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!

If John Prine and Mitch Hedberg had a baby, the resulting product would resemble something very close to Portland, OR singer-songwriter John Craigie. Musically comparable to Prine, with the humor and wit of Hedberg, the humble, gracious, and hilarious Craigie is one of the best storytellers of our time. It’s no wonder that Chuck Norris sends him fan mail, and Todd Snider brings him gifts on stage.

Eddie Berman grew up in Southern California and taught himself guitar and piano. He fell in love with the troubadour styles of Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk as a teenager and learned to fingerpick on his father’s 1950s Martin guitar, first writing his own songs as a college student at Berkeley. He made waves in the acoustic music world half a decade ago when his bedroom demos were given significant airplay on influential LA radio station KCRW.

Three years ago, Super Doppler* bought a used van, booked over 150 shows in nine months, and embarked on their first-ever national tour. There were no labels or booking agents or tour managers at the time, just a bunch of twenty-somethings with an independent streak and a shared love of making music. It wasn't glamorous — it still isn't — but they all agreed it beat the hell out of working a day job. The band pushed that van to its limits and beyond with their relentless tour schedule, developing a rapport with the tow truck drivers of the greater Norfolk, VA area as they burned through three different engines and blossomed from local favorites into one of the most promising young rock bands working today.

"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.

A mysterious photograph appeared across various social media platforms Monday morning, depicting three dashing women — two in cowboy hats, one holding a pair of spectacles — lounging at a wooden table teeming with the evidence of a long night out. NEW BAND ALERT: BERMUDA TRIANGLE, the caption read. Anyone attuned to the Americana scene recognized the one in the middle: Brittany A. Howard, the main rule-breaker in Americana music's most exciting band of this century, the Alabama Shakes.

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.

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.

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