'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
By NPR Staff
Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Katie Bishop : Producer, Death, Sex & Money
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 ...