Tal National is the most popular live act in the West African nation of Niger, and the band is ready to go global. Its third album, Kaani, is the first to get an international release, and it arrives just in time for the group's first U.S. tour.
Among bluegrass musicians, Tony Rice is universally regarded as the most important and influential guitarist in the genre's history. In the simplest terms, beginning with his first albums three decades ago, Rice all but single-handedly established the guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass music.
Professing love for Bob James' music can yield a side-eye in some circles. Jazz purists routinely view the keyboardist's 1970s period as a progenitor to smooth jazz — an idiom they frequently react to as if it were a sign of the apocalypse.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:47 pm
Two of the best roots rock musicians of their generation make an appearance on a special episode of World Cafe, which is hosted in NPR's Studio A at the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Singer Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, joined forces in 2010 and formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the new Pokemon 3DS games that have zombified our once-expressive children is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on how to name one's band.
Choro is a style of Brazilian music that's a hybrid of European and African influences. It started in the 19th century as the Portuguese flooded into Rio.
Grammy award-winning producer Aaron Levinson rejoins World Cafe for Wednesday's installment of the Latin Roots series, where he'll play examples of choro. One selection from the mid-1940s has a kind of Hot Club of France jazz feel, while a more modern example stems from Israel, where bands are keeping the form alive.