My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket is Americana-flavored old-school rock 'n' roll. Founded in 1998 by vocalist/guitarist Jim James, guitarist Johnny Quaid, drummer J. Glenn, and bassist Two Tone Tommy, MMJ was later joined by keyboardist Danny Cash. Today, along with original members James and Tommy, guitarist Carl Broemel, drummer Patrick Hallahan, and keyboardist Bo Koster round out the group. The 2008 album Evil Urges is the band's fifth studio release. The title "Remnants" is nostalgically brand new. Do play it loud. Currently touring.
The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground was a revolution and a rock band. Founded by poet/pianist Lou Reed and Welsh violist/composer John Cale in 1965. Doing residency at Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village, the band met pop artist Andy Warhol, who invited The Velvet Underground to perform at his "Up-Tight" Film-Makers' Cinematheque series, in February 1966, leading to the fateful introduction to chanteuse/model Nico. The Velvet Underground's hugely influential music is regretless and brutally urbane. "Venus in Furs," from the album The Velvet Underground & Nico, is a shadowy tale of masochistic love.
Artist: The Velvet Underground
Song: Venus in Furs
Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico
Songstress Tift Merritt was born in Houston and raised in North Carolina. Artist/prolific writer (and North Carolina neighbor) Ryan Adams championed Merritt's career. Another Country, produced by George Drakoulias, is a very listenable album. Merritt's voice subtly draws you in. "Keep You Happy" is a melodic lullaby sung with engaging affection.
Artist: Tift Merritt
Song: Keep You Happy
Album: Another Country
Composer Philip Glass grew up in Baltimore. He attended the University of Chicago and Juilliard. He's composed more than twenty operas, eight symphonies, and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, saxophone quartet, and orchestra. His soundtrack credits include The Hours, The Fog of War, The Truman Show, The Illusionist, as well as new music for Jean Cocteau's 1949 film La Belle et la Bete and the 1931 Bela Lugosi classic, Dracula. Glass has collaborated with Twyla Tharp, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, and Yo-Yo Ma, among other talents. The score from the 1982 art film Koyaanisquatsi: Life Out of Balance is stirring and majestic. Catch Glass on tour worldwide.
Silver Jews (slang for blonde-haired Jewish people) is an East Nashville import founded in 1989 at the University of Virginia by songwriter/singer David Berman along with guitarist/singer Stephen Malkmus and drummer Bob Nastanovich (once members of indie-rock band Pavement). Their heady country sound is inviting and curious. "Suffering Jukebox," from the new album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, evokes a retro heartfelt sensation.
Artist: Silver Jews
Song: Suffering Jukebox
Album: Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Western-swing/honky-tonk pioneer Floyd Tillman was born in Oklahoma in 1914 and raised in Post, Texas, the son of a sharecropper. His ambitions began as a child watching his two brothers earn $5 a night playing dances. Tillman is known for his authentic musical timing, with his unpredictable vocal swagger. During his career, Tillman penned more than 1,000 songs. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and then the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1984, delivered by Willie Nelson. "Slipping Around" is a notorious song of infidelity.
Genre: Country Classic
Artist: Floyd Tillman
Song: Slipping Around
Album: The Best of Floyd Tillman