Emily Wells began honing her violin skills at age 4, released her first album at 13, and hasn't slowed down since. Blending her classical training, hip-hop loops and folk influences, Wells has developed a unique sound while touring and releasing albums independently.
Today's episode of World Cafe revisits the singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s, chronicling some of the decade's most masterful and indelible artists.
In a 2008 interview, the contemplative and politically minded Jackson Brownediscusses his love songs, his reaction to the use of "Running on Empty" in a John McCain campaign ad and his beliefs surrounding the battle between nuclear and alternative power sources.
Often, an artist can be defined by his or her influences. Woody Guthrie's legacy demands instead that he be remembered for the legendary writers he influenced. Guthrie's music inspired musicians from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, and his career as a Dust Bowl troubadour became representative of more than just American folk music.
Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:24 am
On this seventh segment of the Latin Roots series, Josh Norek joins World Cafe to explore the cultural roots of Latin funk — a mix of Latin grooves and Afro-American funk. Norek is the co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative, as well as a musician, producer and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records.
John K. Samson, known for his eloquent lyrics and tenure as the frontman of Canadian indie-rock band The Weakerthans, just released his first solo album. Three years in the making, Provincial arose out of Samson's stated wish to capture the feel — a "musical map" — of three locations in his native Winnipeg.
Though Robert Glasper Experiment is a fairly new entity, Glasper himself has been experimenting in genre mash-ups for his entire musical career. First and foremost a jazz pianist, Glasper grew to love hip-hop and began to incorporate it into his music. He's played in a jazz trio and toured the world playing at jazz festivals, but recently, he's become renowned for his ability to mix unlikely elements into something startlingly original — even if he's covering the work of another artist.
Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, known as The Milk Carton Kids, are getting a lot of well-deserved buzz. When the folk duo released its second album Prologue for free online last year, more than 60,000 fans downloaded the tracks. Acoustic, soothing, rich in ballads — the signature Milk Carton Kids form of fusing two voices into one sound is mesmerizing.
Deeply influenced by the pop of The Beatles while also incorporating alt-country elements from his Texas background, Salim Nourallah found solace in music at an early age. He's released several albums as a solo artist, earning a reputation for the power of his words and the deftness of his melodies.
Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 3:32 pm
With simple melodies and sardonic lyrics, Archie Powell and the Exports' new album, Great Ideas in Action, may well be the soundtrack to this summer. The group released its first EP (Loose Change) in 2009, and its debut album, Skip Work, followed a year later. Skip Work was praised for its addictive hooks, lyrical wit and sophistication. Buried beneath catchy, raucous rock 'n' roll, the album's emotional content reflected the nervous energy and anxiety that the band members say they felt graduating college.