DRAGMATIC: «Leave it to Ryan Kennemur, possibly the most self-effacing rock-band frontman in this or any other town, to name his band Dragmatic’s new album “At Least We’re Not Dead Yet” – even when he’s trying to be glass-half-full about things, optimism just seems like an easy way out for someone as modest as him. But Dragmatic wears that underdog status well on “Not Dead Yet,” a sharp collection of raw, twangy pop-rock that should be in the strike zone for anyone who fondly remembers the Replacements.» — David Menconi (Raleigh N&O)
CHRISTIANE & THE STRAYS: Christiane grew up listening to classic bluegrass and country music, but when her grandfather taught her basic guitar chords at the age of 14, her interest in songwriting grew. As a teen, pop-punk interested her far more than the music she was raised on. But as her music and songwriting grew, bluegrass started coming back into her realm of interest, along with interests in classic rock and motown, alternative rock, and neo-soul. Citing her two biggest songwriting influences as Dolly Parton and Amy Winehouse, the range of her musical interests makes it hard to confine her music to any one genre.
Experimenting with rhythms, volume and speed, and performing original songs, along with an array of often surprising covers has resulted in an interesting and energetic take on acoustic music.
ERIC SCHOLZ: After hearing an English singer-songwriter by the name of Nick Drake, music meant something more to me entirely. Bruce Springsteen was an influence and inspired me musically. Tom Petty, John Prine and Bob Dylan were also in heavy rotation.