Los Straitjackets are a Nashville-based indie-rock band that's made their name performing surf-rock classics from behind Mexican wrestling masks. The band is about to hit the road to raise money for band member Danny Amis, who was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Ed Helms plays a paper pusher on The Office and an insurance salesman in the new comedy Cedar Rapids — but on Thursday's Fresh Air, he plays the banjo. With his band The Lonesome Trio, he joins Terry Gross for an in-studio performance and a chat about his latest film.
Though they work as a traditional African-American string band, Carolina Chocolate Drops' members throw in some modern twists. The Durham, N.C.-based trio plays a wide variety of instruments, including the banjo, fiddle, jug, bones and harmonica. All of those sounds are featured on the band's newest record, Genuine Negro Jig.
In 1988, the legendary flat picker and singer of traditional folk tunes spoke to Terry Gross about starting his musical career, touring with his son Merle and playing banjo during the folk revival of the 1950s and '60s.
The alternative country singer from West Texas pays tribute to his late father on an album of honky-tonk country classics, Come on Back. He describes his introduction to country music -- and seeing Johnny Cash perform for the first time -- in a 2005 interview with Terry Gross.
This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 23, 2005.
The Indiana-born singer-songwriter's latest album, No Better Than This, was produced using vintage recording equipment at historical locations in order to capture the essence of old folk, country and blues. Mellencamp shares the stories behind some of his most famous songs -- and sings several in a studio session on Fresh Air.
This interview was originally broadcast on March 31, 2009.