Soul music is rooted in gritty perseverance, so pairing up stalwarts Bettye LaVette and Charles Walker works on so many levels, it's a miracle it hasn't happened until now. A celebration of resurrection, "Yours and Mine" nods to hard knocks and surprise finishes — a fairy-tale story brought to electrifying life by two people who've lived to tell it.
I try my best to keep up on new sounds out of the Middle East and North Africa, but the name Youssra El Hawary was completely new to me until just a couple of weeks ago. But now, I'm totally hooked on music by this 28-year-old folkie-ish, indie-ish, chanson-ish singer/songwriter from Egypt armed not with a guitar, but ... an accordion.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:56 pm
This installment of the Latin Roots series for World Cafe explores bossa nova music, guided by Latin-music expert Ernesto Lechner. Lechner grew up in Buenos Aires, where his parents' record collection consisted of classical records and a solitary bossa nova LP. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he was immersed in Latin music and subsequently became a music journalist, publishing several books on the subject. Lechner co-hosts the radio show Latin Alternative and works as a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, L.A.