JPR Live Sessions

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On February 12th, NPR announced Fantastic Negrito as the winner of their inaugural Tiny Desk Concert Contest. (See the winning video here.) Here at JPR, we watched nearly 35 excellent videos submitted by musicians from our region and decided to select our own winner -- the best of the State of Jefferson. When the dust settled, we had a clear winner.

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.

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.”

Emerging fully-formed from the desolate heart of Central Florida, Roadkill Ghost Choir make unsettling, powerful American rock, Tom Petty by way of Radiohead and Cormac McCarthy. Set against Kiffy Meyer’s ghostly steel pedal, singer and main songwriter Andrew Shepard triumphantly conjures an allegorical American landscape of drifters, specters and violent saints. Andrew’s brothers Maxx (drums) and Zach (bass) Shepard round out the rhythm section, and Stephen Garza handles lead guitar.

Gypsy Soul Live Session

Nov 29, 2014
Eric Teel/JPR

Cilette Swann and Roman Morykit first met in Edinburgh, Scotland, “and it was musical lust at first sight,” she recalls. Vancouver, BC native Cilette, of Irish and South African descent, had been in Paris, singing in French jazz bands, while British-born Roman, with roots in the Ukraine and Italy, arrived from London, where his rock band Raising Cane had just been dropped by A&M Records after it was acquired by Polygram. “When I first heard her sing, it was one of those ‘oh my God’ moments,” says Roman. “I was just excited to find someone that talented who could create together with me.”

Luluc Live Session

Nov 19, 2014

In a world where instant gratification is the norm, patience has become a rare commodity. But for Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, who make up indie-folk duo Luluc (pronounced Loo-LUKE), letting things unfold in due time not only defines their career trajectory, it also works as a pretty good description of their approach to making music. Music that Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman describes as “bracing, subtle, tender and magnificent.”

Jane Siberry Live Session

Nov 19, 2014
Eric Teel

From her start in 1980s as a guitar playing coffee shop folk artist through all of her unique musical incarnations over the ensuing years, Jane Siberry has carved out a unique career and established herself as a remarkably gifted singer and composer.

Reuben and the Dark is the newest project from Calgary's Reuben Bullock. Fresh off the release of his second solo album, Bullock has formed a band of some of Alberta's finest musicians. This quartet has been quickly building a reputation as a killer live band - a collection of five multi-instrumentalists and vocalists that make chilling, emotive folk and soul.

Tegan & Sara Live Session

Nov 10, 2014
Carson Blume

Tegan and Sara’s 13-year career has seen them build an avid global following of fans and fellow musicians alike. Having sold nearly 1 million career albums and toured with acts from The Killers to Neil Young, Tegan and Sara have now released their 7th studio album – Heartthrob – as internationally-celebrated songwriters, performers, and artists. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, securing the band’s highest US chart position to date.

Dominic Barth

A self-proclaimed “failed scholar and modern-day hobo,” 24 year-old Caroline Rose has broken her long string of short circuits with a live-wire national debut, I Will Not Be Afraid, that draws on her roots in rockabilly, vintage country, and blues to capture her unique and distinctive vision.

Eric Teel

It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, From The Ground Up to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self-assured,” while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.” 

Fink Live Session

Oct 21, 2014
Eric Teel

Fink, aka Fin Greenall, is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and DJ, born in Cornwall and currently based in Berlin and London.

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