fri 19/07/2019

New Music Interviews

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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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Mark Stewart

Thomas H Green

Mark Stewart is the singer and a founding member of iconoclastic band The Pop Group, who reformed in 2010. He grew up in Bristol and, with The Pop Group, between 1978 and 1981, pioneered an abrasively different post-punk sound based on jazz, funk and hip hop, with a direct and vociferous political edge. Their output, especially their debut album Y and the single “We Are All Prostitutes”, remain hugely influential within alternative rock circles.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain

Thomas H Green

With The Jesus & Mary Chain reformed and currently touring their epochal debut album, Psychocandy, theartsdesk reaches into its archives to offer up a rare and very extensive interview with lead singer Jim Reid from 2010.

Jim Reid (b 1961) is lead singer and, with older brother William, the creative driving force behind The Jesus and Mary Chain. Together they created a furore in the mid-Eighties, bursting onto the scene with punk churlishness, a uniquely...

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10 Questions for Rumer 2015

Thomas H Green

Last autumn Rumer reappeared with her third album, Into Colour, surprising everyone with a lead single that was disco-flavoured. The rest of the album was closer in scope to the opulent LA easy listening and classic West Coast singer-songwriter fare that the singer has made her own since her first major label single, “Slow”, blew up in 2010.

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10 Questions for Songwriter Jackson Browne

Adam Sweeting

If there's one commonly-known fact about Jackson Browne, it's that (with a bit of help from Glenn Frey) he wrote "Take It Easy" for the Eagles. The first track off their first album, and their first hit single, it remained a trademark for the band despite all the changes they subsequently went through. The following year, 1973, Browne released his own recording of "Take It Easy" on his second album, For Everyman.

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10 Questions for Musician Michael League

peter Quinn

Michael League is the Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, producer and bandleader with NYC-based jazz-funk-fusion band Snarky Puppy. Formed in Denton, Texas, in 2004, Snarky Puppy is comprised of a collective of over 30 musicians. In addition to touring and recording, the band is committed to music education, holding over 100 clinics, workshops, and masterclasses in the US, Canada, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

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Annie Lennox: The Jazz Singer

Peter Culshaw

Annie Lennox is a far more fascinating artist than she’s often given credit for. Perhaps because she has been around for decades (she’s now 59) and hasn’t self-destructed like her friend Amy Winehouse or gone into exile for ages like Kate Bush, or Patti Smith, she has less of a fierce mystique and feels more a familiar part of the landscape.

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10 Questions for Musician Fuse ODG

Matthew Wright

Anglo-Ghanaian musician Fuse ODG – born Nana Richard Abiona – is a leading exponent of the new Afrobeats movement, which combines Western pop and rap with Nigerian and Ghanaian pop, and some stylistic elements from the Fela Kuti-inspired Afrobeat scene. Unlike many of his contemporaries on the scene, Fuse spent many years of his childhood in Ghana, returning to London for secondary school, and has detailed first-hand experience of both cultures.

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