Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:05 am
Whistling polymath Andrew Bird has become a perennial favorite of folk-pop aficionados and classical fans alike. As a trained violinist and a longtime touring musician, he has a way of expertly melding many genres and influences into his own unique brand of baroque pop. Showcasing his impressive skills with the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals, Bird is a picture of versatility.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:33 pm
Our Sense of Place Portland series focuses on the history of Portland, Ore. pop music as observed by longtime resident Terry Currier. He's uniquely qualified to survey the Portland music scene and the state of the record business because he owns Music Millennium, Portland's premier independent record store, where he has worked since 1972. He is also the founder of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores.
Imelda May began her affair with rockabilly early on in life — by the time she was 9, she'd already begun to emulate Elmore James and Billie Holiday. In 2007, after years of singing in clubs, May stole the spotlight with Love Tattoo. The 12-track collection shot to the #1 spot in Ireland, stealing the hearts of audiences and contemporaries the world over.
Hailing from the rain-soaked, indie folk hub that is Portland, Ore., the members of Y La Bamba are pretty far from their Latin inspirations. But this pop outfit is centered around the powerful, otherworldly vocals of Luz Elena Mendoza, and some of her main influences came from a childhood in Mexico — accordions, mariachi and Latin rhythms.
Sharon Van Etten's raspy, elegant vocals and deeply confessional folk-rock have made her a rising star. Ever since her official debut in 2009, the heart-breakingly intimate Because I Was In Love, Van Etten has been expanding her sound and adding grit to her delivery.
Willie Nile's folk-rock career has been varied and somewhat sporadic, but he always finds his way back to music. A gifted singer-songwriter, Nile has developed a versatile style that can be just as moving in a stadium as it is in a coffee shop.
Bahamas is the indie-folk project of Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen. His 2009 debut Pink Strat was nominated for a Juno Award and the Polaris Music Prize, and was well-reviewed for its honest, no-frills, airy love songs.