In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.
Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.
"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."
So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.
Comedian George Carlin liked to say that art doesn't have a finish line. The trio behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County are the embodiment of that idea. Each is a superstar in his chosen field: rock music legend, best-selling novelist, record producer — trades they could have been content to pursue to the grave. Instead, they went and wrote a musical together, 13 years in the making.
First things first: Aoife O'Donovan's first name is pronounced EE-fuh. It's worth knowing how to speak it out loud, because a lot of people are going to talk about O'Donovan's first solo album, Fossils, which comes out Tuesday.
The lead singer of the folk-country band Crooked Still recently performed a special set for NPR affiliate FolkAlley.com, which included the catchiest song on Fossils, "Red & White & Blue & Gold."
Alison Krauss recorded "Lay My Burden Down" a couple of years ago for her No. 1 country album Paper Airplane, but the song was written by Aoife O'Donovan. The singer, best known as the voice of the alt-bluegrass band Crooked Still, is releasing her first solo album this week.
Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:50 pm
Clarinetist and saxophone player Don Byron has a way of homing in on a departed artist's legacy and transforming it with intelligence and adventure. Having already dedicated albums to klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz, the great saxophonist Lester Young circa 1946 and R&B saxophonist Junior Walker, Byron and his latest project take after the legacy of classic gospel music, primarily that of composer Thomas A. Dorsey and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.