Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
Dedicated and curious music fans are regularly finding new chapters in rock history from around the globe. Critic Milo Miles reviews one recent collection, a series of anthologies focusing on the lively story of vintage pop in Panama.
Music critic Milo Miles looks at the career of reggae greats Toots Hibbert and his band, the Maytals. The group's recent re-issues are Time Tough, Funky Kingston (Island Records) and Monkey Man (Trojan Records).
Commentator Milo Miles introduces us to England's reggae artist and record company owner Linton Kwesi Johnson. He lyrics are a mix of poetry and politics. A new two-cd set called "Independent Intavenshan" features Johnson's music in the 1980's. It is available by Island Records.
Commentator Milo Miles recommends three music books that might make suitable last minute gifts. “The Rough Guide to World Music,” (Penguin) “The Rough Guide to Reggae,” (Penguin) and “Portrait of The Blues.” (DaCapo Press). Miles is former music editor of The Boston Phoenix. He writes about music for The Village Voice and The New York Times.
Critic Milo Miles considers the music made by reggae's cult figure Lee Perry and England's producer Mad Professor: "Who Put the Voodoo 'Pon Reggae" and "Dub Take the Voodoo Out of Reggae" (both on the RAS label).
Rock Historian Ed Ward continues his five part series on what impact several small record companies have had on the music world. Today he discusses Island Records, founded in England by Jamaican-born musician Chris Blackwell.
World music critic Milo Miles checks out "Dig," the new album from The Burning Flames, a Caribbean band that started out playing soca, added a strong rock beat, and came up with some of the most infectious dance music anywhere. (It's on Island Records).
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two albums representative of the new, technology fueled variation on the classic Jamaican style. He says its accessibility may give reggae the larger audience it deserves.
Rock critic Ken Tucker once more looks at the best and worst songs currently hitting the airwaves. Represented artists include Matthew Sweet, Bunny Wailer, Violent Femmes, Tone Loc, and Emmylou Harris.
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews new albums by Etta James, Willie Dixon and Toots. Tucker says it's refreshing that each of these artists continues to record and perform, even after their popularity has peaked.
August Darnell, lead singer of Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Kid Creole is the dapper stage persona of August Darnell, a wildly inventive showman whose music fuses salsa, rock, jazz, reggae, funk and rap. The group has found fame in Europe and South America, but success in America has proven elusive.
Kid Creole is the alter-ego of songwriter August Darnell. His charming but boasting album titles and complex lyrics may have kept him from rock stardom, but rock critic Ken Tucker says the music on his new album--I, Too, Have Seen the Woods--is beguiling.