CD Reviews

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 […]

The Silent Comedy

Enemies Multiply

The new full-length album by The Silent Comedy is Enemies Multiply, and the title says a lot about the content. The rockers have been together since 2007, with six recordings, and their success (SDMA awards, thousands of CD sales and millions of downloads, touring widely, TV and movie soundtrack appearances) seems to be the result […]

Marcia Forman Band


The Marcia Forman Band’s latest is called Generations. The new EP is a family affair for alto sax player Forman and her husband, violinist Floyd Fronius mark three decades together. For this seven-song set of jazz standards, the marvelous guitarist is Josh Vasquez, while Jeremy Eikham’s standup bass and Ray Conseur’s drums hold down the […]

Christopher Dale

Wood & Strings

On the local scene since before the turn of the century, Christopher Dale has racked up numerous nominations and awards, and as a solo artist he has released four recordings. A master of the full spectrum of musical genres from power pop to close-harmony folk rock, it’s no surprise that his newest release, Wood & […]


Awake in the Dream

Julian’s Haywire made an impression with 2017’s Time Songs, as the songs of writers Jim Lydick and Kathleen Beck made good use of flute, violin, and other esoteric instruments—along with plenty of guitar and late ’60s vibes—to create an album saturated in the San Francisco Sound. They are back, with the same personnel (Lydick and […]