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.
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.
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.
Death: For the Whole World…
Death was just another African-American R&B act from Detroit before the Stooges and the MC5 changed their lives
Phil Ochs: Song of a Soldier
A highlight of my career as a music journalist was being asked to write liner notes to a box set of music by my all-time favorite singer and songwriter, Phil Ochs — and then getting a Grammy nomination for my work.
Erykah Badu: Hello, It’s Me
By 2012, Erykah Badu had undergone a beautiful evolution from pioneer of late-’90s neosoul to hard-hitting, politically inspired, space-funk godchild of George Clinton. I needed to talk to her. And so I did.