Open Air

Rhythm & News: Mon-Fri • 9am-3pm

A daily mix of music that crosses boundaries and borders, from the latest in indie rock and pop, to AAA and Americana, plus the best of blues, jazz, world music, alt.country and more. Each weekday, the show explores the close connections between genres, blending exciting new tracks from recent releases with classic cuts from JPR's extensive library.

Eric Teel

For singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, the Watkins Family Hour has long been an oasis from the rigors of the road, a laboratory where they can try out new material or master beloved cover songs. Their monthly show at L.A.’s famed venue Largo has been hailed as a convivial, communal event where they welcome an impressive array of musician friends old and new.

On Friday, September 4th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with the folk rock band The Wild Reeds on Open Air.

On Friday, August 28th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with Wesley Jensen and the Penny Arcade on Open Air. Jensen was chosen by JPR as the regional winner of NPR's Tiny Desk Contest, and we're thrilled to showcase them live in the studios.

The Waifs are an Australian folk rock band formed in 1992 by sisters Vikki Thorn (harmonica, guitar, vocals) and Donna Simpson (guitar, vocals) as well as Josh Cunningham (guitar, vocals). A trip that began in a van in over two decades ago, with the three troubadours playing gigs anywhere in Australia that would have them, has led The Waifs to multiple ARIA awards, platinum albums and successful tours across the world.

Aoife O’Donovan grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. She spent her school-year summers in Ireland singing songs with her extended family, and became interested in American folk music through artists such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Aoife went on to study contemporary improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Rhett Miller is the front man and main songwriter of the hard-charging rock ‘n’ roll quartet Old 97’s, as well as an accomplished solo artist. 

Eric Teel

The road has been good to Mandolin Orange since the 2013 release of 'This Side of Jordan.' NPR called the album "effortless and beautiful," naming it one of the year's best folk/Americana releases, while Magnet dubbed it "magnificent," and American Songwriter said it was "honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings."

Not many bands can lay claim to the kind of dramatic career development that Árstíðir can. Formed in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash, they found themselves catapulted to the top of the Icelandic music charts within six months of their debut, and then forged ahead with their 2010 tour despite a volcanic eruption that stalled global travel.

Eric Teel

Self-deprecating almost to a fault, Ron Sexsmith has been a critical success ever since his self-titled debut back in 1995, winning the admiration of major league songwriters such as Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney along the way. Commercial success, however, has not been so forthcoming for the boy from the blue-collar town of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Anthony D'Amato first came to national attention with 2010's Down Wires, which he recorded with a single microphone in his college bedroom and NPR dubbed "a modern folk gem". He followed it up with another home recording, Paper Back Bones, which BBC Scotland named one of the Best Americana Albums of 2012.

Eric Teel

Liz Longley has a gift for culling musical treasures as though straight from thin air. The collection of 11 songs on her new record were recorded in Nashville with an all-pro band-and in a pulse-quickening fashion so rare in today's world of overproduced, airbrushed records.

Soleil Rowan

Samson Grisman (Bass) , Dominick Leslie (Mandolin), Alex Hargreaves (Fiddle) and Nathaniel Smith (Cello) have been great friends and musical confidants since they met each other on the bluegrass festival circuit in their pre-teens. The group is comprised of four of the most individualized instrumental voices in a new generation of acoustic musicians, and they play together with a cohesion that can only come from more than a decade of musical camaraderie.

Mia Dyson is a four-time ARIA nominated and award winning Australian singer songwriter and guitarist currently living in Los Angeles. She's toured with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Chris Isaak and Joe Cocker.

Born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, Nora Jane Struthers began playing as a pre-teen. attending festivals and fiddlers’ conventions around the south with her banjo-playing father. “These were pretty much just a group of musicians camping in a muddy field for a week, playing tunes and singing songs,” she recalls. “But these traditional music communities greatly influenced me and informed my decision later to move to Nashville and try to become a professional musician.

Colin Hay Live Session

May 8, 2015
Soleil Rowan

Colin Hay may be best known as the lead singer for Men At Work, the platinum selling Australian band that topped worldwide charts in the '80s with anthems like “Down Under,” “Overkill,” and “Who Can It Be Now?” Hay’s justifiably proud of his place in pop history, but since moving to Los Angeles in 1989, he’s made 12 solo records in a new chapter of his lengthy and prosperous career. His most recent is called "Next Year People," released in 2015.

Whitehorse Live Session

May 8, 2015

Whitehorse formed in 2010 by husband and wife solo musicians Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. The two toured in each other’s bands for years, but they put aside their award winning individual careers to build a new band out of their exceptional guitar playing, his and her harmonies and a flair for dramatic, narrative songwriting.

Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar, and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). 

Dominic Barth

Juliana Hatfield was raised in Massachusetts. As a child she learned how to play piano, and during high school she played guitar in a covers group called the Squids before discovering alternative rock through the Velvet Underground. Following high school, she attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied voice. While at Berklee, she met guitarist John Strohm and drummer Freda Boner, with whom she formed the Blake Babies in 1986.

Dominic Barth

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive resume of composition and collaboration. His albums set forth a vision that connects the dots between Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other.

Dominic Barth

Those who have followed Ruthie Foster's eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. Ruthie’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride. She came from humble church choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, and ended up in Austin, Texas.

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