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ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.

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Music

Perfect Harmony: An Interview with Legendary Vocal Group the Waters

From Phil Spector's Wall of Sound to 20 Feet from Stardom, Julia, Maxine, Luther, and Oren Waters reflect on their six-decade career, including historic sessions with Herbie Hancock, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, and countless other music legends.

Music

Tami Neilson Examines Parenthood and  Feminism via "Queenie, Queenie" (premiere + interview)

Rockabilly queen Tami Neilson gets back to basics on her new LP, as she moves between country, gospel, and R&B. She also looks back on meeting one of the artists who shaped her life, Mavis Staples. "She radiates joy," says the singer.

Music

How the Staple Singers Became the Soul of Protest Music

The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.

Music

Kanye West's New Sunday Service Choir Sings... A Lot

Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir create a debut, Jesus Is Born, that's powerful and, at times, repetitive.

Music

British Soul/Blues Artist Izo Fitzroy Asks for "Blind Faith" (premiere)

British soul, blues, and gospel singer-songwriter, Izo Fitzroy debuts her latest single, "Blind Faith", inspired by both Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway.

Music

The Reason for the Season: A Christmas Chat with Dionne Warwick

Following the release of her latest album She's Back, the legendary Dionne Warwick delivers another musical gift with Dionne Warwick & the Voices of Christmas.

Music

Elizabeth King and the Gospel Souls Rejoice with 'The D-Vine Spirituals Recordings'

This archival gospel soul release never flags, as Elizabeth King fulfills a true calling.

Music

The Sensational Barnes Brothers Build a Legacy with 'Nobody's Fault But My Own'

With their gospel soul, the Sensational Barnes Brothers kick off a new label with an old sound, providing good news for everyone.

Music

Billy Vera Documents a Legendary Label With 'Rip It Up: The Specialty Records Story'

Grammy-winner Billy Vera spent years working in the Speciality Records vaults and remains close to label founder Art Rupe. "Specialty is right up there with Atlantic, Chess, and Sun in terms of being important." Enjoy an interview with the author and an exclusive book excerpt.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Harlem Gospel Travelers Preach the Good News on 'He's on Time'

While fans of a certain high-profile star are patiently awaiting his much-delayed gospel album, the Harlem Gospel Travelers have arrived just in time with He's on Time.

Music

Stand and Sway Take It "One Day at a Time" (premiere)

Stand and Sway mesh folk with gospel on their blazing cover of Sarah Siskind's "One Day at a Time".

Music

The Commonheart Share a Soulful Message of Love and Positivity on 'Pressure' (album stream + interview)

Pittsburgh soul octet, the Commonheart aim to spread lots of love and positivity on their new album Pressure. Hear the album now before it's release on Friday.

Music

Marc Cohn and Blind Boys of Alabama Have "Work to Do" (album stream) (premiere)

Marc Cohn's appreciation of gospel has never been a secret, but his pairing with Blind Boys of Alabama offers a chance to more deeply examine that connection in his songs and songs from an older tradition.

Music

Rewards of a Lifetime: An Interview with Dionne Warwick

With her new album 'She's Back' plus a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, Dionne Warwick remains a regal force among music legends.

Music

Rhiannon Giddens Understands That 'there is no Other'

MacArthur genius grant winner Rhiannon Giddens' new album, there is no Other, invites us to do more than share our misery. It asks us to see ourselves as part of something bigger.

Music

Various Artists: Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Not just for those who've been to Jazz Fest, this collection offers a distillation of the diverse, whimsical, resolute, occasionally profane, and always heartfelt spirit of New Orleans.

Music

New Box Set Gives a Definitive Overview of Chicago's Bea & Baby Records (premiere)

A new definitive set unveils rare sides from Chicago's Bea & Baby Records, ranging from blues to gospel and hip-hop. Hear songs from Andre Williams and Sleepy John Estes with Hammie Nixon.

Music

Mavis Staples Reminds Us That 'We Get By'

Mavis Staples has witnessed the great transformations that have been made in terms of race relations in American life. But she is not satisfied on We Get By.

Music

Mississippi to MoWest: An Interview with Grammy-Winning Legend Thelma Houston

On the eve of premiering her new single "ISLY (I Still Love You)", soul legend Thelma Houston revisits her landmark debut for Motown's boutique label, MoWest.

Music

Luisa Lopez Stands Against Police Brutality in "Nothing Left" (premiere)

Inspired by the thousands of black men who have suffered at the hands of police brutality, Luisa Lopez shares her powerful new single "Nothing Left".

Music

Smithsonian Folkways Presents 'The Social Power of Music'

Curated by Smithsonian Folkways, The Social Power of Music is a dynamic and rich exploration of music's ability to connect and disrupt political, social, and cultural impasses.

Music

Soweto Gospel Choir Pay Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Soweto Gospel Choir show how South Africans took gospel music and made it their own on Freedom.

Music

Sean McConnell Summons Literary and Musical Traditions with "Rest My Head" (premiere)

Sean McConnell's new album, Secondhand Smoke, arrives 8 February. "Rest My Head" is an Americana epic told in under four minutes with McConnell asserting his formidable talents.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Jazz Today: Take 6 at 30—Still in Sweet Harmony

Thirty years after their Grammy-winning debut, and now with their recent release, Iconic, it's clear that Take 6 remain "the baddest vocal cats on the planet".

Music

Aretha Franklin: The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970

Aretha Franklin's The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970 documents how the Queen of Soul earned her crown.

Music

Aretha Franklin: Observations from the Court of the Queen

Aretha Franklin rose to her regal status in spite of record labels' mishandling her art.

Music

The First Record: Aretha's Gold

The concept album that is Aretha's Gold follows the chronology of Aretha Franklin's hits, all released in 1967 and 1968, apex years of the decade not just in terms of numbers but also as an apogee of its cultural and political zeitgeist.

Music

10 Aretha Franklin Performances That Bridged the Gap Between Legendary and Unforgettable

A brief survey of songs from a six-year period (1968-1974) of Aretha Franklin's 61-year recording career shows there were many more levels to this singer/pianist/activist/songwriter than justifiable claim to original Queen of Soul Divahood.

Music

Ry Cooder Seeks Comfort in Gospel Music on 'The Prodigal Son'

Ry Cooder's first album in six years exchanges pointed political commentary for spiritual songs of comfort and consolation.

Music

Tom Waits: Preacher on a Pale Horse

A guide to nine songs for the faithful, the faithless, and the searchers.

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Ready for Her Cue: An Interview with Soul Legend Valerie Simpson

With dazzle, flair, and "all that jazz", Songwriters Hall of Fame legend Valerie Simpson makes her Broadway debut as Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago: The Musical.

Reviews

Snoop Dogg Gets on with God Love 'Bible of Love'

Snoop Dogg's foray into gospel is way better than anyone could've guessed.

Music

Doc Watson's 'Live at Club 47' Is a Welcome Addition to His Legacy

Live at Club 47 documents a time when musicians such as Doc Watson would claim authenticity through playing acoustic instruments and singing story songs about a simpler time.

Music

Bob Dylan: Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

Music

Various Artists: Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965)

This stellar anthology offers a spiritual journey into not just the soul but the very heart of rock 'n' roll's origins.

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