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From left, Cobalt Tolbert, of Randolph, Vt., Titien Tolbert, of Randolph, Vt., and Angus Davis, of Hartland, Vt., practice in the basement of the Tolberts' home in Randolph, Vt., on January 19, 2015. Their band, Coquette, released their latest album, titled "Separatio," in November. (Valley News - Sarah Shaw) <p><i>Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.</i></p>

Attention Music Shoppers: Young Musicians Release Recordings and Hope for the Best

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The music business has long been a challenge. But the advent of the Internet has made it even more confusing. While it’s easier for a musician to get his work in front of listeners, it’s a crowded field. What does it mean to make it in the music business these days? Billy Sharff has one definition: “I just really enjoy …

Why Lady Gaga Needs ‘American Horror Story’

Thursday, February 26, 2015

After Lady Gaga’s majestic Sound of Music medley at the Oscars on Sunday, some speculated she may be headed to Broadway. Wrong genre! Turns out the pop star is aiming to conquer the world of basic-cable television. FX announced Wednesday that Lady Gaga will star on the fifth season of American Horror Story, …

Country King Garth Brooks Returns

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pittsburgh — There’s always a chance that Led Zeppelin will go back in the studio or Jim Morrison will return out of the blue, but we can probably go ahead and declare the return of Garth Brooks “the comeback of the century” so far. The country star from Oklahoma returned in November from …

With Interest Down, Piano Stores Close

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Washington — For months, Nick Margaritas has been reading stories of his coming demise. His intention, when he set up the alert for any news articles about “piano sales,” was to keep tabs on his world. What he …

Grateful Dead to Reunite for Final Concerts

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New York — The Grateful Dead is coming back to life for final concerts in July. The band announced Friday that surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will perform three shows from July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The band is celebrating …

Concert Set to Honor Stevie Wonder

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New York — Willie Nelson, Usher and Coldplay’s Chris Martin will pay tribute to Stevie Wonder at a concert next month. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that Ed Sheeran and Janelle Monae will also perform at Stevie Wonder: …

‘Empire’ Scores Big Ratings for Fox, But Can It Soar?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Empire, Fox’s new drama starring Terrence Howard as a hip-hop mogul and Taraji P. Henson as his ex-wife and competitor, is looking like a potential triumph for the network: About 10 million people tuned in the premiere last …

India’s Brass Bands Struggle

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Delhi — The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the …

R&B Singers Confront Growing Older

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The first great album I heard in 2014 was Love, Marriage & Divorce by Toni Braxton and Babyface. The last was D’Angelo’s Black Messiah. Plenty separated these excellent records. The former, a reunion of the R&B singer and …

Creative Self-Disruption

Sunday, January 4, 2015

No less than the taxi industry or the news media, the music business was defined in 2014 by “disruption,” that tech-world buzz word referring to the way a given field is upset — and in some cases remade …

Drops Co-Founder Finds True Calling

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What a difference a year makes. Toward the end of 2013, singer-fiddler Rhiannon Giddens and her band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, were at a crossroads. One of the group’s original members, Dom Flemons, had decided to pursue a …

Bringing Back the Blues

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Canaan — From the Canaan Old Home Days parade to Autumnfest in Woonsocket, R.I., Teddy Makalinaw and Eben Brown have covered a lot of ground since taking their Blues Brothers act on the road in 2013. But heading …

Song Leak May Help Madonna

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The year-end surprise album release is becoming a holiday tradition. First, Beyonce, then D’Angelo: Each of them released recordings that came out of nowhere to capture the pop imagination just in time for the New Year. But what …