Americana - Country - Blues - Roots

      Click on the links below         

               Front Page        Americana / Country / Roots Interview Archive             

Dakota Danielle - Country EP

Dakota Danielle Photo OneCountry music singer and songwriter Dakota Danielle who grew up in the small town of Teutopolis, in southern Illinois blends the heartfelt lyrics of her original songs with good vocals and drives her tunes with her guitar playing. Her six songs EP opens with “When It Rains,” is it a metaphor for when difficult times come along. It would have been easy to default to cheesy clichés, but instead what Dakota Danielle created is a song that uses the imagery of rainstorms and individual raindrops to depict individual trials and being deluged by them and barely being able to keep one’s head above water.

“I came up with the melody first and then I like the saying when it rains it pours. It was something that has happened to me before in my life, including the last year when I was trying to get my EP together. I wrote a song about when it rains it pours, as when a lot of bad things hit you and you have to stay strong to overcome that. People enjoy the melody and they relate to the (words),” says Danielle when talking about the song.

Dakota Danielle’s entry to the Country music scene is timely, unlike her entry into life, which was premature, very premature.

“I am an only child and I was born one pound and eleven ounces. I was a preemie baby. I was born September 7 th and I was supposed to be born in December. I was in the incubator until Christmastime and then I got to come home as a Christmas present,” she says. 

As for Dakota Danielle’s musical influences she saysRead More

Pegi Young Releases RAW

Pegi Young Photo Front PagePegi Young’s new album RAW featuring her band The Survivors opens with the plaintive song “Why,” a question one party or the other always seems to be left asking when a divorce takes place. RAW is Young’s musical chronicle of her journey through divorce from Neil Young. “Why,” a song written by Kelvin Holly, Spooner Oldham and Pegi Young asks the question “Why’d you have to ruin my life?” The song looks through the eyes of the one being left and she wants to know why he avoided the hard questions and she says he was not straight with her. The playing of Holly, Oldham and newcomer, bassist Shonna Tucker is perfectly balanced and serves as a fine accompaniment to Young’s vocals.

Guitarist Kelvin Holly has performed and / or recorded with Little Richard, Bobby Blue Bland and Gregg Allman to name a few. He also was a studio musician at Muscle Shoals. Keyboardist Spooner Oldham was also part of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section and he has played on such iconic songs as Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” He co-wrote  “Cry Like a Baby,” for The Box Tops and “I’m Your Puppet,” recorded by James and Bobby Purify, a tune that rose to # 5 on the charts. Shonna Tucker played with the Drive By Truckers and appears on records by Booker T. Jones and Bettye LaVette.

As for the album RAW, Pegi Young says, “When (the album) was done and I was listening to it as I was driving down the road one day, I thought shoot this is like the soundtrack of the stages of grief. It was all over the map emotionally as I was for a good amount of time after things changed as dramatically as they did. Read More

Jesse & Noah - Southern Usonia

Southern Usonia cover art front pageIn an alternate reality Jesse & Noah’s (Bellamy) album Southern Usonia would be topping the charts in America or at least some of the songs would be, because the lyrics are great, but we have come to expect that of this duo, and there are some great guitar solos that make your ears perk up. It just so happens that the album title plays to that alternate reality.

Jesse explains, “It could refer to the American South in an alternate reality.”

To which Noah adds, “Usonia is an archaic term for the United States that was favored by Frank Lloyd Wright and some other great thinkers of his day.  Everyone in Americana was making “identity” albums. It plays with that idea by coming from a place that doesn’t exist. It’s an imaginary identity album!”

The ten track album opens with “This Town Was Built On Heartbreak Songs,” which pays homage to Nashville where both Jesse and Noah live. The companion music video has cameo appearances in the audience by some storied musicians, singers and songwriters.

Noah explains, “We wanted people with some history behind them. We put the concept out there and ended up with a group of legends with a deep history in Nashville (such as), Tanya Tucker, Deborah Allen, T. G. Sheppard, Ronnie McDowell, and (of course) the Bellamy Brothers (David Bellamy is the father of Jesse and Noah and Howard is their uncle).”  Read More

Alice Wallace - Country's Next Star

Alice Wallace front page photo“Poor Cleopatra,” the second song on Orange County, California singer, songwriter and guitarist Alice Wallace’s third and best album yet, Memories, Music & Pride sends a strong signal that the affable young woman who grew up in Florida has definitely arrived on the Country music scene. Not since artists like the Judds, Reba and Janie Fricke arrived on the scene decades ago has a female Country artist appeared with such impeccable vocals that remain true to the classic Country sound and who also possesses tremendous gifts as a songwriter. Did we happen to mention that she is also an incredible yodeler? We will have more about that later.

Alice Wallace is signed to California Country Records a new record label founded by two superb singers and songwriters and multiple music award winners Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit, who comprise two-thirds of CALICO the band. Memories, Music & Pride was co-produced by Proffit and Steve Berns (who also mixed the album), with Eric Craig acting as the Executive Producer. Alice Wallace has a wealth of talented and experienced people behind her who are also very savvy about the business side of music and this should enable her to realize her full potential as one of the best Country music artists to come our way in this millennium.

As for the song “Poor Cleopatra,” Wallace saysRead More

 AJ Lee

AJ Lee front page photoFor those of you who are reading this and thinking that Bluegrass music is a forgotten genre, I challenge you to spend one-half hour talking to nineteen year old Bluegrass singer, songwriter and musician AJ Lee, because by the time the conversation is over, she will have you ready to try your luck at Bluegrass and she may even have convinced you to try and recruit others. Lee has already been the recipient of numerous music awards in California and if her new self-titled EP, featuring a collection of six songs is any indication; her future looks to be shining pretty brightly.

Lee’s vocals on the opening track Gillian Welch’s “Miss Ohio,” are reminiscent of Alison Krauss when she was the same age. The electric guitar solos are excellent and unfortunately we do not have a breakdown of album credits by individual song, so we cannot tell you if it is Jon Abrams or Paul Lacques on his Telecaster. Throughout the album AJ Lee accompanies herself on her 1954 accoutic Martin guitar and at times on her mandolin. This may surprise some readers, but we prefer Lee’s vocals over Welch’s when it comes to the song “Miss Ohio,” because we with think AJ Lee’s vocals are more subtle and prettier, whereas Welch’s have more of a bite to them. We suppose the argument could be made that the lyrics lend themselves to Welch’s more sardonic take, but we still prefer Lee’s interpretation of a young woman cruising with her “rag-top down,” and who is resisting her mother’s persistent efforts to get her married off.

The rest of the musicians who appear on this EP Read More

Katie Garibaldi - Rooted Clarity

Katie Garibaldi front pageCalifornia singer, songwriter and musician Katie Garibaldi is not a rocker, not a twanger and nor is she a jazzer. Her pretty and ethereal vocals and her relatable songs are self-described as being gentle Americana or orchestral Americana. Certainly the gentle Americana description is appropriate for the five songs from her new EP Rooted Clarity. Nathan Lowry’s beautiful violin and cellist Emily Nelson give a fuller sound to “Bird In A Cage,” and help to create a breathtaking beauty that compliments Garibaldi’s vocals.

“I have heard that a lot of artists sometimes think that louder is better and I don’t fit into that belief. I think the way my voice is naturally and pairing it with the string players and the orchestral sound is what comes with that description. The gentle and ethereal (description of my music) comes from my voice and how it is naturally soft.

Americana to me is music from the heart, it is storytelling and it is truth from your heart. It is all about showcasing the lyrics and the emotion behind the lyrics. It is always most important just to get the story across,” says Katie Garibaldi.  

The other common theme throughout the music of Katie Garibaldi is that of love. It is evidenced on several of her albums in songs such as the upbeat and fun, “Lock the Door, Lose the Key,” and “Always Kiss Me Goodnight,” both from the Follow Your Heart album, “Hey, Hey Darlin’,” “Love Without Chains,” “and “Falling For You,” (all from Next Ride Out), and her single “Baby We’re In Love.”Read More

All written material, all photographs and all designs are protected by copyright © and patents by the writers, photographers, editors, designers, musicians, songwriters musicians and filmmakers who contribute to Riveting Riffs Magazine or have by consent allowed their work to be exhibited in Riveting Riffs Magazine, and / or Riveting Riffs Magazine and Joe Montague. Use of any material that appears in Riveting Riffs Magazine, without the written permission of the publisher and where applicable other rights holders, is strictly prohibited and is subject to legal action. This includes the reprinting, in whole or in part on the internet, by photocoping, reposting on blogs or other websites or magazines or newspapers that appear in print or quoting more than 200 words of any one composition, on terrestrial radio, internet radio, satellite radio, webcasts or television.