Brendan James makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. James wraps his tranquil voice and serene songwriting around his own energetic piano playing, a technique that's proven successful with fans and critics. His first three albums placed in the Top 10 on the iTunes pop charts, and his third earned the top spot on iTunes' singer-songwriter chart.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:19 pm
During World Cafe's annual summer visit to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, we finally met up with Luella & The Sun — a dark, raw and exciting roots band we've been watching for a while. The group is led by a charismatic Nashville singer, Melissa Mathes, and gritty guitarist Joe McMahan.
At the time of the festival, the band was still recovering from the aftermath of a devastating studio fire. Here, host David Dye talks with Mathes and McMahan about how they overcame the setback with the help of their community.
When Holy Ghost! started out, it was just two friends playing nu-disco before it was en vogue. Now, with a full band, a wall of synthesizers and a new album partially produced by DFA Records co-founder James Murphy, the Brooklyn band has taken its sound to another level. Its members recently visited The Village Studios for this live Morning Becomes Eclectic session, during which they performed this song, "Hold My Breath."
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the packages our kids discard in disgust for not including the new Pokemon 3DS games is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on inter-generational bonding over music.
Jake Ibey writes via Facebook: "How do you introduce new music to a parent (mid-50s) who is stuck in late-'70s rock mode?"
In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.
The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.
"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.
On Three Chords and the Truth, bluegrass musician James King picks from the canon of country music to rearrange its songs as bluegrass. On The Bluegrass Album, country star Alan Jackson has recorded his first collection of bluegrass music — some classics, some originals.
Five years ago, a listener looking for a lonesome song anywhere near Arkansas might have heard a voice she still can't forget. Christopher Denny was 23 when he released Age Old Hunger, introducing the world to a high Southern warble that doesn't defy gravity so much as play with the tension that force creates – an androgynous, time-jumping instrument. Denny was learning to control his singing then, a process he says is more about instinct than craft. "I have to say...
Two hundred years ago today, in a small northern Italian village, a couple named Verdi — tavern owners by trade — welcomed the birth of a baby boy who would later change the face of opera forever. And, whether we recognize it or not, on the bicentennial of his birth, Giuseppe Verdi is still vital.