03/18/2011 11:01 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dog Ears Music: Volume 167


The Civil Wars
Nashville Americana outfit The Civil Wars came together in 2008, burgeoning from the solo singer/songwriter careers of California native Joy Williams (piano) and Alabaman John Paul White (guitar). This union issued their first EP in 2009. Credits include Grey's Anatomy and an iTunes "Best of 2010" slot. Download "To Whom It May Concern," from The Civil Wars' 2011 full-length Barton Hollow, a set that rides a divine and authentic rush.

Genre: Americana

Artist: The Civil Wars

Song: To Whom It May Concern

Album: Barton Hollow

Ron Carter
Illustrious jazz man Ron Carter was born near the end of the Great Depression in a suburb of Detroit. As a child, he studied classical music, moving over to jazz by his teens. In the early '60s, he became The Miles Davis Quintet's bassist. Collaborations include Don Ellis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, Horace Silver, The Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, and Wes Montgomery. Among his accolades are two Grammys, honorary doctorates from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, the prestigious Hutchinson Award from the Eastman School at the University of Rochester in 2002, and France's Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters Award. Carter has issued a bountiful collection throughout the decades and counting. Turn it up with "Insensatez," from Carter's 2003 album Entre Amigos, with Rosa Passos on the mic.

Genre: Latin Jazz

Artist: Ron Carter

Song: Insensatez

Album: Entre Amigos

Beth Rowley
British singer/songwriter Beth Rowley was born in Lima, Peru, in the early '80s. Raised in England, Rowley started performing in her teens and then went on to formal music studies. Soon after she was on the road, singing backup for Ronan Keating and Enrique Iglesias. Rowley, who's released an album, a handful of EPs, and several tracks for cinema, received a Brit Award nomination in 2009. Collaborations/shared stages include Ben Castle, Crowded House, David Gray, and Katie Melua. Enjoy Beth Rowley's clear-water voice with "Sweet Hours," from her 2008 full-length Little Dreamer.

Genre: Pop

Artist: Beth Rowley

Song: Sweet Hours

Album: Little Dreamer

Forest Sun
Forest Sun is a San Francisco-based acoustic-folk guitarist and singer/songwriter. His band features Ingrid Serban (vocals, accordion, piano), Steve Adams (bass), David Phillips (lap steel, dobro, Weisenborn), and Michael Messer (drums, percussion). Sun has issued seven releases to date, along with tracks on various compilations and in film. In 2007, he won the Pacific Songwriting Competition and two years later earned a Just Plain Folks Music Awards best-song nomination. Shared stages include Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, and Jackson Browne. Collaborations include Jolie Holland, ALO, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, and Joy Voeth. Discover Forest Sun with "Queen Anne's Lace" (Featuring Sean Hayes), from his 2008 project Harlequin Goodnight.

Genre: Folk

Artist: Forest Sun

Song: Queen Anne's Lace (Featuring Sean Hayes)

Album: Harlequin Goodnight

Nebraskan alt-rock pack Cursive was founded in the mid-'90s by Slowdown Virginia members Tim Kasher (vocals), Matt Maginn (bass), and Steve Pedersen (guitar), with drummer Clint Schnase. The band issued two full-lengths before going on hiatus in '98. On the precipice of the aughts, the group refreshed, enlisting Ted Stevens (replacing Pedersen), cellist Gretta Cohn, and Cully Symington (replacing Schnase), releasing four more albums. Collaborations/shared stages include Bright Eyes, Okkervil River, The Cure, and Interpol. Get "Driftwood: A Fairy Tale," from Cursive's 2003 project The Ugly Organ.

Genre: Alternative

Artist: Cursive

Song: Driftwood: A Fairy Tale

Album: The Ugly Organ

Paul Whiteman
Jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman was born in Denver in 1890. Classically trained, Whiteman moved to NYC in the Roaring '20s to play jazz, recording for Victor and Columbia. In 1924, he engaged George Gershwin to compose "Rhapsody In Blue," which became The Paul Whiteman Orchestra's signature piece. Among his collaborations are Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Fletcher Henderson, and Dick Clark--he also discovered the young Bing Crosby. Credits include films King of Jazz, Thanks a Million, Strike Up the Band, and The Fabulous Dorseys. Accolades include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and induction into the Big Band Hall of Fame. Whiteman leaves behind a rapturous trove. Revisit "Rhapsody in Blue," with George Gershwin, from Whiteman's The Best of 1920-1930 collection.

Genre: Jazz

Artist: Paul Whiteman

Song: Rhapsody in Blue

Album: The Best of 1920-1930