James McManus

Jack hails from Cambridge, MA and currently attends college in snowy Central New York. He was raised on a strict diet of his father's Bruce Springsteen and Clancy Brothers records and has since developed a taste for American folk music, jam bands and indie rock. In high school Jack and some friends started the blog Pie Tonight Cheese as a place for them to ramble about music to their hearts content. He spends his summers driving boats on Block Island and knows more about 18th-century pirates than anybody else he knows.

Nov 022011

Piano-rocker Holmes, born Roy Shakked, released an album of covers this week that includes drastic re-interpretations of songs by Elvis Presley, Genesis, Queen, Macy Gray, Massive Attack and this priceless take on “It Was A Good Day,” Ice Cube’s gangsta-rap ode to joy. Shakked claims that each cover sounds totally different from the original “to cast the lyrics in a new light,” which this one certainly does. Continue reading »

Oct 272011

Mellow, dreamy British rockers Still Corners have started to make waves recently over here in the States, releasing their first album on Sub Pop two weeks ago and then appearing at the DeLuna festival in Florida along with the likes of Weezer, The Shins, Big Boi and the New Pornographers. During their festival experience they retreated to a hotel room to record a two-song live session for Paste, including a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” Continue reading »

Oct 252011

Members of the recent folk revival like to paint visionaries like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bluegrass legends like Del McCoury as their forefathers. Really, though, aside from the “newgrass” groups like the Avett Brothers with their traditional instrumentation, most of today’s mellow acoustic guitar-strumming folk bands draw more from the sometimes maligned folk-rock trend of the later ’60s and ’70s, with bands like Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and their offshoot The Flying Burrito Brothers. In their new Daytrotter session Vetiver embraces this heritage, covering “Here Tonight,” a song that Byrds songwriter Gene Clark wrote for his former bandmates in the Burrito Brothers. Continue reading »

Oct 202011

Adopting the credo “Bluegrass for people that hate bluegrass,” a few mainstays of the Boston-area folk music scene have joined forces under the moniker “Barnstar!,” self-releasing their first album earlier this month and starting to play live, mostly around Boston and Cambridge, MA. The group features singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, Zack Hickman (best known as the mustachioed bassist from Josh Ritter’s Royal City Band), banjo expert Charlie Rose, and father-and-son pairing Taylor and Jake Armerding. Their LP includes covers of Neil Young’s “Cowboy In The Sand,” the classic oldie “I Think We’re Alone Now” and the contemporary indie-folk gem “When My Time Comes” by Dawes, which they’re offering as a free download. Continue reading »

Oct 172011

Jennie Wayne and Peter Murray, hailing from Portland, Oregon and best known as the indie-folk duo John Heart Jackie, have earned a reputation from extensive touring of the northwest and their fantastic debut LP We are Gold Mounds, which came out in 2010. While they usually pair their warm, mellow sound and gorgeous vocals with sparse, elegant songwriting, they show their versatility on their recent cover of Prince’s 1980 single “When You Were Mine,” released as a free download on their Bandcamp page. Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Jude Moses lives in the hills of North Carolina, and for his cover of The Magnetic Fields‘ classic “The Book of Love” he took advantage of the area’s rural beauty and shot the video beside the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Also famously covered by Peter Gabriel, the song’s simple elegance matches the tranquil setting nicely. Continue reading »