NPR's Liane Hansen chats with singer and songwriter Vienna Teng, who performs songs from her second CD, Warm Strangers. Since their first conversation in 2002 about her debut CD, Teng has toured the country, enjoying a bit of fame and recognition for her talent. She has no regrets about leaving her computer engineering job to pursue music.
Perennial Jazz Fest Performers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform live in NPR's Studio 4A. New Orleans' tiny Preservation Hall has presented traditional jazz for more than 40 years. The hall is more famous than the musicians who play there, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to attract music lovers at home and to its concerts around the world.
The women of Anonymous 4 — Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jaqueline Horner and Johanna Maria Rose — join NPR's Fred Child in Studio 4A to perform a selection of holiday music. The ensemble, together for 17 years, is accompanied on several tracks by harpist Andrew Lawrence King.
Singer-songwriter Richard Thompson has earned a rabid cult following, and his albums are a staple of rock critic "must have" lists. He joins NPR's Liane Hansen in NPR's Studio 4A to perform solo guitar renditions of some unlikely tunes.
The mbira, or Zimbabwean thumb piano, is a revered ceremonial instrument from Southern Africa. As played by Stella Chiweshe, the mbira's often haunting sound has recently been embraced by world music enthusiasts. Chiweshe performs songs from her new CD and talks about the deeply spiritual and political sources of her inspiration.
Hot Club of Cowtown's five albums revive Western swing, a musical style made famous more than half a century ago by groups such as Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Group members stop by NPR's Studio 4B for a performance chat with NPR's John Ydstie.
Songwriter Vic Chesnutt has often been called gifted, but in the past, his introspective, idiosyncratic music has been deemed too gloomy for the masses. On his latest CD, Silver Lake, Chesnutt's songs take an upbeat turn, though his homey narrative style and gallows humor remain. Listen to songs from Silver Lake, and watch Chesnutt's performance in NPR's studio 4A.
Singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke is something of an underground sensation, with an adoring fan base built largely on word of mouth and extensive touring with her band. Hear five full-length cuts from her recent performance in NPR's Studio 4A, and view a video of Brooke and her band performing the title track to her latest CD, Steady Pull.