Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:43 am
Canadian Danny Michel is a veteran songwriter with a lengthy career: The folk-rock musician, whose voice recalls that of Paul Simon, already has nine albums to his name. But his latest record, Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me, is a little bit different. In 2012, Michel relocated to Belize in order to work with The Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians who carry on soulful traditions surrounding the history of their West African ancestors.
For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.
Earlier this week week we asked you to look ahead 20 years from now, and guess what music from today you'll be the most nostalgic about. There were some great suggestions, including Wilco, Outkast and Sufjan Stevens.
There's nothing restrained about an Alice Russell performance: It's emotionally fiery from the start and just gets hotter and grittier — especially when she's singing "To Dust," the title track from her first new solo album in almost five years.
Singer-songwriters and longtime friends Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin share the stage for a special extended performance. Long regarded as one of country music's best singers and writers, Carpenter emerged via New England's coffeehouse and folk scene rather than the traditional Nashville route. She ended up selling millions of records, many of which have touched on feminist and political themes.