Top Picks: The Music Memos app, PBS’s 'Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl,' and more

Physicists Umberto Cannella and Daniel Whiteson's animated video explains how gravitational waves work, Wynonna Judd's album 'Wynonna & the Big Noise' sounds more like Bonnie Raitt or the Allman Brothers Band than anything on country radio, and more top picks.

American Masters/PBS

Soul of Wynonna

Sounding more like Bonnie Raitt or the Allman Brothers Band than anything on country radio, multi-platinum star Wynonna Judd returns with Wynonna & the Big Noise, her first album in seven years. Bringing her band into the studio for a more live feel, she teams up with red-hot contemporary stars for songwriting and singing duets on tunes such as the funky “Ain’t No Thing” (featuring Susan Tedeschi from the Tedeschi Trucks Band) and the touching, soul-bearing “Things That I Lean On” (featuring Grammy winner Jason Isbell).

Pocket studio

When musical inspiration strikes, tunesmiths – amateurs and pros alike – have been singing or strumming song ideas into voice memo apps on their smartphones for years. Apple took note and created the free Music Memos for iPhone that not only allows for HD recording and cataloging, but can also add pro quality drums and bass to your guitar strum or piano melody. It’s just like being in a band. The next big smash may be being hummed into an iPhone at this very moment.

Ripple in time

If you need visual help in understanding how gravitational waves work (see Briefing, page 17) here’s a good start: Physicists Umberto Cannella and Daniel Whiteson have created an animated video to show how massive objects in space (like black holes) can cause ripples in the fabric of space and time. Check it out at  

Mountain royalty

Musician Loretta Lynn is often called one of the most important figures in country music. Now a new program, PBS’s Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, examines the life of the singer as part of its “American Masters” series. It looks at her youth but also focuses on her career now, including showing Lynn working on her new album, “Full Circle.” The documentary premières March 4 at 9 p.m.

Space travel 

Many know the history of the space program in the United States, but who helped those men and woman reach the stars? The new PBS program Space Men looks at those who worked to figure out whether space travel was possible, including those who studied how it would affect people, such as Army doctor John Paul Stapp, and those who actually participated in experiments, such as pilot Joseph Kittinger. “Space Men” airs March 1 at 9 p.m.

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