Legendary British folk guitarist and singer Bert Jansch died a little over a year ago. A re-release of a mid-career album Heartbreak — originally recorded back in 1981 — is just out. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR Arts Desk editor Tom Cole about Jansch's life, career and the re-release.
Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:48 pm
Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.
What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.
Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.
Based in Lancaster County, Penn., The Stray Birds is one of the most promising bands on the folk music circuit these days. With three-part harmonies which fall somewhere in the sonic spectrum between Gillian Welch and Crooked Still, their songs are at once resonant and emotional, dreamy and sad.
Missy Mazzoli, a 32-year-old composer from Brooklyn, says she never wanted to write an opera until she read the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss adventurer from the turn of the 20th century. Oddly enough, Mazzoli first learned about Eberhardt while listening to NPR. Years later, she stumbled upon the explorer's journals in a bookstore.