We've been privileged in these last few months to share the stories of many Americans, some of them famous, but most of them not. We came together through some avenues we know well — books, music and theater. Sometimes, we found each other through pathways that have only recently become a big part of our lives, such as the #BeyondFerguson hashtag that brought so many young people to an August community meeting in that city. Our New Year's Resolution is to keep these honest and vital conversations going. We are going there.
She came to the Tiny Desk a little unsure, and left singing "West Memphis" with intensity and passion. Lucinda Williams has a voice like no other, and it shines in these intimate moments.
Williams is on a roll with a new double album, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, which is filled with fresh and beautiful songs — all this from a songwriter known for working at a deliberate pace. Hearing her perform these new songs with her brilliant band was a rare and exciting treat.
Born to musician parents in a small town near the Texas-Louisiana border, Amy LaVere moved with her family 13 times before she finished high school in Detroit. She maintained her interest in music throughout; one of her first gigs was playing drums for the punk band Last Minute while in her mid-teens. After time spent in Louisiana and Nashville, LaVere settled in Memphis, where she began performing solo and released three solo albums, including 2012's decorated Stranger Me. Her latest, Runaway's Diary, is inspired in part by her experiences as a teenager.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:58 pm
There was a long stretch in country music when there was no bigger star than Garth Brooks. He ruled the country charts throughout the '90s, filled stadiums, played 250 to 300 shows a year. In 2001, he called it off. He retired from the road and the studio, and went back home to Oklahoma to be a dad to his three young daughters.
Three decades after her journey into national radio started, host Fiona Ritchie meets up with the man who was her very first interview: Alan Reid, known for his long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.
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British jazz pianist George Shearing was a friend and frequent guest on Piano Jazz. On this special edition of the program from 2001, Shearing joins host Marian McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way.
The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Away In A Manger."
Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.