80 episodes

WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.

Soundcheck WNYC

    • Performing Arts

WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.

    Bonny Light Horseman Takes New Look at Old Folk Songs

    Bonny Light Horseman Takes New Look at Old Folk Songs

    Bonny Light Horseman is a new trio consisting of Anais Mitchell, the songwriter behind the all-conquering Broadway musical Hadestown; Eric D Johnson, who leads the band Fruit Bats; and Josh Kaufman, who’s played with The National, Craig Finn, and many others. Together they are taking a new look at old folk songs from both sides of the Atlantic. The band name is actually from an old Napoleonic folk song about a handsome soldier who may or may not ever come home (here's their version.) With intimate harmonies and heartbreaking choruses, the trio Bonny Light Horseman plays music from their shimmering, chill-inducing self-titled debut, in-studio. 

    Watch the session here:

    • 31 min
    The Mighty and Relentless Groove of the Funky, Afrobeat Band Antibalas

    The Mighty and Relentless Groove of the Funky, Afrobeat Band Antibalas

    The 12-piece plus Afrobeat orchestra known as Antibalas (Spanish for "bulletproof") first made its reputation with hard-hitting, politically charged music in the style of the Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti. In the more than 20 years that they've been playing together, the Brooklyn collective served as the house band and musical directors for the Broadway show Fela!, in addition to being the house band at Carnegie Hall at tribute shows performing the music of Paul Simon (2014), David Byrne and Talking Heads (2015) and Aretha Franklin (2017).

    The music of Antibalas comes from an adventurous place where one might find horn-heavy funk, Afro-Cuban music, the loping rhythms of Ethiogroove, Caribbean dance, punk rock, and extra-planetary cosmic jazz all sharing the same playground. For their latest record, Fu Chronicles, Duke Amayo (lead singer, percussionist and composer) and Antibalas founder/baritone saxophonist Martín Perna look back to pre-gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when Antibalas and Daptone Records "spawned out of Amayo’s kung fu dojo.” (Amayo is a senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts. -Bandcamp) Antibalas joins us in-studio to play some of the new tunes. - Caryn Havlik

    Fu Chronicles by Antibalas

    • 33 min
    Acoustic Storytelling From The Lone Bellow

    Acoustic Storytelling From The Lone Bellow

    Brooklyn-born folk-rock outfit The Lone Bellow blends passionate, acoustic-based blues, country, and roots music into acoustic Americana with three-part vocal harmonies. That sound can be a very comforting one, but the trio has responded to our turbulent times with their most expansive album yet. With a big sonic palette that acknowledges the darkness but also offers reassurance and togetherness, their brand new album called Half Moon Light might be just what we need right now. The Lone Bellow joins plays songs built around warm, twangy guitar riffs, in-studio. 

    • 31 min
    The Wild Ride of Nashville-Based Indie-Rockers The Grahams

    The Wild Ride of Nashville-Based Indie-Rockers The Grahams

    New York grown, Nashville-based couple Alyssa and Doug Graham lead the roots-rock band The Grahams. With their 2013 debut record, they hit the Americana scene, continuing with their 2015  followup, influenced by the couple’s train adventure all over America. And now comes Kids Like Us, written during a wild motorcycle ride along Route 66, at the height of the 2016 election season. The Grahams and their band play guitar-led songs about the desert, heartbreak, rust, and nostalgia, from Kids Like Us, in-studio.

    Watch the session here: 

    • 27 min
    Norwegian Bass Player Sigurd Hole Explores Light and Dark

    Norwegian Bass Player Sigurd Hole Explores Light and Dark

    The Norwegian bass player Sigurd Hole is generally thought of as a jazz musician, and for good reason – he’s played with many of the top players like Tord Gustavsen trio/quartet, Karl Seglem, and Helge Lien on Norway’s thriving jazz scene. But he’s also a composer, and his most recent project is at once both intimate and ambitious. It’s a double LP set called Lys/Mørke, which means Light/Darkness, and it’s essentially a solo bass album. But it was recorded on an Arctic island and those sounds are part of the project as well. Sigurd Hole joins us in-studio to play some of these pieces. 

    • 29 min
    'Gregorian Country Music' By Guitarist-Songwriter Torres

    'Gregorian Country Music' By Guitarist-Songwriter Torres

    Mackenzie Scott has made ever-evolving pop throughout the 2010’s as TORRES. Raised in Bible-belt Georgia, she learned to sing and play the guitar in front of the residents of a senior citizens center. Building on her 2015 self-described “space cowboy record,” her latest, Silver Tongue, is an album about being in love, and one where she embraces both her love of Gregorian chant and country music (and her inner "redneck alien" - Vinyl Me Please.) The silver-tongued guitarist, songwriter and producer Torres plays some of these new songs, in-studio.

    Watch the session here: 

    • 28 min

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