Paul Brady - Long before Bonnie Raitt covered Brady’s “Luck of the Draw,” the Irish singer-songwriter was already a favorite of stars such as Bob Dylan and Tina Turner. After an early dose of American R&B, Brady immersed himself in traditional Irish music and joined the acclaimed Irish group Planxty. One of the U.K.’s most enduring musicians, he has won numerous awards and was a featured guest on tours with Eric Clapton and Dire Straits. He has also collaborated with John Prine, Bela Fleck, Raitt and Richard Thompson. In October, 2001, Brady performed a record-breaking string of 23 sold-out shows at Dublin’s premier music venue, Vicar Street. The following year, Ireland’s national TV station filmed a six-segment series featuring Brady’s music called “The Paul Brady Songbook.“ In 2010, he released his 14th solo album, “Hooba Dooba” to popular and critical acclaim. That same year, he performed at Belfast’s Waterfront Theatre with the Ulster Orchestra as part of the 2010 Belfast Festival.
Ben Sollee - Named one of NPR’s “Top Ten Unknown Artists of the Year” in 2007, Kentucky native Ben Sollee’s developed his distinctive cello technique and soulful voice through his work with avant-garde bluesman Otis Taylor and Abigail Washburn’s East-meets-West folk of The Sparrow Quartet (which featured banjo-master Béla Fleck). He also was a member of the trio Appalachian Voices which included My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames and singer/songwriter Daniel Martin Moore. The three Kentuckians were drawn together by a concern over the future of Appalachia. His current release, “Inclusions,” seeks to intertwine his music with art and life. Collaborating with local visual artist Phillip March Jones, the album art for Inclusions brings a visual reference to the allegory of the album. Sollee achieves a rhythmic intensity with the help of percussionist Jordon Ellis and vocalist Cheyenne Marie Mize.
Joseph Arthur - Akron, OH, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s and signed to his Real World label. Often compared to Leonard Cohen and the late Jeff Buckley, Arthur participated in Gabriel's annual WOMAD shows, and spent the latter part of the '90s on the road opening dates for labelmates Ben Harper and Gomez. His first solo release since 2006’s “Nuclear Daydream,” “The Graduation Ceremony” has been described as a “dynamic swirl of noise that somehow appears magically around him” and a “lush, poetic, squalling, spiritual, and strange - just like life.” “Vanity Fair” hailed him as “one of our most emotionally revealing and talented singer-songwriters” and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe called him “one of those rare writer-performers where you get the sense, whatever you believe, that something greater is being channeled through his music and voice.”
Vandaveer - The solo project of alt-folk singer/songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger, Vandaveer’s brand of American is haunting and filled with universal stories. Having toured continually since the release of his 2007 debut - which drew comparisons to Dylan, Donovan, Tom Waits and Nick Drake - Vandaveer has shared stages with the likes of Bon Iver, Alejandro Escovedo, Vashti Bunyan and Joe Pug. The Kentucky native now living in D.C. also is the bassist for D.C. group These United States. His current release is “Dig Down Deep.”
Scythian- (sith-ee-yin) belts out a high-energy, adrenaline-peddling, interactive brand of music with one goal in mind; to get people on their feet and dancing. These classically trained musicians are natural showmen who seamlessly blend kicked-up Celtic, folk and world music, and deliver it with a punk-rock sensibility. Combine this with the driving rhythm of a jazz percussionist, and you've got the ingredients for a show you won't soon forget. In a single song, they transport an audience across the globe with the alluring and dramatic strains of gypsy fiddles, the bounce of a Celtic reel, and then cross back over the border to pick up a klezmer hook and some good old-fashioned bluegrass licks
This episode is scheduled for NPR distribution in November 2011.
For more information, including hi-res jpeg photos, please contact Adam Harris, 304.556.4900.