Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Sam Amidon makes his Nonesuch Records debut with today's release of his new album, Bright Sunny South. The album receives four stars from the Guardian, Mojo, Q, Blurt, and musicOMH, which notes "his wonderfully rich, expressive voice." Drowned in Sound calls it his "most emotionally and tonally complex LP to date ... Amidon has taken a huge step forward as a folk artist, creating arrangements which preserve his musicianship, while deepening the maturity of his interpretive skills." Scripps Howard Newsire says the "transcendent" opening track "sets the tone."
Monday, May 13, 2013
Audra McDonald's Lincoln Center Gala Concert "Absolutely Thrilling," Raves New York Times; Airs May 24 on PBS
Audra McDonald, whose first solo album in seven years, Go Back Home, is due May 21, performed songs from the album and more at Lincoln Center's spring gala last week. The concert will be telecast on PBS presented by Live From Lincoln Center on May 24. "Absolutely thrilling," raves the New York Times' Stephen Holden. "The very sound of the word 'thrilling,' with its suggestion of an embedded trill, evokes qualities inherent in Ms. McDonald’s soprano, which seemed to unfurl in ever-richer textures as she imbued songs with a sense of bursting possibility ... A defining voice of our time."
Friday, April 26, 2013
Bombino's "Full-Tilt" London Show Earns Four-Stars in the Guardian; Nomad "A Bone-Shaker of a New Album," Says Independent
Bombino brought his European tour, featuring music of his new album, Nomad, to London's Village Underground last night, where the crowd cheered the Tuareg guitarist "as if he were a rock star," reports the Guardian in a four-star review. Bombino's "performance from the start was energetic and full-tilt ... He was clearly enjoying himself, and his enthusiasm was contagious." The Independent, previewing the concert, describes Bombino as "brilliant" and Nomad as "a bone-shaker of a new album." The tour continues in Europe then heads to the States in late May for headline dates, festival sets, and opening spots with Amadou & Mariam, Gogol Bordello and Robert Plant.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with today's North American release of Ghost on Ghost. The AP calls it "a wonderfully produced and assembled record, propelled with joyous momentum even on tracks with darker lyrics." The NY Daily News gives it four stars, citing its "gorgeous and glowing melodies," as does American Songwriter, which says the songs "sound absolutely sublime." In the UK, where the album is out on 4AD, Uncut also calls it "sublime ... a work of immense beauty and scale." Ghost on Ghost earns five stars from the Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, and Daily Telegraph and four stars from Mojo, Independent, Observer, Guardian, and Metro, which calls it "a brilliantly written collection and an album of the year."
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Bombino's "Nomad" Debuts at #1 on Billboard World Music Chart, "Introduces a New Guitar Hero" (Rolling Stone, Four Stars)
Bombino's Nonesuch Records debut album, Nomad, has earned the top spot on the Billboard World Music album chart, landing at #1 in its first week of release. The album, produced by Dan Auerbach, has earned four stars in Rolling Stone. “Bombino’s style is raw, spacious, tuneful, deeply hypnotic and remarkably fluid—even when he’s shooting rapid-fire notes, the effect is like ripples gently unfurling in a pond," writes Rolling Stone's Will Hermes. “A perfect match of sound and soul, the set introduces a new guitar hero, and confirms Auerbach’s arrival as a roots-music producer to be reckoned with.”
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau Make a "Perfectly Natural" Pair, Create "An Exhilarating Rush" on Tour, Says NY Times
Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau kicked off a nine-city US duo tour with a sold-out performance at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom last night. "Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same species, and whatever feels unlikely about their pairing is eclipsed by what feels perfectly natural," writes the New York Times' Nate Chinen. "At every turn, whatever the song, both musicians played with alert intelligence and deep sensitivity, only rarely entering competitive airspace," which then brought "an exhilarating rush." The tour continues with stops in Durham, College Park, Great Barrington, Boston, Knoxville, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Austin.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Rokia Traoré's "Beautiful Africa" Released in Europe, Earns Five Stars in Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times
Rokia Traoré’s new album, Beautiful Africa, following last week's release in France, is out this week in the UK, the rest of Europe, and Canada, with the US release to follow at a later date. The album has been met with great critical acclaim, earning perfect five-star reviews from the Guardian, which calls her "Africa's most inventive singer-songwriter," Observer, Daily Telegraph, and Financial Times. Uncut calls it "a career highpoint." Traoré recorded an intimate version of the album track "Ka Moun Kè" in the halls of le Trianon in Paris; watch it here, where you can also watch her recent appearance on Radio France's Vinyl Radio.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Nomad, Bombino's Dan Auerbach-produced Nonesuch debut album released to critical acclaim earlier this week, has received a rave review from the Los Angeles Times. "Bombino and his band have released a killer document not only for fans of North African guitar music," writes Times critic Randall Roberts; "anyone who has ever appreciated a master player make magic on a Fender ... will find comfort in Bombino’s music." On Nomad, "simple wonders are celebrated with meandering joy."
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Bombino's new album, Nomad, was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, which calls it "a landmark in African rock music." Reviewer Banning Eyre says producer Dan Auerbach "has done nothing to dilute Bombino's folksy, organic songs. Instead, he's given them sonic heft rarely heard on African guitar recordings and added a few tasteful Nashville touches, like lap steel guitar." Eyre concludes: "This is a seductive, friendly album. It doesn't pander with gimmicks or English lyrics, but it manages to bring a distant, Islamic culture unexpectedly close through the universal language of rock and roll."
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell were guests on today's episode of NPR's Fresh Air, talking with host Terry Gross about their long friendship and their new album, Old Yellow Moon. "Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell are such good solo singers," says Gross, "it's wonderful to hear them together, duetting on the new album Old Yellow Moon." Reviewing last night's show at the Beacon Theatre, the New York Times says they "reminisced, harmonized, sketched their kind of country canon and extended it to reflect on the present." Harris and Crowell "reclaimed the close harmonies they had in the 1970s, and their band was impeccable."