Dinosaur Jr., formed in 1984 in Amherst, Mass., is well known for its influence in the noisy, guitar-heavy, DIY style that permeated college-radio airwaves in the late 1980s and 1990s. The group, which then included Lou Barlow on bass and Murph on drums, often served as a vehicle for frontman J Mascis' songwriting and guitar work.
Brigid Mae Power's work, which is rooted in the acoustic world of traditional Irish tunes, creeps up on you like a fog. The Irish singer has recorded her music — most of which she's released on Bandcamp — in unique locations, such as old churches. Power's chosen locale for her new, self-titled album? Portland, Oregon. (American singer and songwriter Peter Broderick, who'd met her at a gig, convinced her to travel all that way to record.)
The guitarist, singer and songwriter Steve Gunn has become increasingly well known for his dense, energetic playing. Even when he's not working on his own material, Gunn always seems to have another project going on; most notably, he was an early member of his friend Kurt Vile's band The Violators.
Ethan Burns has one of those voices that you hear and immediately believe. The 25-year-old grew up in a working-class family in central California, with a gift for immediately being able to play the songs he heard. His vocal style is rough and his songs are relatable.
Burns is set to release his debut EP, 22 Knots, at the end of September. Hear two songs at the audio link above.
Nashville singer-songwriter Bonnie Bishop's career received a major boost when Bonnie Raitt recorded two of her songs — one on Slipstream, the other on Raitt's new album Dig In Deep. Still, that wasn't enough to completely convince Bishop that the years of touring through small clubs, living on hope alone, were worth it.
Right now, the world's focus is on Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Brazil is on our minds, too, so we've made a weekend playlist filled with international collaborations between Brazilian artists and other musicians from around the globe. These are some extraordinary duets, from bossa nova to tropicalia and beyond. No Olympic competition here — just collaboration!
After starting his career in the vocal group The Del Rios, soul singer William Bell wrote and released his first solo single, "You Don't Miss Your Water," on Stax Records in 1961. While at Stax, he also co-wrote "Born Under A Bad Sign," which became bluesman Albert King's signature song. Five decades later, after not making a record for almost 10 years, he was encouraged to go into the studio with Americana producer John Leventhal.
For today's Throwback Thursday, World Cafe is re-airing a 2011 session with Gregg Allman. Explore some of the musical connections in Allman's life — from a musician who influenced him early on, to one who took his brother's place in The Allman Brothers Band.
Xenia Rubinos, who has Puerto Rican and Cuban roots, sings in both Spanish and English and identifies as Afro-Latina. She now lives in Brooklyn, having always wanted to move to New York City to make music — but she made a detour to Boston along the way to attend the Berklee School of Music, "to appease my parents," she says. (It was a good thing she did: At Berklee, she met drummer Marco Buccelli, with whom she has been working ever since.)
Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars had an unusual childhood: He and his brother, drummer Cody Dickinson, are the sons of legendary Memphis producer and pianist Jim Dickinson, who notably played piano on The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." The family lived south of Memphis in the Mississippi hill country, a cultural pocket whose distinctive blues style is exemplified by the playing of Fred McDowell,