It's nice to discover a new voice on your own, but it's just as nice when it comes recommended from someone you trust. That's how Y La Bamba came my way: Los Lobos sax man and producer Steve Berlin slipped one of the band's CDs into my hand and said, "Listen to this voice." I'm glad he did, because I instantly became captivated by the sound of singer Luzelena Mendoza.
Joe Boyd's name popped up on many of the records I loved in the 1960s and '70s. I remember seeing him listed on an Incredible String Band album, and then later on an early Pink Floyd album; then Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, John Martyn, Shirley Collins.
Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 7:00 am
Los Angeles's Foster the People seemingly appeared out of nowhere, taking the blogosphere and Top 40 radio by storm with the viral single "Pumped Up Kicks," a breezy summer jam with a subtly sinister edge.
The numbers alone bear out The Blind Boys of Alabama's status as one of the greatest and most venerated gospel groups the world has ever known. Formed under a different name in 1939, the band has understandably experienced many lineup changes in the 72 years since: Singer Jimmy Carter is the only participant in this lineup billed as a founding member, and even that term is up for debate.