"He was the greatest guitar player I ever heard" -- Bob Dylan "[He] is music on two legs" -- Eric Clapton "You could put [him] with James Brown, and he'd be a motherfucker." -- Miles Davis Wow. What other unknown axe-slinger could garner such praise from such music heavyweights? But this is only a ... More >>
Seething, agitated and anarchistic, DOA continues to unleash tuneful and frenzied songs, proving they are far from retired. For more than 30 years, the band has unleashed rock and roll tethered to lumberjack toughness and 'green' environmental issues. They balance flannel-shirt, beer-smeared, hocke ... More >>
My mother-in-law was a Depression-era kid, and she shared stories of the rail-riders who would pass through her small Louisiana hometown looking for work. They carried all they owned from place to place, stopping here and there to do odd jobs for dinner and a place to sleep. Those travelers became k ... More >>
Mandolin enthusiasts Mumford and Sons have been on top of the world the past couple of years, dominating rock-driven radio with a folk sound that apparently touches the hearts of hard-rock bros around the world. Given that they have an apparently winning formula, one wouldn't expect them to change i ... More >>
Forty-seven years ago this week (wow!), a '60s folk icon by the name of Bob Dylan made his third and final appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. It was a highly anticipated set -- Dylan was the de facto leader of the American folk-music revival at the time, and his folkie flock ex ... More >>
Arthel "Doc" Watson, one of the all-time virtuosos of Appalachian guitar and a beloved figure in both the bluegrass and Americana communities, passed away Tuesday night Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., a statement a statement on his Web site www.docsguitar.com said. He was ... More >>
Levon Helm doing what he loved in Woodstock, N.Y., in 2004Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born icon of Americana music, passed away Thursday afternoon after a long battle with throat cancer, his family said on Helm's Web site. "He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill up the room with music, lay do ... More >>
Lead BellyIt's the last week of classes for most of us who are still in school, which means that next week is finals time. We here at Rocks Off feel your pain -- it's hard trying to cram for five finals on only 60 milligrams of Adderall. Hell, we have two projects due tonight by 7 p.m. and we ... More >>
Dave Alvin alerted us via Facebook shortly ago that British guitar master Bert Jansch has died. Jansch, who along with his band Pentangle was at the forefront of the '60s British folk movement, was 67. According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was lung cancer. The Scottish-born Jansch o ... More >>
Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt...Ramblin' Jack Elliott has an anecdote for everyone.
That fact that the CD Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 (Columbia/Legacy) exists at all is something of a miracle. Dylan's brief but energetic seven-song set as a low-billed performer at the school's folk festival came to light only recently via a battered tape box found in the a ... More >>
Today, April 11, is the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan's first professional show, an opening slot for John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village. It's also the golden anniversary of Nazi military Adolf Eichmann's war crimes trial beginning in Israel, but that's not really that sunny ... More >>
The Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra says olé!
It's an odd thing to think about, but imagine seeing the Beatles on American television for the very first time. Imagine how different they looked from any other musician making popular music in the early 1960s. Or think about Bob Dylan, going electric at Newport, how scandalous it would have bee ... More >>
New Orleans's Zydepunks embody the polyglot culture of their hometown...loudly.
The sounds of Christmas 2009 from Bob Dylan, Sting, Tori Amos, Rob Halford and more.
The Goldwaters Sing Folk Songs to Bug the Liberals (1964, Greenleaf)The 1964 presidential election was a pivotal point in our nation's history. After years of the liberal leadership and acronym names of JFK and LBJ, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater sought to take the country in a new direction ... More >>
All too often, the "folk singer/songwriter" label is a warning shot, promising pseudo protest music, self-indulgent hippie strumming, mid-tempo banality, coffee shops in Boulder, sometimes all four at once. Elvis Perkins is not that kind of singer/songwriter. For Perkins, the label is merely a desc ... More >>
I'm Not There and the changing face of Bob Dylan on film
The elusive Bob Dylan is masterfully considered in I'm Not There
The elusive Bob Dylan, masterfully considered, in I'm Not There
Monday, October 10, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.
Thursday, April 8
Iraq and roll don't go together well when rockers protest
Billy Bragg and the Blokes want to know
For the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the very personal is political
More than 30 years after opening "Alice's Restaurant," Arlo Guthrie still packs 'em in
Dave Alvin's private loss inspires him to search for the eternal sounds
New Releases Reviewed
At 67, Ramblin' Jack Elliott reclaims -- temporarily -- the urge to wander
Quality, not fashion, drives the legacy of Simon and Garfunkel
Roger McGuinn is happy to look at the past, but he's not ready to live in it
The Nields turn up the volume on their folk-tinged sound
From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo springs Wilco, genreless and great