The Des Moines-based band (with Davenport connections) Brother Trucker brought their roots-rock Americana sound to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a crowd-pleasing live set on April 10. Andy Fleming (lead vocals/guitar), Mike Fitzpatrick (lead guitar/vocals), Lyle Kevin Hogue (bass), Jim Viner (drums) and Matt Jesson (keyboards) showcased some of their best songs with road-refined musicianship! Listen here for the complete performance, including a song that only the studio audience got to hear!
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fliers for yard-cleaning services that know a big job when they see one are a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on ways to drop musical knowledge without seeming obnoxious.
Every once in a while, folk music pokes its way out of obscurity and gets noticed by a wider public. Filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen shone a spotlight on music of the American south in their 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou, and they’ve done it again with this year’s Inside Llewyn Davis. The movie is a fictionalized account of the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s, when baby boomers discovered traditional music, and the oxymoronic concept of the “professional folk singer” took root.
The War On Drugs formed in Philadelphia in 2005, with founding members Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile. Vile left for a solo career following the release of The War On Drugs' debut album in 2008, and the band has included a few other members over the years, with songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Granduciel the only constant. The new record, Lost In The Dream, is the third full-length release for The War On Drugs, furthering the band's appealing blend of indie-rock and classic rock.
April 1st kicks off the 2014 Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City welcoming both national and regional artists to the area. Launched in the spring of 2006, music is just one aspect of Mission Creek. Film showcases, local food tasting, stand-up, and literary events have also been incorporated into the festival in recent years. New for 2014, is the Tech + Innovation Conference (April 4-5). Over the course of six days you can check out a wide variety of artists from Phillip Glass to !!! (pronounced chk chk chk), and from Laurie Anderson to Hannibal Buress.
The latest releases from Robert Cray, Nick Moss, and Cathy Lemons; some Iowa blues from Rush Cleveland and Catfish Keith; exclusive IPR recordings of harp player R J Mischo and some Blues On Vinyl by Bo Diddley
WILLIAM CLARKE-BLOWIN' THE FAMILY JEWELS (EXCERPT)
Black Lips formed in 1999 in Dunwoody, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, while founding members Cole Alexander (guitar) and Jared Swilley (bass) were still in high school. Drummer Joe Bradley joined a few months later, and lead guitarist Ian Saint Pe' joined in 2004. After releasing records for other labels, Black Lips signed with Vice Records in 2007, releasing their new Underneath The Rainbow on that label.
In anticipation of the April 1 release of their new record Tomboys On Parade, the Waterloo-based band TWINS joined me for an exuberant March 27 in-studio performance on Studio One. The band (lead vocalists/guitarists Joel and Harper Sires, drummer/vocalist Luke Sires and bassist/vocalist Devin Ferguson) were in fine form, playing Tomboys On Parade songs and more, including an encore that was not part of the live broadcast, but was heard by the studio audience. Here is their set, complete with encore and my conversation with TWINS.
The Iowa band John June Year stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a high energy in-studio performance on March 25. Their music has been described as filling the gap between British guitar rock, the raw and artsy sounds of the Velvet Underground, the early 2000's garage rock revival of bands like the Strokes, and contemporary torch-bearers such as the Arctic Monkeys. You'll hear those influences in this live set, plus a Monkees cover included among their original songs!
John June Year, from Clinton, Iowa (and currently residing in Cedar Falls) join me for a live in-studio set on Tuesday, March 25, beginning around 7:15 pm. John June Year fills the gap between British guitar rock, the raw and artsy sounds of the Velvet Underground, the early 2000's garage rock revival of bands like the Strokes, and contemporary indie rock torch-bearers such as the Arctic Monkeys. The free show will be on the third floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.
Spring is here, and if you didn’t get to head down to the South by Southwest festivities in Austin, no worries! We got you covered on IPR’s Studio One; and complied a list of some of the hottest upcoming artists on the scene, as well as the spring releases we are looking forward to.
Brooklyn duo, Denitia and Sene have created a buzz with their blend of electronic pop and soul. As one of groups to watch out for at this year’s SXSW, here is a track off their 2013 debut His and Hers.
The Waterloo, Iowa band Twins are about to release the follow-up to their 2012 album, Funny Faces. The new record, Tomboys On Parade, was self-produced by the band at Jealous Dog Studios in Cedar Falls, with Al Eacret engineering the recording sessions. Eacret mixed the album along with Twins lead vocalist and guitarist, Joel Sires. The line-up of Twins also includes Luke Sires on drums, Harper Sires on guitar and Devin Ferguson on bass.
Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, began her career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree. She formed her own band in 2006, and released her debut album the following year. After a couple more full-length records, she collaborated with David Byrne on Love This Giant. Byrne and St. Vincent toured together, wowing the crowd at last year's 80/35 Festival with a tight and celebratory show. The new album, St. Vincent, showcases the next steps in Clark's musical evolution, with smart, accessible songwriting and ear-pleasing innovative songs.
We will hear all 5 nominees for the Blues Music Award for Blues Album of the Year plus new releases by Damon Fowler and John Nemeth and exclusive IPR recordings of Iowa City's Kevin Burt & The Instigators at the 2012 Bluesmore celebration in Cedar Rapids.
WILLIAM CLARKE-BLOWIN' THE FAMILY JEWELS (EXCERPT)
BEN HARPER & CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE - GET UP
SUGAR RAY NORCIA (AMONG OTHERS) - UP THE LINE
LURRIE BELL - GOING AWAY BABY
BUDDY GUY - I CAME UP HARD
JAMES COTTON WITH DELBERT MCCLINTON - HARD SOMETIMES