Continenta­l drift

"I'm a mediocre songwriter, but I'm a good record maker," says Josh Rouse. The first part of that statement is arguable Rouse's 2003 album 1972 is a lush folky/groovy/disco-y meditation on that year; Subtitulo from 2006 examines his transition from the U.S. to his present home in Spain, in pretty melodies and infectious beats. Dream […]

Jeanius

Hard work can pay off. Los Angeles-by-way-of-Asheville country-tinged indie-rockers Truth & Salvage Co. are proof of just how far a decade-and-a-half of paying dues (plus tenacious belief in a dream) can get you. But a little luck, paired with being in the right place at the right time, doesn't hurt. "Retro and denim and cowboy" […]

String theory

Just because it's old-time doesn't mean it has to be old-fashioned: That's the takeaway from "Hit 'Em Up Style," the hip-hop cover by black string trio The Carolina Chocolate Drops. "It's a real American kind of thing," says multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens. "You take a hip-hop tune, you put it on a banjo and there you […]

Soundtrack

Jason Smith, the singer/songwriter/composer known as Night's Bright Colors (NBC), released the fourth and final installment in his Hospital Quartet on Sunday, May 2. The album — like its predecessors — is available online only, by free download. The drop date was significant: It was Smith's birthday. He begins a new year as his current […]