Old Crow Medicine Show didn't count on the runaway success of its 2004 song "Wagon Wheel." In fact, say members Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua, the Nashville band was just trying to finish a job Bob Dylan had started.
Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 10:53 am
On July 20, 1958, at Tanglewood — the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — pianist Leon Fleisher played an electrifying Brahms First Piano Concerto with the orchestra under its former music director, Pierre Monteux. This remarkable teaming has not been heard since then.
Los Angeles-based Mariachi El Bronx started out as a punk band called The Bronx, but that was before its members discovered a collective love for Mexican folk music. The group fell hard for mariachi, and when faced with playing an acoustic punk rock set for a TV show, they decided to fully embrace that new direction and start a Mexican-flavored side project.
For its 16th annual music and camping event, All Good Festival will find a new home in Thornville, OH. July 19-22 nearly 50 bands and hundreds of music lovers will gather for a weekend for a diverse blend of rock, bluegrass, funk, electronica, hip-hop and unforgettable memories.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:33 pm
Accounts vary on the first use of artificial reverb, but the most widely acknowledged origin story just turned 65. That was the harmonica instrumental "Peg O' My Heart," and it was a No. 1 hit in the summer of 1947. It owes its hypnotic tone to a crafty production trick.
The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.
While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.
Lucero — bright star in Spanish — has been creating quality punk-inflected country since the late '90s. Hailing from Memphis, frontman Ben Nichols gives the act a gruff Southern twang with both his voice and his guitar. Since the release of 2001's eponymous debut, Lucero has recorded five more studio albums and plays an impressive 200 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada.
The transporting music of Exitmusic is so grandiose, so romantically rich, it could easily envelop a concert hall or cavernous church. It's a beautifully buzzing mix of distorted guitars, synth pads and sparse electronic beats, all of which intermingle around Aleksa Palladino's alluring, heartsick voice like a swarm of bees in your chest.
"We had two shows that night," says Bobby Womack, recounting a recent concert in Houston. "It was a small theater, about 5- or 6,000 people. The second show, I was just out of it; they had to take me to the hospital."
It was a serious scare for the 68-year-old singer-songwriter — who has also lived through drug addiction and the deaths of two sons — and it didn't end that night.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:23 pm
NPR Music Director and Executive Producer Anya Grundmann was profiled last week as part of Fast Company's "Innovation Agents" series, which showcases the personalities behind "the ideas that shake up business as usual":
Together nearly 30 years, the reggae band Third World is one Jamaica's most popular and decorated musical acts, with listeners around the world and 10 Grammy nominations to its name. Partly responsible for mainstreaming reggae music, the group formed in 1973 and built a solid following playing the Kingston reggae scene, making its debut at Jamaica's Independence Day celebration.
Paul Thorn performed live from WCBE's Studio A on June 21st, 2012! Check out these great performances of "Bull Mountain Bridge", "She's Got A Crush On Me", and "I Have A Good Day Every Now And Then"! Enjoy!
There's never just one theme running through the music of a given year, but through the first half of 2012, it's been hard to ignore the varieties of ecstasy referenced, performed and endorsed by the musicians behind many of our favorite songs.