If you ever listened to jazz vocalists and wondered if you could ever in your life scat like them, there's someone who's willing to teach you. The vocalist Rhiannon has long held the importance of improvisation as a personal credo, and in her career has blended that art form with jazz, world music and storytelling.
Based on their instruments, they seem like an old-time string band; based on their appearance, they seem like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, where they met Lucia Turino (upright bass), and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski fills in for Lucia, who had a broken arm.)
Summer's slowing down, but the band fun. is still cruising at a high speed. Along with Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR Music has been following fun. this summer, checking in with the band as it continues on its world tour.
Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:19 am
Kristian Matsson, the smallish Swede who performs under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, sings, plays guitar and occasionally takes a turn at the piano. That's all there is to his act: no backing band, no frills. Heck, he barely needs amplification, given the volume at which he performs. But that right there — the gigantic force of his delivery, the percussive hyper-dexterity of his playing — is part of what makes him so magnetic on stage. On paper, he's just another poet strumming a guitar.
Sporting big hair and an even bigger voice, Belgian soul singer Selah Sue has attracted significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Her 2011 debut album Selah Sue sold more than 400,000 copies in Europe and peaked high on many European charts. Selah Sue, whose real name is Sanne Putseys, taught herself acoustic guitar at age 15 in her hometown, Leefdall. She was offered a record deal at age 17 by Universal but declined, preferring to write her songs on her own terms.