When the song "Wonderwall" hit the airwaves in 1995, Oasis was arguably the biggest rock band in the world. At the heart of the group were two combustible figures: Noel Gallagher, the main songwriter, and his brother Liam, the main singer. With their fiery tempers and frequent public outbursts, the two were on the covers of the tabloids as often as the top of the charts.
Oasis burned out quite suddenly a few years ago, with a now-famous meltdown backstage before a show in Paris.
Every day in New Orleans, Lily Keber rolls out of bed and walks to a flat, minor office building to meet her muse. Keber makes a cup of coffee with chicory, hooks up her computer and waits for what sounds like a dozen spiders to crawl across a piano.
Various versions of the traditional ballad "Midnight Special" track a train that ran on the Illinois Central line from Mississippi to Chicago — an apt allegory for much of 20th-century American folk music, traced in the long path of "Midnight Special" from Deep South musical pre-history to the singularly personal rendition by late country crooner Merle Travis.