Rachael Yamagata

By larry may

In the middle of a tour to support a new record and also losing her voice, Rachael Yamagata is fielding phone calls from assorted journalists and hacks from various music mags.  All of the calls have to be made before grabbing a quick shower and heading to a faceless venue to promote her new double CD, “Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart”.

She is gracious, amiable and as cheery on the phone as the girl you knew in high school and just ran into again. There is none of the usual trepidation that an interviewer has to...

The Gracious Few

Alternative music in the 1990’s became less alternative not because the music changed, but as a result of tastes changing. Men in makeup shredding and combing the streets for loose women became passé, and earnest young men howling about their scarred childhoods became de rigueur. The Seattle explosion opened the doors for honest expression, a new openness in songwriting material and a disdain for the plastic nonsense of the 1980’s. 

A Seattle band not known for being a Seattle band, Candlebox scored a huge hit with their first single, “Far Behind”. The deceptively slow tune built to a...

The Cardinals


larry may

Ryan Adams is a prolific songwriter.  There have been flashes of brilliance, and there have been duds. Overall, his output has been teetering on genius status. His solo work projects the freedom he has by working alone. One would think that an artist that creates that much music couldn’t be tethered by being a member of a band. Think again.

After his groundbreaking work with Whiskeytown, Adam’s rabid fans would be the last ones to imagine him as part of a group collective. But he has sworn that he is now a member of The...

Sister Hazel

By Larry May


After fifteen years of playing live and making stellar records, Sister Hazel have settled into the role of not quite elder statesmen, but something more like middle management. The band still plays tons of dates every year and has turned their cruise, The Rockboat, with other bands into a huge event every summer. Sister Hazel is playing in Gadsden on June 13 at 9:30 PM  at the city’s annual Riverfest, and the Southeastern town couldn’t be more pleased.

Jett Beres, the band’s bass player, talked with me recently while he was sightseeing in Columbia,...

Steve Hackett

SIL. The album is out this week. 

SH. I’m very excited about it. This album has been available for a while on my website and at my shows. We had a deal for it just recently. That helped us get out a special edition. We had to update it to get it ready. I’m very happy with it and also proud of it. It was recorded at home in my living room. Due to disputes with former partners, I didn’t use my studio. Because of that, I did it at home on a computer. I’m pleased with the results. It’s...