Outside of Italy, where he is a superstar whom everyone knows, singer Jovanotti is hardly famous. He ought to be. And probably will soon be. Ever since the 46-year-old played at the Bonnaroo festival in 2011, he’s been steadily building up a fan base in the US, a sure sign that he’s on the road to fame outside his native Italy. Read more
Many new musicians can remind you of older (and sometimes more famous) ones. Three years ago, I’d written about the Rhode Island-based alternative folk and blues band, Deer Tick, and mentioned how uncannily Bob Dylanesque their lead singer, John McCauley sounds—so much so that a colleague after hearing them play even dubbed him ‘Baby Dylan’. But they’re not the only ones. Whenever I hear New Jersey’s rockers, The Gaslight Anthem, I’m reminded of Bruce Springsteen—and, in fact, that association is not without basis: The Gaslight Anthem are quite heavily influenced by The Boss; they’ve opened for him; and he’s played with them. More recently, I heard Charles Bradley who is known as ‘The Screaming Eagle of Soul’ and at 64 has just one album (No Time For Dreaming) to his credit. Bradley has his own style of singing funk, soul and R&B tunes but you can also distinctively discern strong influences of two legends, the late James Brown and the late Otis Redding. Then I read that Bradley began his career as a James Brown mimicker on stage before he found his own groove.
Jack White is no flash in the pan. Years and years from now when music writers will look back on the history of contemporary music of the late nineties and the ensuing decade or two, White ought to feature in their writings as a one of a kind musician–actually, not just as a singular musician but a singular musician’s musician. Read more
It was intended to be a nice road trip. It was an extended weekend. Two men. Two women. A child (a very well-behaved one). A great car – one of those luxury SUVs that cost more than what my flat did when we bought the latter. A destination tucked away in the upper reaches of Kumaon where email reaches you only in fits and bursts. It helped that both the men – one young and the other middle-aged – enjoyed driving with the former being an expert driver and an information whale on SUVs. We had everything we would need up there in the hilly nook we were headed for – a case of wine, light woollens and so on. The only thing left was the music we’d listen to on the way. Read more
By the time you read this, South by South West, arguably the largest music festival held each year at Austin, Texas, will be winding down. Thirteen hundred odd bands would have performed at more than 90 venues. And festival-goers—I envy them all—would have discovered tons of new musicians, many of them obscure but many among them that are likely to make ripples in the coming months. For several years now, I have had a long-standing objective of making it to the festival and drowning in the non-stop gigs for four consecutive days. I haven’t managed to fulfill that objective yet. Sigh! Read more