Decoding “Despacito,” tracks the stories behind the biggest Latin hits of the past fifty years and is reported on and written by Leila Cobo, Billboard’s V.P. of Latin Music and the world’s ultimate authority on popular Latin music. From the Salsa born and bred in the streets of New York City, to Puerto Rican Reggaetón and bilingual chart-toppers, this rich oral history is a veritable treasure trove of never-before heard anecdotes and insight from a who’s who of Latin music artists, executives, observers, and players. Their stories, told in their own words, take you inside the hits, to the inner sanctum of the creative minds behind the tracks that have defined eras and become hallmarks of history. The book is out March 2nd and has already received positive feedback with the Kirkus Review stating it is “an entertaining oral history of the songs that put Latin culture on the map.”
On March 5, composer, multi-instrumentalist and twenty time GRAMMY-winner Pat Metheny will release Road To The Sun, his debut for BMG Modern Recordings and the latest chapter in an endlessly innovative career that spans nearly five decades. A collection of two major new works composed by Metheny and performed by five of the world ́s leading guitarists, Road To The Sun unveils new facets of an already expansive personal language while obliterating any genre boundaries that stand in its way.
For the first time in decades, Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird have come together to announce a brand new album. Out March 5th on Thirty Tigers, These 13 is about the special type of human connection that can survive any distance of time or geography. As former collaborators in Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mathus and Bird's friendship dates back 25 years, but at the turn of the century their career paths diverged. Both became highly accomplished, acclaimed and prolific solo artists, and though they remained close friends, they did not return to musical collaboration until 2018, when they started exchanging the fragments that grew into this set of 13 songs.
Valerie June announced her first new album in four years The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, out March 12th, 2021 via Fantasy Records. Produced by Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, John Legend) and Valerie June, the new album is sweeping and ambitious with earthy R&B production and a touch of psychedelia amidst its astral folk-pop orchestration, the pair arrived at a sound that is elegant and endlessly surprising. At the center is June’s spellbinding vocals and infectious sense of wonder that finds the Brooklyn-via-Memphis artist narrating the often-precarious journey to joyful possibility.
Malaco Records announces the March 23 publication of The Last Soul Company: The Malaco Records Story, a gorgeous new retrospective book from Grammy Award-winning author Rob Bowman (Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records) that weaves together the tale of a half century of Malaco productions, exploring the careers and catalog of such seminal Malaco artists as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bobby Blue Bland, Z.Z. Hill, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton, James Cleveland, and many more. Presenting Malaco’s story in almost 200 full-color pages filled with exclusive stories, dozens of never-before-seen photographs, and other ephemera from the label’s illustrious history — and featuring a foreword from legendary music author Peter Guralnick — The Last Soul Company is an invaluable documentation of a unique and essential American music institution.
Out March 26 digitally and April 9 physically, JAG25's inaugural Jag Quarterly release Dilate Your Heart includes Jagjaguwar's first spoken-word album since Robert Creeley's self-titled record 20 years ago. Featuring works written and read by the acclaimed Bloomington, IN-based poet and educator Ross Gay, the collection is complemented by previously unreleased compositions from Bon Iver, Mary Lattimore, Angel Bat Dawid, Gia Margaret and Sam Gendel, and new visuals by Bon Iver art director Eric Timothy Carlson. Just like Jagjaguwar, Ross Gay remains rooted in Bloomington, even as his work - espousing radical empathy, unabated gratitude and themes of connectedness - has created a space that is open to all and teeming with life.
Each track on Dilate Your Heart is a conversation between artists, and today the opening piece - "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude" - launches JAG25 with music from Bon Iver, words from Ross Gay, and a message of thanks from everyone involved.
Smithsonian Folkways celebrates the golden age of Bluegrass music in Southwest Ohio with the release of Industrial Strength Bluegrass on March 26.
Industrial Strength Bluegrass is the story of bluegrass’ transformation from a music to a movement, carried north by Appalachians seeking a better life in the booming post-WWII factories of Southwest Ohio. The 16-song collection was produced by IBMA Award-winning musician/bandleader Joe Mullins, whose father - fiddler and radio personality Paul “Moon” Mullins - made that journey and helped found the region’s bluegrass scene. The compilation (companion to the new book of the same title from University of Illinois Press) presents Southwest Ohio bluegrass classics remade by an all-star cast featuring Country Music Hall of Famers the Oak Ridge Boys and Vince Gill, Bluegrass Hall of Famer Bobby Osborne, and many of today’s finest bluegrass and Americana artists including Lee Ann Womack, Dan Tyminski, The Isaacs, Sierra Hull, and more.
Singer-Songwriter and producer, Noga Erez, announces her new album, KIDS, out March 26th via City Slang. Building from the raw politics of her 2017 debut, Off The Radar, KIDS moves closer to home while retaining Noga’s signature smarts and swagger. Its earworms and crisp productions are locked around lyrics that deal with the personal and the political; mortality and loss; war and peace, insecurity and ambition.
The past year of lockdown and self-isolation might just be the longest time that the band Real Estate has ever spent off the road and away from each other, but today they announce a brand new EP of their most intuitive and interconnected music to date. Out March 26th on Domino, Half a Human is a collection of six songs created between two different worlds. While the architecture of each was constructed during sessions for their 2020 album, The Main Thing, the tracks came to life when vocalist/guitarist Martin Courtney, bassist/vocalist Alex Bleeker, keyboardist Matt Kallman and guitarist Julian Lynch began trading the material back and forth remotely throughout the pandemic. They found new ways of working together as they further explored the emotional landscapes they've been perfecting for more than a decade, and in taking stock of themselves and the uncertainty of their future, Half a Human helped them arrive at a new thesis statement for the band.