It's easy to romanticize the Sahara — a vast expanse of sand organized around the northern reaches of the Niger River. Part of that romance is captured in the music of singer and guitarist Sidi Touré, who composes songs in the folkloric tradition of the Songhaï people.
His new album of desert chamber music, Koïma, harkens back to the glory days of the Songhaï Empire, which ruled much of the region from the city of Gao in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 11:36 am
Joan Osborne makes her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Osborne's performance was the final date on the first leg of her 2012 tour in support of her latest album, Bring It on Home. With a career that's inching toward the two-decade mark, Osborne has found success across genres, earning accolades as a singer-songwriter, pop hitmaker and rootsy, bluesy soul singer.
Daniel Johnston is a troubled soul with a talent for writing honest, disarmingly direct songs. Kurt Cobain famously wore a T-shirt with the title of a Johnston cassette on it, while Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips ranks among his many musical admirers. M.
Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:12 pm
Katie Crutchfield didn't see much snow growing up in northern Alabama, but in January of last year, her hometown got its worst winter storm in decades. Schools and businesses closed as the roads iced over; for a few days, the area effectively shut down.
Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson performs as The Tallest Man on Earth. That's just his stage name, though: Matsson himself stands at about 5 feet 7. His new album, There's No Leaving Now, comes out Tuesday.
Matsson has been praised as a poet, and is frequently compared to Bob Dylan. He often sings about nature, inspired by the scenery near his home in Falun, Sweden.
Recently on A Blog Supreme, pianist and blogger Kurt Ellenberger expressed doubt that audiences for jazz can continue to grow, writing that audience development is "a tall order that seems insurmountable." Although this alarm bell has been sounded by jazz writers for at least seven decades, musicians stubbornly seem to keep on playing, and new fans keep on discovering the music.
Two-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has been pushing down musical boundaries for over four decades with her hauntingly beautiful voice and fearless experimentation. She has carved out a unique path in music, collaborating with artists from Alison Krauss to Dr. John.