Elephant Micah, a.k.a. Joseph O'Connell, has been quietly releasing folk music out of Bloomington, Ind., for more than 10 years. The latest, Louder Than Thou (available as a "pay what you want" download on his website), offers a refined throwback to '70s folk-rock, laced with modern, dark Americana.
When Baron Toots Thielemans, the Belgian harmonica legend, guested on Gregoire Maret's self-titled debut, the sense was that Maret himself had been knighted. He'd already proven himself worthy on recordings with Pat Metheny and Jacky Terrasson, but until recently, the 37-year-old didn't have his own singular statement to drive the point home.
The Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda was born in Bogotá, and began playing at 13. A few years later, in the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, where he studied jazz trumpet. Then he returned to the harp with a new perspective and set of skills.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:47 pm
Dress shirts inspired by NASA technology, gourmet pepper mixes and ... a new recording and study guide for Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time? That's just a tiny sample of Kickstarter's current array of "creative projects" seeking funding. Forget writing endless grant applications and long dinners with angel investors, the thinking goes — just tap into your social networks to raise money instead.
It's easy to romanticize the Sahara — a vast expanse of sand organized around the northern reaches of the Niger River. Part of that romance is captured in the music of singer and guitarist Sidi Touré, who composes songs in the folkloric tradition of the Songhaï people.
His new album of desert chamber music, Koïma, harkens back to the glory days of the Songhaï Empire, which ruled much of the region from the city of Gao in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Joan Osborne makes her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Osborne's performance was the final date on the first leg of her 2012 tour in support of her latest album, Bring It on Home. With a career that's inching toward the two-decade mark, Osborne has found success across genres, earning accolades as a singer-songwriter, pop hitmaker and rootsy, bluesy soul singer.
Daniel Johnston is a troubled soul with a talent for writing honest, disarmingly direct songs. Kurt Cobain famously wore a T-shirt with the title of a Johnston cassette on it, while Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips ranks among his many musical admirers. M.