Love actually

Big Daddy Love comes by its Southern rock-meets-bluegrass sound honestly. "My grandmother played guitar in Maybelle Carter-style, and I learned chords from her when I was young," says singer/guitarist Daniel Justin Smith. Banjo player Brian Swenk remembers, "My dad was a rock 'n' roller. He played The Beatles and got to open for The Allman […]

Sound Track

From the first notes of "Hurricane Cocaine," a slow-building, richly layered pop-rocker, Wages establishes itself. Were this a speed skating trial, they'd be Apolo Ono overtaking three Koreans in a single fluid motion. Were this an Iron Chef match, they'd be Kat Cora with all her practiced cool and secret spice. Were it not the […]

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 […]


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" […]