A new year arrives full of promise of what’s to come, and while there may be plenty to dread, depending on your politics or personal situation, at least music seems poised to delight us — and soon! The past week has brought a bunch of new album announcements, and that’s always something to smile about. Let’s just start off with a list, shall we?
New Mavericks album.
New Alison Krauss album.
New Shins album.
New Rodney Crowell album (and video).
20th anniversary (!!!) release of Elliott Smith’s Either/Or (with unreleased song).
From David Bowie, an EP of recordings from the Lazarus musical, some of the last recordings he made before he died last year (with video).
Bonnaroo announced the lineup for this year's installment (June 8-11), and the names just keep getting bigger. At the top of the poster are U2 (with a set celebrating the 30th anniversary of Joshua Tree), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lorde, the Weeknd, and Chance the Rapper. Perhaps of more interest to roots fans are Margo Price, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Mandolin Orange, Angelique Kidjo, River Whyless, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, and Aaron Lee Tasjan. [Pitchfork]
You know you’ve grooved out to some sweet wah-wah guitar sounds. But how much do you know about the pedal that makes that magic happen? For starters, it turns 50 this year. Its origin story involves Frank Zappa, Phyllis Diller, and a not-at-all-impressed-at-first James Brown. [LA Weekly]
Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock offer an inspiring message for up-and-coming artists — and for the rest of us, for that matter. [Nest HQ]
A remembrance of Townes Van Zandt, warts and all, 20 years after his death. [Diffuser]
“I look busy for a living,” quips John Prine as a reporter follows him around at home for Rolling Stone. Learn more about Prine at 70, including what he packs in his suitcases on tour, what he looks for on eBay, and a ton more. [Rolling Stone]