Known for his gritty baritone, Waylon Jennings embodied the outlaw side of country music. He was 64 when he died of complications from diabetes, leaving behind a collection of vocal tracks that remained unfinished until now.
"It was almost shocking when I first heard it," says the singer Jessi Colter, who was married to Jennings for more than 30 years. "It took me several times to be able to listen to it. It sounded like he was there, that he's opening his heart to you, and he's telling you how he feels."
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:01 am
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent was born the youngest child of a large Pentecostal family in rural Arkansas, and later moved to Southern California. DeMent grew up listening to traditional country and gospel music, which influenced her roots-folk sound, though she was 25 when she wrote her first song. It would take another five years for her to release her first album, Infamous Angel.
The string-laden indie-folk band Horse Feathers makes its second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Centering on the soft vocals and guitar of Justin Ringle, Horse Feathers' "chamber folk" sound is crafted with the assistance of cellist Lauren Vidal, violinist Angie Kuzma, Dustin Dybvig on drums and piano, and Nathan Crockett on violin, mandolin and the musical saw.
For all the plot development in the series' infancy, last Sunday's episode of Treme was unusually saturated in live performances. The second half of the episode, especially, seemed like one concert after another. Here with me to recap the musical goings-on is WBGO's Josh Jackson.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:07 pm
Most would agree that Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996) was Denmark's greatest symphonist after Carl Nielsen and Rued Langgaard. So it's something of an occasion that the three chamber symphonies from the latter half of his career finally see the light of day on this new release on the Dacapo label.
Without a wasted note, this is rigorously compact, sinewy music that grows on you with each listening. The composer's principle of thematic metamorphosis is evident throughout these world premiere recordings.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:04 pm
I was beyond excited and just a little nervous as I made the 30-second walk from the booth to the live room for this session in the KEXP studios. Usually, these things happen with one artist, but tonight I'd corral a round-robin of five MCs, a couple of whom were behind some of my favorite hip-hop of all time. Between the MCs, the DJs, the hype men and the keyboardists (not to mention KEXP's photographers and videographers), there were a dozen people waiting at the end of the hall.
Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 12:58 pm
The latest tease from this fall's upcoming collection of remixed Philip Glass tunes comes from Beck. The 20-minute song, "NYC: 73-78," includes snippets from more than 20 Glass songs, which Beck cut together and re-imagined.
We first met Kat Edmonson nearly four years ago, when All Songs Considered put out a challenge to songwriters on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration. We asked musicians around the country to capture the moment in song, and Edmonson, a native of Texas, wrote and sent us "Be the Change." It was clearly the best song we received, and she sang it with a unique voice and wonderful phrasing — so spot on.
There's a symphony of sound playing this month at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. Composer and sound artist Abby Aresty recorded the natural sounds of the park over the course of a year — including a gurgling pond, a bicycle rolling by on a gravel path, bird song — and then mixed the recordings into seven compositions.
The pieces are played through speakers that have been installed at seven sites around the arboretum. The project is called Paths II: The Music Of Trees.