Laura Stevenson describes herself as an "unfunny Woody Allen," which is another way of saying that her work channels her obsessions with death and doubt. On her third album, Wheel, she finds a way to make it all sound downright jaunty.
Stevenson came to her more folk leanings from roots in punk, as well as a musical family; her grandfather, choral director Harry Simeone, was responsible for "Little Drummer Boy." Listen to two songs from Wheel on this page.
At 81, music mogul and Columbia Records president Clive Davis has slowed down just enough to write his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life. The book, which describes how he's consistently made hit records, has itself become a bestseller.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:46 pm
Rod Stewart has little to prove as a rock star. He's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame twice, once solo and once with The Faces. More recently, he's had enormous success with a series of standards titled The Great American Songbook, and published an autobiography that inspired him to return to songwriting.
Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and brothers Darrick and Chuck Campbell are The Slide Brothers. The band's self-titled album debut album was produced by Robert Randolph, the spectacular young pedal-steel guitarist who became the first player from the Sacred Steel tradition to break out to a wider audience.
On this installment of World Café, the band plays three songs from its album and tells host David Dye about the difference between performing for the congregation at Church of the Living God and playing on club and concert stages.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:44 pm
It's easy to hear the steady growth in the music of Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck since the release of his band's 2009 Willie Nelson tribute album, To Willie. In 2011, Here's to Taking It Easy was a sprawling, languid epic written with his road band's performances in mind.
Seattle's Hey Marseilles formed around the collaboration between singer Matt Bishop and guitarist Nick Ward, back when the two were students at the University of Washington. The band has since grown into the septet that recorded Hey Marseilles' sincere and endearing new album, Lines We Trace.
The members of London's Treetop Flyers capture the sound of California folk-rock in the '60s on their debut album, The Mountain Moves. They met on the periphery of the London folk scene that gave the world Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:46 pm
Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave recently re-formed his band The Bad Seeds, minus founding member Mick Harvey on guitar, to record a new album called Push the Sky Away. On this installment of World Café, you'll hear a tremendous performance from the elegant, intensely emotive band.
It's hard to find another band that's stayed as true to its vision as Low. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have been making Low records for 20 years now, and just released their 10th full-length album, The Invisible Way.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:49 pm
The first incarnation of the Seattle band Pickwick revolved around Galen Disston's strummy acoustic songs. Disston eventually found himself bored with his own music until a not-so-subtle shift took place; as the band began experimenting with new sounds and ideas, Disston shifted into the role of lead singer and crowds immediately noticed.
In this installment of World Cafe, you'll hear three songs from Pickwick's debut album, Can't Talk Medicine, as well as the full story behind the band's reinvention.