Suzanne Ciani's start in music was traditional enough. She was classically trained, majored in music at Wellesley College, and got a fellowship to study composition at UC Berkeley. But when she arrived there in the mid-1960s, just in time to witness the student protests that consumed the Bay Area during that decade, her focus shifted.
The sound of one of this year's Grammy-nominated reggae albums, Harlem-Kingston Express Live, may seem perplexing at first. But don't let the blend of swing and dub confuse you: That's just the unique sound of pianist Monty Alexander.
Alexander's music has variously been described as bebop, calypso and reggae. But after 50 years in music and more than 70 albums, he's earned the right to call his music simply his own.
Alexander grew up in Jamaica playing the piano and the accordion, and he was versed in the up-and-coming popular music of the island.
It's true that you can still get by in rock 'n' roll on the strength of a unique voice. But it helps if said voice has something interesting to work with.
On the first three records by Heartless Bastards, that wasn't always the case. The Mountain, from 2008, had some terrific songs about a breakup, and a few that got bogged down in a rut. But on the band's latest release, Arrow, every song has a powerful, almost magnetic melody.
Fiddler Jordan Tirell-Wysocki and guitarist Matt Jensen join Kate in-studio on the Folk Show.
Tirell-Wysocki, a Canterbury fiddler who studied under Dudley Laufman and Carolyn Parrot will be appearing at the NHAMA (New Hampshire Acoustic Music Association) Spring Fling this Sunday, March 4 at the TupeloMusic Hall in Londonderry.
This week, weekends on All Things Considered begins a new series called "Why Music Matters": stories from fans, in their own words, about how music has changed their lives. In this first installment, Seattle resident Nathan Hotchkiss reflects on a sheltered childhood.
"My parents were very religious," he says. "I was limited to listening only to Christian music and classical. My father would stay away a lot, and my mother would be wrapped up in her own turmoil, and it would spill over onto me."
Just about three years after he violently assaulted her, R&B singer Chris Brown is back with pop star Rihanna — musically, at least. On Monday night, each released a new version of a previously released song. Both remixes feature the other party, and both are causing quite the stir.
Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.
All My Lovely Goners, the fifth release and fourth full length album from the indie rock outfit, Winterpills, who hail from the creative spring that is Northampton, Massachusetts. Their songs have appeared on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s Parenthood, and now, NHPR’s Word of Mouth. Joining us from a studio in Amherst is Philip Price, guitarist and one of the leading vocalists for the band.