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Tag: Americana (1-10 of 12)

Super Bowl 2014: Queen Latifah sings 'America the Beautiful' -- VIDEO

Fresh off officiating 30-plus weddings during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” at last week’s Grammys, Queen Latifah took center stage once again, singing “America the Beautiful” before Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Wearing a belted blue parka with a fur hood and tan leather gloves (staying warm and staying chic), Latifah was joined by a children’s chorus for an understated performance of the patriotic tune.

Watch the performance below (higher-quality video coming soon!), and stick with EW.com for more Super Bowl coverage.
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The Avett Brothers talk about their new album, explain who's the 'Magpie' and who's the 'Dandelion'

North Carolina folk-rockers The Avett Brothers recently released their eighth full-length album, Magpie and the Dandelion — which is also their third effort with super-producer Rick Rubin, who worked with them on their breakout hit “I And Love And You.” Led by single “Another Is Waiting,” whose video premiered here on EW.com, Magpie debuted at No. 5 on Billboard 200, giving the banjo-plucking troupe their second straight Top 5 debut.

A few weeks before the album’s release, EW caught up with the band before a PBS taping at the McCittrick Hotel. Bassist Bob Crawford couldn’t participate in the interview, but brothers Seth and Scott Avett sat down with us to talk about their new music, their bird obsession, how Crawford’s young daughter is doing (she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012), and what the title Magpie and the Dandelion means.

Why are you releasing an album just a year after The Carpenter?
Scott Avett: It used to be commonplace for us. We were hard on ourselves early on. We felt obligated to put something out every year. That felt very appropriate for some reason. So the material presented itself — we realized it was there.

You’d recorded it already?
Scott: Yeah, we’d recorded most of it with The Carpenter, not thinking it would come out as an album necessarily, but maybe it would come out as singles or extra material or what not. The more we listened to it, the more we realized there was a piece, a whole there that deserved to be together and synchronized. READ FULL STORY

See The Avett Brothers' 'Another Is Waiting' music video -- EXCLUSIVE

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Americana mainstays The Avett Brothers are gearing up for the release of their eighth full-length album Magpie and the Dandelion, which will arrive in stores on Oct. 15 — just one year after their critically acclaimed disc The Carpenter reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

Today, the band is premiering the music video for “Another is Waiting,” the rollicking first single from their new collection, right here on EW. Scott Avett co-directed the clip, which follows a fresh-faced young lady’s journey through a high-pressure modeling world where the beauties are all, in fact, skeletal.

It’s a commentary, of course, on the dangers of the chew-you-up-spit-you-out entertainment business (Notice the sign at the entrance of the modeling agency: “Pricuf Aim” = “Price of fame”), and it finds the banjo-plucking boys warning the girl, “You got to get yourself off that conveyor belt.”

Does she heed their advice? Find out in the video below. (FYI, this clip may not work on some mobile devices.) READ FULL STORY

Joy Williams tries to explain the Civil Wars break-up: 'It's been a hard, painful season of my life'

They officially have the number-one record in the country this week — and one of the most-acclaimed albums of the year so far — but the Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White won’t be touring to support it. In fact, the estranged duo are very famously not talking to one another at all. Williams did talk to EW, however, about making the album, separating truth from artistic license, and generally setting the record straight:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it weird approaching every interview for your new record knowing you’ll have to address the hiatus?
JOY WILLIAMS:
Yeah, some days it’s really difficult just because I believe so much in the caliber of the music that we made that it’s hard for me that we can’t just focus on the music. That being said, I understand why people are curious about it. It’s something that I’m curious about, too, frankly. READ FULL STORY

The Civil Wars unveil sad, smoky single 'The One That Got Away'

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And no, it’s not a cover of the Katy Perry song.

The Civil Wars, who, despite their unaddressed hiatus, recently announced that their self-titled second album is due August 6, released the first song from that upcoming set this morning: a crackling, morose blues-rock ballad called “The One That Got Away” that swells with moments of fury.

“I never meant to get us in this deep,” Joy Williams sighs in the opening verse. “I never meant for this to mean a thing.” The sparse arrangement, which features little more than a moody electric guitar, bass, banjo, and kick drum, builds to a bitter chorus.

“I wish I’d never ever seen your face,” Williams sings with (at?) John Paul White. “I wish you were the one that got away.” Yes, both members are married to other people, but still, it feels like we’re sitting in on their therapy session, right?

The Civil Wars’ labels, Sensibility Music/Columbia Records, aren’t trying to hide the tension currently plaguing — or, judging by this song, fueling — the band. “The [new] album was recorded amidst a grueling touring schedule, exhausting workload and a growing disconnect from their families,” a press release read this morning.

Fittingly, the video for “The One That Got Away” features nothing more than a billowing cloud of black smoke. Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

Phillip Phillips announces next single 'Gone Gone Gone': Hear it here!

It’s easy to understand why Phillip Phillips has ridden on the success of his Mumford-y smash “Home” for seven straight months. After becoming the unofficial anthem of the summer Olympics, the strummy coronation single earned a second life on the chart, and over the course the fall, became a commercial powerhouse.

Now, as the year comes to a close, sales for “Home” stand at nearly 3 million, it’s still in the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100, and it has helped to launch the American Idol winner’s debut album The World from the Side of the Moon successfully. (The disc has sold 377,000 copies in its first four weeks.) And yet, the time has come for Phillips to look beyond “Home.”

“The second single will be ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’” Phillips recently told Yahoo! Canada Music. “It’s a good little love song. Todd Clark and Derek Fuhrmann, they wrote [it] and brought it to me and I thought it was a beautiful song. The more I’ve played it live, the more I’ve made it more my own and people seem to really connect with it and really enjoy it so I’m excited to see how that song’s going to do.”

While I’d guess that Phillips may be a bit disappointed that his second single, due in early 2013, is a song he had no hand in writing (he wrote or co-wrote 9 of the 12 songs on his album), this is absolutely the correct decision by Interscope.

“Gone Gone Gone” is the other true standout track on Phillips’ album. Like “Home,” it’s a kick-drum-pounding, acoustic track that builds into a by-the-numbers Americana anthem, complete with hopeful, universal lyrics, a scratchy-voiced vocal, and a whole chorus of “ooooh”s. It’s melodic and memorable and could easily cement Phillips’ status as a relevant 2013 artist — not just an American Idol one-off. (Plus it paves the way for his third single to be a curveball. I think “Get Up Get Down” would be a great choice, in that case.)

Listen to the song below: READ FULL STORY

Mumford & Sons release 'Lover of the Light' video starring (and directed by) Idris Elba

Mumford & Sons’ new music video for their latest U.K. single “Lover of the Light” (the track has not been confirmed as an official U.S. single yet, as “I Will Wait” is still thriving) hit the web over the weekend, and it has faithful Mumford fans wiping their eyes… and scratching their heads.

The cinematic clip, which stars and was co-directed by U.K. actor Idris Elba (Luther), follows a blind man’s journey out of his home (where he appears to be grieving the loss of a lover) and out into the forest. As he runs through the woods, his confidence surges — and a sort of joy blossoms on his face — until he arrives at a cliff side and yells his heart out to the ocean. He’s alive! In a world of darkness, he loves the light.

Elba’s journey through the wilderness is inter-spliced with images of a swift antlered deer, though it’s somewhat unclear whether he’s chasing the deer, imagining the deer, or if the nimble deer is simply an evocative representation of the man’s sensory aptitude.

What does it all add up to? Honestly, I don’t know — and that’s after watching the video three times — but I don’t mind that. It’s a gorgeous piece with lovely cinematography set to one of Babel‘s best tracks. Give it a watch below: READ FULL STORY

Phillip Phillips' 'Home' certified double platinum

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ coronation single “Home” has had a few different identities. It started as that surprisingly not-terrible American Idol coronation song. Then, it became known as the ethereal strumfest synonymous with the Olympic gymnastics. Now, it’s just a big old hit.

After being downloaded 81,000 times this week (a healthy increase of 2 percent from the week prior), “Home” has officially been certified double platinum for 2 million downloads, making it the first Idol coronation song to ever reach that level.

Understandably, American Idol is already boasting about Phillips’ success. Today, the singing competition unveiled their first commercial for the upcoming 12th season of Idol, and it’s all about Phillips’ journey to the top (and, thankfully, not the squabbling judges): READ FULL STORY

The Avett Brothers on 'The Carpenter,' Gap ads, faith, and how cancer has shaped their songs

The Avett Brothers may be one of the hottest acts in the music industry right now — their album The Carpenter debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 last week — but that doesn’t mean they have an entourage cleaning up after them.

Empty pizza boxes and orange peels were strewn throughout their room at New York City’s Dream Hotel — which apparently leaves oranges on your pillows — where I sat down with Scott and Seth Avett (left and right, respectively) as well as bassist Bob Crawford (center) to chat about their new album, the currently hot state of Americana music, and the driving force behind their songs.

On a recent rainy Tuesday afternoon, the day before the band performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the three gents crowded onto the end of one of their hotel room’s unmade beds to talk about their long road to stardom, the changing face of the industry, and why Warrior is the best movie ever.

Below, read the full conversation, and at the end of the interview, check out an exclusive video of the Avett Brothers breaking down the lyrics of their album closer “Life.” READ FULL STORY

Listen to 'Beg for Broken Legs,' a new song from Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham -- EXCLUSIVE

After laying relatively low for the last two years, acclaimed singer-songwriter (and man we’d like to nominate for a Hell On Wheels guest spot – look at that face!) Ryan Bingham is finally back with new music.

Bingham, of course, is the New Mexico native whose work with T Bone Burnett on 2009’s acclaimed Crazy Heart soundtrack included the song “The Weary Kind,” which earned him an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Grammy — and an Americana Music Association designation as 2010’s Artist of the Year to boot. In other words, Bingham’s halfway to full-fledged EGOT status!

Could his new album, Tomorrowland (out Sept. 18; preorder links here), help snag him more awards? Barring unforseen stage-bound circumstances, “Beg for Broken Legs” probably won’t snag him that elusive Tony, but we’re still glad to have it exclusively on the Music Mix.

Give it a listen below and let us know what you think:

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