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FILE - In this July 11, 2010 file photo, singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester performs on the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala. Winchester, a U.S.-born songwriter who established himself in Montreal after dodging the Vietnam War and went on to write songs covered by the likes of Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett and Joan Baez, died Friday, April 11, 2014, of cancer. He was 69. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin, File)

Revered Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies at 69

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It was an offhand comment by singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, but it stopped Elvis Costello cold when he was chatting with Winchester for his short-lived music-interview series Spectacle on the Sundance Channel a few years ago. In an aside, the inordinately gifted songwriter casually identified The Brand New Tennessee Waltz (one of the first songs for which he’d gained acclaim in the early 1970s) as the first song he’d ever written. Then he nonchalantly moved on to finish the main point he was making about the art of writing songs. Costello interrupted, in utter disbelief: “You mean to say that was actually the first song you …

Kelela: An R&B Star Is Born?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There are Japanese and Portuguese words that describe the interstitials of love, but for the rest of us, there is R&B. Kelela — a petite, dreadlocked vocalist born in Washington and based in Los Angeles — understands that. Her futuristic love songs feel like high-def screen grabs of latent passion, micro-tonal desire and …

Dartmouth Jazz Guitarist Releases Album

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ever since Michael Blum began devoting his time to the electric guitar as a Dartmouth freshman several years ago, he’s experienced it as a solitary pursuit. While playing in the school’s practice rooms, his only audience is himself. He said not having anyone to hear his work is “surreal.” But no longer. Last …

Sting Goes on Tour With Paul Simon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Minneapolis — The lute is in the closet. Over the past decade, Sting has alienated many of his fans with obscure classical music and a Police reunion that felt more like an obligation than a celebration. But the Grammy-winning star is in the midst of a creative comeback …

Steve Lawrence Releases Album

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Steve Lawrence loved to talk music with Frank Sinatra. During one of their chats, the Chairman of the Board asked Lawrence to name his favorite song. “I said, there are a lot of wonderful songs out there,” Lawrence, 78, recalled in a recent interview. “He said, ‘Name one.’ …

The Ageless One: Stratocaster Guitar Turns 60, but for Its Musician Fans It Never Gets Old

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rock guitar hero Jeff Beck remembers falling in love for the first time. “I’d only ever seen Spanish-style or jazz guitars, and then I saw a Stratocaster,” said Beck, 69, of his schoolboy crush. “I was fascinated by …

Maria von Trapp, 99, Dies in Stowe, Vt.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stowe, Vt. — Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member and second-eldest daughter of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for The Sound of Music, has died. She was 99. Von Trapp died …

Pharrell Williams Is Busy, and Happy

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pharrell Williams looked wiped out. Late on a recent evening, the singer-rapper-producer was shuttling between two studios at a Melrose Avenue recording complex. In one he was working on music for this spring’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which …

Audience, Turn On Your Cellphones

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble performances conducted by Mathew Marsit tend not to follow rigid expectations of what a “classical” performance should be. That’s intentional. “I try and do this once a season with the wind ensemble,” Marsit said. …

‘Achy Breaky 2’ Probably Puzzles You

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have you heard the joke about Miley Cyrus’ dad and Dionne Warwick’s kid? That would be Achy Breaky 2, the video released this week by rapper-producer Buck 22 (Damon Elliott) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and a cameo by Larry King. It racked up nearly 5 million YouTube views …

Commentary: Too Many Baby Boomers Are Stuck in the Musical Past

Sunday, February 16, 2014

“Oh, I believe in yes-ter-day,” Paul McCartney sang. It may be the Beatles lyric heard most often. It might also be the mantra of baby boomers when it comes to their musical choices. How many boomers were thrilled to see Paul and Ringo together on the Grammys last …

Why Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Has Topped the Pop Charts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Before we talk about the new No. 1 song in America — Katy Perry’s latest in a hit-packed, half-decade career — here’s a quick pop-music pop quiz. In 2010-11, Perry tied an impressive chart record when her album …

Sisters Share A Drive to Succeed in Jazz

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In a small rehearsal room in the Hopkins Center, jazz musicians and sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen are putting four students from Dartmouth College’s Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble through the paces. The students are working methodically through two …