Favorite Sessions

Dixie Bee-Liners: Musical Hospitality

WKSU

With roots coming from everywhere, it was refreshing to find the same Southern charm and friendliness effused through every member of The Dixie Bee-Liners at Folk Alley's studios. The band performed its sweet mix of bluegrass and roots music in a session.

The Dixie Bee-Liners in Studio on Folk Alley

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World Cafe

Bat For Lashes: Lush And Mystical

XPN

On Two Suns, the British songstress Natasha Khan explores an alter ego named Pearl, a blonde femme-fatale who acts as Khan's yin to her desert-born yang. Bat for Lashes performs its lush, beat-heavy tribute to the lead character of The Karate Kid and more, from WXPN.

Bat For Lashes: Lush And Mystical

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World Cafe

Naomi Shelton: Straight From Funk

XPN

Soul queen Naomi Shelton got her start in her Alabama church choir at age six. She would soon sing her way to the New York funk scene, filling night clubs with her soulful, jazzy style. Now, forty years later, Shelton has released a studio album, What Have You Done, My Brother?

What Have You Done

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Favorite Sessions

Yolanda Kondonassis: Impressions Of The Harp

American Public Media

The adventurous harpist joins flutist Joshua Smith and violist Cynthia Phelps in the Performance Today studio to explore the musical connections between two impressionist composers — Toru Takemitsu and his hero, Claude Debussy.

Hear Yolanda Kondonassis And Friends In The APM Studio

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James Blackshaw: A One-Man Orchestra

James Blackshaw is best known for his lush, symphonic compositions. His impressive technical virtuosity enables him to make his 12-string guitar sound like an entire orchestra. Blackshaw talks with Guy Raz about his musical style and his latest album, The Glass Bead Game.

James Blackshaw: A One-Man Orchestra

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World Cafe

Ben Harper Explores Rock With Relentless7

XPN

Relentless7 isn't just another one of Ben Harper's side projects. Instead, the band replaces Harper's past sound with stripped-down rock, which it plays in a session with host David Dye. Relentless7's debut album, White Lies for Dark Times, weaves Harper's soulful singing together with energetic drums and cascading electric guitars.

Ben Harper & the Relentless7 in Studio on World Cafe 5/8/09

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Daryl Sherman visits Piano Jazz for a show in tribute to Johnny Mercer. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Daryl Sherman Pays Tribute To Johnny Mercer On Piano Jazz

Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of songwriter and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Pianist-singer and Mercer enthusiast Daryl Sherman brings her sophisticated swing and witty charm to the show for performances of "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Jeepers Creepers." McPartland joins in on one of her favorite Mercer tunes, "Skylark."

Daryl Sherman Pays Tribute To Johnny Mercer On Piano Jazz

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World Cafe

Beyond Nickel Creek: Sara Watkins Goes Solo

XPN

After nearly two decades with the Grammy-winning bluegrass group Nickel Creek, it was only a matter of time before singer-songwriter and fiddle player Sara Watkins released material of her own. In a session from WXPN, she demonstrates her instrumental breadth with the sweet voice her fans love.

Sara Watkins in Studio on World Cafe 5/26/09

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Favorite Sessions

Kevin Devine: Raw And Emotional

KEXP

With a long resume that includes the emo-rock band Miracle of 86, Devine has built up a strong discography of his own. At Cutting Room Studios in New York City, Devine and his band played straight through a set with no retakes or breaks — just one solid, powerful performance.

Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band in Studio on KEXP 5/5/09

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The Avett Brothers performing a Tiny Desk Concert. Frannie Kelley/NPR hide caption

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Tiny Desk

The Avett Brothers

With all due respect to its terrific albums and kinetic, frenetic live shows, if The Avett Brothers could put on a three-song acoustic concert at every workplace in America, the band would be a world-beating colossus. For proof, listen to this performance in the NPR Music offices.