August 9, 2010
Emerson Brown, NPR




Beginning today, NPR Music offers advance album streams of new albums by Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs and Esperanza Spalding. Both are available for free, on-demand listening now until their release on August 17 at as part of the site's "First Listen" series.

Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs: The fourth album, God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, from the Grammy-nominated artist was recorded at his home in western Massachusetts, and finds LaMontagne handling production duties for the first time. The four bandmates that make up the newly-coined Pariah Dogs join LaMontagne on the record and also on tour this summer (when they hit the road with David Gray). The album's lead single, "Beg Steal or Borrow," currently sits in the Top 5 on the Adult Alternative airplay chart, but fans can finally get a preview of the entire album beginning today at NPR Music:

Esperanza Spalding: After beginning her musical career with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age five, Spalding expanded her musical repertoire by experimenting with hip hop and funk. In 2008, the artist released her debut album, Esperanza, which showcased her ability to seamlessly merge musical genres. She continues to blend elements of jazz, folk and world on her latest album, Chamber Music Society, which draws its inspiration from her childhood training and love of classical. Listen to the full album at:

Complete track listings and album information will be available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews with artists of all genres. NPR Music's "First Listen" series is one of the site's most popular features, and has offered pre-release streams of albums from Bun B, Lost In The Trees and MGMT, among many others. In addition to the streams detailed in this release, the series also currently includes The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire and is frequently updated with new material.

The "First Listen" series is just one feature of NPR Music, which celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia website at offers more than 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms – from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events – with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs. Many of the site’s features are also available to mobile audiences with the NPR Music App for the iPhone and iPod Touch.