This week, bluegrass legend and musical innovator, Earl Scruggs passed away in Nashville at the age of 88.
Scruggs revolutionized string bands and bluegrass music by developing the three-finger banjo picking style and launching the instrument past its traditional use in comedy acts into a prominent musical role. Growing up in the infamous Piedmont region of North Carolina, he supposed started playing banjo at age four and started working on his signature three-finger rolls by age 10.
This coming Saint Patrick's Day, some may be celebrating the chasing of snakes out of Ireland or simply Irish heritage with some lively fiddle music and colcannon, but if, like many, you're just looking for a big party, head to the Ogden to see New Orleans funk band Galactic.
When I saw Galactic live, I had never heard of them before, and tagged along at the end of an already full day thinking it would be a nice, relaxing evening of New Orleans jazz. I mistakenly thought the opening band was Galactic. Then the real deal came out and the Fillmore filled up to the brim. Sandwiched tightly in the crush of the wild crowd right in front of the stage, I soon learned that Galactic shows are nothing to fool around with.
From old jazz classics to modern marvels of musical fusion, the upright bass enriches the sound that reaches your ears. Bass makes up part of the backbone of an ensemble, along with the drums, but it's capable of so much more as a solo instrument. I love music in which the upright bass, with its unique and velvety resonance, pops out and takes center stage.
The story starts with the classics. Charles Mingus (1922-1979), the old school king of walking bass, played upbeat, funky jazz grooves at a pace that could only have been achieved by a master. His music can still make the drive home in heavy traffic somehow enjoyable, as if those busily bustling rhythms somehow match life in the big city and make it better.
There’s a new radio station in town, commercial-free and it came in without much fanfare. New since Oct. 31 and part of the Colorado Public Radio (CPR) family, it’s called OpenAir on 1340 AM.
The focus for this new station is new Indie Rock. In the email I received recently CPR said: “Explore new music and new possibilities on OpenAir.” They go on to say that “OpenAir will provide a comprehensive music experience focusing on new and recent music of the past 15 years with a Colorado perspective.”
It's pronounced "Subtract" but this Batman of the UK dance scene is making additions to his resume this year...
Up until now, DJs and beat lovers mostly knew this south London producer for some high-profile remixes of the likes of M.I.A., Basement Jaxx and Underworld, but this year the man behind the mask drops his full-length self-titled album "SBTRKT", and it is a smooth journey across genres which definitely brings him into the spotlight.
It's List Season! Best-of lists are popping up everywhere, and music lists are my favorite of the best-of lists. Here are some lists and their top choices of 2011. Several of the lists below have Bon Iver and Adele in their top three, but there is some variety in the picks.
This Sunday offers an opportunity to forego football on TV and enjoy live music by Golden's celebrated Jefferson Symphony Orchestra.
For almost 60 seasons, these volunteer performers have practiced long hours to produce a professional quality musical experience for audiences in Jefferson County. Most have regular jobs and are motivated by love and appreciation of great music and the opportunity to share it with the community. The JSO also supports young musicians with its "Young Artist Competition" by recognizing and rewarding contestants both local and from around the world.
Known for their eclectic sound, energetic live performances, retro fashion sense - and huge bouffant hairdos! - the B-52s were popular on college radio and the live music scene of the early '80s.
After playing their first show at a house party in Athens, Georgia on Valentine's Day 1977, they moved to New York, headlining at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. Introduced to a national audience after appearing on Saturday Night Live in 1980, they released several successful albums and had a couple of hits - Rock Lobster and Private Idaho.
If you were knocked out by the Sucker Punch soundtrack like I was you might want to further explore the work of Emiliana Torrini.
Born in Iceland of Icelandic and Italian parents Torrini has been a collaborator in the dance music scene for some years now. Working with the likes of Kylie Minogue and Paul Oakenfold, she lends her stylish sense and her fairy tale vocals to their works. Her own albums are a departure from the dance music scene and are reminiscent of a funky Tori Amos, or perhaps Regina Spektor.
From her sweet, sad and tender "Today has been OK" to the upbeat "Jungle Drum" her songs run the gamut.
Some say music calms the nerves. Sometimes you just need something soothing and inspirational or maybe something jazzy, or a little bit of Rhythm and Blues, and at times you just want to hear the powerful, vibrant voices of gospel's greatest.
Have you been in the mood for an inspirational song? Maybe you're going through a difficult time and just need a pick-me-up, something soulful and uplifting.
Hearing Aretha sing "Oh Mary don't you weep" will send chills down your spine. Aretha sings it with such passion and feeling it's like you're jolted back into time, standing in between the pews clapping your hands and stomping your feet.