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In 2018, country rock will be 50 years old; that's according to most official histories, anyway, which mark the subgenre's beginnings with the release of two Gram Parsons projects, the International Submarine Band's Safe At Home and The Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Why not celebrate a little early?

Chris Dave possesses innumerable gifts as a drummer, but chief among them is the ability to make a groove just feel ... right. This isn't as simple or straightforward a feat as it sounds. And it can be a recipe for invisibility, at least among the general listening public.

Bobby Osborne is trying to find his way back to the lakeside home where he first heard "Rocky Top," the song that would define his career as one half of the Osborne Brothers, one of bluegrass' most popular and innovative groups.

Lawrence Rothman is one of the most interesting artists to come on our radar this year. The Laurel-Canyon-based artist channeled their journey of self-discovery into some incredibly catchy songs on their debut album. "Wolves Still Cry" was fantastic live, and the lyrics are worth a closer listen.

SET LIST

  • "Wolves Still Cry"

Photos: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Bette Smith grew up in a rough neighborhood in Brooklyn: Bedford–Stuyvesant, pre-Mayor Giuliani. Her father was a church choir director who once had to protect his kids by running out of the house waving a two-by-four. He taught Bette to sing. He also taught her that a career in music outside the church was wrong, and it wasn't until after he died that Bette really pursued music. She'll tell the story of coming to that decision, and what she imagines her late parents might think of what's she's doing now.

Despite having visited the Tiny Desk three times, and traveling to the tunnels beneath Fort Adams State Park, Jeff Tweedy has brought only a fraction of his many musical permutations to NPR Music during our first 10 years.

Chicago-based singer and poet Jamila Woods sat down with Vocalo's Reclaimed Soul host Ayana Contreras to talk about her debut album HEAVN and the spiritual, social and political themes behind it.

"Through my poems and songs, I ask more questions than I try to nail down answers," Woods says. "I think art is a good way to free your mind up and make things more complicated."

Singer Johnny Hallyday, known as the "French Elvis," for his role in popularizing rock 'n roll in his country, has died of lung cancer at age 74.

The Ooz, the title to King Krule's latest album, is the perfect name for his music. It conjures, in my mind, a word mashup of "cool" and "jazz." The music is eerily evocative with lyrics that talk about the sorts of depression singer and guitarist Archy Marshall has dealt with in his young life. And, at 23, he has a lot to say on the subject.

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