In the 1980's, few bands bridged the gap between hardcore punk and what would become alternative rock quite like Minnesota's Hüsker Dü.
The personalities in the trio, however, were not as harmonious, and their partnership dissolved before the decade's end. Guitarist Bob Mould went on to a successful recording career. Bassist Greg Norton dropped out of music and became a chef. And that leaves ... drummer Grant Hart.
Bombadil was founded by a group of friends who met while attending college in Durham, N.C. They graduated in 2006, released a self-titled EP that was well-received, and soon seemed on their way to finding an audience. But by 2009, bassist Daniel Michalak was struggling with an unexplained pain in his hands.
"I started noticing it during shows," he says. "And it got to the point where I couldn't hold a spoon to feed myself, or brush my teeth, or hold the phone to my ear."
Michalak's daily routines became increasingly difficult — and draining.
The 33-year-old frontman of Robert Randolph & The Family Band has strong roots in gospel music. As a kid, he grew up attending the House of God church in Orange, N.J. That's where he first played the "sacred steel" guitar, a driving force behind the band's soulful new album, Lickety Split.
In the 1920s, African-American Pentecostal churches began using the steel guitar in place of an organ. From there, it became an instrument that helped usher in a new gospel style.
In a review for his last album, NME magazine described British singer-songwriter Frank Turner as "the people's prince of punk poetry." But Turner's lyrics can be quite personal as well. He's got a new album, released this spring, called Tape Deck Heart — and the lead single, "Recovery," is about as confessional as they come.