Studio SessionsMusicians perform and discuss their work in the studios of NPR and NPR Music station partners. Live music sessions, interviews, and the best new songs in rock, pop, folk, classical, jazz, blues, urban, and world music. Watch video sessions.
With roots coming from everywhere, it was refreshing to find the same Southern charm and friendliness effused through every member of The Dixie Bee-Liners at Folk Alley's studios. The band performed its sweet mix of bluegrass and roots music in a session.
On Two Suns, the British songstress Natasha Khan explores an alter ego named Pearl, a blonde femme-fatale who acts as Khan's yin to her desert-born yang. Bat for Lashes performs its lush, beat-heavy tribute to the lead character of The Karate Kid and more, from WXPN.
Soul queen Naomi Shelton got her start in her Alabama church choir at age six. She would soon sing her way to the New York funk scene, filling night clubs with her soulful, jazzy style. Now, forty years later, Shelton has released a studio album, What Have You Done, My Brother?
The adventurous harpist joins flutist Joshua Smith and violist Cynthia Phelps in the Performance Today studio to explore the musical connections between two impressionist composers — Toru Takemitsu and his hero, Claude Debussy.
Hear Yolanda Kondonassis And Friends In The APM Studio
James Blackshaw is best known for his lush, symphonic compositions. His impressive technical virtuosity enables him to make his 12-string guitar sound like an entire orchestra. Blackshaw talks with Guy Raz about his musical style and his latest album, The Glass Bead Game.
Relentless7 isn't just another one of Ben Harper's side projects. Instead, the band replaces Harper's past sound with stripped-down rock, which it plays in a session with host David Dye. Relentless7's debut album, White Lies for Dark Times, weaves Harper's soulful singing together with energetic drums and cascading electric guitars.
Ben Harper & the Relentless7 in Studio on World Cafe 5/8/09
Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of songwriter and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Pianist-singer and Mercer enthusiast Daryl Sherman brings her sophisticated swing and witty charm to the show for performances of "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Jeepers Creepers." McPartland joins in on one of her favorite Mercer tunes, "Skylark."
Daryl Sherman Pays Tribute To Johnny Mercer On Piano Jazz
After nearly two decades with the Grammy-winning bluegrass group Nickel Creek, it was only a matter of time before singer-songwriter and fiddle player Sara Watkins released material of her own. In a session from WXPN, she demonstrates her instrumental breadth with the sweet voice her fans love.
With a long resume that includes the emo-rock band Miracle of 86, Devine has built up a strong discography of his own. At Cutting Room Studios in New York City, Devine and his band played straight through a set with no retakes or breaks — just one solid, powerful performance.
Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band in Studio on KEXP 5/5/09
With all due respect to its terrific albums and kinetic, frenetic live shows, if The Avett Brothers could put on a three-song acoustic concert at every workplace in America, the band would be a world-beating colossus. For proof, listen to this performance in the NPR Music offices.
He's been wowing audiences since he was barely able to walk. But, fed up with the standard jazz career path, Lewis -- or ELEW, as he calls his latest musical identity -- has embraced a new repertoire: rock songs. He performs live at NPR.
Sherrie Maricle is a musician of many talents: She's a drummer, an educator, a writer and a bandleader. She's also the beating heart of an all-female big band, the Diva Jazz Orchestra. Joined by women from her group — pianist Tomoko Ohno and bassist Noriko Ueda — Maricle performs "Groove Merchant" and Ellington's "Squeeze Me."
Werner is the empress of the unpredictable. In a session from WFUV, she merges pop songs with classical composers — Stevie Wonder with Chopin and Cat Stevens with Bach. With just piano and cellist Julia Biber, the two translate the rich string-quartet arrangements on Classics.
John Doe of X and the Canadian roots-rock band The Sadies have released a new album, Country Club. Doe's leathery voice feels right at home with hits made famous by Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette, while traditional honky-tonk gets an infusion of The Sadies' '60s-style pop.
John Doe and the Sadies perform for World Cafe 06/18/2009