Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:03 pm
It took a while, but the London folk-rock band Mumford & Sons broke big with its 2009 debut album, Sigh No More. The album combines the raspy vocals of singer Marcus Mumford with lush harmonies and rootsy instrumentation on tracks that range from soothing to rocking.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:48 pm
San Antonio's Hacienda is a family band featuring brothers Abraham, Jaime and Rene Villanueva, as well as their cousin Dante Schwebel. The Tex-Mex rockers had just started the band and recorded their first demo when they had an encounter that would change the course of their careers. In 2005, they met Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys; after listening to their demo, Auerbach took them under his wing.
The Australian folk-rock band Husky takes its name from frontman and chief songwriter Husky Gawenda, whose croon soars over the group's artfully crafted instrumentals. Husky is the first Aussie band signed to Sub Pop Records — and, with its lush harmonies and thoughtfully crafted lyrics, it fits right in with its labelmates and indie-folk contemporaries in Fleet Foxes.
Lightning Love is an indie-pop trio from Ypsilanti, Mich. The band is led by quirky pop singer Leah Diehl, who originally started Lightning Love as a solo project, recording demos in her basement. As she gained attention online, Diehl was asked to play some shows in the Midwest, so to round out her live sound, Diehl teamed up with her friend Ben Collins and her brother Aaron Diehl, who play guitar and drums, respectively.
In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Carlos Alfonso, one of the vocalists and principal songwriters of the Cuban progressive-rock band Síntesis, talks with host David Dye about the relationships connecting Cuban music, Yoruba music from Nigeria and Arara music out of Benin.
Cold Specks is the stage name of 23-year-old Canadian-bred singer-songwriter Al Spx, but it's not as if "Al Spx" isn't a pseudonym itself; she created the moniker out of respect for her parents, who don't approve of her music career. The London-based singer started Cold Specks as a small acoustic project to showcase her soulful voice and thoughtful lyrics, but it's only grown from there.
Sidi Touré is a Songhai singer-songwriter from the city of Gao in northern Mali. Though he grew up in a royal family, he sings the blues elegantly and in his own native language; interestingly, Touré has said he'd never heard American blues music until after his first album was released.