Marc Broussard is a self-proclaimed "white boy singing soul music," but that playfully dismissive tag doesn't do him justice. His music radiates soulful Louisiana blues, but his songs blend those influences with raucous rock 'n' roll to create unique and infectious music.
Marc Broussard in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 11/24/2007
Cat Power is the music of Chan Marshall, a Southern-born singer-songwriter with a soulful, heart-wrenching voice. In a decade-long career, her music has evolved from spare, angst-ridden rock to lush, warm soul, while always intimate and mesmerizing. Hear Cat Power in a full concert, recorded live from Washington, D.C.
Riding a wave of popularity for its playfully choreographed videos, wit and hyper-catchy pop hooks, OK Go has generated the kind of cult following and buzz most bands could only dream of. The group brings its wildly animated live show to Washington, D.C.
Alice Smith's soulful four-octave vocal range helps make her music instantly addictive. Growing up, she split her time between D.C. and her grandmother's Georgia farm, and eventually she moved to New York City to pursue a music career. Smith works from a variety of influences that include Patti LaBelle, Billie Holiday and Fiona Apple.
Alice Smith in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 11/17/2006
Arlo Guthrie is the oldest son of folk-music legend Woody Guthrie, as well a musician of international renown in his own right. Guthrie — who plays piano, harmonica, six and twelve-string guitar and at least a dozen other instruments — performs a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Nov. 10.
Arlo Guthrie in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 11/10/2006
Widely regarded one of America's finest poets and songwriters, Paul Simon continues to make inspired music for a vast audience of fans and critics, in an acclaimed career that began in the 1950s. Now on tour, Simon recently performed at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Hear the full show.
Over the course of her nearly two-decade career, singer/songwriter Joan Osborne has gone from relative obscurity to Lilith Fair mainstay to venerated cult act. Combining rootsy, folk-driven Americana with blues, rock, and pop, Osborne's music has a peculiar quality of seeming familiar and original at the same time.
Joan Osborne in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 11/03/2006
Portland, Oregon's literate and theatrical rock group The Decemberists have just released what some critics are calling the year's best album. Hear selections from The Crane Wife and some of the band's earlier albums in a full concert, recorded live from Washington, D.C.
Being the son of a musical legend doesn't automatically qualify Sean Lennon to be a great musician, so it's a pleasant surprise to hear his beautiful, simple melodies and evocative voice. Lennon continues to develop as a musician, releasing Friendly Fire this month.
Sean Lennon in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/27/2006
In the spring of 1825, Beethoven got terribly sick. Came close to dying, in fact. After his recovery, he revised a string quartet he'd been working on. He added a long, reflective middle movement — a musical "thank you" to God for his life. The Takacs Quartet plays Beethoven's "Heiliger Dankgesang" in the NPR studios.
Janine Jansen is a 28-year-old rising star of the violin. Last week, she was featured by the BBC at one of its lunchtime concerts from London's Wigmore Hall. We'll sample that concert and hear Jansen's performance of the Violin Sonata No. 2 by Edvard Grieg. Itamar Golan is at the piano.
California Guitar Trio's members are candid about the kind of music they play, which is evident from the band's name: It's an L.A.-based group of three highly skilled acoustic-guitar players. But its music isn't that simple, as it blends blues, folk, jazz, classical and surf-rock.
California Guitar Trio in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/20/2006
Russian pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski weighs in with an opinion on the importance of style and fashion in the classical-music world, and he plays Tchaikovsky in concert. We're at Lincoln Center in New York to hear Soukhovetski play "June: Barcarolle" from Tchaikosky's suite The Seasons.
Pianist Rafal Blechacz won the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, so he's qualified to play Chopin. He was back in Warsaw this past summer to play the Barcarolle, Op. 60, and the Etude Op. 10, No. 8.