Kimberly Junod

Bruce Hornsby has an appetite for the unusual that may surprise those who know him best for his 1986 smash hit "The Way It Is." His latest album, Absolute Zero, features a "bitonal pop song" where Hornsby plays in different keys with each hand.

Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Adrian Quesada was just about to get in the car after having lunch with a producer friend in Austin when he casually tossed out the question, "Oh hey! By the way, do you know anybody who would, like, sing on these songs?"

I would say, "You have to go see Another Sky live," except that if you go to one of the band's shows you won't really see Another Sky.

It's humbling, maybe a little embarrassing and definitely exciting to stand in the middle of a packed club show and be the only person who doesn't already know all the words to the songs the band is playing. Welcome to my experience seeing The Amazons at Omeara in London.

British-born singer Eno Williams grew up in Nigeria, where her family passed on storytelling traditions in the Ibibio language.

Since the '90s, Richard Porter has been zipping around London showing Beatles fans all the band's most famous hot-spots and regaling them with deep dive stories about the Fab Four. He's even earned the title "Beatles Brain of Britain."

If 1960s rock icon Jimi Hendrix and 18th century composer George Frideric Handel were alive at the same time, they would have been next door neighbors in London.

This week, BBC radio legend Annie Mac named Sea Girls' new song "Violet" the "Hottest Record in the World." That's the second time Mac has singled out Sea Girls this year, and just one of the many thrills the band is riding en route to releasing its full-length debut this coming February.

A chance accident performing a simple skateboard trick changed the shape of the latest Beirut record, Gallipoli. What was supposed to be a recording session in New York City ended up happening in Berlin and the result is a different set of songs that retain that signature Beirut sound.

Working towards your goals often involves overcoming adversity, right? It's on every motivational poster out there. Daniel and Sarah, the duo that is Pure Bathing Culture know this well.

For more than a decade, Tim Baker led the beloved Hey Rosetta! Then the Canadian band decided to take an indefinite hiatus, and Tim moved from his home on the East Coast island of Newfoundland to the sprawling major metropolis of Toronto. Tim talks about how he turned all that life change into a big-hearted debut solo album called Forever Overhead and he performs live.

Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim are three sisters who record as A-WA. They are Arab Jews who live in Israel and spread the Yemeni folk traditions of their heritage around the world through electronic music.

We're in a hammock state of mind with CAAMP. The band was formed in Athens, Ohio by old friends Taylor Meier, who sings and plays guitar, and banjo player Evan Westfall. They later added bass player Matt Vinson.

When I spoke to Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney about their new album, Let's Rock!, as The Black Keys, they joked around about themselves a lot.

When Gloria Gaynor says "God has been so good to me," she wants to make something clear.

"People often think that when you say God has been good to you it means that you've had a wonderful, carefree life," she says. "Not so at all. But I say that because he's brought me through so much unscathed."

Jimmy Horn was on a road trip with a friend as a teenager when their car broke down in New Orleans. Jimmy's first thought? "I felt like I was born to be here." So he never left. Since then, Jimmy has devoted his life to studying, playing and sharing the music of The Big Easy.

Orville Peck makes a very different kind of country music. It's a kind that's just as authentic as the storytellers he admired growing up, though some have questioned that because of the way he presents himself as an artist.

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are both gifted multi-instrumentalists and devoted students of music history.

Hayes Carll has been making music for nearly two decades. Early on, he focused more on telling other people's stories than his own.

Carlos Santana is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of the last 50 years — from his groundbreaking performance at Woodstock to his millions of albums sold in the '70s to his revival in the late '90s thanks to the album Supernatural and its lead single "Smooth." Santana's latest album is called Africa Speaks, which just came out on

Just over a minute into her new collection of singles, Being Again, Norah Jones declares "I will rise." Her vocal power is arresting and floats over heartbeat percussion and ambient piano.

Musical pioneer and mandolin star Sam Bush is the subject of a documentary called Revival: The Sam Bush Story, which traces Sam's musical trajectory from a kid who grew up on country and bluegrass in Kentucky to one of the founders of the band New Grass Revival to one of the key influencers in modern Americana.

Many of Ryan Bingham's life stories sound like country songs in and of themselves. Bingham was raised between New Mexico, California and Texas. His family moved around a lot when he was growing up as his dad struggled to find work. Bingham left home at 17 to ride in the rodeo before picking up the guitar.

With huge hits like "Love Train" and "Back Stabbers," the formidable band The O'Jays brought the sound of Philadelphia soul to the airwaves back in the early '70s, along with messages of love and unity.

Eleven years ago, after a Metallica show, a gentleman named Warren told me "We have this band you have to hear." I jump into his car, he pops the CD in the player, and this blares out: "Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked / Money don't grow on trees / I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed / There ain't nothing in this world for free."

The Head and the Heart's latest album, Living Mirage, is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the "heart" part of the band's name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche's idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member's all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.

Karen O is a punk rock icon known for snarling, searing live shows as lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

David Bazan has been releasing solo records steadily for the past decade, but Phoenix marks his first album returning as Pedro the Lion in 15 years. The record was inspired by Phoenix, Ariz., where Bazan lived until he was 12 years old.

As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on The Capitalist Blues. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead.

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