When you dare to combine genres of music, you dare to combine more than simply sound and style. An audacious blend of music can bring together diverse cultures, and in the realm of American society there are few backgrounds more disparate than that of small-town bluegrass and the deep urban flavor of hip-hop. On Thursday night, the 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center made easy work of the task, lead by the prototypical alchemist of the genres, Gangstagrass.
The Infamous Stringdusters came on the scene in 2007 and, right out of the gate, commanded a lot of attention, a lot of accolades, and some very impressive awards.
Mr. Sun is comprised of Darol Anger -- easily one of the most skilled and most interesting fiddlers working today-and three like-minded and equally talented players, Joe Walsh on mandolin, Grant Gordy on guitar and Karl Doty on bass.
"Folk music is the music of the people," says KDHX DJ Kelly Wells. Here's an inside look at Wells' passion for soulful folk, blues and Americana music as heard every Wednesday on "Steam-Powered Radio," 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Central.
"Are you trying to get a master's degree in musicology," the Freight Hoppers' David Bass was asked during an interview, "or are you out there really raising hell and having fun with the music?"
This has felt like the official year of "Well, it's about time!" recordings. There seemed to be so many albums from top-flight players who haven't released anything in, literally, years. In all cases, it was worth the wait.
The DJs of 88.1 KDHX have picked their "Songs of the Year," and the resulting list -- spanning all manner of sounds and styles, ranging from radio hitmakers to local heroes -- forms a pretty comprehensive (and thoroughly enjoyable) look back at the year in music that was 2013.