At World Cafe, we recently asked Stephen Bowen of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tenn., to name the five most important country records of all time. The store was founded by country pioneer Ernest Tubb, who had a hit with the early honky-tonk song "Walking the Floor Over You." More than 65 years later, the shop is still known as a hub for country-music fans.
Bowen polled the store's online community to help choose these tracks.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 8:04 pm
Coachella, the massive outdoor music festival that kicks off this weekend in Indio, Calif., has become an "incubator" not just for new bands, but for rising food entrepreneurs, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News earlier this week.
Piney Gir (a.k.a. Angela Penhaligon) makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Originally from Kansas City, Penhaligon grew up in a strict Pentecostal home; her father was a minister who forbade TV and modern popular music. She eventually relocated to London, where she threw herself into music and dabbled in everything from garage-rock and punk to country and electronic music.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 1:51 pm
Pianist and 2010 Grammy winner Laurence Hobgood was born in Salisbury, N.C., and grew up in Texas and Illinois. He took up piano at age 6 and showed a knack for improvisation early on, playing his own versions of pieces by Bach and Chopin. In 1988, Hobgood relocated to Chicago, where he met an up-and-coming vocalist named Kurt Elling.
On this episode of Piano Jazz, pianist and 2013 NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri brings along bassist Hugo Duran and percussionists Jose Claussell, Richie Flores, and Mark Quinones for a raucous set of original tunes with an Afro-Caribbean flavor.
There's something to be said for unconventional artists who can still connect to an audience. The band Broadcast funneled oddball library-catalog music through dreamy space-pop. Shabazz Palaces is hip-hop's cubist Sun Ra. Altar of Plagues, which works outside the roots of black metal, knows a thing or two about unconventional sounds. But the Irish band has, until now, strictly been a longform outfit, stretching drones and abrasive tones across sides of vinyl.
Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. For more than 50 years, he's written, performed and produced the soundtrack for America's collective psyche. Sedaka had a string of early-1960s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley and The Monkees, among others.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:48 pm
It was 1975 when Emmylou Harris had to figure out how to make a solo album after her classic work as Gram Parsons' duet partner. Her record company told her to "get a hot band." So she got The Hot Band with James Burton on lead, as well as a newcomer, Rodney Crowell, on rhythm guitar and, more importantly, songwriting.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:11 pm
"Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I'm only calm when I get lost within your wilderness."
That's a key line in this song, "Joy," by Iron and Wine, the project of Sam Beam. Sam is a songwriter who has a way of making the personal very universal. It's also the line that piqued the interest of director Hayley Morris, who made a video for "Joy." Morris writes to us:
Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.