If you heard the Dawes song "Just Beneath the Surface" and said, "Somebody's been listening to their old Jackson Browne albums," you're not exactly insulting Dawes. The band has actually backed Browne on tour — and Browne has sung backup on at least one of its songs — so you could say that Dawes comes by its riffs and phrasing honestly.
Subway entertainers are a mixed bag, but in the arts mecca of New York City, they're often overqualified — so much so that bands and other musical acts need to audition to even set up underground. And those are just the "official" performers.
Laura Stevenson describes herself as an "unfunny Woody Allen," which is another way of saying that her work channels her obsessions with death and doubt. On her third album, Wheel, she finds a way to make it all sound downright jaunty.
Stevenson came to her more folk leanings from roots in punk, as well as a musical family; her grandfather, choral director Harry Simeone, was responsible for "Little Drummer Boy." Listen to two songs from Wheel on this page.
Robben Ford makes his third appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Host Larry Groce is effusive in his praise: "If you see a list of the greatest guitar players of the last 50 years that doesn't include Robben Ford on it," he says, "be suspicious."