JPR Live Sessions

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"We are the elders of our minds," sings Sean Rowe on "Gas Station Rose," the track that ushers in his fourth album, New Lore, with plaintive plucks of guitar and steady drips of piano that fall in like rain. It's a sparse and beautiful moment, anchored by Rowe's unparalleled voice - so full of gravely soul, aged and edged by years on the road, as a father and husband, as a creative force always looking for the next rhyme. And, so integral to the man that he is, one that is constantly absorbing nature.

Christopher Paul Stelling has been on the move for years now. Left home early to roam and search. Periods spend in Colorado, Boston, Seattle, New York City and North Carolina, all interspersed with further destinations to play his songs. His debut record Songs of Praise And Scorn was recorded at a functioning Kentucky funeral home. American Songwriter heard it and proclaimed, “this what a real self-contained, modern-day troubadour looks and sounds like.” Stelling’s 2015 Anti debut was called Labor Against Waste. Big Takeover called him a “punk rock Leadbelly… a dynamo” while NPR Music wrote, “He's a great finger picker, a strong songwriter, listen to his words - you'll love what you hear.

Overcoats is New York-based female duo Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell. Their sound captivates, combining electronic backdrops with soaring, harmonic intimacy — a sort of Chet Faker meets Simon & Garfunkel. Overcoats’ songs draw strength from vulnerability, finding uplifting beauty in simple, honest songwriting.

Joan Osborne famously got her start performing her own songs in New York City’s downtown rock clubs, around the time that she began to rediscover Bob Dylan’s work with Oh Mercy. “When you’re playing in the nightclub scene in Greenwich Village, his trail is everywhere, and not just because he played in the same places, but because people still perform his music every night. He's part of the American musical education you get, whether you’re learning about him in some music conservatory or by playing in bars five nights a week."

Once compared to a man who wears many suits, in thirty-five short years Justin Townes Earle has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally. Between releasing seven full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, a new found sobriety, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. His new album serves as a perfect platform for such narrations. Entitled Kids in the Street, the album is comprised of twelve tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a forefather of Contemporary Americana.

JPR Live Session: Edison

Jun 9, 2017

Edison (singer/guitarist Sarah Slaton, multi-instrumentalist Dustin Morris, and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes) is an indie rock trio from Colorado which has quickly emerged as a musical force. Although they've only been a band since late 2014, they've already built a substantial national fan base thanks to their high-energy live shows and tireless touring efforts.

Chosen as JPR's regional favorite in the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, King Roy Wing is a quartet comprised of guitarist/singer/songwriter M. Henry, bassist and singer Jenika Smith, mandolinist Gaur Groover, and violinist and singer Hanna Winters. Their submission to the competition (shown below) featured the song "Orange Flower."

Lesley Kernochan is one you can’t predict. One minute she’s howling a country tune with the midnight coyotes, and the next minute she’s delivering a full plate of swingin’ sass. Lesley has an eclectic background as a saxophonist, contemporary composer, operatically trained coloratura, vagabond cabarista, musical saw player, and now singer/songwriter. In each uniquely crafted song Lesley offers her intimate vocal prowess and earnest, playful spirit.

When Lindi Ortega went in search of some quiet last year, the award-winning artist was pleasantly surprised to find a voice she hadn’t heard in some time – her own. Amid sparse, atmospheric production, it’s precisely this voice – a combination of Ortega’s fatalistic perspective expressed with her evocative soprano – that grips your attention on a brand new EP, Til The Goin’ Gets Gone.

Eric Teel

An adoptive Montrealer, Leif Vollebekk has toured extensively across America and Europe, opening for the likes of Daniel Lanois, Gregory Alan Isakov and Patrick Watson. He has released two records, Inland (2010) and North Americana (2013) that received praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste and The Line of Best Fit, to only name a few. His songwriting has garnered comparisons to Bob Dylan and his voice to Jeff Buckley.

Eric Teel

Shelby Earl’s first two albums earned the kind of raves any musician would kill for. Upon hearing her 2011 debut, Burn the Boats, NPR’s Ann Powers called Earl her “new favorite songwriter,” and she wasn’t alone. Accolades followed from Rolling Stone to the Wall Street Journal and a million music sites in between that positioned her somewhere to the left of Neko Case, a few blocks from Sharon Van Etten, catercorner to Angel Olsen.

All originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The Stray Birds started as a duo of acoustic buskers in early 2010 when Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven met with their instruments, their voices, and their songs. It didn't take much convincing to get bassist Charlie Muench on board, and with the addition of a third unique and powerful voice, the group began to define its captivating sound.

Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary.

Soleil Rowan

Hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska and blessed with a unique name, Bernardus has all the making of an up and coming prodigious band. Bernardus’ ambient folk rock sound, uniquely paired with lead singer Ben Kramer’s singer/songwriter style of lyrics, brings a tone that is best described as alternative Americana through a modern pop lens.

Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album I Was Just Leaving the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion.

Eric Teel

Caitlin Canty delivers her songs with a dusky alto and a 1930’s Recording King guitar. Her breakout record Reckless Skyline features an all-star band on twelve songs that veer nimbly between country ballads and straight-up rockers, dark blues and sparsely arranged folk. Produced by Jeffrey Foucault, Reckless Skyline garnered glowing praise from NPR, among others. The San Francisco Chronicle lauded Canty’s, “casually devastating voice and unshakable poise,” and her “easy way with folk, blues and country motifs.

Vanessa Heins

A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. She deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark celebrated her Boston community and featured a cast of musicians Cousins had known and played music with for a decade. It won a JUNO Award, 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, NPR Music and Oprah Magazine. Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy.

Agnes Obel, the staggeringly talented No.1 artist across Europe, and a great live success in the UK, returns with a bigger sound, a bigger canvas and, for the first time, a concept for her third album. Citizen Of Glass follows 2013’s gorgeously intimate, piano-and-voice-led masterpiece Aventine, and 2010’s stunningly detailed, delicate debut Philharmonics, which had huge commercial success in Obel’s home country of Denmark, as well as France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Nikki Lane’s new album, Highway Queen, sees the young Nashville singer emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Co-produced by Lane and fellow singer-songwriter, Jonathan Tyler, this emotional tour-de-force blends potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage Sixties country-pop swagger.

Had he lived one hundred and fifty years ago, Bradford Loomis may have been riding rail cars out west or sailing down the Mississippi on a paddle boat. Or maybe he would have claimed his stake in the flat lands of the Midwest. Perhaps he would have plied his hand on a ranch in Texas. Born in the Northwest in more modern times, Bradford has lived to tell a different, but no less exciting, tale.

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