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Gig Alert: The Pre-War Ponies

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Revivalist tunes from the classic American songbook tonight at Barbes. Download 'Amapola.'

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Soundcheck

'House' Star Hugh Laurie On The Blues; Who Is Mike Bloomfield?; How A Japanese Hot Pot Dish Made It To No. 1

Monday, April 28, 2014

In this episode: Hugh Laurie is best known as the star of the former Fox drama House, which wrapped in 2012. But since the release of his debut album called Let Them Talk in 2011, he’s also made a name for himself as a blues musician. He joins us to talk about his followup to that record, called Didn’t It Rain.

Then: The blues influenced a generation of rock guitarists in the 1960s, many of whom would go on to become influential themselves: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. But how many people remember the name “Mike Bloomfield?” Not nearly enough, according to Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke. He explains why Bloomfield is “rock’s greatest forgotten guitar hero.”

And: Writer Paul Ford joins us for “That Was a Hit?!?,” Soundcheck's series about improbable chart success. Ford spins the saga of a No. 1 hit song called “Sukiyaki” -- or, at least, that’s how it was known in the U.S. -- by the Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto.

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Soundcheck

The Holmes Brothers Play Live; Author Daniel Alarcón Picks Three; 'Who Is William Onyeabor?'

Friday, April 25, 2014

In this episode: The legendary R&B and blues rock band The Holmes Brothers plays songs from their brand new album, Brotherhood, in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: The most recent novel from Daniel Alarcon, At Night We Walk In Circles, was named on many year-end best-of lists in 2013. The Peruvian-born, Alabama-raised, San Francisco-based author was recently named one of the best 20 Writers Under 40 by The New Yorker. But he's also a music fan, and shares this three-song playlist of a few of his favorite tracks. 

And: William Onyeabor released eight albums between 1977 and 1985. But, since then, the Nigerian musician has dropped off the map and we know next to nothing about him. But now this ultra-rare music is getting a new spotlight thanks to Eric Welles-Nystrom of the record label Luaka Bop, who helped assemble the recent compilation, Who Is William Onyeabor?, and Sinkane's Ahmed Gallab, who is one of the music directors of two upcoming tribute shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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Soundcheck

Watch: The Holmes Brothers, Live On Soundcheck

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Watch the R&B and blues rock band The Holmes Brothers play songs from their brand new album, Brotherhood, in the Soundcheck studio.

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Music

Terrance McKnight: Debussy, 'Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun'

Friday, April 18, 2014

Not quite feeling Spring-ish? Listen to Terrance McKnight, WQXR weekday evening host. tell you why the song "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" by Claude Debussy - reminds him of Spring.

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Soundcheck

R. Crumb Plays Live With East River String Band; Rock Journo Lisa Robinson Tells All

Friday, April 18, 2014

In this episode: Famed illustrator R. Crumb, who is also a huge fan of early folk and jazz, is an honorary member of New York's East River String Band. Or if he isn't, he should be -- he does all their artwork and plays live with them in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: Lisa Robinson has interviewed and written about some of the biggest names in music, from Jay Z to John Lennon to Michael Jackson. Her new memoir, There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll, details her days spent with some of music’s shining stars, and offers perspective on a career spent working in a male-dominated field.

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Soundcheck

Hear: R. Crumb And The East River String Band, Live On Soundcheck

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The famed illustrator, who is also a huge fan of early folk, old-time blues and jazz, is an honorary member of New York's East River String Band. Or if he isn't, he should be -- he does all their artwork and plays live with them in the Soundcheck studio.

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Soundcheck

Gigstock: Conor Oberst; James Vincent McMorrow; Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In this episode: Soundcheck presents the second night of Gigstock, a mini-festival held in The Greene Space. Conor Oberst, the mastermind behind Bright Eyes, performs a set of seven new songs from of his upcoming album, Upside Down Mountain.

Then: Singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow hits the high notes as he sings songs from Post Tropical -- his recent album that embraces R&B, hip-hop and experimental sounds.

And, as part of a "live" Gig Alert about the upcoming Brooklyn Folk Festival, hear modern day old-time bluesman Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton perform "Motherless Child Blues" in the Greene Space.

 

Soundcheck

Los Lonely Boys: The Tex Mex Rockers Return

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

After a scary injury to one of its members, Los Lonely Boys have recovered and regrouped. Hear the genre-blending Tex Mex rock band perform songs from its latest album, Revelation, in the Soundcheck studio.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Black 47

Monday, March 17, 2014

NYC Celtic blues and rock institution plays final St Patty's Day show at B.B. King's. Download 'Salsa O'Keefe'

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Soundcheck

Drive By Truckers Live; Most Common Rhyming Words In Pop; The Complicated Story Of Gus Cannon

Monday, March 10, 2014

In this episode: Slate writer Ben Blatt has used the powers of statistical analysis to determine the most-used rhyming couplet in pop music for the last 50 years. Find out what it is, and then try not to notice it in every song you hear from now on.

Then, Dom Flemons, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, tells Soundcheck the story of 20th century blues singer Gus Cannon, whose song “Walk Right In” was a hit for the Rooftop Singers in the 1960s. We take a listen to his minstrel-inflected music, and find out who he was singing for.

Annd: Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers have returned with the new album, English Oceans. The band's co-founders and singer-guitarists, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, deliver an intimate acoustic set in the Soundcheck studio.

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Soundcheck

The Soundcheck Guide To The Allman Brothers Band

Friday, March 07, 2014

The legendary Southern rock band is celebrating 45 years of making music together. The group's long-time biographer Alan Paul offers some listening suggestions.

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Soundcheck

Gregg Allman

Friday, March 07, 2014

Southern rock original Gregg Allman received a liver transplant last year, but that didn't stop him from getting back in the studio. His new album "Low Country Blues," is his first solo album in 14 years, and he’ll join us in the studio to tell us about it.

This segment originally aired on Jan. 19, 2011.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Booker T. Jones

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Funk, soul, blues, R&B? Witness a genre-bending mix from the live legend himself at City Winery tonight. Download the track 'Sound The Alarm.'

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Soundcheck

Great Songs About The Great Flood

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Filmmaker Bill Morrison's latest effort looks at the Great Flood of 1927, which changed American history and American music through the great migration of African-Americans northward. Morrison shares songs new and old inspired by the flood.

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A Debut Album At 81 Years Old

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Leo Welch had played at picnics and parties and sang with a gospel group, but he didn't record an album until he cold-called a Mississippi record label. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with the blues musician about his new release, Sabougla Voices.

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Soundcheck

12 Days Of Soundcheck '13: Gary Clark Jr., 'When My Train Comes In'

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Thursday, December 12, download a special live performance of Gary Clark Jr.'s song "When My Train Comes In" recorded in the Soundcheck studio.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Michael Powers

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The blues musician Michael Powers performs at Terra Blues on Thursday. Download "Spanish Castle Magic."

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Radiolab

The Power of Music

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The physical and psychological power of music... from a Disco hit that saves lives, to Beethoven's drive to push listeners to the brink.

 

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Radiolab

Letting the Devil Tune Your Guitar

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In this short, we go looking for the devil, and find ourselves tangled in a web of details surrounding one of the most haunting figures in music -- a legendary guitarist whose shadowy life spawned a legend so powerful, it's still being repeated... even by fans who don't believe a ...

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