Strange Currency celebrates Stevie Wonder's birthday, numerous new releases
Monday, May 12: All My Friends is a new two-CD set that serves as a tribute to Gregg Allman. It features a wide range of artists performing some of Allman’s best-loved songs. Guests include Martina McBride, Jackson Browne, Vince Gill and members of the Allman Brothers Band including Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. We’ll hear selections from that record as well as Allman’s 2011 album Low Country Blues.
Tuesday, May 13: We’ll celebrate Stevie Wonder’s birthday with selections from throughout his career, plus covers of some of his best-known songs.
Wednesday, May 14: In the 1980s Natalie Merchant fronted the band 10,000 Maniacs, then went on to a successful solo career in the 1990s. She has not released an album of all-original material in 14 years but her new self-titled LP finds her in fine form. We’ll hear from that as well as songs from Stay Gold, the upcoming album by Sweden’s First Aid Kit.
Thursday, May 15: Born in New Zealand, Liam Finn is the son of Neil Finn of the highly influential bands Split Enz and Crowded House (his uncle, Tim, was also a member of both acts). Finn’s music demonstrates that he doesn’t shy away from embracing the family influence but also often recalls the work of late 1960s acts such as Crosby, Stills & Nash. Finn has just returned with the album Nihilist, his first in three years. We’ll hear selections from that as well as songs from I Never Learn, the latest from Swedish singer Lykke Li.
Friday, May 16: Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner are at the core of the eclectic and unpredictable duo Tune-Yards. The group has just returned with a new album titled Nikki-Nack. We’ll hear selections from that on this episode of Strange Currency as well as selections from Childhood Home, the new release from Ben Harper and his mother Ellen.
Saturday, May 17: Lou is the new release by singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. The veteran musician pays tribute to one of his music heroes on the release, the late Lou Reed, offering his interpretations of Reed classics such as “Walk On The Wild Side” and “Dirty Blvd.” We’ll hear from that release as well as from Reed’s classic live album Rock N Roll Animal, released in 1974.
Monday, May 19: We’ll hear from Upside Down Mountain, the new release from Bright Eyes leader Connor Oberst as well as selections from Are We There?, the upcoming release from singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.