All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton visit a practice studio outside Austin, Texas, where Annie Clark and her band St. Vincent rehearsed for the South by Southwest music conference and festival. See video of St. Vincent performing two new songs from the group's upcoming album, Actor.
Foster starts out her KUT session by reaching back to her roots with a Sister Rosetta Tharpe song. It sets the mood for a soulful performance and conversation with the modern blues singer and guitarist, who looks beyond the folk tradition for which she's become known.
Long a standout purveyor of rootsy, direct "heartland" rock, Mellencamp is in the midst of a folksy, pessimistic streak on his new album. He speaks to host Terry Gross about the spare sound and dark themes of Life, Death, Love and Freedom.
Wielding many instruments and a remarkable whistling ability, Bird has developed an offbeat marriage of classical and pop music over the course of his decade-long career. Describing his new album, Noble Beast, as a less electric effort, Bird still finds value in carefully chosen words.
Buffalo native Christopher Ziemba is a young pianist and composer, currently honing his craft at the Eastman School of Music. He took the stage at age 7, and he's already performed at Carnegie Hall. Ziemba makes his Piano Jazz debut here, performing "Dream Dancing" and "The Nearness of You."
Through the '90s, until the group disbanded in 2006, Grandaddy built a loyal audience by making beautifully orchestrated, neo-psychedelic space-pop. Former frontman Jason Lytle returns this year with his debut solo album, Yours Truly, The Commuter. He showcased some of his new songs for this NPR Music video session.
The energetic indie-pop band's members were only 20 when their debut, Be He Me, was released in 2006. For their sophomore album, songwriter Adam Baker has discovered new depth, borrowing from ska, psychedelia and country on the colorful and appropriately named Such Fun.
Many say the Great American Songbook is coming back, but Pizzarelli says it never went away. Right off the bat, he scatted along to his lightning-fast guitar work on "I Got Rhythm," the popular Gershwin tune, in a session from Jazz24.