- Thursday,March 24,2022
Composer Steve Reich is on the Song Exploder podcast to talk with host Hrishikesh Hirway about the first movement of his groundbreaking 1988 piece Different Trains and the childhood experiences that inspired it. The New York Times declared the piece, which Kronos Quartet performed on the Grammy Award–winning first recording, “a work of such originality that ‘breakthrough’ seems the only possible description.” You can hear what he had to say here.Thursday,March 24,2022
Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal have released their take on Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's "Pick a Bale of Cotton," from their upcoming album, GET ON BOARD: THE SONGS OF SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE, out April 22. You can watch a video of them performing the song here. Nearly sixty years after they first played together, the longtime friends and collaborators reunite with the album of music from two Piedmont blues masters who have inspired them all their lives. With Taj Mahal on vocals, harmonica, guitar, and piano and Cooder on vocals, guitar, mandolin, and banjo—joined by Joachim Cooder on drums and bass—the duo recorded eleven songs drawn from recordings and live performances by Terry and McGhee, whom they both first heard as teenagers in California.Monday,March 21,2022
Pianist Jeremy Denk is the guest on the latest episode of NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross to talk about his music-making and his new book, Every Good Boy Does Fine, which comes out Tuesday on Random House. They listen to and discuss several tracks from Denk’s 2019 Nonesuch album, c. 1300–c. 2000, which presents the centuries-long evolution of musical expression drawn in a single arc by the music of twenty-four different composers. You can hear their conversation here.Monday,March 21,2022
Punch Brothers are on the latest episode of NPR’s World Cafe. Chris Thile and “Critter” Eldridge talk with host Raina Douris about Punch Brothers’ new album, Hell on Church Street, a reimagining of, and homage to, the landmark solo album Church Street Blues by the late bluegrass great Tony Rice, whom Thile calls “a beacon of creative energy in the roots community.” The band also shares live performances of four album tracks: Norman Blake’s “Church Street Blues” and “Orphan Annie,” the traditional tune “Cattle in the Cane," and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” You can hear it all here.Sunday,March 20,2022
Jeremy Denk was on CBS Sunday Morning to discuss his new book, Every Good Boy Does Fine, out this Tuesday on Random House. The book is "a performer's love song to the craft of the thing piano students usually hate: practice," says correspondent John Dickerson. You can watch their conversation here. Denk tells the New York Times: "I enjoy art that antagonizes you, and then, slowly, in an emotional striptease, reveals a gooey, loving center." Also on CBS Sunday Morning was Mandy Patinkin, to discuss Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George.Saturday,March 19,2022
Punch Brothers were on CBS Saturday Morning to perform a Saturday Sessions set of three songs from their new album, Hell on Church Street: Jimmie Rodgers’ “Any Old Time,” the traditional tune “Cattle in the Cane,” and Norman Blake’s “Church Street Blues.” You can watch all three performances here.Friday,March 18,2022
Brad Mehldau’s new album, Jacob’s Ladder, is out now on CD and digital; the vinyl is due June 17. The album features new music that reflects on scripture and the search for God through music inspired by the prog rock he loved as a young adolescent—his gateway to the fusion that eventually led to his discovery of jazz. Featured musicians on the album include label mates Chris Thile and Cécile McLorin Salvant, as well as Mark Guiliana, Becca Stevens, Joel Frahm, and others. Mojo calls it "a kaleidoscopic affair, where baroque prog-rock edifices are juxtaposed with clouds of ethereal choirs, dreamy piano interludes, and squalls of free jazz-style clarinet. Skillfully weaving these elements into storytelling sound collages, Mehldau takes the listener on a memorable musical journey."Friday,March 18,2022
The Staves have released their take on Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting," from her landmark 1985 album, Hounds of Love, and a digital EP featuring that and the five tracks in their Be Kind series of stripped down, alternative versions of songs from their 2021 album, Good Woman. The Be Kind EP includes "Cloudbusting," "Devotion," "Careful, Kid," "Failure," "Best Friend," and "Good Woman."Thursday,March 17,2022
Molly Tuttle’s new song, “Big Backyard,” featuring special guests Old Crow Medicine Show alongside her new bluegrass collective, Golden Highway, is out now. It's the fourth track from her upcoming Nonesuch debut album, Crooked Tree. "I wish that Woody Guthrie were still around," Tuttle says. "I’d love to hear the songs he would write about the crazy world we’re living in today. But since he’s not, Ketch Secor and I wrote the best Woody Guthrie song we could think of. Old Crow Medicine Show joined in on the chorus and made it shine. We’re all one family in the big backyard, it ain’t mine it ain’t yours it’s all of ours!"Journal Topics: Artist NewsThursday,March 17,2022
Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra) begins a headline tour of the US and Canada featuring songs from their Nonesuch debut album, LIFE ON EARTH, this weekend. The month-long, 20-city tour starts in Atlanta on Saturday, with shows in Austin, Los Angeles, Pioneertown, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus, Toronto, Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, DC, Durham, and Nashville. After performing at New Orleans Jazz Fest and We Are One Festival, Hurray for the Riff Raff heads to Europe and the UK to tour this summer.Tuesday,March 15,2022Guitarist/Composer Mary Halvorson Makes Nonesuch Debut with Two Albums of New Compositions, 'Amaryllis' and 'Belladonna,' Due May 13
Brooklyn-based guitarist, composer, and MacArthur fellow Mary Halvorson makes her Nonesuch debut with two albums, Amaryllis and Belladonna, due May 13. The two suites, which Halvorson describes as “modular and interlocking,” come in a two-LP vinyl set or as two separate CDs and digital albums, produced and mixed by John Dieterich. Amaryllis is a six-song suite performed by a newly formed sextet of master improvisers; the Mivos string quartet joins for three of the songs, making this the largest ensemble for which Halvorson has written to date. Belladonna is a set of five compositions written for Halvorson on guitar plus the Mivos Quartet, whose parts are through-composed and augmented by Halvorson’s guitar improvisations. You can watch a video for the Amaryllis track "Night Shift" here.Monday,March 14,2022
David Byrne is on the Talk Easy podcast hosted by Sam Fragoso. They discuss his show American Utopia, which marks its last few weeks on Broadway and which Fragoso calls “dazzling … remarkable,” the celebratory nature of performing the show for audiences as people have begun to congregate again, and much more. You can hear it here.
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