Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker appears in the following:

Leon Bridges Offers Retro R&B With A Twist In 'Coming Home'

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Texas-raised singer connects to R&B music from the past — and challenges himself to give it an updated sound — in his new album. Critic Ken Tucker says Bridges' album packs an emotional punch.


Shamir Bailey Invites Everyone In, With Plenty Of Pop Star Potential

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The young singer and songwriter lets his voice soar on his debut album, Ratchet. Rock critic Ken Tucker says it's one of the year's most striking collections, full of energy and optimism.


Joanna Gruesome's 'Peanut Butter' Rises Above The Band's Gimmicky Name

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Welsh band's name is a play on that of singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom. Ken Tucker likens the group's second album to a high-wire act accompanied by "furiously strummed punk-rock guitar chords."


Country Hit Writer Chris Stapleton Breaks Out On His Own In 'Traveller'

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Nashville songwriter has written countless hits for other artists. Critic Ken Tucker says that Stapleton's debut solo album showcases a wide range of musical styles with a distinctive sound.


Nellie McKay Celebrates The '60s With 'My Weekly Reader'

Friday, May 01, 2015

McKay's new album My Weekly Reader is a collection of covers of songs made famous in the 1960s. The range of material is wide — from the Beatles' "If I Fell" to Frank Zappa's "Hungry Freaks, Daddy."


Alabama Shakes Opens New Territory On 'Sound & Color'

Monday, April 27, 2015

Over the course of Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes messes with what had already, after its first album, become its signature sound. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has this review.


Dwight Yoakam's 'Second Hand Heart' Is First Class

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the album is one of Yoakam's most stylistically diverse.


The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle Finds Refuge In The Ring

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says The Mountain Goats' concept album about pro wrestling is filled with a remarkable range of melodies and moods.


There Is A Rich World In Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly'

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Fresh Air music critic Ken Tucker says the rapper's second album has an excitingly adventurous sound.


Courtney Barnett Makes Ennui Vivid On Debut Album

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Barnett just released her first full album called Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Critic Ken Tucker says she somehow manages to infuse with a freshness rare in any songwriter.


Brandi Carlile's Surging Voice Grounds 'The Firewatcher's Daughter'

Monday, March 16, 2015

Carlile has been releasing albums for the past 10 years, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says her new one, called The Firewatcher's Daughter, is her best yet.


James McMurtry Is More Expressive Than Ever On 'Complicated Game'

Monday, March 09, 2015

Complicated Game demonstrates a new range of style and subject matter for McMurtry.


Nora Jane Struthers Is Wide Awake On New Album

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Given the content of the songs, the title Wake seems, in part, to refer to an awakening Struthers has had about who she is, what she wants to do, and how she wants to sound.


Mavericks' Singer Raul Malo Restlessly Explores Genres

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In the band's latest album Mono, Malo demonstrates how he likes to make music that confounds the usual expectations of what a country hit-maker can do.


Robert Earl Keen Delves Into Bluegrass With A Texan Twang

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The singer-songwriter usually follows in the story-song tradition of his forebears Townes Van Zant and Guy Clark. But in Happy Prisoner he brings enthusiastic curiosity to covers of bluegrass greats.


Sleater-Kinney Comes Roaring Back With 'No Cities To Love'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Few bands re-form with their power as intact as Sleater-Kinney have; fewer still brag about their power, and make the claim something more than a brag.


Ty Segall Goes 3-D On 'Mr. Face'

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ty Segall's new EP comes on two 7-inch discs that double as a pair of 3-D glasses.


D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.


Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making new sounds while staying mindful of the past is a common theme in the Fresh Air music critic's year-end list.


A Punk Memoir That Makes The Ordinary Seem Transcendent

Friday, December 05, 2014

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says that one of the best books he's ever read about punk rock is a new memoir by Viv Albertine.