In 2012, within the span of two months, North Carolina lost two of its most famous and most loved musical voices, Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs. This was my tribute to them.
“Freight Train”: The Whitewashing of Black History
Elizabeth Cotten was barely a teenager when she wrote one of the most iconic songs in the American folk canon. It took decades for music historians to give her proper credit.
Where Were You on 9/20?
I was talking to a friend recently about police violence against people of color. It hasn’t stopped. According to January 2023 data from Mapping Police Violence, Black people are still three times more likely to die at the hands of police than white people, even though they were 1.3 times less likely to be armed.
Jeffrey Lewis: Singing Historian
Renaissance Man may be an overused label, but it fits Jeffrey Lewis — snug but comfortable, like those old T-shirts he wears in Youtube videos that have him singing the histories of Chinese Communism and New York punk
The Year in Music: DailyKemp’s Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2022
These 10 albums, the best of them conceptual works, were my personal favorites in 2022.
Black-Alternative Music Fest: Reclaim Your Space
A talented and energetic young singer-songwriter named Le Anna Eden decided that Charlotte, North Carolina, needed a Black alternative music festival. So she gathered her tribe and made it happen.
Gregg Allman: The Road Stops Here
At the end of a road that was supposed to go on forever, Gregg Allman sat down with Acoustic Guitar magazine in 2014 to talk about The Allman Brothers Band’s rocky journey.
North Carolina Hardcore: Paradise Lost
It seemed ironic to me that two of the loudest, most prolific, and most politically vocal bands on North Carolina’s so-called new music scene of the mid-1980s represented a silent minority, shunned as if they were the black sheep of the South’s new musical family.
Cleo Jones: Redeeming Rap
Tamara McIlwain remembers a time when powerful young female rappers ruled the airwaves with positive messages. It was the late ’80s and early ’90s. The queens were Latifah, MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, and the sassy Salt ‘n Pepa. “Women like that — they had something to say,” says Mcllwain
The Indie-Rock of Ages: Christian Bands Change Their Tune
The handful of fans has swelled into a formidable crowd, swaying along to the intense squall of guitars, hands waving in the air, eyes tightly shut as if everyone is praising God. Everyone is.