kalexander's blog

Where to Drink Seventy-Year-Old Whiskey

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMarch 31, 2015

Even thirty years ago, bourbon was better than it is today. Grains soaked and fermented in water that came from wells, not municipal water supplies. Ancient oaks supplied the wood for the air-dried barrels that held and mellowed corn spirits. Low demand kept most whiskeys small-batch, and distillers who spent two or three decades at their posts had time to refine and adjust their recipes. Until recently, only the most devoted collectors could sample the majority of those antique spirits before they vanished for good.

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Matthew McConaughey Toasts New Orleans

By Jessica MischnerBelow the LineMarch 30, 2015

Matthew McConaughey knows a thing or two about New Orleans. Though Texas-bred, the Oscar-winning actor has filmed five of his last ten projects, including HBO’s True Detective and the upcoming Civil War drama The Free State of Jones, in and around the Crescent City. So when he accepted the New Orleans Film Society’s Celluloid Hero Award this past Saturday night and paid tribute to his adopted hometown, McConaughey employed his trademark turn of phrase to deliver a toast to the city in a way only he could.

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First Listen: Jessie Baylin’s “Black Blood”

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsMarch 23, 2015

Since her debut album dropped in 2012, Jessie Baylin has been in constant motion. She gave birth to a baby girl, overhauled her family’s Nashville home (which she recently shared with G&G), and generally went about the business of adjusting to a new phase in her life. At times, she questioned whether she’d even make another record at all. Ultimately, though, the songwriter’s need for expression led her back to the recording studio, where she mined a deep well of emotional, real-life inspiration—motherhood, life on the road, the pang of relationships—to create her sophomore album, Dark Place, out April 7. “The first album was about establishing myself as an artist,” Baylin says. “This one is about establishing who I am as a person.”

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Join us at SXSW

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsMarch 17, 2015

In 2013, we made our South by Southwest debut with the first annual Garden & Gun showcase. This year, we’re heading back to Austin to host another all-star lineup in partnership with our friends at Paradigm Nashville. Join us this Thursday night to watch Robert Earl Keen, Gill Landry, Anderson East, and more take the stage (admission is free with a festival band). Not Austin-bound? That’s ok, too. We’re bringing the festival to you with our 2015 SXSW playlist, featuring new music from our headliners.

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The Global South: The Women Behind Dira

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorMarch 16, 2015

Garden & Gun champions Southern artisans and entrepreneurial efforts here in Dixie, but we also look to Southerners who support the ideals of craftsmanship outside the South, too. Which makes sense, considering that our region wouldn’t be the wonderful, exotic melting pot that is today without the influence of cultures from around the world.

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The Daniel Boone You Don't Know

By CJ LotzBelow the LineMarch 10, 2015

Today in Southern History: On March 10, 1775, frontiersman Daniel Boone led thirty mounted axmen from a spot on the Holston River near what is now Kingsport, Tennessee, through the Cumberland Gap of Virginia and into Kentucky. His expedition through 200 miles of wilderness inspired thousands of people to explore and inhabit what was then America’s frontier. “If I were to interview people on the street and ask, ‘What is Daniel Boone most known for?,’ I bet that no one would say he is the father of the western movement who led this nation into an expansion of where we live today,” says Sam Compton, president of the Boone Society.

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First Listen: Feufollet’s "Red Light"

By David ThierSouthern SoundsMarch 3, 2015

Feufollet is Cajun French for the mysterious flickering lights that you can see dancing over the Louisiana swamps on the right night — “crazy fire.” Appropriate, since there’s something unknowable about the band: an indie rock Cajun group, with generations of inherited talent swirling around its young members. They’ve been together since founding members Chris Stafford and Chris Segura were just 12 years old, and in that time they’ve gone from being those kids that play the dance hall classics to something entirely their own—and they’ve even been nominated for a Grammy.

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Gravy Podcast: The History of Derby Pie

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsFebruary 26, 2015

Ever tried Derby pie? To many Southerners the recipe for the gooey, bourbon-soaked dessert practically belongs to everyone. Alan Rupp would disagree. His grandparents Walter and Leaudra Kern created the recipe about sixty-five years ago, for the dessert menu at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky. “If you wanted to get a hold of Derby Pie, you called Walter Kern’s name in the old phone directory,” he says.

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First Listen: Houndmouth’s “Otis”

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsFebruary 19, 2015

This is a busy week for the members of the Louisville, Kentucky–based band Houndmouth. The quartet kicks off their North American tour on the other side of the Ohio River with a show in Champaign, Illinois, tonight, before swinging South next month, hitting several prominent festivals including Texas's SXSW, Alabama’s Hangout, and Tennessee's Bonnaroo before wrapping up back in Kentucky at the Forecastle Festival in July. (Good thing they're making the rounds since their hometown record-release show at Louisville’s Brown Theatre on March 26 is already sold out.)

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Gravy Podcast: The Jemima Code

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJanuary 29, 2015

After Toni Tipton-Martin took a job writing about food and cookbooks at the Los Angeles Times, she realized that none of the books in her office were written by black cooks. Then, a chance encounter with a decades-old volume introduced her to a whole genre of little-known recipe books that bring to life generations of women dismissed in later histories as the help. “In the late eighteenth century, you’re able to see that they possessed a technical and organizational, managerial-type skill set that no one attributes to slaves,” she says.

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