What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.
Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.
"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."
In The Sapphires, an R&B-loving musician helps turn four Australian aboriginal women into a soul act. From left: Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), Gail (Deborah Mailman) and Kay (Shari Sebbens).
Credit Mike Coppola / Getty Images
Tony Briggs' The Sapphires screenplay was inspired by his mother, Laurel Robinson, who regularly sang with her sisters and cousins in the '60s and '70s.
Credit The Weinstein Company
In the film, as in real life, The Sapphires travel from Australia to Vietnam to entertain American troops.
In the late 1960s, an all-girl singing group hit it big. But they didn't come from Detroit or Memphis — the four young aboriginal women hailed from the Australian Outback.
At the time, aboriginal people were just gaining basic civil rights, like voting and being counted as Australian citizens. The girls faced intense racism at home, but they took their act all the way to Vietnam to entertain American troops.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 10:13 am
Listening to The Milk Carton Kids on an album is one thing; watching the band work its magic live is another. This performance of "Hope of a Lifetime," the opening song on The Ash & Clay, was filmed at the Folk Alliance conference in Toronto. With its elegantly phrased messages about growth and the complexity of progress, "Hope of a Lifetime" moves delicately and thoughtfully.
At 66, the jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell is as busy as ever: His current band has released five excellent albums since 2007 alone. (It performed for this concert series in 2009.) He's so prolific that he's been writing and arranging music for other ensembles all the while. Last year, Harrell presented a nine-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and he's been at work on a new, piano-less project.
Matt Munisteri is a guitarist, vocalist and composer with an ear for a bygone era. A masterful and mainly self-trained musician in high demand, he has arranged for and performed with artists including Mark O'Connor, Julian Lage, Catherine Russell and Diana Krall.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:47 am
More than 40 years after Jimi Hendrix's death, the guitarist and singer's legacy continues to grow. His label recently released People, Hell and Angels, an album of 12 previously unreleased recordings that Hendrix was working on for a planned follow-up to 1968's Electric Ladyland.
Canadian pianist, singer and songwriter Diana Krall grew up in a town called Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Both her father (who collected jazz records and played a bit of stride piano) and her mother (also a pianist) encouraged her interest in jazz and exposed her to all of the great players. She began studying the piano at age 4 and had several small jazz groups while in high school.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:50 am
Trixie Whitley makes her first appearance as a solo artist on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Whitley first appeared on the show in 2010 as a member of Black Dub, a group of musicians built around legendary producer Daniel Lanois, with her voice as the focal point.