When Kail Baxley was a kid growing up in Williston, S.C., James Brown used to challenge him to dance-offs. Baxley didn't win so much. He did better as an amateur boxer — his key to getting out of the small town and traveling to Europe and Africa.
The world is catching up with Katie Crutchfield and Waxahatchee, and with good reason. Her shows at SXSW, including an NPR showcase, were greeted rapturously. Her new album, Cerulean Salt, is a sonic leap forward from her debut, American Weekend, which was recorded in a bedroom in Alabama.
It's not easy to pin a single genre on Calexico. Joey Burns and John Convertino's band blends Americana, Tejano and indie rock music. Burns and Convertino began recording under the name — borrowed from the California border town — in 1996 in Tucson, Ariz., and have released several well-received albums, including this year's Algiers.
There's not much about Ben Sollee's career that could be described as conventional. The singer-songwriter's primary instrument is the cello, and his work ranges from traditional classical music to Asian folk tunes. Even his preferred method of transportation on tour deviates from the norm; he's been known to travel from one show to the next on a bicycle with his cello strapped to the back.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:47 am
More than 40 years after Jimi Hendrix's death, the guitarist and singer's legacy continues to grow. His label recently released People, Hell and Angels, an album of 12 previously unreleased recordings that Hendrix was working on for a planned follow-up to 1968's Electric Ladyland.
With emerging styles that fuse traditional folk and modern genres, Mexico has become a hub for experimentation in music. In this 30th installment of Latin Roots, World Cafe host David Dye explores the prominence of Mexitrónica with Josh Norek, the co-host and executive producer of the nationally syndicated radio program The Latin Alternative.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:25 pm
Performing and recording under the name Toro Y Moi, Chaz Bundick draws on elements of soul, jazz, Latin disco, funk and modern pop. With Toro Y Moi's 2010 debut, Causers of This, Bundick became a pioneer of what's often called chillwave.
His new album, Anything in Return, is a set of electro-pop songs enhanced by his smooth vocals. In this installment of World Café, Toro Y Moi plays a few songs from the album and talks about the inspiration behind his lyrics.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:22 am
The Lions' members share a strong love of classic, Jamaican-inspired reggae. Hailing from different musical generations, the L.A. band's members craft a unique style which blends hip-hop and reggae with electrifying dub rhythms. Although the lineup has changed since The Lions' beginnings, the music has remained explosive and alluring.