Sara Watkins branches out

Sara Watkins describes her latest venture as “a breakup album with myself,” but it seems like there might have been someone else involved. The songs on “Young in All the Wrong

Tribute to Dennis Brown hails peerless reggae singer

We Remember Dennis Brown" is a much-deserved tribute to one of reggae's top crooners, a vocal marvel whose music was widely acclaimed in Jamaica and Britain and merits even broader

Avett Brothers’ exquisite ‘True Sadness’ mixes new, classic

A quiet, deep sigh opens the loveliest tune on The Avett Brothers' terrific new album, "True Sadness." It might reflect the wistful tale of a romance Seth Avett pines for in

Neil Young goes green on hybrid ‘Earth’

Longtime environmentalist Neil Young takes a hybrid approach on "Earth," a double disc compilation of live tracks loosely related to sharing our planet with the animal kingdom. The sounds of honking

Kristofferson hits 80 with new album of beloved hits

The title had some Kris Kristofferson fans fearing his 2013 album "Feeling Mortal" was his last. Now, entering his ninth decade, Kristofferson is feeling sentimental, with a new offering that's

The groove’s still the thing for Paul Simon

No '60s folkie has written more great music for dancing than Paul Simon, and at 74 he still wants us to feel the beat. "Stranger to Stranger" showcases Rhymin' Paul's

Bob Dylan returns to standards on ‘Fallen Angels’

After his own songs have been covered by hundreds of artists over the past half century, Bob Dylan is turning the tables for a second time in as many years. On

Under the radar, Darrell Scott defies category

Darrell Scott is one of those Nashville-based singer-songwriters who out-of-towners hear in some of the city's smaller venues and wonder: "Why isn't he more famous?" He answers emphatically on the stellar

Martina McBride shines on new album, ‘Reckless’

On Martina McBride's first album for the Nash Icon label — created to market veteran country singers — she hedges her bets by co-producing with longtime hit-maker Dann Huff (Keith

The Titanic and WWI inspire Brian Eno’s ‘The Ship’

Brian Eno combines ambient textures with droning vocals and a sterling cover of a Lou Reed tune on "The Ship," a powerfully challenging and gloomy recording that ends in bright

Beyonce again proves to be center of pop universe

Beyonce doesn't simply release albums anymore, she unleashes events. And so it was this weekend, amid deep mourning for a lost icon, music's queen dropped "Lemonade," an arresting display of what

Peter Wolf stresses country on ‘Cure For Loneliness’

Peter Wolf's "A Cure for Loneliness," just his third solo album since 2002, is a mostly laid- back effort reverberating with thoughtful country tones. Wolf has kept the bar high since "Long

Pet Shop Boys stay danceable and electric on ‘Super’

Pet Shop Boys take another drink from the fountain of youth on "Super," offering more dance than pop 13 studio albums and more than 30 years after "West End Girls." Written

Cool rockin’ granddaddy Willie Nile glorifies untamed aging

Willie Nile is loud and proud. While other rockers merely strut around leathered and weathered, Nile takes one giant leap for mankind: glorifying the aging process with the party-hearty song “Grandpa

Cheap Trick still wants you to want them – and you will

Some classic rock bands limp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the basis of past reputation. On the other hand, Cheap Trick — the hard-charging, melodic rockers

Bob Mould deepens the search on ‘Patch the Sky’

Bob Mould says "Patch the Sky" is the darkest and catchiest album he's made recently ("Silver Age" and "Beauty & Ruin" are the others in this cycle) and he's right