Luther Dickinson – “Blood ‘N Guts”

You never know who’s going to come through Madison WI on a Monday night. Luther Dickinson played with his trio last night at the High Noon Saloon. Luther Dickinson was a guitarist for the Black Crowes from 2007 – 2013 as well as lead vocalist and guitar for the North Mississippi All-Stars. “Blood ‘n Guts” is from his latest album, “Rock ‘n Roll Blues.” Gibson guitars has also named a guitar after him. I guess it’s been a good year for Luther Dickinson!

Luther Dickinson



Shovels & Rope – “Coping Mechanism”

Shovels & Rope played at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison WI last night. Even though it was a Sunday night, Shovels & Rope has a dedicated following so there was a good crowd. Their new album, “Swimmin’ Time” came out in August. Here’s “Coping Mechanism” from their performance in New York City a couple weeks ago.

Shovels & Rope

American Aquarium – “Wichita Falls”

American Aquarium opened for Justin Townes Earle last week at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison WI. American Aquarium is from Raleigh NC and they’re really good guys – they came back to enjoy a few beers with fans after their set! I thought they needed more of the pedal steel guitar and several of their songs sounded a little dirgy. “Wichita Falls” I liked, however. This video is from Jam in the Van at SXSW 2014 in Austin TX.

American Aquarium



Justin Townes Earle – “Time Shows Fools”

Justin Townes Earle played at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison WI last Wednesday. It was another great show during a busy week of fantastic music! This was the 3rd time I’ve seen Justin Townes Earle at the Barrymore and he likes to let his fans in by telling the stories behind his songs. “Time Shows Fools” is from Justin Townes Earle’s recent release, “Single Mothers” and he played several songs from the album which is dedicated to his mother. He even covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” just because his mom likes the song!

Justin Townes Earle


Trampled By Turtles – Live!

Trampled By Turtles plays tonight at Overture Hall in Madison WI. They’ll be featuring their latest album, Wild Animals, which was released on July 15. This will be my second time seeing them. They have a very loyal, almost jam band-like fan base which is not used to seeing them in a beautiful venue like Overture Hall. It’s always fun watching how the hippies react to being out of their element in such a nice place. Here’s a well-produced half hour live set from last year.

Trampled By Turtles

Josh Harty Band – “You & I”

A big highlight for me from the Orton Park Festival was the Josh Harty Band on Saturday. Rain pushed his set back a couple hours but Josh Harty is one of the best singer/songwriters out there so the wait was worth it! This video is from a show I was at couple years ago at the High Noon Saloon in Madison WI. Josh Harty’s new release is called “Nowhere.” Check it out here.

Josh Harty Band

Jon Dee Graham – “Big Sweet Life”

Last Thursday, the final Central Park Sessions theme was “Don’t Mess With Texas.” One of the artists I’ve wanted to see was Jon Dee Graham from Austin. He’s been named Austin Musician of the Year and has played with John Hiatt, James McMurtry, Michelle Shocked and Alejandro Escovedo among others. His work with Escovedo in the True Believers is considered seminal in the development of Cowpunk, a subset of alternative country. Wisconsin Brewing Company’s brewmaster, Kirby Nelson is a Jon Dee Graham fan and he picked “Big Sweet Life” as the name for his Maibock. The beer’s as good as the song!

Jon Dee Graham