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

Gary Louris: Sideman in the Spotlight

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Despite his high profile and popularity in the industry, the former Jayhawks singer-songwriter has a low-key, almost shy demeanor. The alt-country pioneer performs songs from his first solo CD, Vagabonds, in an interview and performance on WFUV.

Gary Louris in Studio on WFUV 4/2/08

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Ray Bonneville: True-to-Life Troubadour

WKSU

Bonneville's songs are full of characters who stumble their way through a rough-and-tumble world of violence, hope, and despair. In four videos from Folk Alley, Bonneville stomps his cowboy boots on a piece of wood and tells his stories.

Ray Bonneville in Studio on Folk Alley

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The Joy and Pain in Beethoven's Big Fugue

WGBH Radio

It's been called "repellent," "joyous," and "the most advanced piece of music anyone could think of." Hear Beethoven's Grosse Fuge played by the adventurous Borromeo String Quartet in the studios of WGBH in Boston.

The Joy and Pain in Beethoven's Big Fugue

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The Avett Brothers: Beyond Blood

KEXP

The Avett Brothers' members aren't all brothers, but it's hard to tell from their close musical kinship. In a session on KEXP, the band talks about breaking out on its seventh album and growing up in punk and hardcore bands. It also performs two new songs.

The Avett Brothers in Studio on KEXP 4/11/08

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Richard Julian: Stealth Soul Singer

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Julian is cleverly disguised as a sensitive singer-songwriter: He's a white guy with an acoustic guitar. In fact, he's a true soul singer and an astonishing storyteller in the vein of Randy Newman or Paul Simon. Hear an interview and performance from WFUV.

Richard Julian in Studio on WFUV

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Alexis Cuadrado: Jazz from the Underground

WBGO

Cuadrado is a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, a musicians' collective determined to make the pieces of a fragmented industry fit together. In an interview and performance from WBGO, Cuadrado and his Puzzles Quartet play music from a new independent release.

Alexis Cuadrado in Studio on WBGO 1/15/08

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Tab Benoit: One Foot in the Bayou

KNKX Public Radio

In a session from KPLU, blues guitarist Tab Benoit plays through a couple songs all by his lonesome, yet manages to conjure an entire band all his own. Benoit also talks about creating "Voice of the Wetlands," a group that raises awareness about the importance of Louisiana's natural resources.

Tab Benoit in Studio on KPLU 2007

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Le Loup Unleashes a Studio 'Celebration'

KEXP

In a session recorded by KEXP, the inventive art-pop band performed two new songs it's been testing on the road, as well as a few old favorites. Begun as an art-rock solo project for songwriter Sam Simkoff, Le Loup now includes seven members he found online.

Le Loup in Studio on KEXP 4/1/08

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Liam Finn Strikes with 'Lightning'

KUT 90.5

New Zealand singer-songwriter Liam Finn is known to bring along an arsenal of electronics to perform as a one-man band. But in a session on KUT, Finn brings only himself, a guitar, and vocalist Eliza Jane Barnes for a laid-back performance and interview.

Liam Finn in Studio on KUT 3/15/08

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Nicholas Payton: A Different Kind of Blue

WBGO

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton shares three songs from his latest CD, Into the Blue. The New Orleans native talks jazz and what it means to resonate. The new songs show a creative musician who knows himself, and bandmates who understand each other.

Nicholas Payton in Studio on WBGO 10/07

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The Helio Sequence: A Two-Man Wall of Sound

KEXP

When The Helio Sequence set up in KEXP's studio with just one guitar, one drum kit, and two microphones, few expected such a full sound to emerge. Many challenges faced the band as it made Keep Your Eyes Ahead, yet its end result on CD and in the studio reveal focus and power.

The Helion Sequence in Studio on KEXP 1/29/08

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Stars in Jorma Kaukonen's Crown

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

In 1965, Kaukonen's acid-rock guitar playing in Jefferson Airplane helped define the West Coast psychedelic-rock scene. In recent years, however, he's turned his attention to traditional Americana. In a session from WFUV, Kaukonen talks about his history in rock 'n' roll.

Jorma Kaukonen in Studio on WFUV 1/16/08

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The Waybacks: Power Trio and a Fiddler

WKSU

The Waybacks grew out of electric guitarist James Nash's desire to try playing acoustic music. Not content to play only bluegrass melodies, his band draws from jazz, swing, folk, and even classical music for inspiration. In a session from Folk Alley, the band is eager to share its new direction.

The Waybacks in Studio on Folk Alley

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Imogen Cooper: Beautiful Hands, Built for Bach

American Public Media

For decades, British pianist Imogen Cooper has built a solid reputation on the romantic music of Schumann and Schubert. Now she enters a new era, inspired--and awestruck--by the keyboard music of Bach.

Hear Imogen Cooper play Bach in the APM Studio

Audio is no longer available

Tierney Sutton Band: Happiness in Melancholy

KNKX Public Radio

Tierney Sutton may have had a cold in the studio during this performance and interview from KPLU, but it's hard to tell. The L.A.-based jazz vocalist lays down minor-key versions of otherwise "happy" songs, including a haunting cover of "You Are My Sunshine."

Tierney Sutton Band in Studio on KPLU

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