Multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt has recorded and toured with bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and Beirut since 2006, but he's stepped into his own spotlight since forming the sunny pop band
Brendan Benson has spent the past decade and a half curating a distinct and exciting sound, but his ascent hasn't been a smooth one. His debut album, 1996's One Mississippi, is considered a power-pop classic, but it sold poorly at the time of its release.
Archie Powell has been surrounded by music since he was little: His father was a violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Powell himself picked up the guitar at 11, so songwriting became a natural next step for the music prodigy. He joined up with his band The Exports — brothers Ryan, Adam and RJ Export play keyboards, bass and drums, respectively — soon after college. By 2010, the Chicago-based power-pop band was ready with its first full-length studio album, Skip Work.
Whistling polymath Andrew Bird has become a perennial favorite of folk-pop aficionados and classical fans alike. As a trained violinist and a longtime touring musician, he has a way of expertly melding many genres and influences into his own unique brand of baroque pop. Showcasing his impressive skills with the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals, Bird is a picture of versatility.
Grace Potter has been captivating audiences with her musical prowess for nearly a decade. Her talents are split between her impressive multi-instrumentalism, her impassioned singing and her energetic stage presence. Potter's band, The Nocturnals, forned after bandmate Matt Burr heard her play folk songs at a student-run venue. Coming out of Vermont with the 2005 debut Nothing But the Water, the band released the album independently before signing with Hollywood Records for a re-release.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of singer-songwriter Dave Carter from a sudden heart attack induced. He and Tracy Grammer, his partner in both music and life, were the fresh new act in folk at the time, having joined forces in 1996. In accordance with Carter's wishes, Grammer has continued to perform their songs even into her blossoming solo career, which so far includes three studio albums.
Originally from Sweden, Anders Osborne left his home in Uddevalla at 16 to hitchhike through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Eventually finding his way to the U.S., the singer-songwriter and guitarist settled in New Orleans in 1984. The Crescent City clearly came to inspire Osborne's music, which ranges from muddy backwater blues to upbeat country-rock, and fills in many of the gaps in between.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:54 pm
Folk-pop singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has come a long way since he first started self-releasing lo-fi folk recordings on cassette. Jurado has been making music since the early '90s, and he recently released his 10th studio album, Maraqopa — his second produced by best friend and Secretly Canadian labelmate Richard Swift.
Eme Alfonso hails from a renowned family of Cuban musicians, at whose urging she began studying music at age 7. Alfonso has already been nominated for a Latin Grammy as part of Sintesis, a jazz-fusion and Latin folklore act with whom she's traveled worldwide.