Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted December 17, 2014in The Sound

Steamrolling Christmas

Mannheim Streamroller is, perhaps more than any other pop sensation, the brainchild of one man. The whole concept started back in 1974 when Chip Davis — who was also busy at that time penning songs for novelty country act C.W. McCall — decided to create an outlet to showcase his

Read More →
Posted December 10, 2014in The Sound

Carrying a legacy

Iowa may be best known for corn and Slipknot, but make no mistake, Pieta Brown is one of our greatest exports. The 41-year-old Iowa City native spent much of her formative years living in Alabama, but her ties to the state are indelible. Her 2002 self-titled debut came out on

Read More →
Posted December 03, 2014in The Sound

Trees keep growing

The past couple years have been about growth for Neon Trees in general, and for their front man, Tyler Glenn in particular. As the man who handles the lion’s share of the songwriting duties, much of the band’s success or failure rides on his shoulders. On that front, he has

Read More →
Posted November 26, 2014in The Sound

Bringing the Thunder

Since the group’s inception in 2007, Celtic Thunder’s calling card has been a live show with an eclectic, wide-ranging sound and sweeping theatrical look. This is largely possible thanks to the age ranges of the band’s component members: Celtic Thunder’s producers have always allowed talent and personality to trump age,

Read More →
Posted November 19, 2014in The Sound

Being a woman

Any musician worth his or her salt — and several of them who aren’t — will say that the biggest thing an artist needs is continual growth. Minneapolis-based Caroline Smith, however, has taken that idea almost to its extreme and has completely reinvented herself the past couple of years. Smith

Read More →
Posted November 12, 2014in The Sound

Life after ‘Idol’

The honest truth is that, despite what the show would like you to believe, winning “American Idol” has never been a surefire path to success. Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson has certainly done OK for herself, and she and Carrie Underwood probably stand shoulder-to-shoulder as the show’s biggest successes. But

Read More →
Posted November 05, 2014in The Sound

Stone-cold nuts

Parker Griggs might just be crazy. A naturally gifted guitarist, Griggs practically needs a revolving door on the side of his tour van. Radio Moscow plays as a power trio, but Griggs has been the only constant in the band’s decade of life, sharing the stage with a dozen different

Read More →
Posted October 29, 2014in The Sound

Asking for your attention

The Milk Carton Kids are gloomy. Or at least, that’s the look they’re going for, in spite of themselves. “It turns out that the name doesn’t reflect the dark morbid ideas that it was supposed to,” said Joey Ryan during a phone interview from Boston. “That point was driven home

Read More →
Posted October 22, 2014in The Sound


Aaron Lewis is in the middle of a seismic shift. Don’t mistake him for a pop star looking for a little crossover appeal on a lark. Lewis’ previous band, Staind, has sold in the vicinity of 15 million albums. Hit Parader magazine named him one of the 50 greatest metal

Read More →
Posted October 15, 2014in The Sound

The little folksinger

“I do enough of these interviews that they’re never really a big deal,” I said to the folksinger on the other end of my phone last week. “But I’m really trying my best to keep my shit together right now.” Ani DiFranco, speaking from her home in New Orleans, laughed

Read More →