Song Travels Express

Song Travels Express

From NPR

Catch up with host Michael Feinstein and his musical guests on this week's episode of Song Travels from NPR Music. Hear samples of music from some of the top artists in jazz, rock, country, and blues, and uncover the intimate journey singers and songs take with one another.More from Song Travels Express »

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Nellie McKay

Vocalist, composer, and actress Nellie McKay brings a comedic flair to her stage shows, including Nellie with a Z, in which she plays a cabaret veteran three times her age! Her music also has been featured on the television series Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, and Boardwalk Empire. Her latest album, My Weekly Reader, is out March 24. On this Song Travels, McKay and host Feinstein team up for "Pennies from Heaven" and "The Nearness of You," and she performs her original "Beneath the Underdog."

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Aaron Neville

Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer Aaron Neville has been a music mainstay for more than five decades. Ambassador to the world for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, he is this week's guest on Song Travels. Neville performs a set of Doo-Wop greats, including "This Magic Moment" and "Under the Boardwalk," and he and host Feinstein create their own magic moment with a duet of "Smile."

Listen31:25

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Rene Marie

Jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress Rene Marie launched her career in 1999 with her self-released debut album, Renaissance, and quickly found success as a performer and recording artist. Her 2013 album, I Wanna Be Evil, is the first ever tribute album to the late Earth Kitt. On this Song Travels, Marie explains what led to her recent project and performs "C'Est Si Bon" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" with host Feinstein at the keys.

Listen37:41

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Eric Hutchinson

Eric Hutchinson's self-released debut album, Sounds Like This, made it to #5 on iTunes' album chart and went on to #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. On this Song Travels, Hutchinson and host Michael Feinstein talk about the lineage of Pop music, from Frank Sinatra and the Beatles to Elvis Costello and the Strokes. Performances include original songs by Hutchinson and his take on Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears."

Listen15:16

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John Wilson

British conductor, arranger, and scholar John Wilson serves as conductor for numerous orchestras throughout the United Kingdom, including his own, which has the reputation as an ensemble of world-class musicians. On this Song Travels, Wilson describes his project to reconstruct the lost scores of iconic MGM films, such as Singin' in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz. Musical selections include "Love of My Life" and "Les Girls" from the John Wilson Orchestra's album Cole Porter in Hollywood.

Listen15:54

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Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. met as members of the iconic sixties R&B/Pop group The Fifth Dimension, with hits including "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" and "One Less Bell to Answer." Together they have received seven Grammy Awards and earned fifteen Gold and three Platinum Records. After more than forty years of marriage and performing together, their love, mutual respect, and music are still going strong. On this edition of Song Travels, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. share the story of their ongoing love and partnership.

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Melissa Manchester

Grammy award-winning vocalist and songwriter Melissa Manchester performed with Bette Midler as "Toots in the Middle" in the original group The Harlettes. She co-wrote and produced a number of hits through the '70s and '80s, and her songs have been recorded by artists such as Barbara Streisand, Alison Krause, and Johnny Mathis. On this edition of Song Travels, Manchester joins host Feinstein to talk about the ever changing language of songs, both in writing and interpretation. She shares her slowed-down rendition of the classic from the Ronettes, "Be My Baby," and reprises a few of her hit songs, including "Come in from the Rain."

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Bette Midler

The Divine Miss M - singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler - is Song Travels host Michael Feinstein's guest for an hour of pure radio fun. Midler opens a crate of favorite tunes from her record collection, from Louis Jordan to vintage Hawaiian music to Destiny's Child. And Feinstein presents her with a solo arrangement of "And I'll Be There," a song written for her by the legendary songwriting team Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

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Matt Munisteri

Matt Munisteri is a guitarist, vocalist, and composer with an ear for a bygone era. His love of jazz, swing, and Dixieland has lead him to rediscover many of the all-but-forgotten musicians of the early twentieth century, including American singer/songwriter Willard Robison. His album Still Runnin' Round in the Wilderness explores the compositions of Robison, artfully arranged and interpreted by Munisteri. On this week's Song Travels, Munisteri performs his own compositions and shares a few new renditions of tunes by Willard Robison.

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Gregory Porter

Multi-Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Gregory Porter emerged on the jazz scene with his 2010 album Water and his critically acclaimed 2012 album Be Good, which topped many "Best of" lists and was named iTunes Jazz Album of the Year. On this Song Travels, Porter tells host Michael Feinstein about his Gospel roots and his musical upbringing with Nat King Cole as a central influence. Porter is joined by Chip Crawford and Aaron James for a set including numbers from his 2013 album, Liquid Spirit.

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