Pennsylvania native Sean Scolnick (a.k.a. Langhorne Slim) describes his own sound as "country punk," but it's not out of line to call him a sort of supercharged folksinger. He's got a big, ragged voice and a bigger personality — and little trouble grabbing a crowd's attention with raucous songs from his newest album, 2012's The Way We Move.
Hear Langhorne Slim and his band The Law perform as part of the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 27 in Newport, R.I.
Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have spent the last decade or so singing sweetly, rowdily anthemic folk-country music together, most recently under the name Shovels & Rope. But the South Carolina husband-and-wife duo has only recently begun to take off on a national scale, thanks to a string of fantastically stirring live performances and a fi
Hear The Full Set: Hurray For The Riff Raff At Newport
The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. The group just followed its dynamite 2012 album Look Out Mama with a Kickstarter-funded collection of covers (and two originals) called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor.
Raised in Alabama and based in Brooklyn, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck makes moody, searching, raggedly pretty music that reflects the sounds of both his respective homes. But there's also a wise, homesick weariness to Houck's voice that transcends time and place: Listen at just the right time, and a Phosphorescent record feels like a warm conversation with a friend who understands loneliness.
The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles makes some of the most good-natured chamber-pop music around, led by the unmistakably kind voice of Matt Bishop. Naturally, given the band's size, Hey Marseilles gets to make the most of a wide array of warm sounds, from cello and viola to horns and accordions, but those ingredients are all wisely wrapped around songwriting that exudes sweet, hooky sunshine.
When they perform onstage as The Milk Carton Kids, Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are half Simon & Garfunkel, half Smothers Brothers: Their melancholic harmonies intertwine beautifully, while their playful, deadpan banter is worth the price of admission on its own.
JD McPherson provides a refreshing reminder that retro roots music isn't timid: His debut album, Signs & Signifiers, synthesizes blues and rockabilly and old-school rock 'n' roll with an unmistakable punk spirit. Throughout the record, he finds the delicate balance between a classic, traditionalist sound and the understanding that the styles he's emulating are rooted in rebellion, menace and even danger.
Wallace Shawn (from left), Larry Pine and Deborah Eisenberg make up the cast of <em>The Designated Mourner</em>. Written by Shawn and directed by Andre Gregory, the Public Theater show is a product of one of the longest collaborations in the history of the American theater.
Credit Joan Marcus / Courtesy The Public Theater
Wallace Shawn wrote the plays <em>The Designated Mourner</em> and <em>Grasses of a Thousand Colors.</em> He also co-wrote and co-starred in <em>My Dinner with Andre.</em>
Credit Reed Saxon / AP
Wallace Shawn (bottom) appeared alongside Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant (top) in the 1987 cult classic <em>The Princess Bride</em>.
Wallace Shawn is famous for his career as an actor, but over the past four decades he has written a handful of plays that are intellectually demanding and rarely produced. His characters tell stories in monologues, rather than acting them out onstage, and they use cascades of words to make dizzying arguments.
His work is being showcased at New York's Public Theater this season. A revival of The Designated Mourner opened July 21 and the American premier of another Shawn play, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, will open this fall.