So many variables determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history. On-air and online, we celebrate the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years. Let’s love these FUV Essential artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.
Paul Weller's choppy fringe might be on the snowier side of silver these days, but the British rocker, who turned 60 on May 25, ha
Paul Weller (photo courtesy of the artist)
[Ed. Note, October 2018: John Prine, along with the Lone Bellow and Shannon Shaw, will be performing at Holiday Cheer for FUV on December 3. Tickets are available now. Prine's latest album is The Tree of Forgiveness, released in the spring of 2018. It's his first collection of original songs since 2005's Fair and Square].
Joe Henry (photo by Glen Hansard, PR)
A first-time immersion into the ecstatic sound orgy that is the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland is an excursion to rock 'n' roll nirvana. As the 50th anniversary of the album approaches, Hendrix is this week's FUV Essentials artist.
Jimi Hendrix (image from promotional photo of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, via Wikimedia Commons)
There's as much myth as veracity that guides the legacy of Cat Power, the feral and fierce moniker of singer and songwriter Chan Marshall. As she releases her tenth album, Wanderer, we're honoring this late night consoler of the lonely and sculptor of intimate masterpieces as an FUV Essentials artist.
Cat Power (photo by Stefano Giovannini, courtesy of the artist)
In April 2018, John Prine released his first album of new, original compositions in 13 years, The Tree of Forgiveness. It is an elegant, insightful album that revels in the bountiful simplicity of daily life, the grandeur of the ordinary, and gratitude for surviving some pretty dark times.
John Prine (photo by Danny Clinch from johnprine.com)
For the last four Thursdays of the summer of 2018, it's #FUVTBT Throwback Thursdays. WFUV is rewinding decades, back to 1998, 1988, 1978, and 1968 — dipping back for day-long flashbacks with songs of that particular year and personal perspectives from FUV's DJs. For 1968, FUV's afternoon host Dennis Elsas turns the clock back 50 years to a watershed time in American history when politics, passions, and pop culture collided in a revolutionary way.
1968 (Collage compiled by Laura Fedele, WFUV)
As Paul Simon wraps up his 2018 "Homeward Bound — The Farewell Tour" with his three last live concerts ever at New York's Madison Square Garden on September 20 and 21 and Flushing Meadows Corona Park on September 22, and releases a new album too, FUV salutes this hometown Essentials songwriting hero again.
Paul Simon (photo courtesy of FUV host archives)