About 25 years ago, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter were students in a Philadelphia high school and they wanted to impress a girl. So they formed a band ... which would go on to become the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop band The Roots. Questlove, the drummer for The Roots, says that for him, a musical future was preordained. As he recounts in a new memoir, Mo' Meta Blues, his father, Lee Andrews — a member of the successful 1950s doo-wop group Lee Andrews and the Hearts — groomed Questlove for show business from an early age.
My first stereo had a built-in 8-track player, a turntable and a radio. My parents bought it at a local discount store for what probably seemed like a fortune to them at the time, and I used it for years. My mom eventually sold it at a garage sale. It wasn't that nice of course, but I'd love to have it back.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:45 pm
An indie-rock quintet based in Portland, Ore., Houndstooth features singer Katie Bernstein and guitarist John Gnorski — both of whom are originally from Austin, Texas. The band's sound reflects both hometowns, with Gnorski's loping guitar riffs hinting at bluesy Southern influences.
Patty Griffin has always had a gift for locating a song's nerve endings; for surveying her subject matter and identifying the most efficient possible pathways to listeners' emotions. Her warm, wise voice is comforting, inviting and relatable, even — perhaps especially — as she tackles weighty subjects like middle age and the death of a parent.
Between the City of Brotherly Love and the Steel Belt of Pittsburgh, there's plenty of rural countryside in the state of Pennsylvania. So when Pearls & Brass drummer Daughn Gibson wasn't touring the U.S. playing that band's strain of heavy '70s-style rock, he took blue-collar gigs as a long-haul trucker and warehouse worker. And, when that band ended, Gibson took to recording his own music. His 2012 solo debut, All Hell, found his country roots showing through the crackly lo-fi loops and stark piano songs, all of it sticking thanks to Gibson's well-deep baritone.