The Haden Triplets —Petra, Tanya, and Rachel—are three sisters “in love with the art of singing,” describes NPR Music, with a “traditional tone and effortless voices that only siblings can produce.” The daughters of world renowned bassist Charlie Haden, the Triplets share a common love for American country and traditional songs. Their self-titled 2014 album was produced by Ry Cooder (Jack White’s Third Man Records), and they’ve performed as the Fates on Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown. They have also performed or recorded with The Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Beck, and Weezer. On their own, Petra is a member of Bill Frisell’s band, and can be heard on her a cappella album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out, as well as Megan Mullally’s band, Nancy And Beth. Tanya is a multidisciplinary artist, and Rachel has performed with The Rentals and will have new music out with her band That Dog. The Triplets’ new album will be out in 2020.
From funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone blasts to the gritty warmth of singer J’Wan Boudreaux’s voice, New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa radiates the energy of the Crescent City’s street culture.
Enchanted by the music and traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians, Cha Wa’s Grammy-nominated album Spyboy (a nod to frontman J’Wan Boudreaux’s role in the Golden Eagles) is a modern mix of fiery, toe-tapping sounds and highlights the musicians’ personal ties to the street music of their hometown. “We wanted to take the roots of what we love about New Orleans brass band music and Mardi Gras Indian music and then voice it in our own way,” says the group’s drummer and founder, Joe Gelini.
“Fusing delta and hill country with elements of jam-band rock, he and his drummer packed an incredible punch, and never let the momentum die down.”—Nashville Scene
Born and raised in Mississippi Hill Country, Cedric Burnside—grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calbin Jackson—has been playing music all his life. This six-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010–17) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world and has begun to make a name for himself as a traditional blues guitarist as well.
Touring the world on his own, Burnside’s approach to the Blues has a rumbling style and is a hypnotic musical form of chugging rhythms, stinging guitar licks, snap neck drum licks, and singing that is filled with sharp changes and raw, cutting rhythms. His latest album, Grammy-nominated Benton County Relic, brings the blues alive for a new generation of fans weaned on the likes of White Stripes and the Black Keys.
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“I think she’s endless. I don’t see any boundaries. Talent like hers is so rare, and I don’t think it stops.”—Allison Kraus
An exceptionally gifted mandolin player as well as a rapidly emerging singer-songwriter, Sierra Hull has taken the bluegrass and country world by storm. Her positively stellar career started early—from a Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, to a Rounder Records signing and debut album Secrets at the age of 13, to performing at the White House at age 20.
Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, she has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date—Weighted Mind. Produced by legendary bluegrass musician Bela Fleck, Weighted Mind is nothing like what you’ve heard before—it’s singular and emphatic, harmonious and dissonant. It is the realization of promise, and the affirmation of individuality. It is born of difficulty and indecision, yet it rings with ease, decisiveness, and beauty.
“A star of New York’s new-music scene.”—Los Angeles Times
The morning after the 2016 presidential election, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane took a two-week train trip across the United States with no phone or internet, embracing 8,980 miles of monkish Amtrak existence. The result is this hymn to the analog intimacy of American rail culture as antidote to the fragmentation and efficiency of modern life. Alone at the piano, Kahane draws from dining-car conversations he had with dozens of strangers—cowboys, postmasters, religious luddites, software engineers—to sing of his own upended assumptions about the body politic as revealed through his unplugged railroad exile.
“Sergio Mendoza is one of the great innovators of the Arizona music scene.”—Guardian
Led by multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Sergio Mendoza (Calexico), Orkesta Mendoza fashion borderless sounds that span the Americas, embracing mambo and cumbia with the same vigor as psychedelic pop, twang rock, and analog electronics.
Originally formed as a tribute to “King of Mambo” Pérez Prado, Orkesta Mendoza plays music that explores a myriad of directions, rhythms, and moods, delivering big-band orchestrations mixed with lo-fi electronica, vocals en Español, and moving instrumentals. Epic and soulful, they truly capture the positive spirit of the Southwest.
Featuring Petra Haden, Thomas Morgan, and Rudy Royston
Hailed as “the most innovative and influential guitarist of the past 25 years” (Wall Street Journal), Bill Frisell has seen collaborations with the likes of Elvis Costello, Bono, Paul Simon, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic over the course of his 35-year career. His Grammy-nominated album When You Wish Upon a Star features his arrangements and interpretations of music for film and television. The album is more than an homage to a set of iconic scores; Frisell draws upon the sentimentality of music heard on screen and how it shapes and informs our emotional relationships to what we see. The guitarist will be joined by bassist Thomas Morgan, drummer Rudy Royston, and singer Petra Haden in reimagining time-honored gems like “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” as well as music from television favorites, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Honeymooners.
A former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla ventured out on a solo career to pursue a personal sound. A New York–born Haitian American living in New Orleans, McCalla is deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk. Her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful, and witty. It vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive, and contemporary.
McCalla’s latest album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, explores issues of social justice and pan-African consciousness. She has spent the last year and a half touring extensively around North America and Europe, and plans to release her third album in 2018.
Feufollet is Americana at its finest—reverential but wholly nonconformist. The young and vibrant southwest Louisiana band takes Cajun, honky-tonk, and string-band music as starting points, keeping an open mind about where their songcraft will lead them next. On their most recent album, Two Universes, Feufollet prove their Cajun roots don’t define them as much as propel them forward. Whispers of the swamp and its time-honored waltzes underpin a modern sound influenced by blues, old-time country ballads, and rock ‘n’ roll. The band accomplishes the unusual feat of creating a sound that is at once familiar and fresh, classic and yet unmistakably original.
“With a voice reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Liz Vice offers up a tasty mix of R&B and gospel on her debut album, There’s a Light.”—KCRW
Gospel, soul, and R&B–inspired artist Liz Vice’s music features dynamic, beautiful vocals and classically influenced lyrics that reference her deep-rooted spirituality. After overcoming a debilitating autoimmune disease in her youth, Vice found music offered a new lease on life. “I didn’t think I was going to live past 20 years old,” she says. It’s a surprising revelation considering the vitality and energy she exudes on stage, but it brings context to the utter joy, gratefulness, humility, and magic that imbue her soulful voice throughout There’s a Light, her debut album.