On her breakout album Back-Road Highways, songwriter Chastity Brown combines the influences of her Southern upbringing and her adopted Minneapolis to dramatic effect. Brown's wrenching, heartfelt delivery will please fans of soul and vocal-driven pop, while the addition of banjo finds her exploring traditional Americana and expanding her sonic palette.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:35 pm
Tuesday night the rising R&B star Frank Ocean did something important. At first, however, few observers agreed on what he'd done. Headlines varied on quickly assembled gossip reports, from the measured to the hyperbolic.
At the Newport Jazz Festival, we're visiting the Quad and Harbor Stages, where the first rows of audience sit snug up to the performer. With her understated style, love of the lyric and freedom, Gretchen Parlato makes that closeness work. Everyone leans in and listens.
In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.
Every July, fans of Latin alternative music gather in New York for the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) to see and hear their favorite bands and maybe catch a peek at artists who will become big stars.
For the third year, Alt.Latino is packing our bags for a week of panel discussions, musical showcases, and opportunities to meet and greet bands and industry folks.
The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.
While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.
The barn reeked of mildew, wet wood in 90 degrees, an odious perfume with which I was familiar from a childhood in a Long Island canal town peppered with planked houses. I opened my instrument's case to see the hygrometer's needle stuck on the highest humidity level: assurance that my first professional-grade violin would not crack, or, to the great aural pleasure of Katja, my radiant Austrian stand partner with superb pitch, remain in tune.
Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Credit Courtesy of Rob Florence
Antoinette K-Doe (second from the left) stands with friends around a statue of her deceased husband, Ernie, at the St. Louis No. 2 tomb. Antoinette is buried in the tomb, and her mother — Ernie K-Doe's second and favorite mother-in-law, Leola Clark — is shown in the portrait. Clark is buried in the tomb, too.
Credit Masahiro Sumori / Wikimedia
Earl King on stage at the 1997 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He died a few years after Ernie K-Doe, and now the two share a tomb.
There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.
Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.