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2001 Stories by Roy Kasten

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  • Devil in a Woodpile, Jay Bennett and Edward Birch, and Nadine

    published December 26, 2001

    As subgenres of country music go, the jug-band sound is second only to clogging in terms of obscurity and neglect. Jim Kweskin and the Holy Modal... More >>

  • Marty Stuart

    published December 12, 2001

    What to make of Marty Stuart? With his Marty Party TV variety shows, his obsequious duets with Travis Tritt, his spiked and moussed... More >>

  • Trailer-Park King

    published December 12, 2001

    It's another Wednesday-night open mic at the Stagger Inn ... Again in Edwardsville. A lanky guy in a leather jacket, his face rough from razor... More >>

  • Split Lip Rayfield

    published December 5, 2001

    When Bill Monroe died in 1996, he had never heard Split Lip Rayfield, and if he had, he probably would have caught a faster flight to... More >>

  • Bruce Robison

    published November 28, 2001

    "Did you hear about big brother? He's the next big thing," sings Bruce Robison on "Valentine," one of Country Sunshine's many... More >>

  • The Drapes with the Monroes

    published November 14, 2001

    If guitar/bass/drum bands seem, like, so 1992; if punk has been much co-opted by Game-Boy slackers; if Courtney Love is babbling about enlisting... More >>

  • Sitar Star

    published November 14, 2001

    Ustad sits, legs crossed, on a blanketed dais in a softly lit basement. With lightness and speed, his left hand moves up and down the sitar's wide... More >>

  • Iris DeMent

    published November 7, 2001

    Name that songwriter: "Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones/Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy." No, it's not Jello Biafra. "We kill for... More >>

  • Ass Ponys and Bob Reuter

    published November 7, 2001

    Hailing from Cincinnati, the Ass Ponys tow one of the wickedest rhythm sections in the Midwest, guitar effects from B-grade sci-fi flicks... More >>

  • Kevin Gordon

    published October 31, 2001

    Opening with a soul-deep condemnation of rock & roll, Kevin Gordon's Down to the Well somehow saves it, if only where it counts --... More >>

  • Welch the Revelator

    published October 24, 2001

    Who has a right to sing country, to sing the blues? Even after decades of the commercialization of rural Southern traditions, the questions... More >>

  • Peter Rowan, Tony Rice and Vassar Clements

    published October 10, 2001

    With the arrival of this holy trinity of American music, the wise critic should pass over it in silence because the music the three have produced... More >>

  • Bobby Rush with Mel Waiters

    published October 3, 2001

    Like a lot of R & B men in the '70s, Bobby Rush caught a dose of the James Brown funk and fashion and never looked back. Rush (born Emmett... More >>

  • O Brother, Here Art Thou

    published September 19, 2001

    From the first bars of Lonesome Pines' debut, After Sundown, you know this is more than good bluegrass. Sandy Weltman cracks a... More >>

  • Bobby "Blue" Bland

    published September 12, 2001

    The history of R&B and soul music is, of course, the story of rhythm -- the slow-burn blues, the moneymaker-shaking strut -- a physical... More >>

  • Slew's Next

    published September 5, 2001

    New West. Lost Highway. Hightone. Hayden's Ferry. Freefalls. Bloodshot. Trailer. Does the world need another alternative-country label releasing... More >>

  • Everton Blender

    published August 29, 2001

    The latest release from Jamaican dancehall veteran Everton Blender bears the title Visionary, which, after a few spins, turns out to... More >>

  • Spin Cycle

    published August 29, 2001

    You don't know Jeff Price, but there's a good chance you've fantasized his life. Ten years ago, Price and a high-school friend started a record... More >>

  • American Icon

    published August 8, 2001

    How can I go about getting honest criticism on my singing and playing style? I am not interested in becoming a professional, but I do enjoy... More >>

  • Mary Janes with Larissa Dalle

    published July 18, 2001

    Fronted by one of the most seductive singers in rock music, the Bloomington-based Mary Janes approach alternative country with an... More >>

  • Farshid Etniko

    published July 18, 2001

    After a brief prelude, delicately, almost toyingly played on classical guitar, the percussion, drums and bass swell up, churning and churning,... More >>

  • An Essence Rare

    published July 11, 2001

    This much was clear: She wasn't coming back on her own. "Where's Lu?" a woman, apparently a manager, was asking. "We're late." Lu was last seen... More >>

  • Rhonda Vincent

    published June 27, 2001

    The best female vocalist in bluegrass today, maybe the best in country music, is Rhonda Vincent. Don't believe it? Take 30 seconds with her... More >>

  • George Jones

    published June 6, 2001

    In his celebrated 1994 essay on George Jones, Nick Tosches just can't shake the feeling that the Possum is, in truth, dumber than a possum,... More >>

  • Twang Time

    published June 6, 2001

    Twangfest, the four-night Americana music festival held annually in St. Louis, is practically an institution, widely hailed as the best showcase... More >>

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