The story of English folk singer Bill Fay is both heartbreaking and inspiring. A gifted songwriter with a profoundly affecting voice, Fay released a couple of albums in the early '70s. But they didn't sell very well, he was dropped by his label and largely disappeared.
Like the music of his good friend Béla Bartók, Scottish composer Erik Chisholm's two piano concertos rely heavily on folk sources. But in Chisholm's case, the influences come from Scotland and India rather than Bartók's beloved Eastern Europe.
Megan Reilly strips away the gloss of modern country music to find an emotional sound rooted in folk and classic pop. Her latest album, The Well, departs significantly from its six-year-old predecessor; supported by an acoustic backbone, her new songs drift into retro territory, with occasional psychedelic guitar riffs and pop melodies that recall love ballads from the '60s.
When the pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a scuba accident in 2008, many fans of his group, the Swedish trio known as E.S.T., wondered if there might be some unreleased experiments lurking in a studio vault. There were. Just out is a disc called 301, which was recorded in 2008 during sessions for the group's final album.
Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 11:01 am
Musical genres always evolve in parallel worlds.
In the 1920s, composers of classical music such as Stravinsky and Copland began incorporating sensibilities of American jazz into their otherwise European musical culture. Various styles of folk music have always been fountainheads of inspiration for "classical" composers, so it was almost inevitable that blues-based music would make its way into the Western concert-music tradition.
In many places across the country, summer officially blasted in this week, which means that musicians who've wintered in dark rehearsal studios — and the street players who've been toiling away in cold and damp subway corridors — can now enjoy playing alfresco.
This summer, Weekend Edition is presenting audio postcards from musicians out-of-doors.
This installment comes from a group of bluegrass players who gather every couple of weeks at Lyon Park in Arlington, Va. They're members of the Capitol Area Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association, or CABOMA.
Cassandra Wilson was once described by Time magazine as "America's best singer." Wilson was born in segregated Mississippi — also the birthplace of the blues — but she's always been on a journey to explore other sounds and influences.