Felix Contreras

Amara La Negra is a force of nature.

I don't think you could find two acts with sounds as different as the dreamy rock grooves of The Marias and the explosive Afro-Latina expression of Amara La Negra. But there they were, sharing the stage for two hours right in the middle of the week at SXSW 2018.

There's plenty to hear on stages across Austin during SXSW, and what you can hear on this page is just a taste — a recording of a pair of live shows from Alt.Latino's showcase at the Radio Day Stage on Wednesday.

Raul Midón lives in a world of sound — blind since birth, Midón's interpretation of his surroundings is borderless. He sings with the passion of the best classic soul singers, and his instrumental chops stand along side the most accomplished jazz musicians.

Normally backed by a band that straddles styles just as well as he does, for his turn behind Bob Boilen's desk Midón stripped it down to just voice and guitar, the musical equivalent of tightrope walking without a net.

Even before The Beatles recorded their own version of "Twist and Shout," British fascination with American soul music has run deep. Vocalist and songwriter Alex Clare is yet another soul disciple from the UK, and his visit to Bob Boilen's desk is the perfect setting to bask in the power of his voice.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF HECTOR COCO BAREZ SONG, "BOMBULERIA")

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We are living through an amazing moment — a cultural shift spurred by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement that is bringing with it a rising awareness among men (some, at least) of the abuse of, or blindness to, the power imbalance at the bedrock of our culture, and of the abuse and misconduct that imbalance breeds toward the women in our lives, at work or otherwise.

Watching Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo perform their Tiny Desk concert is like peering back in time. The music's roots extend to the Venezuelan slave trade, and while the vocals are in Spanish and not an African dialect, the instruments the group plays date back more than 500 years.

Pages