Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

Songs We Love: Robert Ellis, 'Drivin'

Friday, March 25, 2016

A break up song from the Houston songwriter's brilliant new album that describes those lost moments between saying goodbye and actually leaving.


Hustle Is A Political Act: Michelle Obama's SXSW Keynote Shifted The Spotlight

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The event, centered around an initiative to educate girls and young women, reflected a reality in which hip-hop's influence is acknowledged and women are central to the conversation.


First Listen: Dave Cobb's 'Southern Family' Compilation

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The producer and guitarist presides over a graceful concept album in which some of country and Americana's biggest stars reflect on home.


Songs We Love: Morgane Stapleton With Chris Stapleton, 'You Are My Sunshine'

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Morgane Stapleton is not a secret. In Nashville, the long-haired woman who's stood strong as a slender birch beside her husband, Chris, in breakthrough performances at the CMA Awards and on Saturday Night Life is known for being more than just a pristine harmonizer. She's a songwriter who's collaborated ...


Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, 'What I Need'

Friday, February 05, 2016

One of the central musical relationships in soul music is between a band's lead shouter and the other voices supporting her or him. In her glory years, Aretha Franklin musically conversed with her family of backup singers, the Sweet Inspirations; Otis Redding upped his own unbeatable energy in dialogue with ...


First Listen: Wynonna & The Big Noise, 'Wynonna & The Big Noise'

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A certain musical and spiritual condition defines Wynonna Judd's first album with her band The Big Noise — not to mention the first album of original material in 13 years from one of country music's supreme redheads. That quality is joy. It dominates, not just because Judd is performing with ...


Reflections Of A Bowie Girl

Monday, January 11, 2016

I am a Bowie girl. Not literally: I'm a little too young to have swiped my face with glitter and run out in lime-green platforms to see David Bowie storming through America in 1972 and 1973 with the Spiders from Mars, when he sent queer and alien dispatches across a ...


The Year In Pop Music

Friday, January 01, 2016

Adele's new album 25 had record sales in its first week — selling more than 2.4 million copies. We get a check on more pop music news from 2015.


Hear A New Solo Song By John Paul White, Formerly Of The Civil Wars

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Lyrics drove me to country music," said the producer Dave Cobb in an interview we published yesterday about his path from the L.A. rock scene to producing a handful of albums that signal a return of traditional country to Nashville's main stage, including ones by Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and ...


An Outsider Remakes Nashville's Traditional Sound

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

If Dave Cobb gets excited while you're talking to him about music, he'll grab a guitar from the bank of them he keeps in the chill-out room in his Green Hills home studio and play a riff. It could be from an Elvis song, or one by Led Zeppelin, or ...


Ann Powers' Favorite Albums Of 2015

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

I guess my favorite spiritually generated cliché is: Life is change. It's a noble tenet of Buddhism and a tenet of existentialism that no matter how much we cling to a comfortable belief about reality, a turn of events can quickly demolish it. More commonly, circumstances and habits reshape reality ...


Songs We Love: Paul Burch, 'Meridian'

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Revivalism in music often seems to be no more than a matter of style: a perfectly greased pompadour, a well-pressed rack of vintage dresses, some vintage equipment and the careful mimicry of a particular "hi-de-ho" or drawl. It's the rare living musician who does the extra work to comprehend the ...


Songs We Love: Childbirth, 'Let's Be Bad'

Monday, November 23, 2015

Childbirth is a Seattle rock supergroup, but it's also an ongoing consciousness-raising session. Okay, it's really a comedy act. No, it's a punk band. Wait, it's a feminist direct-action project deflating sexism with joke-arrows hurled at ubiquitous oppressions like male microaggression, fertility anxiety, and tyrannical beauty standards. Actually, Childbirth — ...


You've Got A Home: June Millington's Lifelong Journey In Rock

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In East Nashville, right at the center of the neighborhood's musically-driven hubbub, a Victorian-style corner building houses a popular gathering place. Fanny's House of Music is homey, with a hand-painted sign out front and a porch for lounging. Inside, one alcove contains vintage clothing, local artists' paintings and kitschy knickknacks, ...


Songs We Love: Vince Gill, 'Take Me Down'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

These days, for many people in country music's mainstream — and beyond it — the genre's version of "sexy" is corny. Rump-shaking dudes in man buns beckoning women who frankly feel a little harassed into their flatbed Fords ... At their worst, country's 21st-century dreamboats operate on the principles of ...


New Album Of Previously Unheard Jeff Buckley Recordings To Be Released

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The album You and I, due in March, is made up of songs recorded in Buckley's very first studio sessions after signing to Columbia Records, and displays the singer's wide range of influences.


Songs We Love: Seratones, 'Necromancer'

Thursday, November 05, 2015

No space is quite as rife with liminal magic as a Louisiana cemetery. Peter Fonda took his famous Easy Rider acid trip in the famous St. Louis cemetery in New Orleans, where tour guides now lead tourists in search of the grave of 19th-century voudou practitioner Marie Laveau. Sally ...


First Listen: Chris Isaak, 'First Comes The Night'

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Chris Isaak's voice is a bit like the Tardis in Dr. Who. Sturdy but nimble, always recognizable, it moves through pop's time-space continuum, transporting listeners to different vantage points while in pursuit of certain eternal questions. Though most haunted by and profiting from an association with Roy Orbison's ...


Songs We Love: Josh Abbott Band, 'Ghosts'

Monday, November 02, 2015

What kind of musician makes a concept album? The stereotype might be that this is the domain of a prog rocker or George Clinton-style funk master in a satin cape; but in fact, long-players with unified themes have always been popular in country music. Willie Nelson's Western noir ...


Songs We Love: The Mavericks, 'Pardon Me'

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

So many road anthems pave the history of popular music. Some make poetry of the white lines on the freeway; others floridly celebrate rock and roll fugitives riding the arena circuit on their steel mounts. "Pardon Me," one of the loveliest tracks on the inexhaustibly fun, Americana ...