Kimberly Junod

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are both gifted multi-instrumentalists and devoted students of music history.

Hayes Carll has been making music for nearly two decades. Early on, he focused more on telling other people's stories than his own.

Carlos Santana is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of the last 50 years — from his groundbreaking performance at Woodstock to his millions of albums sold in the '70s to his revival in the late '90s thanks to the album Supernatural and its lead single "Smooth." Santana's latest album is called Africa Speaks, which just came out on

Just over a minute into her new collection of singles, Being Again, Norah Jones declares "I will rise." Her vocal power is arresting and floats over heartbeat percussion and ambient piano.

Musical pioneer and mandolin star Sam Bush is the subject of a documentary called Revival: The Sam Bush Story, which traces Sam's musical trajectory from a kid who grew up on country and bluegrass in Kentucky to one of the founders of the band New Grass Revival to one of the key influencers in modern Americana.

Many of Ryan Bingham's life stories sound like country songs in and of themselves. Bingham was raised between New Mexico, California and Texas. His family moved around a lot when he was growing up as his dad struggled to find work. Bingham left home at 17 to ride in the rodeo before picking up the guitar.

With huge hits like "Love Train" and "Back Stabbers," the formidable band The O'Jays brought the sound of Philadelphia soul to the airwaves back in the early '70s, along with messages of love and unity.

Eleven years ago, after a Metallica show, a gentleman named Warren told me "We have this band you have to hear." I jump into his car, he pops the CD in the player, and this blares out: "Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked / Money don't grow on trees / I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed / There ain't nothing in this world for free."

The Head and the Heart's latest album, Living Mirage, is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the "heart" part of the band's name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche's idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member's all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.

Karen O is a punk rock icon known for snarling, searing live shows as lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

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