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Michael Atchison

Hard Rain: The Music of the Vietnam War


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Above photo credit: Lou Eisenbrandt On May 26, 1962, the easy-listening instrumental “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk ascended to the top of the Billboard singles chart and went on to become the most popular song of the year.… [Read More]


In Case You Haven’t Heard: Autumn Edition


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Above image: Jay Som released her debut album “Everybody Works” in early 2017. | Photo: Polyvinyl Records It’s time for our periodic survey of songs that you might have missed in our messy musical landscape. Here are 10 new tracks… [Read More]


Tom Petty, 1950-2017


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Above image: Tom Petty at Madison Square Garden in 2006. | Photo: AP/Jason DeCrow I spent most of my adolescence and a chunk of my adulthood repeating the wrong words to a Tom Petty song. “Don’t it feel like the… [Read More]


Roots N Blues N Perfection: A Lineup for the Ages at Columbia’s Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival


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Above image: A few of the big names at this year’s Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival include Ryan Adams (photo: High Road Touring), Booker T. Jones (photo: ANTI-), and Emmylou Harris (photo: High Road Touring) The lineup for this… [Read More]


Second Acts: Five Musical Metamorphoses


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Going solo is common. Artists who achieve success within a band often break out on their own, typically in the same style that gained them notoriety in the first place. True reinvention, though, is rare. Every once in awhile, a… [Read More]


Modern Blues: A Quartet of Contemporary Blues Stars Come to KC


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People often speak of the blues as if it were Latin, a dead language that now primarily serves as the root of more modern forms. But like all musical styles, it has evolved. Keith Urban doesn’t sound much like Hank… [Read More]


The Arms of America: U2’s Road to ‘The Joshua Tree’


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It was late at night and I was heading west on a highway in the middle of America the first time I heard “The Joshua Tree.” A radio station was playing the brand-new album from start to finish, and I… [Read More]


The Power of Three: The John Butler Trio and the Legendary Trios


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Australia’s John Butler Trio, which plays at CrossroadsKC on Sunday, Sept. 3, has earned a devoted following in the states over the past 15 years with its earthy approach to rock and its road-dog willingness to play anywhere, anytime, and… [Read More]


Jerry Douglas: Last of the Legendary Side Men


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In 1965, when a plane carrying the stars of the Motortown Revue touched down in London, the passengers looked out the window and saw a frenzied mass of young Brits on the tarmac. The mob had come to welcome the… [Read More]


Father John Misty and David Rawlings: Different Kinds of Folk


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L: Father John Misty · Photo: Emma Elizabeth Tillman | R: David Rawlings · Photo: Alysse Gafkjen A non-native English speaker confronted with the music of both Father John Misty and David Rawlings might conclude that the two were in the same… [Read More]