Back To Basics Music

The digital music revolution of sampling, synths and auto-tune has created a counterrevolution of artists who've gone back to "real" electric instruments, unairbrushed vocals or have gone acoustic. These righteous performers cover everything from rock to R&B, alt-country to indie pop and folk to hip-hop.

One of the forefathers of keeping things real is the peerless Nick Lowe, who walked away from a successful career as a new wave rocker so he could sing unadorned torch songs. Breakout duo The Civil Wars come on like a country noir White Stripes, while the equally alt-country Chatham County Line somehow make traditional acoustic instruments rock. Over in the UK, Michael Kiwanuka has a searing bluesy soul-folk style that recalls Amos Lee, while Joe Louis Walker and Janiva Magness are practically the physical manifestations of the blues. Martin Luther should be a major star; he's the finest soul-rock funkster since Prince or Lenny Kravitz.

"Gone Tomorrow" Lambchop

JJ Grey & MOFRO excel at classic, greasy Southern rock, while the once-thundering Tom Morello reinvented himself as a Woody Guthrie-style protest singer. Rapper Latyrx dazzles with a jazz-laden live show that is as powerful as retro R&B act JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Vintage Trouble are at the forefront of the current indie-soul blues rock revival, and you don't doubt their honesty for a second—which is what going back to basics is all about. Discover more Back to Basics soul, indie, country and rock on Google Play. – Nick Dedina, Google Play

"Gone Tomorrow" Lambchop


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