David Wax Museum - Named “Americana Artist of the Year” at the
the 2010 Boston Music Awards, David Wax Museum’s creates a vibrant
hybrid of traditional Mexican folk and American music. NPR described the
group as “pure, irresistible joy” while Time.com praised the group for
its “virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies.” While attending
college in Missouri, David Wax spent summers working in rural Mexico
with the American Friends Service Committee. He finished his degree at
Harvard before heading back to the Mexican countryside to study its rich
folk music tradition on a year-long fellowship. Utilizing Latin
rhythms, call-and-response shouts, accordion and donkey jawbones, the
band was featured on an NPR segment about Mexico-centric indie rock. Its
performance at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival was hailed by “All Songs
Considered” as one of the weekend’s highlights. The band’s latest
release, “Everything Is Saved,” has earned rave reviews from The New
Yorker, Paste Magazine, and a nod from Time Magazine as one of the Top
10 acts of this year’s SXSW music conference, and an appearance on NPR’s
Lucy Kaplansky - Raised in Chicago by a piano-playing mathematician and a homemaker Kaplansky began singing in bars when she was a teenager. When she was just out of high school, she moved to New York City where, along with Suzanne Vega, The Roches, Steve Forbert, John Gorka, and Shawn Colvin, she became part of the renaissance of the Greenwich Village folk scene. Although The New York Times said it was “easy to predict stardom for her,” Kaplansky earned a doctorate in psychology and started a private practice. Eventually, Colvin lured Kaplansky back to music and produced her 1994 debut “The Tide.” In addition to her six solo releases on Red House Records, Kaplansky was a member of folk supergroups Red Horse (with Gorka and Eliza Gilkyson) and Cry Cry Cry (with Dar Williams and Richard Shindell). Kaplansky’s voice has been featured in film and on television, including Chevrolet’s iconic “Heartbeat of America” jingle. She has been featured on shows including NPR’s Weekend and Morning Editions, BBC Radio and CBS “Sunday Morning.” One of the most in-demand harmony singers, Kaplansky has sung on countless records, performing with Suzanne Vega, Bryan Ferry, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin. Her latest release is titled “Reunion.”
Chuck Prophet - Based out of his California,
singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Prophet has worked with and had songs recorded by a who's who of music
luminaries, including Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Kim Richey, Heart, Mofro,
and Kelly Willis. Among his most notable collaboration is with roots music
great and “genre unto himself” Alejandro Escovedo, who has co-written his last
few albums with Prophet. Often compared to heavyweights like Tom Petty, Alex Chilton and Ray Davies, Prophet’s latest, "Temple
Beautiful," showcases his own
signature blend of rock, folk and punk.
Jesse Harris - Guitarist-songwriter Jesse Harris first came into prominence on Norah Jones' 2002 Grammy-winning "Come Away With Me." The New York native grew up studying classical piano and teaching himself guitar. Club dates in his late teens led to a deal with EMI and a 1995 album recorded with vocalist Rebecca Martin under the group name Once Blue. Harris went on to form the more organic Ferdinandos and through that band developed a working relationship with Jones. The success of Jones' debut helped bring Harris' songwriting abilities to the music community's attention and led to his collaborations with other contemporary artists as well as a label deal for the Ferdinandos. The soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's "The Hottest State" featured versions of Harris' songs by performed by artists including Willie Nelson, Bright Eyes, The Black Keys, Feist and Emmylou Harris. His latest - and 11th - release, “Sub Rosa,” was recorded in Rio de Janeiro with a group of stellar Brazilian musicians who weave Brazilian-influenced arrangements into Harris’ understated folk-pop. “Sub Rosa” also features cameos by Norah Jones, Conor Oberst, Bill Frisell, and Melody Gardot.
Barnaby Bright - Since the release of its 2009 debut, “Wake the Hero,” the duo known as Barnaby Bright - Nathan and Becky Bliss - has garnered high praise for its songwriting and sound. The group’s music - which features guitars, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, thumb pianos and stunning harmonies - has been featured on television shows including “ER” and “Days of our Lives.” The follow-up EP, “Gravity,” was named one of the “Top 100 Records of the Year” by Amazon.com. Traveling to Europe, the U.K. and throughout the U.S., Nathan and Becky average 40,000 miles and 200 shows a year. Barnaby Bright (a medieval term for the summer solstice) was among the finalists in the 2012 “Mountain Stage Newsong” competition held at Lincoln Center in NYC.
This episode is scheduled for NPR distribution on Friday, December 7th 2012. A complete list of stations that carry Mountain Stage can be found at mountainstage.org .