Grace Potter has been captivating audiences with her musical prowess for nearly a decade. Her talents are split between her impressive multi-instrumentalism, her impassioned singing and her energetic stage presence. Potter's band, The Nocturnals, forned after bandmate Matt Burr heard her play folk songs at a student-run venue. Coming out of Vermont with the 2005 debut Nothing But the Water, the band released the album independently before signing with Hollywood Records for a re-release.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of singer-songwriter Dave Carter from a sudden heart attack induced. He and Tracy Grammer, his partner in both music and life, were the fresh new act in folk at the time, having joined forces in 1996. In accordance with Carter's wishes, Grammer has continued to perform their songs even into her blossoming solo career, which so far includes three studio albums.
Originally from Sweden, Anders Osborne left his home in Uddevalla at 16 to hitchhike through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Eventually finding his way to the U.S., the singer-songwriter and guitarist settled in New Orleans in 1984. The Crescent City clearly came to inspire Osborne's music, which ranges from muddy backwater blues to upbeat country-rock, and fills in many of the gaps in between.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:54 pm
Folk-pop singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has come a long way since he first started self-releasing lo-fi folk recordings on cassette. Jurado has been making music since the early '90s, and he recently released his 10th studio album, Maraqopa — his second produced by best friend and Secretly Canadian labelmate Richard Swift.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 8:36 am
Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding verve, it's hard to believe he's still a rising star — let alone a 24-year-old. Kiwanuka is of Ugandan descent and grew up in Muswell Hill, London.
Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:05 pm
Three-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin is a contemporary folk legend. Colvin started playing guitar at the age 10 and went on to cut her teeth on the folk circuits of Illinois and San Francisco before moving on to the Fast Folk cooperative of Greenwich Village in New York City. During her solo music career, Colvin has appeared in off-Broadway shows and episodes of television shows such as The Simpsons and Treme.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:53 am
Chicago-based music journalist Catalina Maria Johnson curates this 14th installment of World Cafe's "Latin Roots" music series. The bilingual and bicultural journalist is of half-Swedish and half-Mexican descent, and grew up in two different cities with the name St. Louis — one in Missouri, and the other, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, RevistaContratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music.
Los Angeles-based Mariachi El Bronx started out as a punk band called The Bronx, but that was before its members discovered a collective love for Mexican folk music. The group fell hard for mariachi, and when faced with playing an acoustic punk rock set for a TV show, they decided to fully embrace that new direction and start a Mexican-flavored side project.
Bear in Heaven, the brainchild of Jon Philpot, spent the winter trimming down (from a quartet to a trio) and stocking up, releasing its third album I Love You, It's Cool this spring. To promote the record, Philpot posted it in its entirety on the band's website, but not before slowing the audio down 400,000 times. At its original tempo, Bear in Heaven's music is at once ambient and energized, resonating in synth-driven waves that swell and pulse through an electric sea.