Blues

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Blues legend Otis Rush, whose unique style of soloing and powerful tenor voice helped shape the Chicago blues sound and deeply influenced a generation of blues and rock musicians, died Saturday of complications from a stroke he suffered in 2003. He was 84 years old.

The story of how Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter met, wooed, married and became The War and Treaty says so much about our present moment. She began her music career as a teenage R&B ingenue, navigating the ups and downs of the music industry with resilience and sharp wits.

The new music that's come out of Nashville in recent months is an embarrassment of riches. There's so much of it, in fact, that we risk overlooking a slew of notable new albums, EPs and tracks from artists who are either building on initial buzz, following up quiet debut efforts with bolder sophomore statements, reemerging after significant stylistic reinvention or delivering on their established reputations. Here's a wide-ranging roundup of talent in chronological order.


The Philadelphia Folk Festival just celebrated it's 57th go round of concerts workshops, camping and folkie camaraderie on The Old Poole Farm outside of Philadelphia this past August.

It was Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit's night to shine at the annual Americana Honors and Awards show Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Isbell and his band walked away with three of the night's biggest awards: Album of the Year for The Nashville Sound, Song of the Year for "If We Were Vampires," and Duo/Group of the Year.

Sponsored by the Americana Music Association, the 19th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference features a broad range of music showcases from diverse musicians in alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues and folk as well as dozens of day time industry panels.

Surrounded by live streamed performances on the Day Stage from The Local in Nashville, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m. CT, NPR Music and World Cafe will webcast the Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremony live from the Ryman Auditorium.

The Americana Music Festival gets underway in Nashville on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 16. Sponsored by the Americana Music Association, the 19th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference features a broad range of music showcases from diverse musicians in alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues, folk and singer-songwriters, as well as dozens of day time industry panels.

For the last 25 years, WXPN in Philadelphia, where we produce World Cafe, has been presenting a three-day music event, the XPoNential Music Festival. This year, over the weekend of July 27, 28 and 29, more than 30 bands performed.

On Oct. 5, guitarist, singer and songwriter Marcus King releases the new Marcus King Band album Carolina Confessions.

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