Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 9:58 am
Like many artists performing under the broad umbrella of "folk music" at this year's Newport Folk Festival, Gary Clark Jr. isn't settling inside any genre, let alone folk. Working off a template of bluesy rock, he infuses the gritty songs on his Bright Lights EP with elements of soul, pop and even reggae. Above all, he's a positively ferocious young guitarist, with a reputation as an up-and-comer poised for one of those 30-, 40-, even 50-year careers.
Brand new this year, WDIY is hosting a very special block of programming as part of our sponsorship of this year's Lyrikplatz at Musikfest, located in the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema.
The programs will feature a WDIY host chatting with local and regional musicians and singer-songwriters. It will be part interview, part live performance, a bit like being in the studio when we have a live guest!
Even people who wouldn't know Yo-Yo Ma from Yanni know Carnegie Hall is where the world's greats play. So how do unknown students and amateurs get to perform at one of the world's most celebrated venues?
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 3:46 pm
Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim (real name: Sean Scolnick) took his stage name from his hometown of Langhorne in Bucks County, Pa. After studying at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Slim moved to Brooklyn and built a national following by touring with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Eventually, he made his way to Portland, Ore., where he's lived since the 2009 release of Be Set Free.
Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 12:38 pm
Seattle-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Hadreas got his start on MySpace and was ultimately discovered by Matador Records, which put out his debut album, Learning, in 2010. Playing songs from both that record and its follow-up, Put Your Back N 2 It, Hadreas was joined by a full-backing band — quite an adjustment, given that he was playing tiny stages just a couple years back.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 8:20 am
Singer-songwriter Justin Currie appears on this archival episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live in West Virginia in December 2007. Currie was a teenager when he founded the Scottish rock band Del Amitri in Glasgow in 1983. Soon eclipsing its DIY beginnings, Del Amitri went on to score several international hits in the '90s — including "Kiss This Thing Goodbye," "Roll to Me" and "The Last to Know" — and its videos became a mainstay on MTV and VH1.
Blasphemy didn't always belong to dudes in corpse paint and spiked armbands. At one point in history, rock and blues were the devil's music, existing mainly for hip-shaking and corrupting the youth. Blues has a sinister past — the most obvious example being Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" — but there's also Brownie McGhee's "Dealing With the Devil," Charley Patton's "Devil Sent the Rain Blues" and a long list of others.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:24 pm
Yesterday my husband and I had the same thought at the same time. It's not an uncommon occurrence for two writers who've spent decades arguing and enthusing about pop music. I mention it, in part, to stave off accusations that I'm plagiarizing from a nearby source, but also because I think what we reflected upon in light of the writer Jonah Lehrer's fatal mistake was probably in the minds of many music obsessives.