September 22, 2008 |
The steel guitar is a thing of diverse beauty. The lap steel and the pedal steel can be roused to make primal howls or massaged to create subtle yawns. Whether they are part of Hawaiian music, gospel's sacred steel movement or country-western song, steel guitars can rage and murmur with delicious sliding sustain. Rock's best may get physical with their axes - pulling guitars' necks as if throttling the poor dears. But there is nothing like watching seated steel players tense their thumbs in anguish.
December 31, 2012 |
SILVER SPRING, MD. - Mike Auldridge, a bluegrass musician whose broad knowledge of many musical forms helped redefine and modernize the steel guitar known as the Dobro, died Saturday, a day before his 74th birthday. He had prostate cancer, said a daughter, Michele Auldridge. Auldridge was a founding member of the Washington-based bluegrass group the Seldom Scene and, in a career spanning six decades, he recorded with Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris, among others. He was renowned for his mastery of the Dobro, a guitar with a metal resonator instead of a sound hole.
June 29, 2005 |
Julian "Winnie" Winston, 64, an industrial-design teacher at the University of the Arts, folk musician, author, and leading homeopath, died June 12 of prostate cancer at home in Wellington, New Zealand. "Winnie Winston . . . was an important figure in the folk-music scene of the 1960s and 1970s. He played banjo and pedal steel guitar. . . . He recorded with Steve Goodman, David Bromberg, Rosalie Sorrels and David Grisman, and made records under his own name," radio host Terry Gross said Thursday on her show, Fresh Air. Raised in Yonkers, N.Y., Mr. Winston was the son of art teachers.
June 4, 1999 |
SEAL WITH DRUMMER BRIAN BLADE, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 10, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. Tickets: $35-$45. Info: 215-336-2000. Drummer Brian Blade exemplifies the kind of young musician jazz is seeing more of these days, one equally at home playing rock, R&B, pop or jazz without any second thoughts. When confronted in the past, a jazz musician playing R&B or pop may have sounded apologetic, mumbling something like, "I'm only doing it for the money" or "My record company thought it was a good idea.
November 5, 2001 |
Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons spoke often of fashioning a new kind of music, a "cosmic American music" that wedded trippy '60s rock with the twangy torch songs of vintage, tear-in-your-beer country. Parsons died before realizing that vision, but bands such as Beachwood Sparks are proof that the torch has been passed. The Sparks' two albums - an eponymously titled debut and the just-out Once We Were Trees - are drowsy, sun-dappled collections of jangling, 12-string guitar arpeggios and starry-eyed harmonies shot through with Voxx organ psychedelia and spacy honky-tonk orchestration.
April 30, 2003 |
On Monday at the Trocadero, the response of the sold-out, all-ages crowd to Bright Eyes and leader Conor Oberst felt ceremonial. Each song - the quivering "One Foot," the rumbling "A New Arrangement" - was greeted with a quietness usually reserved for whispered secrets. Bright Eyes' brand of aggressive though romantic imagery verges on being over the top. But as a lyricist and singer, Oberst avoids too much sentimentality, and ends up as cutting as early Dylan. At the Troc, he was flowery yet incisive, sounding like Robert Smith without the ironic ire, and remaining reserved as he bore down through the tribal drums and carnival organs of "The Calendar Hung Itself.
July 13, 1991 |
Kathy Mattea gets categorized as a country singer, but her husky, vibrato- less voice has more in common with those of British folk-soul women such as Sandy Denny, June Tabor and Linda Thompson than twangy Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. It's a satisfying voice, especially when Mattea slips into her resonant lower range, and everything she sang Thursday night at the Valley Forge Music Fair sparkled with unaffected purity. Save for a weakness for treacly showstoppers (the geriatric romance "Where've You Been" and her pastoral take on the ditsy "From a Distance")
April 28, 2000 |
If King Sunny Ade's Nigerian juju is all about polyrhythm and partying and proverbs, he handled his business at the Theatre of Living Arts Wednesday night. But the approach Ade and his big band took revealed a few deeper things about the Nigerian style that this Yoruba chieftain typifies. Sure, the percussion, especially the dundun drums, crackled, and the three-guitar array, with its swirling, conversational style, drew attention to the conflicting streams inside the music.
November 8, 2011 |
NOEL GALLAGHER has finally spread his post-Oasis wings and delivered a debut album with a band of his building, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds," (Sour Mash/Mercury). Gallagher gives us a comfortably acceptable sound, but something perhaps a little too close to his higher flying days with the hit-making Oasis. The thread of sonic continuity is undeniable and it appears there's nothing new under the Gallagher family umbrella of creativity here. Things start off nice enough with "Everybody's on the Run" and "Dream On," the latter built around a sturdy, marching cadence of drum and guitar strums.
March 1, 1999 |
Breath and spirit are one, according to many traditional belief systems. Marlies Yearby's Movin' Spirits Dance Theater makes this connection plain. During her company's Friday performance at the Painted Bride (the last in its Sistah Diva Soothsayer festival of black women artists), the dancers' audible breaths directed their movements in a way that was fresh and, yes, inspiring. In-breaths pulled heads and shoulders back; long expirations folded two dancers together; and vocalized breaths often provided a rhythmic accompaniment.