Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:30 pm
For more than 20 years, Tori Amos has been one of the most inventive and distinctive singer-songwriters in contemporary music. With eight Grammy nominations and millions of albums sold worldwide, Amos has become a living legend. Her solo career has evolved unpredictably, from acoustic piano to electronica and orchestral styles.
More than 20 years after his hit single, "Wicked Game," appeared in David Lynch's film Wild at Heart, Chris Isaak continues to produce the sort of timelessly yearning music that made him a star. Over the course of his 30-year career, Isaak has composed and crooned his way into the national spotlight with 15 albums and countless TV appearances.
Today, World Cafe kicks off the new series Latin Roots, with Latin music expert Aaron Luis Levinson. Levinson visits host David Dye in WXPN's studios to share his take on all things salsa: the music, the beat and the culture. Levinson, a member of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, is a Grammy-winning producer, musician, composer and owner of Range Recording Studios in Ardmore, Penn.
Canadian singer Kathryn Calder is quickly making her mark in power-pop, both with her contributions to The New Pornographers and with her own masterful solo releases. Calder has matured quickly as a musician, creating a self-described "synth-pop" experience woven together by her unique and charming vocals.
Portland singer-songwriter Laura Veirs has been known to draw inspiration from her immediate family. Early on, memories of summertime camping trips powered her lyrics. More recently, the birth of her son, Tennessee, pushed her to record an album of classic folk songs for children, aptly titled Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs For Children.
World Cafe's 20th-anniversary celebration featured two intimate conversations with Cash. The show includes her emotional, candid response to the loss of her famous father, as well as performances of songs from records she made in his memory.
Formed in 1984, Primus is best known for its irreverent funk-metal style, which came to dominate radio airwaves in the '90s. Since releasing its official debut in 1989, the band has experienced lineup changes over the years, but one important element has remained constant: the spiraling bass lines of lead singer and bassist Les Claypool. Throughout the '90s, Primus grew a cult following, then burst into the mainstream with releases like 1993's Pork Soda. The group also wrote the now-classic opening theme for South Park before going on hiatus in 2000.
The Barr Brothers' self-titled debut is a powerful and moving folk record: It combines delicate harp arrangements with a rock 'n' roll sensibility and richly interwoven instrumentation. It's both a powerful record and a product of the uncanny series of events that led to the band's formation.