Formed in Austin, Texas in 2007 the retro-blues soul band Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears began after lead-singer Joe Lewis picked up a guitar at a pawn shop. Heavily influenced by James Brown and Howlin' Wolf, Lewis played around town before getting the attention of locals Spoon and Okkervil River.
Mark Wheat spoke with collaborators Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi about the release of "Rome," their atmospheric and cinematic new album featuring Norah Jones, Jack White.
Tony Allen is a Nigerian born, self taught musician who for eleven years, was the drummer and musical director for the legendary band Fela Kuti and Africa 70. Allen along with Kuti have been credited with pioneering afrobeat music. His latest project, "Secret Agent" was released in early 2010.
Two Door Cinema Club are a band from Bangor and Donaghadee, Northern Ireland formed in 2007. They're signed to French record label Kitsune Music, through which they released their debut album "Tourist History" on 1 March 2010.
After a whirl-wind year of touring Foster the People, known for their synth-laced hazy pop, brought an acoustic set to The Current studio. The California trio spoke to Mark Wheat about their love of surfing, touring, and the German website that kick started their internet buzz.
Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band Vampire Weekend early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University on the Upper West Side of NYC.
Almost everyone agrees that Cee-Lo's hit single "Forget You" (wink wink!) is the best song of the year.
With an oddly similar story and even voice, the Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has received several comparisons to Wisconsin's Bon Iver. Self-recorded over five months in a small, one room house by sea, James Vincent McMorrow captures the sounds of the waves and the isolated house on his debut album "Early in the Morning" to create a haunting yet beautiful tribute to nature.
Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has been playing music since 1978 and has been releasing albums for twenty years, so it's no surprise that he's garnered substantial recognition from both critics and audiences. Still, he's reached a point that few musicians get to while still at the height of their powers: becoming the subject of a documentary.
Multi-instrumentalist Meric Long began as a solo artist steadily gigging around San Fransisco in 2005. After meeting Logan Kroeber, it seemed obvious Kroeber's progressive metal/experimental drumming was a prefect fit for Long's love of West African Ewe drumming and bluesy finger picking style. With a reputation for using an alternate instrumental approach, their blend of indie-psych folk is definitely a treat for the ears.
Telekinesis, the one-man-band alterego of Seattle musician and songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner, makes classic 21st-century Pacific Northwest indie-rock in the tradition of Death Cab for Cutie and others.
Formed in high school, The Smith Westerns are a four-some from Chicago that have been touring the country and wowing audiences. Their buzz began in 2009 with their self-titled first record. Inspired by garage rock, their follow up "Dye It Blonde" was released this year.
Doomtree MC and Minnesota native Sims dropped his second official full-length release, "Bad Time Zoo," earlier this week, and also
Born Elisabeth Maurus, singer-songwriter Lissie started performing songs as the age of nine, while playing the title part in the musical "Annie." She started opening for touring bands that came through Fort Collins, Colo. when she was in college before producing her debut EP, "Why You Runnin'?," in 2007. Her powerful voice launched her career, and her debut album "Catching a Tiger" came out in the summer of 2010.
Alan Sparhawk is now a member of two bands from MN. Most recently, he's been known for his work in Retribution Gospel Choir, who played Rock The Garden this summer. But he's perhaps still best known for Low, the quintessential slowcore band from Duluth that he forned in '93 with his wife Mimi. They've put out a dozen releases, and they recorded a new one over this summer that will be out in the spring of 2011.