucky One

A part of the local roots scene for a long time, Cici Artemisia plans a move to Oregon (and is still one of the featured performers the day this is written at the Lady Brain Fest 2019 in Encinitas). Playing locally since singing for the band Bordertown in the 1980s, she snagged awards and set […]