Blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite has played with some of the biggest legends of the genre, at a crucial time in the history of the blues. Now young lions such as Ben Harper are contributing to his latest CD, Sanctuary. Hear live tracks of songs the two musicians recorded at NPR West, and hear an extended version of the interview.
After 18 years as a quartet, the vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 is retiring. Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jacqueline Horner and Johanna Marie Rose are currently performing their last concerts and making their last recordings. And before they go their separate ways, they're spending an hour with PT to sing music from their newest CD, American Angels. In this first set of songs, "The Morning Trumpet," followed by two versions of "Amazing Grace" — a quiet version and a livelier "camp revival" version — and "Sweet Hour of Prayer."
NPR's Liane Hansen chats with singer and songwriter Vienna Teng, who performs songs from her second CD, Warm Strangers. Since their first conversation in 2002 about her debut CD, Teng has toured the country, enjoying a bit of fame and recognition for her talent. She has no regrets about leaving her computer engineering job to pursue music.
Perennial Jazz Fest Performers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform live in NPR's Studio 4A. New Orleans' tiny Preservation Hall has presented traditional jazz for more than 40 years. The hall is more famous than the musicians who play there, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to attract music lovers at home and to its concerts around the world.
The women of Anonymous 4 — Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jaqueline Horner and Johanna Maria Rose — join NPR's Fred Child in Studio 4A to perform a selection of holiday music. The ensemble, together for 17 years, is accompanied on several tracks by harpist Andrew Lawrence King.
Singer-songwriter Richard Thompson has earned a rabid cult following, and his albums are a staple of rock critic "must have" lists. He joins NPR's Liane Hansen in NPR's Studio 4A to perform solo guitar renditions of some unlikely tunes.
The mbira, or Zimbabwean thumb piano, is a revered ceremonial instrument from Southern Africa. As played by Stella Chiweshe, the mbira's often haunting sound has recently been embraced by world music enthusiasts. Chiweshe performs songs from her new CD and talks about the deeply spiritual and political sources of her inspiration.
Hot Club of Cowtown's five albums revive Western swing, a musical style made famous more than half a century ago by groups such as Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Group members stop by NPR's Studio 4B for a performance chat with NPR's John Ydstie.