It's Friday night in Bamako, and a club in the Malian capital has come alive. Guitarist and singer Baba Salah is on the floor.
His hometown of Gao, along the banks of the River Niger on the fringes of the Sahara Desert, made headlines as the first city in the north to be liberated by French-backed Malian forces in January. Gao was one of three regional centers in the north captured by rebels and jihadis a year ago. Islamists warned musicians that their tongues would be sliced out if they continued to sing and play. Speaking in French, Salah says artists left in a hurry.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:09 pm
When Chris Lightcap was a student in the Berkshires, he'd put his bass in his car and drive down the river to New York City, south on the Taconic to the Sawmill, over the Henry Hudson Bridge, up on a soaring bluff with a great view to the right of the New Jersey Palisades and George Washington Bridge and New York City coming up on the left. Right about there, Lightcap would ask himself, "What would it be like to live here?"
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 2:23 pm
Stephan Crump's low-end theory will be familiar to fans of the world-renowned Vijay Iyer Trio, where Crump has discharged bass responsibilities for many years. Apart from his globetrotting and other sideman duties, he's also a composer, both for film and for his own bands. Of late, his best-known project has been the Rosetta Trio, featuring the dueling timbres of an electric guitarist and an acoustic foil.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 8:22 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.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:51 am
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent makes her eighthappearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. DeMent grew up in rural Arkansas with 14 brothers and sisters, immersed in gospel music and traditional country.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:16 pm
Anaïs Mitchell has a knack for mythology that flies over the heads of most modern songwriters. From her adaptation of the Orpheus myth on Hadestown — an arresting "folk opera" wherein Orpheus and Eurydice struggle through a post-apocalyptic economic depression — to the nuanced interweaving of Biblical and Greek mythology in last year's Young Man in America, she's proven adept at mingling the ancient and the contemporary.