Tiny Desk

Tom Brosseau

Download Audio

17 min 2 sec

Tom Brosseau possesses one of the most arresting voices in folk music today. Many people who hear him sing, without knowing his name or face, assume the voice belongs to a woman, as he hovers somewhere around the countertenor range, with an unusually pure tone.

The beauty of Brosseau's voice is magnified in this Tiny Desk Concert by the spare accompaniment of two acoustic guitars. Brosseau is on rhythm, accompanied by Sean Watkins. Watkins, who also plays and sings with Nickel Creek, produced and plays on Brosseau's new album, Grass Punks.

Brosseau is unabashedly sentimental and earnest. It informs his plainspoken story-songs, which find beauty and light in heartfelt themes of love and yearning. But Brosseau also possesses a wry sense of humor; you can hear as much in "Cradle Your Device," a playful take-down of modern technology. The next song he performs, "Stuck on the Roof Again," tells a true story about the octogenarian newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty, who got stuck on the roof of her home in Grand Forks, N.D., after a heavy snowstorm.

Brosseau closes his set with "Today Is a Bright New Day," a wistful reflection on lost love and the belief that no matter our past disappointments or missteps, the future is full of hope and opportunity.

Set List

  • "Cradle Your Device"
  • "Stuck On The Roof Again"
  • "Today Is A Bright New Day"

Credits

Producers: Denise DeBelius, Robin Hilton; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Tiny Desk Concert with Shamir Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Shamir

The singer's disco-infused funk and soul gets stripped down to a lone voice with a guitar.

Tiny Desk Concert with Paul Weller. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Paul Weller

See the beloved Britpop veteran perform songs from his new album, Saturns Pattern.

Tiny Desk Concert with Kate Tempest. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Kate Tempest

A celebrated English playwright and rapper deploys storytelling and poetry.

Tiny Desk Concert with Songhoy Blue Lani Milton /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton /NPR

Tiny Desk

Songhoy Blues

See a Malian band that fuses African music with Western rock.

Tiny Desk Concert with Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad of Girlpool. Maggie Starbard/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Girlpool

The charming duo performs three of the simple, direct songs from Before The World Was Big.

Tiny Desk Concert with Christopher Paul Stelling. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

Christopher Paul Stelling

Best witnessed live, Stelling's music is steeped in tradition yet filled with vitality and soul.

Tiny Desk Concert with And The Kids. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

And The Kids

The trio's music is full of life, with dissonant sounds that still feel suited for singalongs.

Tiny Desk Concert with Oddisee Colin Marshall/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Colin Marshall/NPR

Tiny Desk

Oddisee

The charismatic Brooklyn-via-D.C.-area rapper creates just the right amount of space in his music.

Tiny Desk Concert with Hop Along. Maggie Starbard/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Hop Along

Frances Quinlan's raspy voice whispers one moment, then lets loose a gut-punching howl the next.

Tiny Desk Concert with Timothy Showalter, songwriter and producer of Strand of Oaks. Maggie Starbard /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Maggie Starbard /NPR

Tiny Desk

Strand Of Oaks

Timothy Showalter's music is filled with bite and sometimes regret, but also a good deal of warmth.

Back To Top