Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 2:15 am
Annie Lennox is well-known for her work as one half of The Eurythmics, the synth-pop duo whose hit "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" is still ubiquitous 30-plus years after its release. Since then, Lennox has had a busy career as a solo singer and done work as a philanthropist and political activist.
Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 2:44 pm
12 min 19 sec
Anthony D'Amato sings and writes in the tradition of Bruce Springsteen or Josh Ritter: His songs sound friendly musically, but they also tackle the difficult and the twisted. Like those great songwriters, D'Amato's work is universal without devolving into moping. There's also a spirit to these songs, as it's easy to imagine a crowd spontaneously backing these his powerful choruses.
Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 12:12 pm
Punk rock lives on the debut album by a new trio, Ex Hex. The album is called Rips, and it's at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and the sound of something new. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the three women who make up Ex Hex have created an exhilaratingly energetic piece of work.
Multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charlie Muench formed The Stray Birds in Lancaster, Penn., in 2012, though they'd known each other and performed together in the city's tight-knit music community prior to that. The group's self-titled debut was well-received in folk circles, and was named one of NPR's Top 10 folk and Americana albums for 2012.
Brooklyn's nine-member Budos Band has a horn-driven sound, dubbed "Afro soul," which draws influence from funk and Afrobeat. As such, the group's new Burnt Offering fits perfectly on the Daptone Records roster, known for its deep understanding of soul, funk, gospel and Afrobeat music.
On this episode of World Cafe, The Budos Band performs some of its new songs and explains how beer fits into its tight touring schedule.
Mark O'Connor has been visiting Mountain Stage since 1988, during which time he's become one of America's most beloved and highly regarded violinists. O'Connor composed what has become the world's most-performed modern violin concerto and released nearly 40 albums, including Hot Swing, a tribute to legendary French jazz master (and O'Connor's longtime friend and mentor) Stephane Grappelli.
The English band alt-J has staked its career on defying expectations, so nervous anticipation surrounding its second album was perfectly understandable — particularly following the departure of bassist and multi-instrumentalist Gwil Sainsbury. But if alt-J felt the pressures of improving upon its beloved, award-winning debut, you wouldn't know it from This Is All Yours.