Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when. Positive fellows, for the most part, even when they're in their cups, these guys "say yes," as the title of one song goes, to a life in music. Oh, and they're also trying to get women to say yes to their craven come-ons.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:38 pm
David Wax Museum fuses traditional Mexican and American folk music into what the band calls "Mexo-Americana" — a style that's lively and unique. David Wax and Suz Slezak, the band's core members, met in Boston in 2007. After spending summers working with Quakers in rural Mexico, Wax spent a graduate fellowship year studying the local music of Mexico.
Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter's life has been drastically transformed. In 2007, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, her marriage ended soon after and, in the fall of 2011, her father died.
After those experiences, she tells NPR's Neal Conan, grief became a companion — but also a guide, a presence that dictated her outlook on life. The Grammy-winning artist channeled those emotions into her latest album, Ashes and Roses.
Colombian superstar Juanes joined Tell Me More earlier this summer for a special in-studio performance. He talked about his decision to begin singing in English after years of dominating Latin music charts with Spanish songs. For the series "In Your Ear," Juanes shares some of the English-language songs that have inspired him over the years.
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut took his time making a name for himself on the jazz scene: For a decade starting in the mid-1980s, he apprenticed as pianist for Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis. But since then, he's toured the world and recorded 15 albums as a bandleader.
In this performance and interview, Cyrus describes his gospel roots and his discovery of jazz, and discusses how he approaches interpreting other composers' music.
The 007 theme is one of the most famous themes in movie history. The infamous guitar riff that gives the theme its secret agent feel was performed by Vic Flick, who spoke to Morning Edition about the day he played it, 50 years ago.
In 1962, Flick was a 25-year-old studio guitarist who was asked to help give the James Bond theme more of a punch. Composer Monty Norman, who wrote the theme, was scrambling to complete the score for the first Bond movie, Dr. No. He'd scratched out a rough draft of the theme, but Flick says it fell a little flat.
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.