Aloe Blacc has been on a roll. It all started in 2010, when his album Good Things spawned "I Need A Dollar," the theme song to the HBO TV series How to Make It in America. That track would go on to become a major hit in Europe.
It's always helpful to understand an artist's background when making sense of its creations, especially when it comes to a group like Ought. The band and its debut album, More Than Any Other Day, were shaped significantly by events that occurred in its hometown of Montreal.
Jonathan Wilson may be from North Carolina, but his sound and aesthetic are 100 percent L.A. Upon his arrival in that city, Wilson's focal point quickly became Laurel Canyon, where he worked to organize regular jam sessions. These gatherings brought together like-minded musicians who revere the California folk-rock sounds of the 1970s.
Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:57 pm
Lydia Loveless released her third album, Somewhere Else, early this year. The 23-year-old released her first album when she was 19, though it was filled with songs she'd written early in her teenage years. By any measure, that's a lot of music in a short amount of time.
Our World Cafe: Next artist for this week is Norwegian singer-songwriter Bernhoft, who just released a new album of retro soul titled Islander. In contrast to his live, carefully built solo performances, the album was made much more loosely.
World Cafe's Latin Roots series continues with an unusual segment from Catalina Maria Johnson, who explores what she calls "uncommon common ground" — specifically, bands that consciously create hybrids from outside the boundaries of common Latin genres.
The new and exciting examples discussed here include the unexpected combination of Mexican and Indian music with a sitar player, as well as an American band that fuses jazz with salsa.
Sonny Knight's new album with his band The Lakers is titled I'm Still Here, and "Here" has multiple meanings for Knight. It's Minneapolis, where he grew up and first started singing. "Here" also represents the soul music that he first started performing in his teens before life took him in different directions.