Short of seeing her live and in person, this is the best way to encounter June's heartfelt sound. A singular performer with an array of singing styles, she sometimes channels an old male voice; at other times, she channels a younger woman or even a child.
Watch the venerable North Carolina band translate its electric sound to acoustic instruments in an intimate way. Superchunk bookends this set in the NPR Music offices with songs from the new I Hate Music, and throws in two selections from earlier in its catalog.
With a supple, strong, high-flying voice that can negotiate the tightest hairpin turns with grace and elegance, Lawrence Brownlee has conquered the world's great opera houses. But for this performance, the tenor circles back to his roots as a singer of spirituals.
Oliver Mtukudzi, or "Tuku" as his fans lovingly call him, plays spirited music, born from the soul of Zimbabwe. He's been recording since the late 1970s, with about as many albums as his age: 60. Here, Mtukudzi performs songs from the mournful but celebratory Sarawoga in the NPR Music offices.