Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:27 pm
Van Hunt is something like a cross between Thelonious Monk and Prince: throaty and suave yet artistic, bold and a little weird. His inventive style speaks to his strong will, a trait that propelled the college dropout to move from his home in Ohio to the music hub of Atlanta.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:57 pm
JD McPherson's "big break" came when he introduced himself to producer and bassist Jimmy Sutton of The Four Charms via MySpace. After receiving several of McPherson's demos, Sutton immediately recognized his talent, and the Oklahoma native moved to Chicago to begin recording with Sutton. The pair released a music video for "North Side Gal," which became a viral hit.
Former Nickel Creek fiddler Sara Watkins is a musical protege, both as a vocalist and as a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Watkins enjoyed widespread success in Nickel Creek, which included her older brother Sean and childhood friend Chris Thile.
The Tallahassee band Carrousel released its first full-length album, 27 rue de mi'chelle, in May. The group's trippy, cathartic, lovelorn dream-pop often references time spent around the ocean, but there's meticulousness to the sound that could only come from countless hours in the studio. Download Carrousel's head-turning "14" and the new album's title track in this installment of World Cafe Next.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:29 pm
Best Coast is known for simple, beachy pop songs, but the L.A. duo's new album The Only Place steps up the production quality significantly. Singer Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno are driven by shared appreciation: Crazy For You and the new record both showcase the pair's infectious love of California.
San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo co-hosts the latest installment of Latin Roots, in which he discusses the Latin character of his hometown's music since the 1950s. Escovedo's prolific rock music has always had strong Latin influences as a result of the time he spent listening to his parents' records.
Being the only child of rock 'n' roll's king has kept Lisa Marie Presley under a long shadow, but she's found ways to make her music stand out that don't involve her lineage or occasionally stormy personal life.
Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 2:38 pm
Five-time Grammy winner and New Jersey native Mary Chapin Carpenter has been cranking out country and folk standards for nearly a quarter of a century. Her recent 11th album, Ashes and Roses, finds the singer-songwriter reflecting on grief over her father's death, her recent divorce and concerns about her own health.
The L.A. band La Santa Cecilia crafts a unique style of Latin Alternative music by mixing traditional South American rhythms with everything from tango and mariachi to rock, jazz and Afro-Cuban percussion. The sextet, named for the patron saint of musicians, is led by the enchanting voice and often eccentrically flamboyant presence of Marisol "La Marisoul" Hernandez.