Thao Nguyen has been busy since her last album, Know Better Learn Faster, came out in 2009. The band moved to San Francisco while Nguyen explored recording with other artists, even making an album with Mirah.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:36 pm
When Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan ditched their solo careers to form The Milk Carton Kids, they discovered that they had a lot to teach each other. They also had a plan: to give their music away in order to find their audience. It worked remarkably well. Now, their third album, The Ash & Clay, is out on a regular label — no freebies this time around — and they're playing to packed houses across the U.S. and Europe.
You could hear it in their first singles in 2011: Sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin and their band Bleached are onto something. Now comes their debut full-length, Ride Your Heart, and it fills in the story: Beachy harmonies combine with punk attitude to take what you loved about Best Coast to a grittier place. It's fun and it's heartfelt — what could be better?
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 3:41 pm
Grammy-winning blues-rock singer Ben Harper has made 10 studio albums over the course of his career. For his latest project, he teamed up with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite to release a collaborative album titled Get Up! Musselwhite, one of the few white musicians to gain exposure in the blues scene during the 1960s, has released 26 records and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 10:13 pm
While on tour with his band Guster, Adam Gardner noticed that a lot of energy was being consumed, particularly in getting bands and fans together for a show. His wife, an ecologist, had been nudging him at home to become more green, and he'd started to wonder what could be done about the environmental impact of life on the road.
The last few years have found Mark Oliver Everett of Eels doing more than a bit of summing up. That includes an autobiography, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, as well as an anthology of the band's past work — all while putting out an inter-related trilogy of new studio albums.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:35 pm
Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.
The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.
James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.
Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.
Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.