Favorite Sessions Exclusive studio sessions recorded at public radio stations across the country.

Delbert McClinton. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

Delbert McClinton: No Slowing Down

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

McClinton is full of surprises. Despite his towering stature in the blues business and his naughty-but-nice musical persona, in person he's compact, quiet and relaxed. In a session from WFUV, he belts out a powerful performance that'd drain a man half his age.

Delbert McClinton In Studio On WFUV 11/16/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122074575/122017243" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Darwin's Theories, Speaking Musically

American Public Media

Hear the genre-busting Turtle Island Quartet perform a new composition called Tree of Life, in the Performance Today studio. Inspired by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and written by Turtle Island's leader, David Balakrishnan, the music encompasses a wide range of cultural references.

Darwin's Theories, Speaking Musically

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121778672/121729809" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Fool's Gold performs at KEXP. Laura Totten/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Laura Totten/See More Photos

Fool's Gold: Afro-Hebrew Dance Music

KEXP

The L.A. band Fool's Gold has really gotten off the ground in 2009. The group's sound is firmly planted in popular African styles, including the guitar music of Congolese rumba, Tuareg desert-blues and '70s Ethiopian soul, among others. Hear the Hebrew-language Afro dance band in a session from KEXP.

Fool's Gold In Studio On KEXP 10/12/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121711550/121713509" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Florence and the Machine. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Florence And The Machine: Bold And Burning

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Florence Welch is a fashionable, artistic character with a big voice and beauty and charm to burn. In a session from WFUV, Welch gives an acoustic performance of her otherwise lush songs and talks about the movie The Little Mermaid.

Florence And The Machine In Studio On WFUV 5/5/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121555554/121555005" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Winterbloom is Meg Hutchinson, Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton and Natalia Zukerman. Asia Kepka hide caption

toggle caption Asia Kepka

Winterbloom: Rethinking Holiday Music

WKSU

Winterbloom isn't a traditional "group" so much as an ongoing event in which four talented, Boston-area singer-songwriters bond over holiday music. In a session, Winterbloom doesn't sing about Rudolph and Frosty, but instead plays contemporary folk songs about the world during Christmas and the darkness of winter.

Winterbloom In Studio On Folk Alley

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121461585/121459544" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sara Serpa performs at WBGO. Josh Jackson/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Josh Jackson/See More Photos

Sara Serpa: Wordless Jazz Improvisation

WBGO

Serpa was a student at the New England Conservatory in Boston when she was pulled into the jazz world in a big way by saxophonist Greg Osby. In a session from WBGO, the Lisbon-born vocalist sings two originals and gives her own unique twist on the fado.

Session Spotlight: Sara Serpa Performs 'Sem Razão'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121293395/121289456" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Swell Season performs at the Triple Door in Seattle, Wash. Jim Bennett/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Jim Bennett/See More Photos

The Swell Season: 'Joy' At The Triple Door

KEXP

As a way of thanking its supporters, KEXP brought Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of The Swell Season to the Triple Door in Seattle. Without a band, the duo gave an intimate performance that showcased its deeply personal songwriting, including a new song and a blazing cover of Tim Buckley's "Buzzin' Fly."

The Swell Season In Concert On KEXP 10/22/09

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121173158/121173154" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Eldar. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

Eldar Salutes His Elders With 'Virtue'

KNKX Public Radio

On a wet, chilly October afternoon, the prodigiously talented young jazz pianist Eldar visited the KPLU performance studio in Seattle. He immediately warmed everyone up with his outgoing personality and stunning solo piano work.

Eldar In Studio On KPLU 10/27/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120960576/120960569" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Till Fellner's Journey With Beethoven

WGBH Radio

The young Viennese native is on tour, playing all 32 of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. Hear Fellner at the WGBH studio, in Boston, where he plays the lyrical "pastoral" sonata and the cheerful Sonata No. 25.

Hear Till Fellner Play Beethoven At WGBH

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120828246/120751834" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Heavy performs at KEXP. Dave Lichterman/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Dave Lichterman/See More Photos

The Heavy: Sweaty British Soul

KEXP

Packing KEXP's studio with a wall of sound, The Heavy performs four gritty, funk- and soul-infused garage-rockers. Fronted by versatile singer Kelvin Swaby, the British band kept the walls vibrating, even after it left.

The Heavy In Studio On KEXP 10/30/09

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120707199/120705777" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Colin Hay. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

California Showers Colin Hay With 'Sunshine'

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Maybe it's the accent, but Hay doesn't want for charm. The former Men at Work founder makes his home in California nowadays, which gave him plenty of fodder for his compelling new album, American Sunshine. He performs some of his hits alongside new songs.

Colin Hay In Studio On WFUV 8/24/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120571837/120546267" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Vijay Iyer performs at WBGO. Josh Jackson/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Josh Jackson/See More Photos

Vijay Iyer Trio: Colliding With The Jazz Dialectic

WBGO

Historicism, as a philosophical premise, allows outside conditions to influence an organic process like improvised music. In a session from WBGO, the much-celebrated pianist Vijay Iyer (who just released an album called Historicity) conducts a conversation between his trio and the original creators.

Vijay Iyer In Studio On WBGO 10/9/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120504245/120461103" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Toubab Krewe has the familiar underpinnings of rock 'n' roll, but with an otherworldly feel. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

From Africa To Austin With Toubab Krewe

KUT 90.5

Asheville's Toubab Krewe is an instrumental band which fuses the music of Mali and other West African influences with American musical styles. In a session from KUT, the band augmented the standard rock formation with a kora, ngoni, djembe, krin and scraper.

Toubab Krewe In Studio On KUT

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120384380/120367634" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood performs at KEXP. Dave Lichterman/See More Photos hide caption

toggle caption Dave Lichterman/See More Photos

Meat Puppets: 'Sewn Together' In The Studio

KEXP

Given their storied and troubled background, it came as a pleasant surprise that the members of Meat Puppets were such easygoing guys. In an acoustic session from KEXP, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood were joined by drummer Ted Marcus, who banged on a recycling bin and a trash can.

Meat Puppets In Studio On KEXP 9/23/09

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120248918/120247543" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Kristina Train. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

Kristina Train: No Crying Over 'Spilt Milk'

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Train possesses a singing voice from another era, but her speaking voice is surprisingly youthful and down-to-earth — a compelling combination, to be sure. Hear the singer-songwriter in a session from WFUV.

Kristina Train In Studio On WFUV 9/10/09

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120117443/120116330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">