The latest World Cafe: Next artist is Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap, who recently released his solo debut and follows in the footsteps of fellow Oklahoman John Fullbright. With strong songwriting, a powerful voice and an engaging live show, Millsap represents himself awfully well for someone who's only 20. Download a pair of his songs on this page, or as part of our World Cafe: Next podcast.
Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden are three sisters in love with the art of singing. Born in 1971 to a famous musical father (Charlie Haden is a world-class upright jazz bassist), they've separately taken on vastly different music projects. You may have heard Petra with The Decemberists or tackling the music of The Who a cappella. Tanya plays in Let's Go Sailing, while Rachel sometimes turns up with The Rentals and other projects.
Singer-songwriter Holly Williams makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Williams' lineage is as close to royalty as country music can get — her grandfather is Hank Williams, and her father is Hank Williams Jr. — but her voice as a songwriter and singer is uniquely her own.
The same week that Neil Young introduced his Pono music player designed to spark a huge boost in audio fidelity, I listened for the first time to a recording of a Grateful Dead concert I attended almost 40 years ago. And I realized that passions about good-sounding music go through cycles. Today, the lo-fi medium is MP3s through earbuds.
The three brothers in the Southern rock band Pontiak could tear the roof off any coliseum with their arena-sized riffs. Hailing from rural Virginia, the Carney brothers — Van, Jennings and Lain — have crafted a long string of albums filled with fuzzy, feedback-laden neo-psych stoner jams since forming Pontiak a decade ago.
Now we hear from a man who says a relationship he built with a prison inmate changed his own life for the better. Actor Hill Harper documented his friendship and the advice he shared in his book "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother." When we spoke with him about the book last year, we also spoke with him for the regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we invite some of our guests to tell us about the songs they've been listening to. And he told us about what he listens to when he wants to unwind.
Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:54 am
The Final Four is set. The No. 1 overall seed Florida Gators take on the upstart Connecticut Huskies this Saturday, followed by a matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Kentucky Wildcats.
These programs obviously have great basketball pedigree, but did you know that each of these schools have ties to some of our favorite musicians? Take this quiz to find out how the college scenes in Gainesville, Storrs, Madison and Lexington have shaped your iTunes collection.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:06 am
Music is an aural medium, but the two musicians represented on this album have careers defined, at least in part, by visuals. Valentina Lisitsa, the 44-year-old Ukrainian-born pianist, revived her stalled career by uploading videos of herself playing Chopin to YouTube. After millions clicked, she landed a record deal.