The name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro in a dream. When the Maine native emerged from the DVD-store basement where she'd been experimenting with music for several years, her friends responded positively. She soon moved to Brooklyn, where those original songs were re-worked for her debut album, Ripley Pine, released this past February.
Local Natives, a Los Angeles-based indie-rock outfit, made a splash in 2009 with its self-funded debut album Gorilla Manor. The band went on tour with Arcade Fire and The National in support of the record, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 New Artist Chart.
It's not as if Escondido members Jessica Maros and Tyler James didn't have enough going on already. Maros is a thriving fashion designer in Nashville, Tenn., known for dressing Lady Antebellum and others. James has been a member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and recently had one of his songs placed on the TV show Nashville.
It was 1975 when Emmylou Harris had to figure out how to make a solo album after her classic work as Gram Parsons' duet partner. Her record company told her to "get a hot band." So she got The Hot Band with James Burton on lead, as well as a newcomer, Rodney Crowell, on rhythm guitar and, more importantly, songwriting.
So you think you know country music? Our friend Michael Gray, curator at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., will tell you what you need to know in just a few music-filled minutes. The Hall of Fame is right in downtown Nashville and is a must visit.