Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:40 pm
The pianist and composer John Beasley has one of the most formidable tasks of anyone associated with today's International Jazz Day, the celebration produced by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He's music director of the centerpiece concert to be live-streamed from Istanbul tonight (2 p.m. ET in the U.S.).
For 40 years now, Sweet Honey in the Rock has created music deep in the tradition of the African-American community. When the women joined us in our studios in 2005, they outlined the group's message: Keep moving forward, and make a way for those who are coming behind you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I REMEMBER, I BELIEVE")
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: (Singing) I don't know how my mother walked her trouble down. I don't know how my father stood his ground. I don't know how my people survived slavery. I do remember. That's why I believe.
In a small, packed Washington, D.C., living room late one December night, I heard a cacophony of horns, keys, drums and guitars that simply floored me. It was brash, zany, brainy, scary and danceable. At the end of a long year of amazing live music, this would turn out to be one of the most memorable concerts I'd seen.
Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist are The Lone Bellow. Although Williams, the principal songwriter and lead singer, is a native Georgian, the group found its soulful folk-rock sound in Brooklyn. The group recorded its self-titled debut album on the Lower East Side, yet the lyrical, foot-stomping songs could have easily come from the heart of Nashville.
A little reinvention never hurt anyone. Nashville singers Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson met in St. Augustine, Fla., and quickly discovered how well their voices blended together, so they moved to New York City and formed Augustine.
The duo, which now resides in Nashville, has since become The Saint Johns, and recently released its gorgeous new songs on a free downloadable EP. Listen to two songs from The Live Sessions here.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:24 am
Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter Richie Havens — who died April 22 at age 72 — appeared on Mountain Stage on Jan. 29, 1995. His unmistakably percussive guitar style and intense vocals helped set him apart from other songwriters, while his ability to make traditional and cover songs his own made him a primal force in the world of solo acoustic performers. Havens had long since secured his place in history by opening the fabled Woodstock festival with a three-hour set that kept thousands of listeners spellbound.