Category Alt-country

SCRUFFY THE CAT SCRATCH FEVER: New Album, Anthology Due from Beloved ’80s Boston Combo

If there’s one karmic upside to late Scruffy The Cat frontman Charlie Chesterman’s battle with the cancer that claimed him in November of last year at the too-young age of 53, it’s that the music and catalog of his best-known, roots-rocking Boston outfit received new attention and a long-overdue reappraisal (via the benefit reunion show Scruffy performed to raise funds […]

WE’RE (SORT OF) AN AMERICAN BAND: A Swan Song From Levon, Robbie and the Boys In The Spirit Of ’76

The Band – Asbury Park 1976 Live at Casino Arena, Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA, July 20th 1976 DVD (Approx. 80 Min.): Introduction, Don’t Do It, The Shape I’m In, It Makes No Difference, The Weight, King Harvest (Has Surely Come), Twilight, Ophelia, Tears Of Rage, Forbidden Fruit, This Wheel’s On Fire, The Night They […]

SWEETHEART OF THE RADIO: Sarah Borges, Northern Gal With The Southern Sound

Hello weekend warriors: As promised, here’s the second installment of this weekend’s edition of “RPM,” which showcases, and takes a look back at, two of Boston’s finest musical exports of the past decade, Sarah Borges and Girls Guns and Glory (see my previous post for the first feature on this superb band I wrote for […]

GIRLS GUNS AND GLORY: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N’ Roll (And Probably Not What Donny & Marie Intended)

When you think about country and roughed-up roots music, New England doesn’t exactly leap to mind. Of course, country music, like just about any other genre or type of music, can be found almost anywhere. For decades now (and certainly for the two that I’ve been living and writing in and around Boston), the country and roots music […]

KING SIZE TALENT: Charlie Chesterman, Scruffy Sweetheart of The Rodeo

Besides his exuberant rock & roll music — and he made a lot of it, thankfully for us, over the years — his easy laugh is what I most identified with Charlie Chesterman.  The Iowa transplant who moved to Boston and made his mark as one of the city’s most beloved singer-songwriters, first with the essential local ’80s outfit Scruffy […]

THE OTHER “NEW YORK, NEW YORK”: Ryan Adams’ accidental anthem for a stricken city

The jarring image of an American Flag turned upside down on the album cover,  and the single “New York, New York” (no, not that one) that graced singer-songwriter Ryan Adams’s second solo album, “Gold,” were both mere (some might say awful) coincidence. So was the release date of that aforementioned single: September 11, 2001. The […]

What’s 17 Years Between Friends? Hear a NEW FREE track from the first new Scuds album since 1996’s “Massachusetts”

We’ll keep the preamble (rambling) to a minimum this time. Here’s the cover art and the debut track from the brand new “Do You Love The Sun” (out today on the Dorchester-Mass.-based Ashmont Records), the Scud Mountain Boys’ first album since 1996’s sublime and snowy “Massachusetts” (don’t ask us why — it’s just always felt […]

VERMONT WOODSHEDDING AND THE AUTONOMY OF ASHMONT

One of the more enjoyable afternoons I’ve spent lost in a supermarket in Vermont, thanks to Ashmont Records co-founder and Pernice Brothers manager/band wrangler Joyce Linehan, who stole me away one Saturday to hang up north with the boys in the band as they worked on what would become the “Yours, Mine, & Ours” album. For the piece below, which […]

HOW SOON IS NOW? Joe Pernice Finds His Bryte Side

News of an impending (imminent might be the better word) reunion of Western Massachusetts’ finest ’90’s alt-country band, the Scud Mountain Boys, got me thinking how many times I’ve interviewed, reviewed, and gushed over singer-songwriter-bandleader Joe Pernice’s various outfits, which began with the Scuds and has continued unabated through several incarnations of the Pernice Brothers. I […]

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