Will Holland is much more than an Englishman who became obsessed with Latin sounds when he moved to Colombia in 2007. The constantly busy multi-instrumentalist, who performs as Quantic, is also a world-renowned DJ and producer. With 30 remixes to his name and as many collaborators in his Rolodex, a DJ set from Holland won't be just a music nerd spinning vinyl. His ocular acumen and crate game will bring you a memorably sweaty set of salsa, bossa nova, funk, soul, and jazz jams. Look for the vocals of his longtime muse, Alice Russel, to cut through the funk. Plus, he's sure to spin some killer versions of his excellent 2014 LP, Magnetica. Supporting artist Sinkane, also known as Ahmed Gallab, is a completely apt pairing: He's a session musician and brilliant solo artist obsessed with the intersection of Sudanese pop and funk.
- Bill Chenevert
Trouble & Love
is the title of Mary Gauthier's latest album, and it's truth in advertising, with the emphasis on trouble. Allison Moorer grapples with trouble and love on
Down to Believing
, too. The record follows her recent divorce from Steve Earle. So don't expect cheery songs when Gauthier and Moorer come to the intimate upstairs of Wilmington's World Café Live at the Queen. But do expect fine songwriting full of telling details and unflinching emotion, and compelling, thoughtful singing. Gauthier (pronounced go-SHAY) was raised in Louisiana, Moorer in Alabama with her sister Shelby Lynne, and both ended up in Nashville. Their music grows out of their Southern roots. They're storytellers, and this double bill, in this small room, is a treat.
- Steve Klinge
The buzz started a full decade ago, when Philly-area native and high school senior Liz Longley's song "Naked Trees" became the top-rated acoustic track (out of 3,500 submissions) on the then-popular (now defunct) Internet music-rating site GarageBand.com.
In the years since, the Berklee College of Music grad, now 27, has won several prestigious music competitions - including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship and the Rocky Mountain Folk Fest Songwriting Competition - while honing her craft through mostly solo live gigs. Now based in Nashville, where she recorded her fourth album (and first for Sugar Hill Records), Longley took to the road this week with a three-member backing band to plug the self-titled, fan-funded effort.
With a strong, clear voice that has drawn comparisons to Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan, Longley has built a well-deserved fan base through compelling, slightly country-infused tunes that touch on everything from bittersweet farewells to beat-downs of the demons of self-doubt. She's definitely worth a listen.
- Nicole Pensiero