tue 26/05/2020

New Music Interviews

Sinatras on Sinatra: 'He was a lonely soul'

Jasper Rees

Frank Sinatra is back in London in the centenary of his birth. His disembodied voice is returning in a show called Sinatra: The Man & His Music. At the London Palladium, where he made his British debut 65 years ago, there’s to be a 24-piece orchestra, 20 dancers and video effects galore in a multi-media concert featuring many of his best-loved songs. At the heart of it will be footage supplied by the Sinatra Estate.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Richard Thompson

Russ Coffey

On paper, Richard Thompson's career seems every bit as exotic as one of his songs. At the age of 18 he helped found folk-rock pioneers, Fairport Convention. Later, in the Seventies, he and wife Linda recorded several successful records together before retreating to a Sufi Muslim commune.

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Robert Glasper: 'When hip hop took over the world'

Matthew Wright

Pianist and producer Robert Glasper is one of the most versatile and innovative musicians on the scene, working within jazz, R&B, hip hop and related genres. He has won two Grammys, one each for his two Black Radio albums, 2012 and 2015, recorded with his electronic band The Robert Glasper Experiment. He also has an acoustic trio, working more specifically in the jazz tradition.

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10 Questions for Musician Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug)

Guy Oddy

Kevin Martin is a musician, record producer and journalist. He is best know for recording and performing as The Bug, however, has been and continues to be involved in a variety of other musical projects including: GOD, Techno Animal, Ice, Curse of the Golden Vampire and King Midas Sound.

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10 Questions for Musician Pokey LaFarge

Lydia Perrysmith

Pokey LaFarge (b. 1983) is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American history enthusiast. Based in St Louis, Missouri, but frequently on the road, he self-released his first album Marmalade in 2006, a well-received foray into American roots music, and consolidated his reputation playing mandolin for rowdy folk-revivalists the Hackensaw Boys.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Thea Gilmore

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It takes a particular combination of talent, guts, perseverance and sheer bloody-mindedness for an artist to take the creative decisions that Thea Gilmore has across her approaching 20-year career and get away with it – thankfully, all qualities that the Oxford-born songwriter has in spades.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Peter Perrett

Thomas H Green

Peter Perrett (b. 1952) is best known as the singer and songwriter of The Only Ones, a group who originally flared to brilliant life between 1976 and 1981. Born to an English policeman-turned-builder and a mother whose immediate heritage lay amid the tragedy of Austria’s 20th-century Jewry, Perrett grew up in London. Already precociously bohemian, at 16 he ran away with his girlfriend, Xenoulla “Zena” Kakoulli. She would prove to be his lifelong soulmate and partner.

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10 Questions for Musician Ron Sexsmith

Russ Coffey

Ron Sexsmith is a singer-songwriter who should, by rights, need no introduction: Critics and fellow musicians, after all, fall over themselves to praise the 51 year-old Canadian. Yet, despite a gorgeous back-catalogue and fans including Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello, widespread commercial success has, hitherto, largely eluded him. Still, the singer remains philosophical.

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Percy Sledge: 'When a man loves a woman he can't even think right'

Jasper Rees

No soul singer has been associated with one hit in quite the same way. Percy Sledge, who died last week at the age of 74, recorded “When a Man Loves a Woman” in 1966 and launched himself as a tearful balladeer. Its simple chord structure, featuring a descending bassline familiar from Pachelbel and Bach, was the bedrock over which Sledge howled plaintively of a lost love.

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'The Pain Swallowed Her Up' – Rebecca Ferguson Sings Billie Holiday

Matthew Wright

Platinum-selling singer Rebecca Ferguson has released two acclaimed albums, Heaven (2011) and Freedom (2013), though she broke through (in?) to the heart of the music-listening public on The X Factor (2010), when she came in runner-up behind Matt Cardle. Her voice oozes warmth and sincerity, and in only a few years she has acquired a passionate following. She’s also known for a troubled private life, which has become increasingly public.

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