Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:50 pm
Few bands would categorize their sound as "mountaintop chamber music," yet The Last Bison's classical-influenced Southern folk-rock actually fits the bill. The septet emerged from the marshes of Chesapeake, Va., a couple years ago, and has since made a name for itself with its complex arrangements, refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Singer-guitarist Ben Hardesty is the group's primary songwriter, and his style recalls the work of Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes.
Southern Louisiana in the early 1960s was a hotbed of musical creativity among youngsters who'd been raised listening to French-language country music and Fats Domino. They combined those — and other — influences to make what's now called "swamp pop." Joe Barry was a pioneer in this area who should have been much bigger.
Even before Alt-J's An Awesome Wave took home this year's Mercury Prize (which honors a panel's choice for the best record to emerge from the U.K. each year), there had been considerable buzz about the band on this side of the Atlantic. By the time the album finally came out here in September — it had been released abroad several months earlier — An Awesome Wave's arrival received the kind of attention few debuts ever see.
On this edition of All Songs Considered we've got a bunch of new-year premieres for you, including a special collaboration between Tom Waits and Keith Richards. The two veteran musicians recorded a song together for a new compilation album called Son Of Rogue's Gallery, and we guarantee it's not at all what you'd expect. Do the word's "sea chantey" mean anything to you?
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 10:54 am
Kail Baxley is a young blues singer who grew up in the same South Carolina town as James Brown. Over the course of his childhood, he met the Godfather of Soul several times, and it had a profound effect on Baxley's development as a musician.