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2000 Stories by Roy Kasten

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  • Ode to Joy

    published December 27, 2000

    René Spencer SallerSusana Baca, Eco de Sombras (Luaka Bop). Singer/ethnomusicologist Baca,... More >>

  • The Blue, Blue Grass of Home

    published December 20, 2000

    It's hard to square Gen Obata's music with his persona. With his wiry frame, heavy helmet of black hair (nearly imperceptibly flecked with... More >>

  • Norman Blake

    published December 13, 2000

    Forget everything you've learned; start at the source. So Norman Blake declares to his audience and to himself -- at least on his last two... More >>

  • Chris Mills

    published December 6, 2000

    The Midwest has to its credit a despairing ennui: It can lead young men to murder (à la Charlie Starkweather) or to rock & roll. Chris... More >>

  • Shelby Lynne

    published November 29, 2000

    At the heart of the astonishing I Am Shelby Lynne lies, in the words of one song, "an Alabama frame of mind." The homeland of Shelby... More >>

  • Union Made

    published November 29, 2000

    Most Friday and Saturday nights, the General sits at the long, dark counter, pushing quarters toward the barkeep for another draft. He used to... More >>

  • Domino Kings

    published November 22, 2000

    Honky-tonk band the Domino Kings hails from Springfield, Mo., which shouldn't surprise anybody, given that town's history of country music. The... More >>

  • Amy Rigby

    published November 15, 2000

    Amy Rigby knows about kissing: a dizzying kiss, stolen in public, the kind that makes you ache to get your lover home; the hypothetical... More >>

  • Single Serving

    published November 8, 2000

    Willis Alan Ramsey is the most reluctant and least likely of Texas singer/ songwriters. With the requisite three names, the dashing looks, the... More >>

  • Diana Darby

    published November 1, 2000

    Some terrible beauty was born when Diana Darby met Mark Spencer in Brooklyn to record her debut. Darby, a Nashville singer/songwriter, composes... More >>

  • Wild At Heart

    published October 18, 2000

    How to start a record label, step 1: Begin in a cave, dubbing cassettes, getting a taste for the biz. Step 2: Find the passionate interest that... More >>

  • Merle Haggard

    published October 11, 2000

    What's left for Merle Haggard? It's been 40 years since he was paroled from San Quentin, where he did just shy of three years for a botched... More >>

  • Richard Buckner

    published September 27, 2000

    An artist makes a record like The Hill when there's nothing left to lose or prove or when, should such a glimmer remain, he sees his... More >>

  • St. Louis African Chorus

    published September 20, 2000

    What is folk music? The easy answer -- music made by and for folks -- is just a tautology that doesn't begin to explain the difference between a... More >>

  • John Cowan

    published September 20, 2000

    The liner notes to the first New Grass Revival album contain the following lines from a "poem" by Radio John of Topanga Canyon: You bet... More >>

  • Kristi Rose and Pulp Country

    published September 13, 2000

    If you think of alternative country as some narrow, nostalgic, has-been style, a genre that only meant something when three guys from the East... More >>

  • Tanya Savory, Stacey Earle and Dave Moore

    published September 6, 2000

    Even if you find it weird to contemplate hearing folk music at the dorms of Washington University, you should find your way to Ike's Place on... More >>

  • The Eternal Moan

    published August 30, 2000

    The most important institution for perhaps the most important instrument in modern country music is on Midland Avenue in Overland. It's a... More >>

  • Various Artists

    published August 16, 2000

    Subtitled "Five Years of Bloodshot Records," this two-disc collection from the most notorious and significant alternative-country label actually... More >>

  • Jon Langford and Sally Timms

    published August 2, 2000

    The EP begins with an enigma, opening out into cinematic fable: "I'd be riding horses if they'd let me/Sleep outside and not take fright/Ride the... More >>

  • Dawson's Peek

    published August 2, 2000

    Like God, free love, the novel and Art itself, rock & roll is dead. Well-read, post-rock critics and dourly cryptic, multisyllabic bands have been... More >>

  • Steve Earle

    published July 26, 2000

    Harlan Howard wasn't thinking of Steve Earle, but he penned his recent twist of fate: "I'm just hangin' 'round a better class of losers....... More >>

  • Gypsy Soul

    published June 28, 2000

    If the Creator has a hell scripted for alternative-weekly music writers, he's running previews at Cafe Balaban. The fog of Polo, Obsession and... More >>

  • Torch and Twang

    published June 7, 2000

    Twangfest, held this weekend at Off Broadway, is a feast of American-influenced music, a celebration that honors, as per its name, the rural... More >>

  • Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts with Neko Case

    published May 24, 2000

    A menacing guitar sortie launches Beneath the Country Underdog, Kelly Hogan's second solo record, driving the Johnny Paycheck classic... More >>

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