Music Bank

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Shelagh McDonald

Posted on Feb 17, 2022 in 60s, COUNTRY/FOLK, Folk Rock, Singer/Songwriter

As much myth as musician, singer/songwriter Shelagh McDonald seemed poised to emerge as a major voice in British folk music when she abruptly vanished mere months after the release of her breakthrough LP. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, McDonald arrived in London sometime in the late ’60s. While performing at the Troubadour, she befriended fellow singer/songwriter Keith Christmas, who would prove instrumental in landing her a record deal with the B&C label…

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Archers of Loaf

Posted on Feb 12, 2022 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie

The Archers of Loaf were darlings of the indie world in the early to mid-’90s, thanks to an off-kilter sound that was edgy and challenging, yet melodically accessible at the same time. Cornerstones of the Chapel Hill, NC, indie scene that also spawned Superchunk and Polvo, the Archers’ chief inspirations were the Replacements and Sonic Youth, but that only began to tell the story. Their music was frequently likened to a more intense, raucous version of Pavement’s postmodern pop, and indeed they shared key elements…

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Eddie Bo

Posted on Feb 7, 2022 in 50s, Funk, Rhythm & Blues

A sorely underappreciated veteran of the New Orleans R&B scene, singer/ songwriter/ producer/ pianist Eddie Bo evolved into one of the city’s foremost funk players during the late ’60s and early ’70s, although he never had a national hit commensurate with his musical standing. Born Edwin Joseph Bocage on September 20, 1930, Bo was raised in the Algiers and Ninth Ward sections of New Orleans by a musical family; uncles Peter and Charles and cousin Henry all played in post-WWI jazz orchestras (including A.J. Piron’s), and his mother was a pianist in the Professor Longhair style…

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Mary Chapin Carpenter

Posted on Jan 31, 2022 in 90s, Americana, COUNTRY/FOLK, Singer/Songwriter

Mary Chapin Carpenter is a gifted singer and songwriter who began her career as a folk-influenced performer in the Washington, D.C. area, but found favor on country radio in the 1980s and ’90s by taking her emotionally intelligent songs to a mass audience. Beginning with 1987’s Hometown Girl, she wrote and sang in the contemporary singer/songwriter vein, but moved into country-leaning material with 1990’s Shooting Straight in the Dark, which included the hit single “Down at the Twist and Shout.”…

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Posted on Jan 26, 2022 in 70s, 80s, New Wave, Power pop, ROCK/POP

As one of the most traditional pop bands of the new wave, Squeeze provided one of the links between classic British guitar pop and post-punk. Inspired heavily by the Beatles and the Kinks, Squeeze were the vehicle for the songwriting of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, who were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne during their heyday in the early ’80s. Unlike Lennon and McCartney, the partnership between Difford and Tilbrook was a genuine collaboration, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter providing the music…

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The Reivers

Posted on Jan 21, 2022 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Power pop

The Reivers began their existence as Zeitgeist, one of many melodic, jangly pop bands to emerge from the fertile Austin, Texas music community during the 1980s. Led by singers/guitarists John Croslin and Kim Longacre, Zeitgeist debuted in 1985 with the album Translate Slowly … Shortly after the record’s release, the group was slapped with a cease-and-desist order by another band called Zeitgeist, a Minneapolis-based percussion ensemble which had held the name longer; in honor of the William Faulkner novel, they became the Reivers…

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Posted on Jan 16, 2022 in 10s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Post-punk

Detroit post-punk quartet Protomartyr formed in 2010, slowly bubbling up out of a few bands in a tightly knit music scene. Delivering burly but intelligent music that played heavily on dynamics and physical impact, the group’s wild card was vocalist and lyricist Joe Casey, who spun free-associative semi-beat poetry over the churning report of the musicians. After making an impression on the Michigan music scene with their 2012 debut album, No Passion All Technique, word about Protomartyr spread further when they signed with the Sub Pop-distributed Hardly Art label…

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The McKinleys

Posted on Jan 11, 2022 in 60s, ROCK/POP

Sibling girl group duo the McKinleys teamed Edinburgh, Scotland-born sisters Sheila and Jeanette — after performing at Hamburg, Germany’s famed Star Club they settled in London, signing to the Southern Music offshoot Iver Music and teaming with the songwriting and production duo of John Carter and Ken Lewis for their 1964 debut single “Someone Cares for Me,” a note-perfect homage to Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. The follow-up “When He Comes Along” appeared that summer…

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Johnny Adams

Posted on Jan 4, 2022 in 60s, Gospel, Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

Renowned around his Crescent City home base as “the Tan Canary” for his extraordinary set of soulfully soaring pipes, veteran R&B vocalist Johnny Adams tackled an exceptionally wide variety of material for Rounder in his later years; elegantly rendered tribute albums to legendary songwriters Doc Pomus and Percy Mayfield preceded forays into mellow, jazzier pastures. But then, Adams was never particularly into the parade-beat grooves that traditionally define the New Orleans R&B sound, preferring to deliver sophisticated soul ballads draped in strings…

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Françoise Hardy

Posted on Dec 28, 2021 in 60s, ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

Françoise Hardy is a pop and fashion icon celebrated as a French national treasure. With her signature breathy alto, she was one of the earliest and most definitive French participants in the yé-yé movement (a style of pop music that initially emerged from Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal before spreading to France in the early 1960s). She is one of only a few female vocalists who could or would write and perform her own material. She offered a startling contrast to the boy’s club of French pop in the early ’60s, paving the way for literally thousands of women all over the globe…

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