Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:38 am
David Wax Museum fuses traditional Mexican and American folk music into what the band calls "Mexo-Americana" — a style that's lively and unique. David Wax and Suz Slezak, the band's core members, met in Boston in 2007. After spending summers working with Quakers in rural Mexico, Wax spent a graduate fellowship year studying the local music of Mexico.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:01 am
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent was born the youngest child of a large Pentecostal family in rural Arkansas, and later moved to Southern California. DeMent grew up listening to traditional country and gospel music, which influenced her roots-folk sound, though she was 25 when she wrote her first song. It would take another five years for her to release her first album, Infamous Angel.
Hear two new tracks from The Lighthouse and the Whaler
The Lighthouse and the Whaler is a band based in Cleveland, Ohio, though its name actually references the waters off the coast of Massachusetts. Originally, Michael LoPresti and Aaron Smith were its only members, and the very first song they wrote together, "The Field Song," ended up picked for a Paste sampler CD.
Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:03 pm
It took a while, but the London folk-rock band Mumford & Sons broke big with its 2009 debut album, Sigh No More. The album combines the raspy vocals of singer Marcus Mumford with lush harmonies and rootsy instrumentation on tracks that range from soothing to rocking.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:48 pm
San Antonio's Hacienda is a family band featuring brothers Abraham, Jaime and Rene Villanueva, as well as their cousin Dante Schwebel. The Tex-Mex rockers had just started the band and recorded their first demo when they had an encounter that would change the course of their careers. In 2005, they met Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys; after listening to their demo, Auerbach took them under his wing.
The Australian folk-rock band Husky takes its name from frontman and chief songwriter Husky Gawenda, whose croon soars over the group's artfully crafted instrumentals. Husky is the first Aussie band signed to Sub Pop Records — and, with its lush harmonies and thoughtfully crafted lyrics, it fits right in with its labelmates and indie-folk contemporaries in Fleet Foxes.
Lightning Love is an indie-pop trio from Ypsilanti, Mich. The band is led by quirky pop singer Leah Diehl, who originally started Lightning Love as a solo project, recording demos in her basement. As she gained attention online, Diehl was asked to play some shows in the Midwest, so to round out her live sound, Diehl teamed up with her friend Ben Collins and her brother Aaron Diehl, who play guitar and drums, respectively.
In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Carlos Alfonso, one of the vocalists and principal songwriters of the Cuban progressive-rock band Síntesis, talks with host David Dye about the relationships connecting Cuban music, Yoruba music from Nigeria and Arara music out of Benin.