The Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival is quickly becoming an early summer tradition in the Lehigh Valley. The annual summer event returned to Allentown last weekend marking the sixth appearance of the festival which debuted in 2008. Vendors lined the 800 block of Hamilton Street while eight bands played throughout the day on Saturday including WDIY favorites the B.C. Combo and the Alexis P. Suter Band.
Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Jo Lawry, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer are three of the backup singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.
"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."
Now to another topic in tech. Today, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference launched in San Francisco. The company made a slew of announcements: new MacBooks, a new operating system, and the most anticipated announcement - Apple's entry into the streaming music market with iTunes Radio. But as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, many analysts are underwhelmed.
Last Good Tooth shares a hometown — Providence, R.I. — with The Low Anthem, and the two bands have both shown a penchant for experimenting with fiddles and Appalachian music.
Led by songwriter Penn Sultan, the son of sculptor Donald Sultan, Last Good Tooth crafts free-wheeling songs, marked by delightful extended breaks and smart lyrics. The group recently relocated to New York City, and its new album (Not Without Work and Rest) is out now on Conor Oberst's Team Love Records.
When some members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were stuck on the tarmac last week for three hours waiting to fly from Beijing to Macao, they decided to give an impromptu performance for their fellow passengers. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more.
Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell outside their home in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
A match made in ink heaven: Jason Isbell has the lines from Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather" on his arm, while his wife, singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, has lines from Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on hers.
There are a few things worth knowing about singer-songwriter Jason Isbell: The round softness of his speech comes from his roots in rural Alabama. He has lyrics from a Bob Dylan song inked on his forearm.
The first thing you might notice about this video is the change in surroundings: NPR recently moved to a new building, and though we worked to make the Tiny Desk as visually similar as possible to the old space — a process we recently documented with the help of OK Go — the ceilings are higher, the square footage more generous and the surfaces lavishly unsullied.