Review: Little Mazarn – S/T

I’ve always considered Curtis Eller to be the prototypical underground banjo player. He crafts song-stories about history (or more appropriately, history through a warped contemporary lens) with an Americana flare and P.J. Barnum hucksterism; his banjo, as vibrant as a ringing electric guitar, drives the compositions front and center. Little Mazarn, whose self-titled outing will…

REVIEW: Iron & Wine – “Beast Epic”

Much pomp and circumstance has been made about Sam Beam returning in 2017 to the form of his early years.  But while Iron & Wine’s Beast Epic, out today on Sub Pop Records, is certainly a stripped-down affair compared to some of Beam’s Warner Bros. catalog, it is still a highly polished outing, with Beam’s…

REVIEW: Calexico – Edge of the Sun

For the latest chapter in the ongoing saga that is la telanovela Calexico — Edge of the Sun, out now on Anti- Records – let us begin at the finale and work our way backward. Album-closer “Follow The River” begins with the most familiar of sounds: Joey Burns’ shuffling acoustic guitar, John Convertino’s careful and inventive percussion,…