Articles 1996 – 2002

This is the Art Menius article and review collection from 1996 to 2002. The couple of dozen pieces posted range from bluegrass to blues and country music to country clubs. I have organized them under three rubrics, Articles, Recording Review Columns, and Recording Reviews. They come from my last period of sustained effort as a freelance writer while working for MerleFest as an independent contractor.

Besides contributing all sorts of short pieces, almost weekly, to the Independent Weekly in Durham, one of the foremost and earliest weekly free newspapers that emerged during the 1980s, and reviews and the occasional article to Bluegrass Unlimited, this time includes the wonderful Music Boulevard period. Music Boulevard was a product of the very first web boom as an early music eTailer. Being before eTailers discovered that their customers would provide plenty of free reviews, Music Boulevard hired experienced print magazine reviewers and paid us $35 a record to review whatever new recording we could convince the editor to let us. This was during the golden age of CD reissues and box sets, and I took full advantage. Much of the “Art Menius History of Country Music” appears in these articles.

I am really pleased to get the Music Boulevard reviews back in circulation after the site failed with the collapse of the 1990s Internet Boom. I have only a small portion of them so far, so keep coming back. Sixteen of the eighty Music Boulevard reviews appeared in 1995. I am posting them here.



Doc Watson Roots of Mastery BU Nov 1997

Groovegrass Paradox BU Nov 1997

Country Clubs in North Carolina, NC Handbook BU cover Nov1997

Doobie Shea Records BU Jan 1999

Fall Folk Preview, The Independent, September 1998

Lynwood Lunsford Bluegrass Unlimited 2001

Kevin and Debbie Williamson BU Feb 1997 BU cover Feb 1997

David Nance BU Dec 1997

No Depression, The Independent, January 27, 1998

Newport Folk Festival On Tour, The Independent, July 1998

Derwin Hinson BU July 1999

IBMA: A Personal Memoir International Bluegrass 1995

Les Leverett (Bluegrass Unlimited 2002)

Short Piece Collections

Brief Reviews for The Independent 1996

Brief Reviews for The Independent 1997

Brief Reviews for the Independent 1998

Brief Reviews for The Independent 1999-2004

Music to Give, The Independent, December 1998

Pinch Hits, The Independent, December 1997

Pinch Hits, The Independent, December 1998

Best Bets, The Independent (various years)

Recording Review Columns

African-American Country Music, The Independent, July 1999

Arhoolie Records  The Independent February 1998

Arhoolie Records, Music Boulevard 1996

Cajun & Zydeco, The Independent August 1998

County Records, The Independent, October 1998

ellipsis arts… The Independent  June 1999

Homebrew, The Independent, December 1998

Louisiana French Music  The Independent August 1998


Individual Recording Reviews

Grupo AfroCuba, Music Boulevard 1998

Dave Alvin, Music Boulevard August 1996

American Roots, Music Boulevard 1996

Bob Applebaum, Bluegrass Unlimited

BoisSec Ardoin, Music Boulevard May 1996

Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the Babenzélé Pygmies, Music Boulevard January 1996

Balfa Toujours, Music Boulevard 1998

David Ball, Music Boulevard September 1996

Beleza Tropical 2, Music Boulevard March 1999

Norman & Nancy Blake, Music Boulevard, October 1996

Bluegrass Mountaineers, Bluegrass Unlimited February 1998

2 Blue Highway reviews, Music Boulevard, 1995-1996

Laura Boosinger, Bluegrass Unlimited January 1999

Marty Brown, Music Boulevard October 1996

BR Boys, Bluegrass Unlimited 1999

Buckwheat Zydeco, Music Boulevard Feb 1999

Mary Chapin Carpenter  Music Boulevard December 1996

Celtic Lullaby, Music Boulevard December 1996

Cephas & Wiggins, Music Boulevard March 1999

Cherish the Ladies, Music Boulevard October 1996

Thad Cockrell, The Independent November 26, 2003

Wilma Lee Cooper, Music Boulevard October 1996

Walden Dahl, Bluegrass Unlimited April 1999

Iris Dement, Music Boulevard November 1996

Dave Evans Bluegrass Unlimited January 1999

Judith Edelman, Music Boulevard June 1996

Peter Feldman, Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

Ferron, Music Boulevard August 1996

Lester Flatt, Bluegrass Unlimited, January 2001

Gibson Brothers, Bluegrass Unlimited 1997

Gibson Brothers, Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

Clarence Greene, Bluegrass Unlimited 1997

Grogan & Company, Bluegrass Unlimited 1996

Merle Haggard Box Set, Music Boulevard, 1996

Hickory Hill, Bluegrass Unlimited 1997

How Can I Keep From Singing, Music Boulevard August 1996

James King, Music Boulevard, 1998

Jack Lawrence, Bluegrass Unlimited, 2002

Phil Ledbetter, Bluegrass Unlimited 1997

Louvin Brothers  Music Boulevard September 1996

Maudlin Brothers, Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

Mountain Heart, The Independent December 5, 2001

Nickel Creek, The Independent July 24, 2002

The Nobles, Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

North Mississippi All-Stars, The Independent, October 2000

Nugget, Bluegrass Unlimited January 2000

One Riot, One Ranger, Bluegrass Unlimited March 1999

Osborne Brothers boxed set review, Bluegrass Unlimited, 1995

Dolly Parton, The Independent February 7, 2001

Pacific Crest, Bluegrass Unlimited 1996

Gram Parsons The Independent August 1, 2001

Reno Brothers, Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

Reno & Smiley for Music Boulevard 1996

Savannah, Bluegrass Unlimited January 2000

Larry Sparks, The Independent, November 22, 2000

The Stanley Brothers, Music Boulevard 1996

Ralph Stanley, Live at McCabes Guitar Shop, The Independent April 3, 2002

The Late and Great Carl Story, Music Boulevard 1996

Surefire, Bluegrass Unlimited 1997

Chris Thile, The Independent November 7, 2001

Jimmy Trivette, Bluegrass Unlimited February 2000

Ernest Tubb reissues, Music Boulevard 1996

Various Artists, Mississippi String Bands Bluegrass Unlimited 1998

Various artists, A Tribute to John Hartford  for Bluegrass Unlimited (December 2001)

Various Artists, Just Because I’m A Woman, The Independent November 26, 2003

Tom Waits, Used Songs: 1973-1980, The Independent January 9, 2002

Doc Watson At Gerdes Folk City, The Independent August 29, 2001

Gillian Welch, Music Boulevard May 1996

Roland White, Bluegrass Unlimited 2002

Faron Young, Music Boulevard, 1996


1 thought on “Articles 1996 – 2002

  1. Pingback: Talking Doc Watson Blues : Bluegrass Today

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