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Southern Songs and Stories: Tough Times Encapsulated in the Beauty of Her Song - Esther Rose

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Akasha Rabut
Esther Rose

Esther Rose might surprise you. She certainly gave me a start at the very beginning of our conversation when I found out that she was not living in New Orleans anymore, after having called the Crescent CIty home for the past decade. It turns out that she had followed her muse to the high desert of Taos, New Mexico, a place that she had thought about moving to for years. That is not the only thing that you might find curious about her — other eye-openers include her list of influences which were three artists I had yet to hear about. For someone like me whose bread is buttered by research and preparation, twists like these do not happen very often, let alone more than once in the same interview. So prepare for a revelation with Esther Rose, whose music itself comprises the most pleasant of those surprises. With her third album How Many Times, she reveals themes of heartbreak, loss and renewal housed in a collection of ten songs that are rooted in country and early rock and roll (The Everly Brothers comes to mind), brought to life by a crack band of young players and tied together with a voice so crystalline as to make you almost wish you could have your heart broken that way, too.

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Akasha Rabut

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Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.