In 2010, Lights made Ellie Goulding a star. The British singer-songwriter's debut topped the U.K. albums chart that year, and became a stateside hit over the course of the next 18 months. Goulding has performed at the White House, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Nobel Peace Prize concert.
After a nine-year hiatus, the venerable rock band Camper Van Beethoven has returned with its eighth studio album, La Costa Perdida. Thematically, the record revolves around midlife nostalgia and the group's California roots.
In this segment of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Grammy-winning Latin music producer Aaron Levinson and host David Dye ourney through the world of merengue music, starting with its roots in the Dominican Republic.
Largely influenced by the dictator Rafael Trujillo to celebrate his political agenda, merengue is a form of fast-paced, rhythmic music. Utilizing diatonic accordions, tamboras and the güira, traditional merengue bands have induced listeners around the world to move with the sounds of the tropical beat.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:28 pm
Erin McKeown's new album, Manifestra, is a self-released, fan-funded vehicle for some of her personal and political folk-rock songs. She collaborated with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for "Baghdad to the Bayou" — Maddow wrote the words, which McKeown then fashioned into a song — while "In God We Trust," "The Politician" and "The Jailer" find the singer speaking out about the death penalty, foreign policy and income inequality.
When she was 21, Sera Cahoone moved from Denver to Seattle to support artists like Carissa's Wierd, Band of Horses and Patrick Park. By 2006, she was focusing on her own solo work and releasing her self-titled debut album.
Formed in 2008, Pickwick members Galen Disston, Michael and Garrett Parker, Cassady Lillstrom, Alex Westcoat, and Kory Kruckenberg forged a path toward neo-soul and in 2011 released a compilation of music from three of their EPs. The result was Myths, released one single at a time on 7" vinyl, which put the band on the map and became one of the most popular albums of the year in Seattle.
Bat for Lashes, a.k.a. British singer and multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan, has recorded three albums, and the first two received nominations for the Mercury Prize. Her most recent record, The Haunted Man, came out in October and has already been a considerable success, both commercially and with critics.
Aaron Neville revitalized his favorite doo-wop tracks from the 1950s and '60s for his new album, My True Story. Working with producers Don Was and Keith Richards, Neville and his band give the singer's childhood favorites a soulful life of their own.
At 72, Neville has embarked on a national tour to promote My True Story. Here, he plays a few tracks from the record and talks with host David Dye about his education in doo-wop.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:51 am
From his 1970s breakthrough as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra to his influential role as a leading drummer in the style of jazz and jazz-fusion, Billy Cobham remains a powerful musical explorer. Born in Panama, raised in New York and residing in Switzerland, he translates his multicultural experience into a blend of jazz, rock and funk.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:50 am
Known as the queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson is widely considered the first woman to record a rock 'n' roll song: 1958's "Let's Have a Party." A singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, Jackson became a pioneer for her mix of country and rockabilly music. This approach served her well in the mid-1960s, as rockabilly began to decline in popularity.