Singer-songwriter Matraca Berg appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. As one of Nashville's most respected and sought-after songwriters, Berg has seen her songs recorded by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris and Martina McBride.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 2:39 pm
The American Primitive guitar record is the soundtrack to the open road. It breathes in dust and exhales smoke. Blues, country, rock, psych, drone, folk, ragtime, bluegrass — it encompasses all of them and none at all. But ultimately, it's evocative of a landscape that doesn't know its boundaries. That's why, in particular, 2013 has felt like a 6- and 12-string renaissance that both celebrates and extends this music, especially since the passing of the beloved Jack Rose four years ago.
"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness. It previously appeared at The Daily Swarm.
The music of Perera Elsewhere sounds like it was picked up from outer space, like a strange, haunting frequency drifting through the ether from god-knows-where. So it makes sense that the Berlin-based DJ and ambient trip-hop artist brings an otherworldly vibe to life on the video for her song "Giddy."
When their busy schedules align, guitarist Peter Bernstein, keyboard player Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart play together as a trio. Their format isn't earth-shatteringly new — largely standards, a few original pieces, classic sonorities in which Hammond B3 organ meets electric guitar — but after nearly 25 years as a band, their rapport is. Theirs isn't an organ trio of greasy funk, but their cleaner language is plenty tasteful, overlaying smart choices atop plenty of swing.
Vancouver musician Jay Arner has played in all kinds of bands over the years, be they pop, punk or otherwise. When it came time to make his new self-titled record, he decided to take the DIY route: Arner moved into his studio and played everything on the album himself.
The result is a concise set of songs that highlight the multi-instrumentalist's arsenal of capabilities. Hear a pair of tracks from the album and download this week's World Cafe: Next podcast.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:56 pm
Last week's merciless onslaught of negative reviews for the new Arcade Fire record, Reflektor, sparked a conversation here in the All Songs Considered office about the weight of a writer's words, and whether those words have any real effect on a band's level of success (success in this case being album sales, or otherwise building a fan base).