Posted inMusic

Hawaiian master guitarists bring their warm island sounds to a cold Chicago winter

George Kahumoku Jr., Nathan Aweau, and Kawika Kahiapo are masterful slack-key guitarists whose music embodies Hawaiian traditions, and between the three of them, they certainly have the accolades and awards to prove it—Kahumoku, for instance, is a four-time Grammy winner. Their six- and 12-string skills are unquestionable, and between their playing and their distinct ways […]

Posted inMusic

Luke Winslow-King traded New Orleans for Michigan, but his music retains some southern charm

The influence of gospel music on singer-songwriter Luke Winslow-King is obvious, even when he’s playing an up-tempo song with a title such as “Swing That Thing.” Though King doesn’t approach it in a superficial, frantic, tambourine-banging way, if you’re familiar at all with southern gospel you can easily identify its hallmarks in his use of […]

Posted inMusic

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets smartly merge their disparate musical styles and showmanship

Though at first glance the matching suits and Mexican wrestling masks favored by Los Straitjackets might point to the contrary, the Nashville instrumental rock group are anything but a one-note gimmick. If their novelties got your attention, more power to them, but with or without the visuals, Los Straitjackets do a fantastic job extending the […]

Posted inMusic

Dom Flemons carries on the musical traditions and spirit of early black cowboys

Modern-day musicologist Dom Flemons first appeared in the spotlight in the 2000s as a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group of young black musicians keeping the African-American string-band tradition alive. After winning a Grammy in 2010 for Best Traditional Folk Recording, the original members of the group began to go their separate ways […]