JPR Music

JPR Music is a place that celebrates music discovery.  It's a place that collects what we think is exciting on the contemporary music  scene, in the State of Jefferson and beyond.  JPR Music features exclusive Live Sessions, reviews by JPR music hosts, NPR Tiny Desk concerts and First Listens of new releases.  Visit often ... and re-discover music!

Julien Baker’s solo debut, Sprained Ankle, was one of the most widely acclaimed works of 2015. The album, recorded by an 18-year-old and her friend in only a few days, was a bleak yet hopeful, intimate document of staggering experiences and grace, centered entirely around Baker’s voice, guitar, and unblinking honesty. Sprained Ankle appeared on year-end lists everywhere from NPR Music to The AV Club to New York Magazine’s Vulture.

On Friday, February 9th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with singer/songwriter Tyson Motsenbocker on Open Air.

On Friday, February 2nd at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with the Washington-state band Kuinka on Open Air.

Originally from Colorado and initially part of the folk band Paper Bird with her sister Genevieve, Esmé Patterson has increasingly let loose her inner rocker on each new solo album — particularly on her third record, released in June of 2016, titled We Were Wild.

Despite their brotherhood, Aaron and Phil Reed didn’t start playing music together until two years ago after Phil left their hometown of St. Charles, Missouri to join Aaron in the unsullied mountains of the American Northwest. The brothers family blend of folk encapsulates the grit and humor of Midwest life with the swagger and serenity of the west coast. Their style evokes finger picking folk singers of the 60’s and 70’s with a contemporary and boundless edge. Cultivated from years of performing in bands ranging from heavy metal to reggae and rock, to punk, country, and funk, their musical dichotomy is at the root of their diverse yet seamless folk-brand.

Pat Mac

On Friday, January 26th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with Suzanne Santo on Open Air. 

Ten years and four albums deep, the story of This Is The Kit — the musical project that holds Kate Stables at its heart, is itself one of time and change and careful listening. It has carried Stables from Winchester to Bristol to Paris (where she’s lived for the last ten years), across tours and festivals and the adoration of her peers: Guy Garvey, The National, Sharon van Etten among them. And it leads her now to Moonshine Freeze, her Rough Trade debut, and her most stunning and accomplished and compelling album to date.

With his fiery guitar and lap steel playing, his trailblazing, instantly memorable songs and gritty, unvarnished vocals, Selwyn Birchwood is among the most extraordinary young stars in the blues. His deep familiarity with blues tradition allows him to bust the genre wide open, adding new sounds, colors and textures, all delivered with a revival tent preacher's fervor and a natural storyteller's charisma.

Something American is the debut of an impossibly confident artist and a distinctive new voice. With the powerful impact of a full album and the fine nuance of a novel, these five songs reveal a songwriter who emphasizes melodic craft and emotional subtlety, a singer willing to push her instrument as far as it will go, a personality defined by its contradictions: sharp-witted yet vulnerable, dead-serious yet often drop-dead funny, young but incredibly wise.

Noah Gundersen has been peddling sincerity and introspection in musical form for almost a decade; songs that give listeners a taste of the emotional nectar in the pit of another human’s gut. He’s been dredging up viscous fistfulls of his own being and shaping them into little waxen votives, candles meant to illuminate the territory between shameless confession and hopeless redemption, for all of the other twenty-somethings who’ve been groping around in that long existential shadow.

Hiss Golden Messenger is Durham, North Carolina-based songwriter M.C. Taylor. Since 2009, Taylor and in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Scott Hirsh, longtime drummer Terry Lonergan, Nashville guitarist William Tyler, and members of Megafaun, the Black Twig Pickers, Pelt, D. Charles Speer & the Helix, Brightblack and Morning Light have released a string of universally acclaimed albums as Hiss Golden Messenger.

The Tree That Rocked The Music Industry

Nov 30, 2017

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home.

"I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs," Katz said after rehearsing for a performance of Schubert's Ninth Symphony earlier this month.

We’re Not Going Anywhere: At a historical moment of immense political, social, and ecological uncertainty, those four simple words comprise both a promise and a protest, a comforting reassurance of inclusion as well as a hearty cry of defiance. It’s a statement that offers no small sense of hope, in that sense matching the music contained on the new album from David Ramirez.

Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 set off howls of indignation across the literary spectrum. Everyone from bloggers to bestsellers weighed in on why Dylan — while universally acknowledged to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time — had no place in the pantheon alongside Faulkner, Hemingway, and Beckett. Dylan's refusal to travel to Stockholm to accept the award in person only fanned the flames of resentment and bewilderment.

Born and raised in Sandpoint Idaho, Shook Twins are an Indie folk-pop band hailing from Portland, Oregon. Identical twins, Katelyn and Laurie are the main songwriters, but they also back up their band member Niko Slice (electric guitar, mandolin and vocals) adding his uniquely compelling songs to the mix. Barra Brown is on Drums, vocals and Drum Pad, and Josh Simon is on Bass, vocals, Electric guitar, and synth.

Shawn Mullins readily admits that several of the songs on his newest album, My Stupid Heart, address his perceived relationship failures. In fact, many were written as he was falling out of his third marriage; in the title tune, he actually chides himself for being such a romantic. But it's also a bit of a joke, he says, because he firmly believes in following his heart — no matter where it leads.

JPR Live Session: OK Go

Nov 2, 2017

With a career that includes award-winning videos, New York Times op-eds, a major label split and the establishment of a DIY trans-media mini-empire (Paracadute), collaborations with pioneering dance companies and tech giants, animators and Muppets, and an experiment that encoded their music on actual strands of DNA, OK Go continue to fearlessly dream and build new worlds in a time when creative boundaries have all but dissolved.

The music of Kacy and Clayton exists outside of time, and burgeons with beautiful contradictions. It’s psychedelic and traditional, contemporary and vintage, melancholic and joyous. All at once, it showcases a slightly psych-folk sound of Linda Perhacs, Fleet Foxes, and First Aid Kit; rare country blues records and English folk tunes; and 1920s disaster songs and murder ballads. Their songs often are sugar-coated pills, tales of murderous jealousy, dilapidated graveyards, and infanticide, all delivered with Kacy Anderson’s sweet, lithe voice, and Clayton Linthicum’s hypnotic fingerpicking.

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso are influenced by the contradiction of their progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes. Currently celebrating the release of their new album Coming Down The Mountain, Mipso ventures further than ever from their string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition. Adding drums and electric instruments to their intimate four-part harmonies and powerful acoustic meld, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with words that sear and salve in turn.

Bedouine is a gallicized riff on bedouin, the nomad, the wanderer. Anyone can assume such a name, but Azniv Korkejian has an experience of what it means, the type of ground it covers. “Moving around so much caused me at some point to feel displaced, to not really belong anywhere and I thought that was a good title.” Her development was shaped by political landscapes and family opportunities, her adult life patterned by paths of her own.

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