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Music Interviews
4:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Acclaimed Jazz Singer Diane Reeves Takes On A Soulful Sound

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:57 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Again, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STORMY WEATHER")

DIANE REEVES: (Singing) Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky...

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Music News
7:40 am
Sun March 9, 2014

After A Bitter Struggle, DSO Brings 'Joy' To The People Again

Like many regional orchestras, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has struggled financially. But after a lot of work, it's set itself on solid footing and become a bright spot in a struggling city.
Courtesy DSO

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:55 am

Detroit's Orchestra Hall is one of the best symphony concert halls in the country. The acoustics are top-notch. The theater itself is grand. Important music is made there by some of the country's most talented classical musicians.

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Music News
7:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

John Denver's 'Country Roads,' Now Official In West Virginia

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS")

JOHN DENVER: (Singing) Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music Interviews
7:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Ruben Studdard Tells What Happens The Day After 'Idol'

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Ruben Studdard became a national superstar when he won "American Idol."

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: After 24 million votes, the winner of American Idol 2003 is Ruben Studdard.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

MARTIN: Ten seasons of "Idol" have gone by since that win. But Ruben Studdard remains one of the show's biggest-selling stars. His new album is his sixth studio release. It's a collection of classic love songs with a few originals mixed in for good measure. It is called "Unconditional Love."

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Music
4:11 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Folk Alley Presents: Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla performs live on Folk Alley.
Folk Alley

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:24 am

The folk- and roots-music world is full of cross-generational collaboration. But it usually takes the form of folksingers pairing up with other folksingers, borrowing from a long musical tradition. It's another thing altogether to take words written long ago and give them musical life. Leyla McCalla does just that on her new album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes. Though the disc includes a balance of her original arrangements with Haitian folk songs, what's most intriguing is the way she built many of the songs around Hughes' poetry.

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Music Interviews
5:04 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Putting A Name And Face To A Famous Voice

It's become the newest sports anthem: "The Man" by Aloe Blacc. The song is everywhere.
Reid Rolls Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:12 am

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All Songs Considered
12:06 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

St. Vincent at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 3:19 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

A Kid Named Carl Stirs Up The Bach Musical Dynasty

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, captured around 1733, in a portrait by one of his relatives, Gottlieb Friedrich Bach.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

When it comes to musical dynasties, it's tough to top the Bach family. From town fiddlers to court composers, the Bachs dominated German music for seven generations. Today, Johann Sebastian towers above all his relatives, but there's another important Bach we shouldn't forget — especially today, on the 300th anniversary of his birth.

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Music Interviews
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

The Persistence Of Elbow

The men of Elbow, left to right: Richard Jupp, Mark Potter, Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Pete Turner.
Tom Sheehan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

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Music News
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Coming Up: Detroit Symphony Returns From The Brink

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Just a few years ago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra was in bad shape. An auditor predicted they'd be shuttered in months.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: His famous line was we had no business being in business.

SIMON: Tomorrow on WEEKEND EDITION, how after a financial crisis, a bitter contract dispute, and a musicians' strike, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra still plays on. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World Cafe
3:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Benmont Tench On World Cafe

Benmont Tench.
Sam Jones Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:46 am

Benmont Tench, who plays those perfect piano lines and organ fills as a member of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, has just released a solo album. It's called You Should Be So Lucky and contains 10 originals that Tench has been saving up, sometimes for years and sometimes just for a few weeks, before finally recording them with Don Was.

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Song Travels
3:07 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Tierney Sutton On 'Song Travels'

Tierney Sutton.
Courtesy of the artist

Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton has headlined national venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, and has earned five Grammy nominations. With her latest project, After Blue, Sutton takes on the genius of singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

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Alt.Latino
1:22 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Love Him Or Hate Him, Calle 13's Rene Perez Joglar Visits Alt.Latino

Puerto Rican musician and singer Rene Perez Joglar of Calle 13.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:01 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Mary Lou Williams On Piano Jazz

Mary Lou Williams at the CBS studios in 1947.
William P. Gottlieb Library of Congress

Mary Lou Williams was the guest on the the very first Piano Jazz session ever, recorded in 1978 with Williams and bassist Ronnie Boykins. Host Marian McPartland is initially nervous interviewing her longtime friend and idol, and the cagey Williams still stands as a tough nut to crack.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:15 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Soul Of The World's Most Expensive Violin

Anne Akiko Meyers, with her recently acquired Guarneri violin, at NPR's Studio 1.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:39 am

The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is a violin that is older than the United States of America — 273 years old, to be exact. It recently became the most expensive violin in the world, selling for an estimated $16 million. Its new owner anonymously donated the historic instrument to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, on loan for the rest of her life.

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Music Reviews
3:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Album Review: 'English Oceans,' By Drive-By Truckers

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The band Drive-By Truckers are in their third decade playing alternative country music tinged with Southern pride. Critic Robert Christgau says they put out a great album in 2008 then hit a lull. But he says their latest album, out this week, is a true comeback.

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The Record
2:41 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Gazelle Amber Valentine: 'Gender Is Not A Genre'

Gazelle Amber Valentine (left) and Edgar Livengood of Jucifer.
F. Mullin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:26 am

The two vagabonds behind distorted doom unit Jucifer have been peddling their decimating decibels across the globe since 1993. Famed for their towering wall of amplifiers and incendiary live performances, guitarist and vocalist Gazelle Amber Valentine and her partner in music and in life, drummer Edgar Livengood, are always on the move. The married couple live in an RV with a scattering of dogs and musical equipment and transverse the country 24/7.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Strange But True: Music Doesn't Make Some People Happy

Is there anyone who can resist dancing when Pharrell Williams sings "Happy"? Yes, if you're one of the rare few with specific musical anhedonia.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:08 am

Surely listening to Pharrell Williams' Oscar nominee "Happy" makes you bounce with joy. Nirvana still makes you want to wail. And old Beatles songs make you feel like everything's going to be all right. But maybe you don't feel anything at all.

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Music Reviews
1:38 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy

Pharrell, sporting more conventional headwear.
Mimi Valdés Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 3:03 pm

Pharrell Williams, who frequently goes by just his first name, is the sort of pop star whom many people would like to view as a friend. Emerging from hip-hop, he makes charming recordings that suggest a deep appreciation of pop, soul and R&B music extending at least as far back as the 1960s. To hear Pharrell on his new album G I R L, you'd think his world consisted of grooving on catchy beats and flirting with women. It's a lightweight image that draws gravitas from his prolific work ethic and a shrewd deployment of those influences.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Lowland Hum: Tiny Desk Concert

Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

It's hard to convey the sound of two people in love, but Lowland Hum does that effortlessly. Daniel Levi Goans and Lauren Plank are now Daniel and Lauren Goans; they met a few years ago and spent much of their first married year on the road, singing together on small stages and at house concerts across the country. Daniel was a folksinger in North Carolina, while Lauren had aspirations to sing but mostly did it privately. She has a passion for making things with paper, and you'll see that in the little black book of lyrics she hands out at shows.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
12:57 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Mulgrew Miller Trio On JazzSet

Mulgrew Miller.
Jean Francois Laberine

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:49 am

When the pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage, the jazz world grieved the loss of this "wonderful musician and great spirit," in the words of his fellow pianist Kenny Barron.

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The Salt
9:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moo-d Music: Do Cows Really Prefer Slow Jams?

The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.
Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 2:46 pm

When it's time to buckle down and focus, plenty of office workers will put on headphones to help them drown out distractions and be more productive. But can music also help dairy cows get down to business?

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All Songs Considered
7:06 am
Thu March 6, 2014

The Good Listener: Do I Come To SXSW If I Don't Have A Badge Or A Billion Dollars?

Whether you buy a $795 badge or show up with a little spare cash on hand, SXSW has something for you — and will expect you to stand in line at some point.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

[This story originally ran on Feb. 22, 2013, but still applies today.]

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Valentine's Day cards that got returned with no forwarding address is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how music fans could and should approach SXSW, the gigantic music festival held every March in Austin, Texas.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

KCRW Presents: KINS

KINS performs live on KCRW.
Rob LaFond KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:26 pm

The members of KINS come from different parts of Australia and the U.K., but now call Brighton home. They each bring different influences to the table, and clearly relish the idea of crafting a unique sound that defies categorization, much like their fellow Brits in Alt-J. KINS' members strive to explore new sonic boundaries, and they succeed mightily in their song "Mockasin's."

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Music Interviews
3:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Regina Carter's Jazz Genealogy

"The beauty was in the rawness," Regina Carter says of the field recordings that inspired her new album, Southern Comfort.
David Katzenstein Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:42 pm

Jazz violinist Regina Carter grew up in Detroit, but as a child she spent summers in Alabama, where her paternal grandmother lived. Her grandfather died before she was born, and recently she began researching his side of the family. One revelation that sparked her interest: Her dad's dad had been a coal miner.

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World Cafe
3:34 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Nicole Atkins On World Cafe

Nicole Atkins.
Courtesy of the artist

Nicole Atkins' New Jersey roots have made their way into her music throughout her career. Her 2007 album Neptune City was named for a community on the Jersey shore, and her latest, Slow Phaser, came into being in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's destruction of that very area.

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SXSW: Live From Austin
1:48 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

NPR Music Presents: Live From SXSW 2014

Lady Gaga donned luxurious plastic bags for her SXSW Keynote on Friday.
Michael Buckner Getty

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:04 am

The most controversial woman in pop will address the SXSW audience at noon ET/11 a.m. CT today, and you can watch it unfold live right here.

A Blog Supreme
12:55 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Possessed By Joy: A North American Drummer In Cuba

Eleggua shrines in Matanzas, Cuba.
Harris Eisenstadt for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:06 pm

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Music Interviews
2:06 am
Wed March 5, 2014

The Legend Of Linda Perhacs, 'A Most Unlikely Rock Star'

Linda Perhacs' second album, The Soul of All Natural Things, comes 44 years after an inauspicious debut that bloomed into a cult favorite.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:54 am

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The Record
3:18 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

In Rio, A Universe Of Samba

Sitting around what looks like a conference table with a small group of musicians, guitarist Moacyr Luz (center) leads his samba group.
Courtesy of QK

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:31 pm

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