Born to musician parents in a small town near the Texas-Louisiana border, Amy LaVere moved with her family 13 times before she finished high school in Detroit. She maintained her interest in music throughout; one of her first gigs was playing drums for the punk band Last Minute while in her mid-teens. After time spent in Louisiana and Nashville, LaVere settled in Memphis, where she began performing solo and released three solo albums, including 2012's decorated Stranger Me. Her latest, Runaway's Diary, is inspired in part by her experiences as a teenager.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:04 pm
There was a long stretch in country music when there was no bigger star than Garth Brooks. He ruled the country charts throughout the '90s, filled stadiums, played 250 to 300 shows a year. In 2001, he called it off. He retired from the road and the studio, and went back home to Oklahoma to be a dad to his three young daughters.
Three decades after her journey into national radio started, host Fiona Ritchie meets up with the man who was her very first interview: Alan Reid, known for his long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.
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British jazz pianist George Shearing was a friend and frequent guest on Piano Jazz. On this special edition of the program from 2001, Shearing joins host Marian McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way.
The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Away In A Manger."
Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:20 pm
Another segment in our new Latin Roots series on the Essentials, the songs you need to know in each genre. We have a pretty good guide for our Latin alternative segment today. It is Josh Norek, who is the co-founder of the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference, and former head of Nacional Records.
He discusses the evolution from the original term "Rock En Espanol" and shows the variety of music under the name alternative.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:52 pm
It has been a prolific year for our guests today, the punk band Parquet Courts. They have released two albums this year: Sunbathing Animal under their own name and Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts. We will talk with two founders of the band, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, and hear performances from the stage of World Cafe Live. We also find out that the new songs are inspired by influences as diverse as Russian history and Louisiana prison songs.