Brendan Benson has been called one of America's greatest songwriters. Since 1996, this native of the Detroit suburbs has been creating his particular brand of power-pop alternative rock. But Benson has not always encountered his current level of critical acclaim. He got his start after following a girl to California in the mid-90’s. Benson’s homemade demo led to a quick chase by record companies.
Kelly Pratt is no amateur to the music world. The multi-instrumentalist has been recording and touring with bands such as Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and Beirut since 2006, but recently stepped into the spotlight after forming the indie rock band Bright Moments. Pratt started writing while on tour and first released a solo disc in 2008 under the name Team B, but was restricted to whatever he could accomplish on his laptop on the road.
This session of World Cafe’s Latin Roots music series is hosted by Chicago-based journalist Catalina Maria Johnson. She writes in Spanish and English for publications such as HOY, Revista Contratiempo, Gozamos and Nat Geo Music and is a regular radio personality and hosts/producer for the radio program Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago, Mexico City and Berlin.
Joe Jackson might be best well known as the writer of the 1979 hit Is She Really Going Out With Him? Jackson – born in Staffordshire, England – has had 5 Grammy nominations over a long and illustrious career in music spanning over forty years. Jackson’s music has ranged from light pop-rock to jazzier numbers and even classical influences that characterize his more recent work.
Kat Edmonson’s short stature and pixie cut might not be the first image you would expect behind her voice if you had just heard her music. The Texas native’s vocal control is astonishing, she glides effortlessly between tones; from lilting elegance and a scintillating falsetto to a confident and not at all unpleasantly raspy gravel. Kat’s first record, the 2009 release Take To the Sky, investigates the root of what can turn pop songs into standards.
Having already found success as the vocalist/guitarist for the Irish band The Frames and as half of the folk rock duo The Swell Season, musician Glen Hansard is venturing out as a solo artist. His debut album, Rhythm and Repose, was released on June 19th A on the ANTI record label. The album, Hansard's first since The Swell Season's 2009 Strict Joy, was recorded over the past year and a half in New York City.
Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim took his stage name from his hometown of Langhorne in Bucks County, Penssylvania. Born Sean Scolnick, Langhorne Slim studied music at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. Langhorne Slim moved to Brooklyn and came into public awarenessafter touring with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players.
English alt-rock band Keane formed back in 1997, but it wasn't until 2004 that the group really took off with the release of "Hopes and Fears," and the single, "Somewhere Only We Know" which became a huge hit resulting in a Grammy nomination for the band - Best New Artist. Since then, they haves achieved mainstream success and released three additional full-length studio albums, 2006's "Under the Iron Sea," 2008's "Perfect Symmetry," and this year's "Strangeland," as well as 2010's "Night Train" EP.
Five-time Grammy award winner and Princeton, New Jersey native Mary Chapin Carpenter has been producing country/folk/rock standards for nearly 25 years. She has earned fans and accolades for her ten studio albums and countless live performances. Her latest album, "Ashes and Roses," self-penned by Carpenter, is a reflection of her life - grieving over her father's death, going through a divroce, and concerns about her own health.
The only daughter of the King, Lisa Marie Presley has cast aside her father's shadow and earned the title "Princess of Rock'n'Roll" the old fashioned way - with her music. Born in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, Lisa Marie was left fatherless after Elvis' death when she was just nine year old. She led a troubled childhood until the call of music lured her back from the world of drugs that had consumed her.