Dawes On Mountain Stage

Sep 10, 2015

Dawes makes its fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, showcasing songs from its latest album, All Your Favorite Bands. Led by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Dawes has mastered its signature sound, which combines the best of 1970s California rock with a contemporary sensibility.

The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach has a new side project called The Arcs, which features some of his favorite studio musicians, including songwriter and producer Richard Swift. The band's first album, Yours, Dreamily, has been a perfect rock album for summer, and "Stay In My Corner" is a particular highlight.


Obnox exists in the static bleedthrough of punk and soul music. It's a place where Cleveland's Lamont "Bim" Thomas has spent decades dialing in deep and ripping off the knob in bands like Bassholes and This Moment In Black History. But with Obnox, Thomas lays himself bare in mind-numbing fuzz that doesn't forget the hook's the thing.

When Bridget Kearney and Benjamin Lazar Davis went to Ghana in 2014, they planned to travel and maybe make a few musical friends. They ended up spending the entire three weeks in the city of Accra, studying the traditional music of Northwest Ghana with master gyil player Aaron Bebe. The resulting EP, BAWA, treats the polyrhythmic peregrinations of the xylophone-like gyil not as a gimmick but as source material, a puzzle to be deconstructed and rearranged into a bright new collage.

Darlene Love is irrepressible. When the 73-year-old voice of 1960s girl-group primary texts like "He's A Rebel" and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" accepted the 2013 Academy Award for the background-singer documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, in which she starred, she stole the moment from director Morgan Neville by singing the gospel classic "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" at the top of her lungs.

Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard has proven incredibly versatile throughout a career spanning more than 25 years. In The Frames, he's mixed vein-bulging intensity, string-laden elegance and a rock star's flair for rafter-shaking anthems.

Over the last decade, Battles has firmly established an ethos (sweaty, impossible-sounding music constructed out of live instrumentation and loops) and a signature sound (broken-robot rock). So it's kind of surprising to realize that the musicians — once a quartet, now a trio — have only three albums, none following the same formula. Their 2007 debut, Mirrored, won fans for its hyperactive, head-nodding momentum.

From inhuman growls to operatic trills, heavy metal has long been home to a broad range of voices. But few singers summon the gutsy, unadorned immediacy of Dorthia Cottrell. The frontwoman of the Richmond, Va., metal band Windhand ventured out on her own earlier this year with her self-titled solo album, a powerful acoustic set that gave her soulful pipes a subtle airing out.

Michael Benjamin Lerner was stuck. After three albums of fuzzy and fizzy power pop, the singer, songwriter, drummer and mastermind behind Telekinesis felt sapped of ideas, as if he'd taken his guitar-driven sound as far as it could go. Writer's block can be a paralyzing frustration, riddled with second-guessing and false starts, but one of the best ways to push through it is to throw out what feels most comfortable and try something unexpected. So he got to work.

Low Cut Connie On World Cafe

Sep 9, 2015

On one level, Low Cut Connie seems far removed from folk music. There wasn't an acoustic guitar in sight during the band's Philadelphia Folk Festival performance. But its straight-ahead rock 'n' roll sound, propelled by Adam Weiner's piano, certainly puts it next in line of a tradition of classic bar bands.