Saby Reyes-Kulkarni

Saby Reyes-Kulkarni has been covering music across a variety of styles and platforms since 2002. Based in Western New York State, he sees himself more as a curator than a critic and prefers that you view his music commentary not as gospel truth, but as a signpost to your own opinion.

Album - Steve Earle - Copperhead Road

COUNTRY CLASSICSSteve Earle - Copperhead Road

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, October 18, 2021

After working within a standard country template for his first two albums, Steve Earle embraced hard rock with his third effort Copperhead Road, kicking off the doggedly nonconformist streak that’s defined his career ever since.

Loney Hutchins - Buried Loot Album Cover

STAFF PICKSLoney Hutchins - Buried Loot: Demos from the House of Cash and Outlaw Era, ‘73-‘78

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, December 8, 2021

A double-album’s worth of 70s recordings never intended for public consumption, Buried Loot is a treasure trove of lost outlaw country classics.

Album - Punch Brothers - Hell on Church Street

ALBUM REVIEWPunch Brothers - Hell on Church Street

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, January 14, 2022

With Hell on Church Street, the Punch Brothers once again re-imagine bluegrass as more than just a revivalist art form -  even as they recreate a 1983 album from genre legend Tony Rice.

Lost Dog Street Band - Glory Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWLost Dog Street Band - Glory

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, January 19, 2022

As they move into a stage where they can no longer define themselves according to what they oppose, Lost Dog Street Band are starting to make the most lifelike music of their career.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWThe Slocan Ramblers - Up the Hill and Through the Fog

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, June 6, 2022

Canadian bluegrass outfit The Slocan Ramblers capture the poetry of the everyday so convincingly that it's as if they write stadium anthems for your front porch.

Album - My Morning Jacket / ATO Records 2021

ALBUM REVIEWMy Morning Jacket - My Morning Jacket

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, October 21, 2021

My Morning Jacket certainly make a resolute statement with this new album, i.e: “we’re back”. Of course, coming as it does from a group so averse to explosive displays, it's the kind of measured statement one needs to lean-in to discern.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWWilco - Cruel Country

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, May 23, 2022

Wilco come home to their alt-country roots - sort of - with a surprise double album of intimate group performances steeped in reflections on America.

Old Crow Medicine Show - Paint This Town Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWOld Crow Medicine Show - Paint This Town

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, April 19, 2022

With Paint This Town, Old Crow Medicine Show remind us how we’re better off facing our past, without toning down the celebration in their music.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWWillie Nelson - Live at Budokan

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, November 15, 2022

On Live at Budokan, messy performances from Willie Nelson’s band mar a historic document of Nelson’s first trip to Japan.

Willi Carlisle - Peculiar, Missouri Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWWilli Carlisle - Peculiar, Missouri

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, November 14, 2022

With his sophomore effort Peculiar, Missouri, Willi Carlisle secures his place as one of today’s most captivating storytellers.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWVarious Artists - Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, November 9, 2022

On the aptly-titled Live Forever, outlaw country godfather Billy Joe Shaver gets a loving tribute.

Kitchen Dwellers - Wise River Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWKitchen Dwellers - Wise River

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, April 25, 2022

As Wise River shows, the Kitchen Dwellers have preserved their sense of youthful experimentation.

Holler Country Music

ESSENTIALSThe Best Eagles Country Songs

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, August 1, 2022

With not one but two of the best-selling albums of all time to their name, The Eagles have been enshrined in the fabric of pop culture for almost half a century.

Holler Country Music

INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Rhett McLaughlin's James and the Shame

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, October 10, 2022

McLaughlin, who is best known as one-half of the popular YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, is no stranger to making music.

Album - Lilly Hiatt - Lately

ALBUM REVIEWLilly Hiatt - Lately

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, October 5, 2021

Lately will likely challenge listeners looking for more of what Lilly Hiatt’s last two albums offered, but her music remains as unabashedly approachable as ever.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWPo' Ramblin' Boys - Never Slow Down

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, March 22, 2022

All the members of the Po' Ramblin' Boys carry themselves with a like-minded mix of casual attitude and a musical sure-footedness that never wavers. It’s this combination that gives Never Slow Down its accessibility and charm.

Holler Country Music

COUNTRY CLASSICSThe Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, May 10, 2022

Though Southern Harmony was followed by The Black Crowes’ slow descent from mainstream visibility, it marked the beginning of a vibrant creative streak that still resounds beautifully this many years later.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWElles Bailey - Shining in the Half Light

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, February 24, 2022

On her third studio full-length, Elles Bailey sounds exceedingly comfortable crafting a bar-friendly blend of country, rock and blues - with such remarkable fluency that the listener feels as at home in the music as she sounds playing it.

Holler Country Music

COUNTRY CLASSICSWillie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, June 8, 2022

‘Red Headed Stranger’ not only catapulted Willie Nelson to superstardom, but it also marked his first artistic triumph on his own terms. Its impact on country music has been incalculable.

Vandoliers - The Vandoliers Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWVandoliers - The Vandoliers

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, August 8, 2022

Listeners averse to slick sounds will likely be put off by the gloss that defines this music, but underneath the candy-coating lives a band of remarkable agility.

Doc Watson - Life's Work: A Retrospective Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWDoc Watson - Life’s Work: A Retrospective

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, November 8, 2021

Spanning the breadth of Doc Watson’s career, this new box set offers a thorough —if disjointed —overview of one of the most important country/bluegrass figures of the 20th-century.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWDel McCoury - Almost Proud

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, February 18, 2022

Listening to Almost Proud, you might think effortlessness is something that comes along with age.

Harrison Whitford - Afraid of Nothing Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWHarrison Whitford - Afraid of Nothing

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, November 15, 2021

With his sophomore effort, Harrison Whitford fleshes out the hushed, contemplative sound he introduced on his solo debut and emerges as a producer with a unique vision.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWTown Mountain - Lines in the Levee

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, October 7, 2022

With Lines in the Levee, Town Mountain balance bigger-picture concerns with everyday drama and benefit from a touch of gloss.

Charley Crockett - The Man From Waco Album Review

STAFF PICKSCharley Crockett - The Man From Waco

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, September 5, 2022

The Man from Waco is a resolute statement about what’s possible when you stick to your guns.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWLyle Lovett - 12th of June

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, May 13, 2022

The Texan master’s first album in a decade alternates between the large-ensemble jazz of his childhood and the stripped-down twang that’s long been his signature.