April 26, 2011 Since the 1960s, the electric guitar has provided a bridge between international folk cultures and modern pop music. An example today is the singer and guitarist Bombino from Niger, whose album Agadez contains currents of blues and rock, along with traces of African folk.
March 24, 2011 Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista has played with everyone from Paul Simon to Herbie Hancock to Yo-Yo Ma. On his album Caym, Baptista and his band interpret the music of John Zorn. Music critic Milo Miles says the album "avoids the typical downfalls of eclectic world-music albums."
January 31, 2011 When La Lupe, the "Queen of Latin Soul," peaked in the 1960s, she was a regular at the Palladium Club and played Madison Square Garden. By the late 1980s, she was on welfare with no fixed address. Critic Milo Miles says a new retrospective album redeems the forgotten singer.
November 5, 2010 Nearly 40 years ago, The Rolling Stones decided to film four performances in Ft. Worth and Houston for a theatrical release. The finished film, Ladies and Gentlemen ... The Rolling Stones, has just been released on DVD. Critic Milo Miles reviews the performance.
October 6, 2010 The Australian singer recently made her American debut with her third album, As Day Follows Night. It's a cycle of songs about a love triangle, and it's performed, as Blasko says, in the direct manner of early Carole King. Milo Miles explains how Blasko escapes irony and sentimentality to refresh a well-worn subject.
August 16, 2010 Mac Rebennack, known as "Dr. John," has been a rock and soul ambassador for his native New Orleans since the late 1960s. Although his public profile has risen and fallen over the years, the spirit of his city is a constant presence on all of his albums. Critic Milo Miles talks about how crusading for wounded New Orleans has given Dr. John a jolt of vitality.
June 21, 2010 Afrobeat has proven to be the most durable and appealing fusion of African and American pop styles — in spite of the death of Afrobeat's creator, Fela Kuti. Critic Milo Miles talks about how some smart, determined Afrobeat inheritors both sustain and build upon the style's foundations.
April 13, 2010 Package tours in the early years of rock and soul were varied grab bags. But none were like The T.A.M.I. Show. Filmed in October 1964 in Santa Monica, the lineup included performers who weren't stars yet — like The Rolling Stones — and those at the peak of their fame, like Lesley Gore and Jan and Dean. Critic Milo Miles reviews the concert, just released on DVD.
February 12, 2010 Congolese guitarist Franco is not well-known in America, despite being one of Africa's greatest pop artists. That might change, now that the the African guitarist and band leader's tracks have been released on two albums, Francophonic Vol. 1 and 2.