Issue #103 December 2015



In September, Innocent Words published our 100th issue. Who would have thought a little idea hatched at an Ani DiFranco/Hamell on Trial show would have led to this? Not me, that’s for sure.

We started out as a quarterly print magazine, then went bi-monthly, then monthly. We went from print to online only, a tough decision, but looking back it was the move that saved Innocent Words.

We’ve interviewed over 700 bands and musicians, we’ve reviewed over 3,000 albums, and penned more than 250 blogs. But it’s not about stats or quantity at Innocent Words, numbers mean very little to us. It’s about the music, great, good, bad, or indifferent. We are music nerds, junkies just looking for that next great band coming down the pike, which we can spread the word on, and when they get big and famous, we can say, “Remember when…”

We’ve interviewed some of our heroes, who have become our friends. We’ve interviewed smaller bands who went on to rock & roll stardom. We don’t limit ourselves at Innocent Words. We’ve covered rock bands, metal bands, folkies, classic rock, blues, and country artists. Genres mean very little as well, if we love the music and it moves us, chances are we will cover it.

Since starting Innocent Words in 2002, we have seen magazine after magazine fold, we’ve seen some of our influential peers move from print to online and we’ve regrettably seen the digital wave of digital promotion. We’ve seen the good, we’ve seen the bad, and we are still here. We can’t explain it, we never question it, and we just keep pushing forward.

Each and every person who has written anything for Innocent Words is the reason we keep going. I, personally, couldn’t do this without them and my debt of gratitude is immeasurable. Innocent Words is a family. We started Innocent Words on a whim and continue to put out quality material for the music fans, who are also responsible for keeping this alive. We can’t thank them enough.

Where will we go next? I have no idea. We take it one issue at a time and enjoy the ride. I hope you do too. Thank you to everyone who has made Innocent Words possible. We look forward to 2016 with you. But here is a look back on a few of the things we have accomplished in 2015.

Thanks for reading,


For the first time in Innocent Words long history, we went on tour…sorta. One of our favorite performers Edward Hamell aka Hamell On Trial went on his Hamell & Son Cross Country Summer Tour with his son Detroit Hamell, who provided 15 vlog episodes of the tour.

The tour kicked off June 25th in Asbury Park, NJ and ended in Cleveland, OH on July 24th. The month-long tour saw stops at legendary landmarks including Sun Studios, the Grand Canyon, and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, plus many stops in between.

Check out all the videos here:


We had a wonderful time bringing in guest writers this year and look to expand that in 2016.

We had Carlene Carter write a poignant story about her mother June Carter Cash

Singer/songwriter Allison Moorer interviewed her sister Shelby Lynne about her new album ‘I Can’t Imagine.’

And finally, Mary Beth Mueller wrote a touching piece about her husband and Soul Asylum bassist Karl on the 10th anniversary of his passing.


In addition to our guest writers, Innocent Words launched a couple blog series for 2015 and brought in new writers which aided in our biggest blog year ever.

One of the series we had for 2015 was the 12 Bands, 12 Songs Blog Series where we picked 12 of our favorite bands and picked 12 of our favorite songs from that band.

We also expanded on the Innocent Words Blues Series with blogs about blues legends; Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Robert Johnson, BB King, Lead Belly, Memphis Minnie, Wilson Pickett, Bessie Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Son House, Muddy Waters, and many more were covered.

To celebrate Innocent Words reaching our 100th issue in September, we launched the Innocent Words #IW100 Blog Series featuring our 100 favorite album reviews, favorite interviews, favorite bands, singers, guitarists, bassist, and drummers.

Read all the BLOGS here

Issue #103 December 2015

Innocent Words #103 December 2015


INNOCENT WORDS ISSUE #103 DECEMBER 2015 COVER STORY: Chicago Punk Icons Naked Raygun

Rikk Agnew: The O.C. Life is Not the Life for Him

Daytripping With Daytrotter: Founder Sean Moeller Relocates to New Venue in Davenport, IA

Moa Holmsten: Born To Run

Sarah Kervin: Georgia Peach Moves To the Big Apple

Fiona Kimble: The Girl Becomes A Woman With No Regrets

Warn the Duke: Consider Yourself Warned


Cheap Trick: We’re All Alright! Happy Birthday Rick Nielsen

Innocent Words Blues Series: Remembering Bo Diddley: December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008

Remembering John Lennon: I Read The News Today, Oh Boy

Innocent Words Blues Series: Remembering Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton: December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984

Read all the interviews and features here:


Eric Bibb and JJ Milteau: Lead Belly’s Gold (Stony Plain)
The Chills: Silver Bullets (Fire Records)
Co-Pilgrim: Slows to Go (Battle Worldwide Recordings)
Dawn and Hawkes: Yours and Mine (Self-Released)
Zeke Duhon: Self-Titled (Big Deal)
Billy Gibbons and the BFG’s: Perfectamundo (Concord)
Grace and Tony: Phantasmagoric (Self-Released)
Fiona Kimble: No Regret (Self-Released)
Corb Lund: Things That Can’t Be Undone (New West)
Nikki’s Wives: For E-V-E-R (Pretty Money)
Nothing But Thieves: Self-Titled (RCA)
Rocket From the Tombs: Black Album (Fire)
Shannon and the Clams: Gone by the Dawn (Hardly Art)
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown: The Devil to Pay (Ruf Records)
Walter Trout: Battle Scars (ProVogue –Mascot)
Undesirable People: Eternal Vision of a Blind Future (Self-Released)
The Winery Dogs: Hot Streak (Loud & Proud)
Mike Zito and the Wheel: Keep Coming Back (Ruf Records)

Read all the CD Reviews here:


a-ha: Hunting High and Low [2015 Remaster] (Warner/Rhino)
James Cotton: Live At Antone’s Nightclub (New West/Antone Records)
James Cotton: Mighty Long Time (New West/Antone Records)
The Jam: Fire And Skill – The Jam Live (Polydor)
Pinetop Perkins: Live At Antone’s Vol. 1 (New West/Antone Records)
Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie (New West/Antone Records)
Ann Wilson: The Ann Wilson Thing #1 (Rounder)
X___X: X_The Jazz Destroyers_X: Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto (Smog Veil)
Various Artists: You Can’t Kill Rock & Roll: Benefit Compilation for Eddie Spaghetti (Ccapacitor)

Read all the Once More With Feeling Reviews here:


Tuff Sunshine: Fire in the Hero Building (Self-Released)

Read all the Vinyl Reviews here:


A Life… Well, Lived: By Ray Wylie Hubbard with Thom Jurek (Bordello Records)
Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard, and Beyond: By Phil Collen with Chris Epting (Atria Books)
OK The Snail: By Angie Heaton (Self-Released)
Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir, With Recipes: By Freda Love Smith (Agate Midway)

Read all the Book Reviews here:


Rage Against The Machine: Live At Finsbury Park (Eagle Rock)
Spandau Ballet: Soul Boys of the Western World (IFC Films)
Joe Louis Walker: Live in Istanbul (MVD Visual)
Mad Men: The Final Season, Part 2 (Lionsgate)
The Riot Club: Starring – Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth (MPI Home Video)
Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key: Starring – Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli, Ivan Rassimov, Franco Nebbia (Arrow)

Read all the DVD Reviews here: