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.

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.

Ewert and the Two Dragons Live Session 4/3/2015
Eric Teel

Ewert and The Two Dragons is a band from Tallinn, Estonia. Their debut album The Hills Behind The Hills was released in autumn 2009 and since then they have taken the Baltics by storm. 

decker. Live Session

Mar 27, 2015
decker. Live Session 3/27/2015
Eric Teel

Since 2009, the Sedona, AZ based songwriter Brandon Decker has written, produced and released a trove of mesmerizing music; an expansive palette of folk, gospel, rock and psychedelia recorded under the nom de plume decker. “Tailor-made for a Coen Brothers western,” as one reviewer put it, “the music is dark, atmospheric and uncomfortably honest.

Eric Teel

For Kris Orlowski, making music is about more than fulfilling personal agendas; it’s about creating something that touches the soul. Through relatable storytelling, husky harmonies and knack for hitting emotional highs, the band has touched the souls of people across the Pacific Northwest since 2010.

Dominic Barth

Vocalist Sara Gazarek and pianist Josh Nelson have aligned their musical spirits in a way that would make any artistic duo envious. Gazarek’s top flight interpretations of the vast and varied American songbook are buoyed by the sensitivity of Nelson’s supple command and they have transfixed audiences from New York to Tokyo. They have a telepathic understanding that has come about through more than a decade of friendship, not just hundreds of hours on the bandstand and it blankets any audience lucky enough to hear their swinging high-wire act of trust and commitment.

Eric Teel

Penny & Sparrow is American singer-songwriter duo of Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke out of Austin, Texas. Formed in 2011 after living as roommates at the University of Texas, the duo began their musical endeavor as a hobby and creative outlet. Their first tune, “Creature” was recorded in a small apartment behind an orphanage with one microphone and a laptop. “If you listen closely, you can hear kids screaming and laughing in the background of each song,” says Baxter. “After just one song, we knew writing and recording was something we didn’t want to stop doing.

Eric Teel

Peter Bradley Adams was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in a musical family, taking inspiration from his grandfather, a jazz musician proficient in the piano and clarinet. Adams began learning the piano when he was six years old, and went on to study music at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

Adrian Legg Live Session

Feb 13, 2015
Eric Teel

Since the 1990 release of his first U.S. recording Guitars and Other Cathedrals , Adrian Legg has more than lived up to the expectations stirred by an ongoing avalanche of praise from critics, fans, top guitar magazines and peers alike. Guitar wizard Joe Satriani once said, “He's simply the best acoustic guitar player I've ever heard…he plays like he has hammers for fingers.” The genius that the Boston Globe has called “technical brilliance paired with a troubadour's tale-weaving skill” led him from 1993-96 to be voted Best Fingerstyle Guitarist four years straight by the readers of Guitar Player magazine.

Eric Teel

Kaoru Ishibashi, who goes by the professional name Kishi Bashi, is a singer-songwriter, composer and performing artist who appears both solo and with groups. He plays multiple instruments including violin, keyboard and guitar, and his musical repertoire ranges from indie pop and rock to psychedelic pop. He sometimes uses Japanese singing as one of many sound layers in his creations, helping to suggest (to Western ears, at least) a sense of the ineffable. His newest release, Lighght was released in 2014.

Eric Teel

Chris Wood had a scrap of a song — seemed like a chorus — scribbled in a notebook. He played it for his older brother, Oliver, who’d had a verse lying around he didn’t know what to do with. The two pieces, composed months apart, one in urban Atlanta and the other deep in the Catskills, dovetailed musically and lyrically: the verse about a man regretting chasing unattainable women, the high-lonesome, harmony-driven refrain of “When I die, I wanna be sent back to try, try again.”

Eric Teel

Born in Watkins Glen, N.Y.—best-known for its race track and the rock festival of the same name which took place there, featuring the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and The Band—Willie Watson grew up listening to his father’s basement record collection, including Bob Dylan and Neil Young, before stumbling on a Leadbelly album at the age of 12. Combined with having heard plenty of local string bands—featuring old-time banjo and fiddle—Willie experienced an epiphany. “As soon as I heard that record,” he recalls, “I was hooked.”

Eric Teel

Jonah Tolchin's new album, Clover Lane, gets its name from an astonishing coincidence. Tolchin grew up in New Jersey on Clover Lane. As he tells it, “My parents bought the Clover Lane house in 1996. Fast forward to 2012. At the suggestion of a friend, record producer Marvin Etzioni came out to a show of mine in Los Angeles (Room 5). After an inspired conversation, a few weeks later Marvin and I were recording an album together in Nashville.” The pivotal phone call to Etzioni that night had come from Jonah’s friend, singer-songwriter Alex Wright. He and his wife Chris had met Marvin through their friend and neighbor in LA, Anna Serridge. When Jonah met Anna at the Wright’s, he discovered, quite by chance, that she had lived in the very same house on Clover Lane and had sold it to Tolchin’s parents sixteen years earlier.

Dominic Barth

In 2004, Brad and Andrew Barr had spent most of the previous decade criss-crossing North America, playing music with their spirited, improv-based rock trio, The Slip. That Spring, the band was playing a small club in Montreal, QC when a fire broke out in the venue. They grabbed a few guitars/drums and rushed out onto the rainy street with the rest of the concert goers. As the club’s mezzanine was swallowed by flames, Andrew offered his coat to one of the waitresses from the bar. One year later, Brad and Andrew Barr were living in Montreal. That waitress is now one of their managers.

An indie folk band from Portland, Oregon, Horse Feathers consists of singer/songwriter Justin Ringle (acoustic guitar, vocals, percussion) and a rotating cast of supporting musicians. Ringle grew up in Idaho and performed in several short-lived indie rock bands before moving to Portland, where he began playing shows under the name Horse Feathers. It was in Portland that he met Peter Broderick, a member of the established local act Norfolk & Western. The two spent much of 2005 writing songs and honing their live performances at various Portland open-mike nights, effectively turning Horse Feathers from a solo project into a duo.

JPR has a rare opportunity to add a new member to its excellent team of volunteer substitute Open Air hosts.

Dominic Barth

Made up of three of the most exciting instrumentalists on the scene today, this trio of fiddler Brittany Haas (Crooked Still), bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), and guitarist Jordan Tice (Tony Trischka) have come together on their debut album, You Got This, to use their string band roots to engage in close dialogue.

Cold Specks Live Session

Dec 12, 2014

Canada-born and London, England-based musician Al Spx, who goes by the stage name Cold Specks, describes her signature sound as "doom soul." Steeped in the old gospel spirituals and traditional folk songs that famed musicologist Alan Lomax spent most of his life putting to tape, her unique blend of Deep Southern soul, Tom Waits/Jeff Buckley-inspired blues, and goth-tinged indie folk first caught the public's attention after an appearance on the popular British music program, Later...With Jools Holland.

Em Harriss Live Session

Dec 4, 2014
Eric Teel

Em Harriss is an Ashland-based singer/songwriter and internet sensation who describes herself as “super socially awkward and shy” about her music, despite a growing fan base on Vine of over 280,000 followers and a recent EP that hit the top 10 on iTunes. Harriss, whose voice sounds like a fusion of Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, started using Vine about 10 months ago where she says “things just took off unexpectedly.”

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