Host of VOA's Roots and Branches, and world traveler extraordinaire! When I'm not listening to music, I'm probably talking about it or thinking about the next band I'm going to see. Or my next interview! Join me every week for the best in folk, bluegrass and all other forms of American roots music!

All posts by Katherine Cole

2012 Roots Roundup…

Posted December 28th, 2012 at 4:17 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole This was a great year for fans of American roots music—so many fabulous releases from bands and solo artists new and old. Alabama Shakes is one of those new bands. 18 months ago, they were having a hard time selling out 500 seat clubs.   Now, they’ve got three Grammy nominations and […]

Some holiday music you may have missed….

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 9:26 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole If you stick to mainstream media, you might believe that Taylor Swift or Mariah Carey are the only ones singing holiday songs. But that’s not true—in fact, there were a couple of very cool seasonal releases  that I want to make sure you know about. Because if you don’t hear about ’em […]

Ravi Shankar, Music Ambassador to the World

Posted December 12th, 2012 at 9:41 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole Ravi Shankar, the sitar player who became a worldwide musical icon through his work with the Beatles and introduced traditional Indian music to millions in the Western world over an eight decade career and was labeled the “Godfather of world music” by no less than George Harrison died December 12th at the […]

Jason Mraz Makes History

Posted November 30th, 2012 at 3:02 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole Jason Mraz has already made music history by winning two Grammy awards for his music, now the singer-songwriter is about to make world history! On December 16th, the 35-year-old singer will headline a free outdoor concert in People’s Square in Rangoon, Burma. The show will be at the base of the 2500 […]

Dipping into the archives: Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia

Posted November 15th, 2012 at 6:21 pm (UTC+0)

By Katherine Cole Every once in a while I stumble across an album that takes me totally by surprise. The latest is “Keystone Companions,” a live boxed set  from Grateful Dead founding member Jerry Garcia and his longtime friend, keyboard player Merl Saunders. The four discs that make up Keystone Companions were recorded during a […]

Musicians and politics—

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 7:13 pm (UTC+0)

By Katherine Cole In the aftermath of the LOOOONG US election campaign season, I wonder if celebrity endorsements make a difference in presidential elections. There certainly have been a lot of them this year, for both candidates. Actors, comedians, athletes, talk show hosts, super models. And there’ve certainly been a fare share of musicians joining […]

Baseball on the brain…and in my headphones

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 7:34 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole Doug Levine’s recent blog on baseball and music got me thinking about the connection our “great American past time” has with music. Baseball has been celebrated in song almost since the first pitch was tossed. The most famous baseball song ever written sprang from a most unlikely source. When Jack Norworth wrote […]

Happy (belated)birthday Wanda Jackson!

Posted October 26th, 2012 at 3:44 pm (UTC+0)
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Ever hear of rockabilly singer  Wanda Jackson ? Well, if you have,  it should come as no surprise that the pioneering female rocker just celebrated her 75th birthday October 20thright where you’d expect: onstage. And if you don’t know Wanda and her music, well, let me introduce you. It’s the perfect time, too as Wanda’s  […]

A Good Live CD Makes You Feel Like You’re At The Show

Posted October 17th, 2012 at 8:12 pm (UTC+0)
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By Katherine Cole It’s funny. I’ve been to  Nashville many times and I’m starting to think that no musician there is satisfied doing just one thing. Pickers want to be singers. Songwriters want to be producers, and I bet a bunch of those producers have guitars sitting by their beds, just waiting for the next […]

Excitement in Nashville!

Posted October 12th, 2012 at 3:58 pm (UTC+0)

By Katherine Cole I never thought I’d be glad to say “hello from my desk,”but that’s how I’m feeling today. Between the recent Americana Music Association conference two weeks ago and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass event last week, I’m just happy to be home. Not that I didn’t have a great […]



VOA’s music bloggers bring you info about all kinds of music. Katherine Cole will keep you up-to-date on the world of Bluegrass and Americana music while Ray McDonald rocks the Pop charts and artists. Diaa Bekheet  jams with you on Jazz.  Visit us often. Your comments are welcome.



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