Roots Music

Papa Mali, “I’m a Ram” from Music is Love (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Papa Mali, “I’m a Ram” from Music is Love (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Papa Mali’s “I’m a Ram” is an intriguing voodoo of sex and danger, something that seems to always surround the best Louisiana music.

Staple Singers, “Samson and Delilah” from Freedom Hwy. Complete (2015): One Track Mind

Staple Singers, “Samson and Delilah” from Freedom Hwy. Complete (2015): One Track Mind

There was no small amount of violence in Blind Willie Johnson’s original take, and that’s boldly recaptured in this unheard version by the Staple Singers.

The Band, “She Knows” from High on the Hog (1996): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “She Knows” from High on the Hog (1996): Across the Great Divide

Richard Manuel shows one final time why Rick Danko and Levon Helm always saw him as the Band’s true frontman.

Daniel Lanois confirms more Sinatra coming from Bob Dylan: ‘A sacred ground for him’

Daniel Lanois confirms more Sinatra coming from Bob Dylan: ‘A sacred ground for him’

For Daniel Lanois, an intimate preview revealed unexpected depths in Bob Dylan’s new Frank Sinatra-focused album ‘Shadows in the Night.’

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Issued five years ago today, ‘American VI: Ain’t No Grave’ finds Johnny Cash in the midst of a bracing acceptance of his looming fate.

That time CCR moved Booker T. and the MGs to greatness: ‘It was inspirational; it’s still inspirational’

That time CCR moved Booker T. and the MGs to greatness: ‘It was inspirational; it’s still inspirational’

We typically hear about Booker T. and the MGs’ impact on a series of later stars. But what about when the situation was reversed?

Levon Helm, “Blues So Bad” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Blues So Bad” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Left to his own devices after the dissolution of the Band, Levon Helm returned to the things that had been his strengths, his succor, and his joy.

Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart” (2015): One Track Mind

Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart” (2015): One Track Mind

On one level, it sounds like the Byrds. On another, Buck Owens. On another still, Gene Vincent. Keep going. At bottom, it’s uniquely Dwight Yoakam.

Tim Lee 3 – 33 1/3 (2015)

Tim Lee 3 – 33 1/3 (2015)

Tim Lee 3 fits the Americana rubric, but they’re much more than an assortment of sounds from the display case over at the museum of lost arts.

Steve Cropper explains his in-the-moment genius: ‘I don’t practice! We don’t do that!’

Steve Cropper explains his in-the-moment genius: ‘I don’t practice! We don’t do that!’

Steve Cropper’s life-long success as a sideman, songwriter and producer hasn’t come from spending endless hours in the woodshed. In fact, far from it.