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!

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.

The 2017 Music on the Half Shell season was announced on May 11th, and will feature a diverse lineup of artists over 8 weeks this summer at Roseburg's Stewart Park.

The full season includes:

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.

Riverbend Live!, the free weekly music series in Winston, Oregon turns 21 this year, and the season kicks off July 7th with the wildly creative and exciting Dirty Bourbon River Show.

Winston’s annual tradition continues this year at the outdoor theatre at Riverbend Park. Each concert will start at 7pm. You are invited to bring your blanket or lawn chair, but no pets.  There will a variety of food booths, or if you prefer, bring your picnic basket. To learn more, visit www.riverbendlive.org.

The season includes:

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.

Eric Teel

Throughout his precarious northern New Hampshire youth, Matt Pond was often photographed without trousers, stumbling along the icy mountain runoff and over snow-flecked grass, a loyal and ferocious black-and-white Rough Collie half-heartedly giving chase. The years passed. The film flickered but mostly stayed static until, in Philadelphia in ’98, he put the headphones over his ears and first listened to ELO. It was a lightening-bolt-for-one: the strings, they said everything. That’s when the electronic orchestration took hold. The songs started coming and they wouldn’t stop, reinforced by a battered Les Paul open-tuned like a dirty dulcimer.

Angelica Garcia appropriately likens her journey to “going down the rabbit hole.” Upon graduating from Los Angeles County High School For The Arts, the 17-year-old native Angeleno found herself living in a 200-year-old gothic brick home encircled by magnolia trees and under a blanket of bright stars in Accomac, Virginia. Her stepfather traded a career in the music industry for Episcopalian priesthood, and an Eastern Shore church would serve as his (and the family’s) first congregation. Behind that residence where Union General Henry Hayes Lockwood once passed through during the Civil War, Angelica began to fashion her musical world in the dusty old parish house. Nodding to her personal “holy trinity” of Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Jack White, she tenaciously penned music.

On Tuesday, February 28th, NPR announced Tank And The Bangas as the winner of their 2017 Tiny Desk Contest. Here at JPR, we wanted to acknowledge some of best regional submissions again this year, plus announce our favorite - King Roy Wing - who will be invited to do a JPR Live Session with us later this year!

Where some musicians lock themselves away in a studio to create an album or a concrete collection of songs, Jonathon Linaberry can’t help but write whenever inspiration strikes. The blues singer and multi-instrumentalist, who incorporates elements of old-time folk into the all-encompassing persona of The Bones of J.R. Jones, describes his songwriting as “a continuing evolution.” Nonetheless, he admits he often wishes his ever-wandering creative spirit would settle down. “I would jump at the chance to have the flexibility where I can have six months locked away in a room and focus on one solid cohesive theme for a record,” Linaberry says. “But unfortunately with my schedule I try to cram these songs into the spaces of my life where I can fit them.

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