Tiny Desk

Kelly Hogan

Download Audio

Kelly Hogan: Tiny Desk Concert

The reliable backup singer who seizes the spotlight is the stuff of entertainment-industry fairy tales, but Kelly Hogan hasn't actually had to labor in obscurity. She's spent the last decade or so as a high-profile accompanist for the likes of Jakob Dylan and Neko Case; the three of them even played a Tiny Desk Concert together a couple years ago, and it's not as if Hogan had to sing behind a curtain like Debbie Reynolds in Singin' in the Rain. Hogan is no household name, but she had little trouble inspiring a load of terrific songwriters to contribute a dozen custom-made compositions for her new album.

That record, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain — a title it shares with the Robyn Hitchcock song she performs here — exudes confidence and unflappable professionalism. And, naturally, that carries over to this performance in the NPR Music offices, as Hogan and her ace band knock out three songs with seeming effortlessness and easygoing charm.

Hogan took 11 years off between her last solo record and I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, in large part because she's been working constantly with other musicians — ironically, their constant demand for her work has helped keep her from seizing the spotlight. Seeing her in action, both in performance and as a calming presence in a chaotic room both before and afterward, it's easy to see why her collaborators never want to let her go: You can't go wrong surrounding yourself with oases of calm competence, especially when they bring cupcakes to share and sing as beautifully as Hogan does here.

Set List:
  • "Haunted"
  • "Plant White Roses"
  • "I Like To Keep Myself In Pain"
Credits:

Producer: Stephen Thompson; Editor and Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Michael Katzif/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

TK Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

Genevieve

See a singer with a powerful voice and extremely encouraging message.

Tiny Desk Concert with Zac Sokolow (left), Frank Fairfield and Tom Marion. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Jan/NPR

Tiny Desk

Frank Fairfield

A young man with an old musical soul has a spellbinding voice and fluid fiddle playing.

Tiny Desk Concert with Jason Vieaux and Yolanda Kondonassis. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Tiny Desk

Jason Vieaux And Yolanda Kondonassis

Watch the Grammy-winning guitarist and acclaimed harpist play music influenced by Africa and Asia.

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Young Fathers

Intense, hip-hop-infused poetry is reduced to just the essentials in this two-song, four-minute set.

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Camané

A star in his native Portugal, Camané evokes melancholy with a silky baritone and elegant phrasing.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

Bellows

These are enchanting songs, with the power to drift in your head for days.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

Eskmo

Found objects are percussion instruments in the hands of a man who's part musician, part magician.

Vijay Iyer Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 20, 2015. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Olivia Merrion/NPR

Tiny Desk

Vijay Iyer Trio

Iyer's working band transforms selections from throughout the pianist's deep and varied catalog.

Back To Top