On their second collaboration, One True Vine, Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy assemble a story using songs written by various artists, dotted by frequent lyrical references to The Staple Singers. The album follows a narrative arc of struggle, acceptance and salvation that's mirrored in the crescendo and decrescendo of the music, starting out low and slow.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:43 pm
He's best known as the tall, hat-wearing member of The Monkees, but Michael Nesmith has worn many other hats in the last few decades. Nesmith recently finished up his first solo tour in 21 years, playing songs from both his original country-rock group (The First National Band) and his solo albums.
Some believe that there are only four Rolling Stones, but then some say there's a fifth: keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He's been on tours with the band for more than 30 years — but that hasn't been his only gig. At 20, he was asked to join The Allman Brothers Band.
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.