SoulRagga vocalist and percussionist Camille Armstrong and bass player, Steve 'Z' Zalalas stopped by the studio for an interview and live performance, prior to the band playing at Tunes at Twilight in Historic Bethlehem last week. Enjoy!
Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:23 pm
Give or take a few weeks, 2013's midpoint is upon us. After almost six months of new music, it's that time of year when we pause to catch our breath, get our bearings and share our love for the albums that defined the first half of 2013.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:56 am
We made you a doozy of a mix — 50 of NPR Music's favorite songs from the first half of 2013, including hip-hop anthems, dudes with beards, avant-garde lullabies, dance-music stompers, tear-jerking ballads, funk odysseys and synth-pop singalongs.
Pete Yorn has been collaborating quietly with fellow Los Angeles musician J.D. King on a new project called The Olms. The band was born in a studio, but has recently taken to the stage to perform live, including its L.A. debut for friends, family and fans at KCRW. Referencing jangly folk and '60s-era Britpop, King and Yorn dive headfirst into a charmingly retro sound with this performance of "Wanna Feel It" at Apogee Studios.
The Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival is quickly becoming an early summer tradition in the Lehigh Valley. The annual summer event returned to Allentown last weekend marking the sixth appearance of the festival which debuted in 2008. Vendors lined the 800 block of Hamilton Street while 8 bands played throughout the day on Saturday including WDIY favorites the B.C. Combo and the Alexis P. Suter Band.
Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Jo Lawry, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer are three of the backup singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.
"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."
Now to another topic in tech. Today, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference launched in San Francisco. The company made a slew of announcements: new MacBooks, a new operating system, and the most anticipated announcement - Apple's entry into the streaming music market with iTunes Radio. But as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, many analysts are underwhelmed.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:55 pm
Last Good Tooth shares a hometown — Providence, R.I. — with The Low Anthem, and the two bands have both shown a penchant for experimenting with fiddles and Appalachian music.
Led by songwriter Penn Sultan, the son of sculptor Donald Sultan, Last Good Tooth crafts free-wheeling songs, marked by delightful extended breaks and smart lyrics. The group recently relocated to New York City, and its new album (Not Without Work and Rest) is out now on Conor Oberst's Team Love Records.
When some members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were stuck on the tarmac last week for three hours waiting to fly from Beijing to Macao, they decided to give an impromptu performance for their fellow passengers. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more.
Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell outside their home in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
A match made in ink heaven: Jason Isbell has the lines from Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather" on his arm, while his wife, singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, has lines from Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on hers.
There are a few things worth knowing about singer-songwriter Jason Isbell: The round softness of his speech comes from his roots in rural Alabama. He has lyrics from a Bob Dylan song inked on his forearm.