JPR Music

Non-classical music posts.

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.

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.


August is already a week old, but there are major arts events still to come. 

The West Coast Country Music Festival returns to the Greensprings near Ashland in the middle of the month. 

The New Autonomous Folksingers visit our studio for songs and info about the fest, as part of our First Friday Arts segment. 

Music, theater, dance and more are celebrated on First Friday.

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. 

Newport Folk's Pink Floyd Moment

Jul 26, 2015

The most puzzling musician on the lineup at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival was easily Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. For me, Pink Floyd represents the antithesis of folk music, with the band's psychedelic pulsating landscapes and big rock drums and guitars. Out there and psychedelic, yeah — down home and folky, nope.

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

Calexico is no stranger to negotiating borders. For the better part of two decades, eight albums, and countless trips around the globe, founding members Joey Burns and John Convertino have crossed musical barriers with their band, embracing a multitude of diverse styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds.

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.

Soleil Rowan

Tom West is songwriter and fingerpicking guitarist. His songs are inspired by lost love and the act of getting lost; they traverse from very simple folk tunes to grand and moody soundscapes.

Rich Orris

Kristian Matsson is an indie folk singer/songwriter and guitarist who performs under the stage name of The Tallest Man on Earth. Born in 1983 in Dalarna Sweden, he first broke into music as a member of the group Montezumas. Matsson struck out on his own in 2006, using his stage name, with a five song self-titled EP. Four full-length recordings and one more EP followed. He has been compared stylistically to Bob Dylan in vocal and songwriting skills. His sound is also reminiscent of Nick Drake and Laura Marling.

Kacey Musgraves, the country singer performing later this summer at Britt Music and Arts Festival, stopped by NPR on Friday for a Tiny Desk Concert. The full session isn't available yet, but since Musgraves performed her anthem Follow Your Arrow about accepting people for who they are, NPR couldn't resist sharing it today ... and neither can we. 

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.

Cold Specks, Barr Brothers, and Whitehorse (all recent JPR Live Session Guests) have made the long list for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize in Canada.

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.

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Jun 3, 2015

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.