Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:39 am
The Newport Folk Festival has always championed a range of American music. From Muddy Waters to Pete Seeger, Joan Baez to Jimmy Buffett and a famously electrified Bob Dylan, the festival's curators have a knack for casting a wide net in their definition of folk.
Ask Me Another resident musician, Jonathan Coulton, keeps audiences entertained with his offbeat lyrics and entertaining covers of popular music. JoCo quit his day job writing software in 2005 to pursue a career in music.
Credit Steve McFarland / NPR
Jonathan Coulton, resident musician for Ask Me Another, backstage before the show's final taping during season one at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Early in this show, fellow guest Tim O'Brien joked that the Ontario-based Great Lake Swimmers "had better get started" if they hoped to make it to the show on time. They didn't actually swim – but it was still great to have the Toronto band on an episode of Mountain Stage recorded on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn.
Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 12:39 pm
If we were to make a list of all the recording and composing credits of the members of The Cookers, it would go on for many pages. The band is an amazing collection of veteran jazz musicians: Billy Hart (drums), Cecil McBee (bass), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), David Weiss (trumpet), Billy Harper (sax) and George Cables (piano).
Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 10:42 am
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of singer-songwriter Dave Carter from a sudden heart attack induced. He and Tracy Grammer, his partner in both music and life, were the fresh new act in folk at the time, having joined forces in 1996. In accordance with Carter's wishes, Grammer has continued to perform their songs even into her blossoming solo career, which so far includes three studio albums.
I was curious to see how Gang Gang Dance would present their edgy mix of dance and more experimental electronica at the outdoor Prospect Park Bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn. The answer was: convincingly. Gang Gang Dance's set featured keening, alien vocal lines soaring over choppy keyboards, rhythmic samples and glitches, and two live drummer/percussionists.
My favorite new discovery of the year is actually an album that came out last fall by a band called The Dø (pronounced "dough"). After months of living beneath a massive pile of other CDs, it finally surfaced a couple of weeks ago and blew me away. It's called Both Ways Open Jaws and it's an epic listen: beautiful but gritty, unpredictable, unsettling and full of mystery.