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!

Eric Teel

Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers took their form of aggressive bluegrass to rock and roll bars at a time when it wasn’t so common, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jamgrass genre.

JPR Live Session: Renn

Feb 10, 2017
Eric Teel

From the start, Nashville artist Renn’s journey into music was far from the conventional tale. Time spent torn between passion and insecurity, hobby and calling eventually lead to Heartache and a Song - Renn’s debut album. Poignant lyrics blended with raw, soulful melodies give listeners a starkly personal glimpse into his journey, in a way that connects us to our own.

John Paul White’s new album, Beulah, is his first in nearly a decade - a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it’s a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.

Eric Teel

One of the finest songwriters of his generation, Jeffrey Foucault has taken, in his own words, ‘the small roads;’ building a brick and mortar independent international touring career of ten studio albums, countless miles and critical accolades. He’s been lauded for "stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest" (The New Yorker) and described as "quietly brilliant" (The Irish Times), while catching the ear of everyone from Greil Marcus to Don Henley to Van Dyke Parks.

Aussie folk-rockers The Paper Kites initially formed around the duo of Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy, who had been performing and writing together since high school. Members David Powys (guitar/banjo), Sam Rasmussen (bass/synth), and Josh Bentley (drums) were recruited from other Melbourne-based bands in 2010 to complete the lineup that was responsible for their debut single "Bloom."

Soleil Rowan

Combining his favorite aspects of the country music of old alongside some serious 80’s indie-pop influences, Don DiLego has managed to carve out a sound that is at once both nostalgic in its Americana leanings and modern in its approach to creating a sonic landscape. Ripe with reverb, detuned guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, DiLego’s most recent recordings seem to fully realize what he began exploring on his first release, The Lonestar Hitchhiker, back in 2001.

Kristin Hersh is known best for her rock bands Throwing Muses and 50FootWave, but in addition to those projects, she has also released ten solo albums. Her guitar work and composition style ranges from jaggedly dissonant to traditional folk. Hersh's lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness style, reflecting her personal experiences.

Eric Teel

Nataly Dawn (also known as one half of the duo Pomplamoose, whose songs and videos have amassed nearly 115 million views on YouTube with over 450,000 subscribers to their channel) is celebrating the recent release of her sophomore solo album, Haze. The new record continues to receive critical acclaim, with KQED’s “The California Report” praising Haze for “[not shying] away from romance, [without] being sappy,” as well as for its “sense of probing and looking inside,” while Unclear Magazine notes that “Nataly Dawn is a force to be reckoned with.

Soleil Rowan

Life on the road for a burgeoning band is easily glamorized: The joy of playing a show, the wonder of encountering new places and people, the stories that amass. Yet the lifestyle can also be a trying one: The suffocating isolation of a van, the misery of being separated from home and loved ones, the unspoken grievances that stack tensions high. If you're unprepared, this life can become your downfall. For Boston's The Ballroom Thieves, it became their sophomore album, Deadeye.

NPR Music is once again asking unknown bands and musicians all over the country to film themselves performing one song at a desk of their choice. The contest will be sponsored for the third year by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and the winner will play NPR’s famous Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C., before embarking on a U.S. tour that includes appearances at a taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another and at events hosted by NPR Music and Lagunitas, in partnership with Member stations, throughout the country. 

Though they call western Massachusetts home, Parsonsfield (formerly known as Poor Old Shine) draws their name from the rural Maine town that's home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that they cut their outstanding debut, 'Poor Old Shine,' which established them as a roots force to be reckoned with.

In November 2015, at the end of a ten month period which saw him play over 200 shows, Ryley Walker decided that he should probably head home. However you wished to measure it, he was surely due some sort of holiday. The preceding months had been extraordinary. In March, his second album Primrose Green, emerged to critical hosannas from the likes of NPR, Village Voice, Uncut, and Mojo – in the process, earning admiration of musicians who had chalked up no shortage of turntable miles in Walker’s life. Robert Plant declared himself a fan – as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley would later embark on a British tour.

It is a true, and nowadays rare, musician who writes lyrics so vulnerable and authentic that an audience is irrevocably captured by the powerful experience of sharing the journey. An album that is essentially an autobiographical account of personal mistakes, change, and growth, offers listeners a chance to reflect on their own experiences and connect with another’s story.

Soleil Rowan

Depending on your background, the term "power trio" may bring to mind the '60s sonic depth-charges launched by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream; the twisty prog-rock styles of mid-'70s King Crimson and Rush; or the post-grunge bash of Seether and Wolfmother. In the case of Civil Twilight, the term means all of that – and much more.

Verbs & Nouns was formed near the beginning of 2016, when Jared Masters (Guitar, Vocals) joined forces with Emily Turner (Upright Bass, Vocals) and the two began building their sound upon their individual influences and musical tastes. Now a dynamic duet that combines jazz with blues and chill grooves, they are active around the Pacific Northwest, and are at work on their first studio album.

Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston progressive-folk duo Tall Heights. Singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright know where they’ve been, and where they want to go. As for the route, well, “we’re just mapping it out as we take it, day by day,” says Harrington.

Troy Michael / www.Innocentwords.com

From the time he signed with Rick Rubin's American Recordings in 1993, Pete Droge has enjoyed a successful, multi-faceted career as a recording artist, songwriter, producer, and composer. Beginning with his breakout hit "If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)," which was featured in the blockbuster Dumb and Dumber, Pete Droge has gone on to compose and license original music for television and film, including national ad campaigns for Toyota and T-Mobile, and the ABC smash Grey's Anatomy.

Soleil Rowan

Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Paper Bird first emerged from the same environs that launched such outfits as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and the Lumineers. The group has toured extensively throughout the U.S., sharing bills with the aforementioned bands, as well as Daryl Hall & John Oates, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Shakey Graves.

Eric Teel

Shinyribs is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey which began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed, along with a sewing machine, a billy club and a box of comic books. Luckily he chose the guitar.

Eric Teel

Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes first met in 2010 when he crossed an Austin barroom floor and asked her to dance. A modest beginning became an undeniable attraction the first time they sang together.

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