Music

This weekend, shows from folk duo Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, Austin's Greyhounds opening for Drivin' and Cryin', Decatur band Biteroots and a math rock extravaganza at the Fresh Produce Music Hall. 

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Atlanta-based songwriter Anthony Aparo is best known as the front man for the band Culture Culture and a performer for the local collaboration ATL Collective. Anthony is featured in an upcoming GPB Music Session, and gave us two more tunes for our essential Georgia Playlist. Picks include songs by OutKast and Drivin’ n Cryin’. 

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On this day in 1960, lead singer Michael Stipe was born in Decatur, Georgia. The group was a pioneer in the alternative rock genre, releasing fifteen albums over their thirty year career. In 2007, R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is a songwriter.

That's worth saying because once upon a time he probably would have answered to guitar player. He is that, to be sure, but on his second album "Silver Tears," Tasjan gives the listener a collection of funny, sweet, well crafted and just a little melancholy songs. They are exercises in self examination and self reproachment delivered with a trickster's grin.

Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Georgia’s role in producing award-winning musicians is well documented. This year, nominations have gone to well-known rappers Lil Yachty and 2 Chainz, country music singer Thomas Rhett and Christian artist David Crowder.

You're listening to the sultry sounds of singer Gertrude Pridgett. But she's better known as "Ma Rainey: The Mother of the Blues." She recorded over 100 cuts for Paramount Records, including this song, "Black Eye Blues." 

Gucci Mane has had a roller coaster of a career. Born Radric Davis, he grew up in his grandfather's house in a small town in Alabama. He made his name in Atlanta, over time becoming a central figure in Southern rap and a mainstay on commercial radio. But his successes were interrupted by time in jail.

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On this date in 1966, singer Chris Robinson was born in Atlanta. He's best known as the charismatic frontman of the Black Crowes and for hit songs like the 1991 hit "She Talks To Angels."  

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 This week, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane performed for NPR Music in their Tiny Desk Concert series. His mini set list comprised of three tracks, including  this song titled "First Day Out." Today, Gucci is releasing his tenth studio album, "The Return of The East Atlanta Santa.

You could call Adia Victoria's relationship with the South a love/hate kind of thing, but that's not quite it. Her music grapples with the history and the promise of the region (and the failure to deliver on the same) without the stereotypical sentiment of a lot of Americana music. When she sings she's stuck in the South, you get the feeling she'd like to burn it down and build it anew rather than merely escape.

Hear three songs from Adia Victoria's debut record from the GPB Performance Studio. 

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Gucci Mane's smile makes you feel like there's still some good in the world. He's really earned it, and that thing is infectious.

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The Savannah-based group Twisty Cats performs this month in Atlanta. We talk with the duo behind the band: Peter Mavrogeorgis and Blake Olmstead. The married couple runs a recording studio during the day, and by night they perform what they call "electro, gotha-billy, psych-punk-pop." 

Twisty Cats performs at 529 in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 17.

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On December 8, 1956, 11-year-old  Atlanta native Brenda Lee released her first single, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus."

Lee was one of the top vocalists of the 1960s, singing pop and country music. But she is perhaps best remembered for another holiday classic, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." 

The song has endured as a holiday standard for more than 50 years. Happy holidays to Atlanta’s “Little Miss Dynamite," who is still on tour at age 71. 

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Soul-singer Otis Redding is known for a number of unforgettable tracks. But one song is considered to be his biggest hit: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."    

Photo courtesy of Stanley Clarke

Bassist and songwriter Stanley Clarke boasts a career spanning 40 years and work on over 40 albums. The four-time Grammy Award winner was the backbone of jazz-fusion band Return To Forever in the 1970s. His most recent album “The Stanley Clarke Band: UP” was released in 2014, with a new version of his hit tune “School Days.”

Clarke is now on tour, and performs at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta Thursday at 8 p.m. He joins us for a conversation about his life and contribution to the bass technique.

Courtesy of Andra Day

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Andra Day comes to Georgia this weekend. Day has sung at the White House and on the BET Awards show.

She was discovered, in part, by Stevie Wonder, who appeared alongside her in an iconic Apple TV ad in 2015. Her song “Rise Up” went multi-platinum. She sets aside some time to speak with us before a performance in Boston.

Andra Day will perform at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on Saturday at 8 p.m.

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It's time to add a few more tunes to our Georgia Playlist. The Shadowboxers started as friends at Emory University and grew into a band. The R&B group gives us their picks for the quintessential Georgia music collection. 

The Shadowboxers perform at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on December 15 at 8 p.m.

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Cindy Wilson co-founded The B-52s in Athens, Georgia in 1976. Now she’s back on tour, premiering material from her forthcoming, full-length solo album, “Change.” She drops by the studio to chat about her life and music. You can hear music from the new album recorded live in the GPB Performance Studio in the video below. 

This month, the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest returned from a 20 year hiatus with their new album "We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service."

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and features the late rapper Phife Dawg, who passed away earlier this year.

Pauline Oliveros, the composer, performer and teacher who developed a theory called "deep listening," died in her sleep Thursday. She was 84.

News of her death was first shared by musician Claire Chase on Instagram on Friday. The Deep Listening Institute, the organization Oliveros founded, confirmed her death to NPR on Saturday.

When Jake Fussell was growing up in Columbus, Georgia, he spent a lot of time on the road with his dad, Fred Fussell. Fred is a documentarian and museum coordinator who would travel around Georgia and the South examining how people lived, the things they made and the music they played. What stuck with Jake was the music. Eventually he picked up the guitar and took as his mentor the legendary Georgia fingerstyle guitar player Precious Bryant.

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Patterson Hood co-founded the Southern Rock band Drive-By Truckers in 1996 in Athens, Georgia. Since then, the band has pumped out 11 full-length albums; Hood has released three solo albums. 

Drive-By Truckers is now on tour to promote their newest record, "American Band." Patterson Hood joins us by phone to talk about the band's history, and how the current album coincided with the tumultuous politics of the last year.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell has died in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife, Jan, said through an intermediary that the legendary musician and songwriter had died Sunday in his sleep in Nashville.

The GPB Music team caught All Them Witches at the 2016 Shaky Knees Music Festival. We knew instantly we had to get these guys in the Performance Studio for a music session.

The Nashville-based musicians are masters of their own unique dark, bluesy sound. They channel power and rhythm in the most impressive ways. We know you'll enjoy this GPB Music Session with All Them Witches.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

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When they were both kids growing up in Macon, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills and classical violinist Robert McDuffie bonded over Hardy Boys books and shared records.  When they weren't making music together at church, anyway. 

"When my family moved here from Atlanta in 1971 my parents were looking for the best musical program in any church here," Mills said. "And the church that they found that had the best musical program was run by Bobby's mother."

The friends listened to records or watched TV together Sunday nights after church. That changed in their teen years. 

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Indie musician Kishi Bashi boasts an impressive resume. He's performed violin on stage with Regina Spektor and Athens psychedelic group Of Montreal. 

His real name is Kaoru Ishibashi, but in 2011 he adopted the pseudonym 'Kishi Bashi' and launched his own solo career. His first two albums were largely violin centric. On his album "151a" (pronounced Ichi-Go-Ichi-Eh), violin looping and vocal effects dominate the tracks.

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