Samantha Crain

This Oklahoma native makes stark music that surrounds her sweetly smoky voice with acoustic guitars, fiddle and occasional piano. Crain is a traveler at heart who has populated the songs on her first two albums with characters she's met on the road. She takes a more introspective tack for the first time on her latest, Kid Face, on autobiographical songs she says constitute "a musical journal" of her experiences.

With a sound all their own and a stage show to match, Bombadil is, if nothing else, one of the freshest bands to emerge in a long time. Formed by Duke University alumni Daniel Michalak, Bryan Rahija and Stuart Robinson, this band draws on a unique mélange of influences to create a sound that is unclassifiable. The group Magnet Magazine deemed "a drunker, circus-reared version of The Band," was born in Bolivia, where Michalak and Rahija first met. The folk music indigenous to the region lit a creative spark and inspired the two to begin writing songs that incorporated international instruments and styles. That influence, paired with their collective backgrounds in Piedmont blues, psychedelic rock and Robinson's background as a classical pianist, stands as the driving force behind the band's unique sound.

Their songs range from straightforward rock to Bolivian waltzes; from heartbreaking, piano-driven laments on loss of life to swashbuckling, raucus marches; and the appeal of their live show is undeniable. With a core of electric / acoustic guitars, bass, piano and drums and appearances by harmonica, xylophone, organ, synth, saxophone, trumpet, viola, charango, glockenspiel, accordion, recorder and even zampona, the show is unlike anything else. When even half of the instruments on stage are sounding at once, it creates a wall of sound that seems to transport the room to another place.



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