"Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary's full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi river, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary's vocal-songwriting flair for moody 70s soul and the spunky-Meters roll of his Gentlemen."
"Cheryl Wheeler is an anomaly on the acoustic music scene. She has a rare gift for writing songs with lush melodies and lyrics of incredible beauty. On the other hand, she is a master of quick wit. Her observational humor has brought us a number of songs describing the utter ridiculousness of the world around us. And then there is the richness of her silky alto telling us what lies in the deepest recesses of her songwriter's heart."
"Kenny's Song" From "Greetings from Cheryl Wheeler Live"
"Lake Street Dive is a staggering, monumental disc… There is real power, real magic on display here — a chemistry between the interplay of band members and an appreciation for a blend of genres that congeals here into something that can be pinpointed to past influences, yet remains one of a kind… Lake Street Dive is a gorgeous, tasteful, close-knit band of musicians, and the sounds that they purvey are something celebratory to behold."
"The California Honeydrops, from Oakland, are the most refreshing act to roll down the blues highway in some time. Few groups before them have melded so many strains of African American music into such a seamless whole…"
"Evocative dynamics and soul-searching lyrics... Thumping, cymbal-free percussion underpin many tracks, adding an eerie heartbeat to what are already pensive, skewed slices of American pie that can only tangentially be considered folk."
"This is a Canadian artist that has tapped into a gritty blues groove shuffle that is very similar to the groove known as the Tulsa Shuffle, made popular by the iconic J.J. Cale, with just a touch of New Orleans funk added in to give it some added spice and heat."
"The sisters' voices blend and braid with amazing clarity and depth, their guitars percolate brightly, and the intensity builds to incendiary proportions with layers of percussion gradually added to the mix."
"They're not the Dixie Chicks in snowshoes, but you could be forgiven for thinking that somebody's had the thought. Dobros, banjos, string bass and shrieky harmonies abound, as do tales of living on the ticklish side of the law in one-horse towns (of which there are many in Sweden)."
"Beth Wood is a modern-day troubadour and believer in the power of song. Her exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and commanding stage presence have been winning over American audiences for sixteen years. Beth's music is a soulful, organic, intelligent, barefoot, high-energy communication of joy."
"It was here that we got to see the true personality of Shinyribs. Singing in his folksy, poetry-laden yodel, telling jokes and stories that had the whole room rolling, and busting dance moves that would have made Jacko jealous, Russell demonstrated just "how it's done" in Americana."
" White's songs paint a very bittersweet picture of life in a post-9/11, Mike Bloomberg-era NYC; he observes his environment and finds much to be cynical about, but at the same time, the city gives him a lot of creative inspiration -- and one gets the impression he's generally glad to be there even though he's had his fill of gentrification and clueless A&R people."
"Who's Gonna Be the One" From "Comfort in the Static"
"Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorkovic' has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano style."
"Betty is a string-plucking, back-roads siren whose pitch gives wings to her heart. Her voice is out of this world, while the Boy's voice is of it. Together, their vocals are ethereally grounded, supporting each other with an enchanting country balance."
"Like other under-appreciated talents, John Prine and Chris Smither come to mind, Poltz writes songs worthy of mass adoration but that fit better within the motif of a small-time singer-songwriter just enjoying his days on Earth..."
"Conversation With The Moon" From "Noineen Noiny Noin"
"Simply put, McClelland and Doucet are perfect together; their voices either blend effortlessly or bounce back and forth with complementary character, and the minimally appointed songs they come up with together roll over you pleasingly like they've been around forever."
"Peterbilt Coalmine" From "The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss"
"Mixing lush string arrangements, enveloping lyrical stories and a voice that elicits the ghosts of folk's storied past, Talbot cuts through the throngs of the Pacific Northwest's folk-pop hopefuls and stands high above in a class unto himself."
"Walker is Gillian Welch on Prozac. The music is shot through with joyful diversity, fresh original songs and an attitude that is unafraid to try something new on every track. ...easily one of the strongest Americana releases of 2012."
"Nathan Brown is a singer-songwriter, photographer, and award-winning poet who was recently appointed the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma for 2013/2014. His mission is to take back poetry from the hard academic grip of the ivory tower and those who too often use poetry for personal therapy. . . both being good reasons audiences for poetry have run for the hills in the United States."
"The Sea The Sea weave their many voices into one. Since the Fall of 2011, Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley have been touring the country, making new friends and evolving their sound. Now a playful mix of old and new acoustic and electric, raw and graceful, TSTS has created an inspired trove of harmony-rich, lyric-driven songs. Dynamic and sincere, simple and true, their live shows will leave you stirring."
"A former park ranger, Eagle Scout, and recovering Deadhead; Christopher Anderson of Victory Review Acoustic Magazine writes of Weber's latest CD, "Ash and Bone": "Weber's writing is as strong as any in the contemporary folk community."
"There is no possible way to listen to RJ Cowdery's music and not feel deeply. The tone of her voice, the clarity of her guitar and spot-on emotive lyrics plumb the depths of human hope and struggle. These are not just songs, they are arrows shot directly to center of the heart."
"Rick Bartow (vocals, slide guitar) and the Backseat Drivers (Barbara Lee Turrill, vocals, lead & rhythm guitar), Gib Bernhardt (bass) and Evan Peterson (drums) are well-known and well-loved on the central Oregon coast. Rick's musical career has taken him from traditional blues on a vintage steel guitar to a cappella gospel, original folk, and classic rock 'n roll. In September of 2012, the Backseat Drivers were honored to perform at the American Museum of the American Indian at the installation ceremony for Rick's sculpture, "We Have Always Been Here," on the museum grounds. Together, the Backseat Drivers deliver an astonishing blend of tight rhythms, unforgettable lyrics, with a dash of irreverence."
"...the perceptive folk-pop on their self-titled album is catchy, melancholy, slightly tarnished sunshine that begs repeat listens... Little Surrender," [is] an easygoing strummer in the vein of Ray Davies or Paul McCartney."
—The Portland Mercury
"So, What Exactly Does It Say?" From "The Weather Machine"
"Hails from beautiful Portland, Oregon and has been playing music and writing songs for over forty years. His songs are thoughtful, personal stories of love and longing, sung with passion and accompanied by his sweet finger-picking guitar style."
"A stellar acoustic finger-picker, Chris uses his mastery of mood and tempo to illuminate the songs he sings. Much as a skilled illustrator can transform a good book into a memorable one, Chris 'paints' his songs with his guitar. Still, when you ask most fans, 'What's so special about Chris Harris?' they'll tell you it's his voice. It's actually a startling voice, in some ways: haunting and sweet and gruff all at the same time."