Ahmed Janka Nabay was one of the first musicians to take 500-year-old bubu music outside of his homeland of Sierra Leone, where he'd been a rock star. Nabay was forced to flee the country in the midst of that country's civil war, and eventually wound up in Philadelphia in 2003. Nine years later, Nabay's band has released its first album, En Yay Sah, which blends bubu and electronic dance music.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:06 pm
Country-music singer-songwriter and actor Dwight Yoakam blends several genres on his first album in five years, 3 Pears. Released last month, 3 Pears is full of surprises, jumping from Motown and soul to light pop and no-frills rock 'n' roll. Beck produced two of its tracks, while Kid Rock co-wrote the catchy lead single "Take Hold of My Hand."
In this World Cafe session, Yoakam performs four tracks from 3 Pears and sits down for a lengthy and at times emotional interview with host David Dye.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 2:49 pm
Divine Fits' pedigree jumps out straight away: The band features Spoon's Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown. Daniel and Boeckner met a few years ago when Daniel attended a Handsome Furs concert, and the two have remained friends ever since.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 1:16 pm
Polaris Prize-winning singer-songwriter Patrick Watson makes music the way some directors make film: in three dimensions and with lots of emotion. With the aid of guitarist Simon Angell, percussionist Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein, Watson crafts songs that are experimental in nature, blending cabaret-style pop with classical and indie-rock music.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:18 pm
The 11-member group from Boston known as Debo Band has a sound influenced by the traditional music played in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. This style, labeled "Addis swing," came about amid the cultural freedom of that period, before a military coup put an end to the era. Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, who was born in Sudan and grew up in Texas, founded Debo Band, which released a self-titled album in July.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:41 am
Field Report founder and frontman Chris Porterfield assumed his music career was over after he left the Wisconsin band DeYarmond Edison, which also featured Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and several current members of Megafaun. Following the band's 2006 breakup, Porterfield started writing music for the first time, taking years to hone his skills.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 1:13 pm
Until this week, it had been six years since Beth Orton released an album. In 1993, a chance meeting with Grammy-winning producer William Orbit led to the creation of her debut album, Trailer Park, as well as collaborations throughout the '90s with the likes of The Chemical Brothers. Her music was widely praised and dubbed "folktronica" — a blend of folk and electronic music.