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Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

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Music

Georgia Anne Muldrow's New Jyoti LP 'Mama, You Can Bet!' Is a Revelation

Jyoti's Mama, You Can Bet! is a revelation -- of time, of rhythm, of sound. It takes the free-ranging jazz sensibilities of Georgia Anne Muldrow's previous outings under the Jyoti moniker and gives them a next-level boost.

Music

The Billy Walton Band Rock Out on 'Dark Hour' (album stream)

New Jersey guitar master, Billy Walton returns with an eclectic mix of sounds that demonstrates why he's a favorite in both the blues and jam band worlds. Despite Dark Hour's title, there's more than a little light to go around.

Music

Gregory Porter Creates Another Collection of Soul-Jazz Gems on 'All Rise'

All Rise is another diamond in Gregory Porter's catalog of precious gems. There is studied wisdom, a graceful sagaciousness that accompanies the tracks.

Music

Dianne Davidson Comes 'Full Circle'

A voice from the past re-emerges stronger and better than ever as Dianne Davidson releases Full Circle, her first album since 1988.

Music

Bette Smith Offers Ear-Razing "I'm a Sinner" (premiere +interview)

Soul singer Bette Smith teamed with Matt Patton of Drive-by Truckers for new album, The Good, the Bad and the Bette, that strikes several deeply personal chords. Hear her latest blistering single, "I'm a Sinner".

Music

Soul Legend Bettye LaVette Gets Jazzy on New Covers LP 'Blackbirds'

Bettye LaVette offers jazzy interpretations of past classics on Blackbirds.

Music

Blues Legend Bobby Rush Reinvigorates the Classic "Dust My Broom" (premiere)

Still going strong at 86, blues legend Bobby Rush presents "Dust My Broom" from an upcoming salute to Mississippi blues history, Rawer Than Raw, rendered in his inimitable style.

Music

Soul Blues' Sugaray Rayford Delivers a "Homemade Disaster" (premiere + Q&A)

What was going to be a year of touring and building Sugaray Rayford's fanbase has turned into a year of staying home and reaching out to fans from his Arizona home.

Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Music

Charley Crockett Takes Us to the Movies on 'Welcome to Hard Times'

Charley Crockett's Welcome to Hard Times invokes the same misery and corruption as E.L. Doctorow's Welcome to Hard Times: the world is just a rigged casino where one can never get a break or even hope to break even.

Music

A Look Back at the Troubled Sessions for James Booker's Final Album, 'Classified'

Producer Scott Billington remembers capturing New Orleans piano legend James Booker's final, troubled days as a performer."One night he might wander around the club, staring at the ceiling, or he might get up and imitate Woody Woodpecker."

Music

On Bob Dylan's 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' Everything Old Is New Again, Again

Bob Dylan's first album of original material since 2012, Rough and Rowdy Ways, is a suitably grim, brilliant collection of ten songs for our dark times.

Music

Bob Dylan the European

For all his love of American vernacular music in its many forms, Bob Dylan has a deeply European sensibility.

Music

Bob Dylan Says It All on 'Rough and Rowdy Ways'

Bob Dylan returns as prophet, historian, and joker on his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, an unending puzzle with rich content.

Reviews

Jarrod Dickenson's Country-Soul Wows on 'Ready the Horses'

Jarrod Dickenson's rootsy, broad-ranged Americana draws deeply from tradition while forging all-new sounds on Ready the Horses.

Music

The Ruthie Foster Big Band Swings the Best Live Record of the Year So Far

Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.

Books

Jeff Buckley's Voice Returns

Jeff Buckley's journals, photographs, and memorabilia of the late singer are compiled by his mother, Mary Guibert, and Rolling Stone's David Browne in Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice.

Music

Malian Desert Rockers Tamikrest Advocate for Unity and Diversity on 'Tamotaït'

Tamikrest's Tamotaït adds a welcome lyrical side to their brand of Saharan desert rock. The group advocate for both unity and diversity in wonderfully dulcet tones.

Music

Lucinda Williams Right at Home With Writing Partner for 'Good Souls Better Angels'

Able to write and sing the blues, gospel, folk, rock and alt-country with the same amount of true grit and passion, Lucinda Williams comes out swinging while discussing her explosive new album during these troubled times.

Music

​​​Where Are the Good Souls, the Better Angels?​​ Asks Lucinda Williams

On her new searing album, Good Souls Better Angels, Lucinda Williams rages against the darkness of our era and seeks the strength to get through it.

Music

Rory Block's 'Prove It on Me' Pays Tribute to Women's Blues

The songs on Rory Block's Prove It on Me express the strength of female artists despite their circumstances as second class citizens in both the musical world and larger American society.

Music

Bill Withers and the Curse of the Black Genius

"Lean on Me" singer-songwriter Bill Withers was the voice of morality in an industry without honor. It's amazing he lasted this long.

Music

Pokey LaFarge Hits 'Rock Bottom' on His Way Up

Americana's Pokey LaFarge performs music in front of an audience as a way of conquering his personal demons on Rock Bottom.

Music

'Live at Carnegie Hall' Captures Bill Withers at His Grittiest and Most Introspective

Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall manages to feel both exceptionally funky and like a new level of grown-up pop music for its time.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Music

The 15 Best Tom Waits Songs

From apocalyptic blues boasts to backwoods chant-alongs, here are 15 songs that encapsulate Tom Waits' incredibly varied career.

Books

Blues Everywhere She Goes: Odetta

Ian Zack's biography gives the often-overlooked Odetta a chance to keeping shining that little light of hers.

Music

Counterbalance No. 8: The Rolling Stones - 'Exile on Main St.'

In 1972, the Rolling Stones were holed up in a rickety mansion in the South of France, writing an epic love letter to American music. Counterbalance examines the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St and separates the fever from the funk house—now!

Music

Counterbalance No. 7: Bob Dylan - 'Blonde on Blonde'

Number seven marks the first appearance of a fellow we’ll be seeing a lot of, one Bob Dylan. He’s a poor fool in his prime on the 1966 opus Blonde on Blonde—Counterbalance has a listen.

Music

Son Little Greets the Complexities of Life on 'Aloha'

On Aloha, Son Little ponders the ambivalence of life and love, and decides he could be right. Or he could be wrong. Either way, the music is soulful and comforting.

Music

Music Is All About Limitations: An Interview with Son Little

Son Little finds commonalities across jazz, hip-hop, soul, R&B, and rock. His latest album grew out of a setback, but he created a stronger, simpler, more ruminative set of songs. Here he talks about creativity and obstacles and how they work together.

Events

Hot Tuna Smoke in Return to the Fillmore

Hot Tuna is power trio rock at its finest as sonic sparks fly in the band's astonishing seventh decade of performing at rock's most sacred venue.

Music

29 Black Music Documentaries for Black History Month 2020

For Black History Month 2020, we are showcasing films and videos featuring Black American artists. Enjoy them and learn about the origin of each Black music legend featured.

Music

Robert Cray Bares His Soul on 'That's What I Heard'

Forty years into his career, Robert Cray has been steadily building one of the most consistent catalogs of pure soul and smooth blues with the help of his stinging Stratocaster and a voice that somehow gets even better with age.

Music

The Wood Brothers' 'Kingdom in My Mind' Features Freewheeling Experimentation

Kingdom in My Mind captures the energy of the Wood Brothers' live performances, and it invites listeners to come jam-out, as long as the lyrics aren't carefully scrutinized.

Music

Brother Dege's Profound Roots on Display via "The Early Morn" (premiere)

Americana's Brother Dege teams with Irish dobro man Tom Portman for in-studio performance of "The Early Morn".


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