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!

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.

Love your old uncles while you have them. Mine used to hang around near the drinks table at family gatherings, comparing the weird bumps growing on their ears, sharing jokes they'd learned in the Army, and blowing the kids away with stories culled from decades' worth of interesting exploits. Most have gone to the next beyond by now, but I hold my uncles' devil-may-care spirit close to my heart. People have a lot to learn from those among them who've lived long enough to not worry about any particular outcome.

It's that time of year when hordes of 20-somethings start sharing rides to remote locations -- music festival season.

B.B. King And The Majesty Of The Blues

May 16, 2015

It seemed as if he'd go on forever — and B.B. King was working right up until the end. It's what he loved to do: playing music, and fishing. Even late in life, living with diabetes, he spent about half the year on the road. King died Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

Colin Hay Live Session

May 8, 2015
Soleil Rowan

Colin Hay may be best known as the lead singer for Men At Work, the platinum selling Australian band that topped worldwide charts in the '80s with anthems like “Down Under,” “Overkill,” and “Who Can It Be Now?” Hay’s justifiably proud of his place in pop history, but since moving to Los Angeles in 1989, he’s made 12 solo records in a new chapter of his lengthy and prosperous career. His most recent is called "Next Year People," released in 2015.

Whitehorse Live Session

May 8, 2015

Whitehorse formed in 2010 by husband and wife solo musicians Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. The two toured in each other’s bands for years, but they put aside their award winning individual careers to build a new band out of their exceptional guitar playing, his and her harmonies and a flair for dramatic, narrative songwriting.

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

May 5, 2015

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar, and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). 

Dominic Barth

Juliana Hatfield was raised in Massachusetts. As a child she learned how to play piano, and during high school she played guitar in a covers group called the Squids before discovering alternative rock through the Velvet Underground. Following high school, she attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied voice. While at Berklee, she met guitarist John Strohm and drummer Freda Boner, with whom she formed the Blake Babies in 1986.

Dominic Barth

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive resume of composition and collaboration. His albums set forth a vision that connects the dots between Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other.

On his most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, José González treads a familiar musical path, offering listeners the same subdued-but-powerful austerity of his unobtrusive tenor paired with minimal instrumentation that's come to define his remarkable sound since his full-length debut with 2003's Veneer. While those compositional tendencies have thankfully remained undisturbed, Vestiges & Claws is a divergence in theme for González.

Dominic Barth

Those who have followed Ruthie Foster's eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. Ruthie’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride. She came from humble church choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, and ended up in Austin, Texas.

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