Building on the success of her third album, Tramp,Sharon Van Etten decided that the next direction to take was her own. So Are We There is her first self-produced album, recorded with her stellar band and some assistance from veteran producer Stewart Lerman.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
No one else makes music that sounds like this. Juana Molina takes familiar elements — guitars, drums, keyboards, voice — and manipulates them into bewildering, attractive, polished jewels. Her songs don't fall into beat patterns we're used to, but we can dance to them. The guitar doesn't make sounds you'd expect, but we can relate to them. It's as if she'd been raised by wolves and discovered the world of music on her own.
Mandolin fever swept the United States in the early 20th century, and alas, they didn't have a cure in those days. The lute-like instrument was the rage on college campuses. And mandolin orchestras - hundreds spread across the country played to wildly enthusiastic crowds.
Composer Richard Sherman and his brother, the late Robert Sherman, formed one of Walt Disney's most renowned songwriting teams. The pair composed memorable songs for classic films including Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Parent Trap and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Their accolades include two Academy Awards, two Grammys, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
After a seven-year hiatus, the folk-pop trio Nickel Creek is back with a new album, A Dotted Line. Chris Thile and siblings Sean and Sara Watkins were just children when they started playing together in Carlsbad, Calif., in 1989. Known for bringing bluegrass to younger generations, the band released six albums before parting ways in 2007.
The Blind Boys of Alabama's members make their fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Singing quartet-style gospel music for more than 70 years, the group has played churches, concert halls and nightclubs. It's even performed for the past three American presidents.