Studio Sessions Musicians 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.

James McMurtry: Harmony and Empathy

XPN

The singer-songwriter has a repertoire that ranges from soft ballads to tough rock songs to political anthems. A remarkable, empathetic songwriter, McMurtry has released seven enormously acclaimed albums in his nearly 20-year career.

James McMurtry: Harmony and Empathy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5558195/5595235" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Drive-By Truckers: Rock Southern Style

Firmly anchored in the stuff of southern legend, The Drive-By Truckers' songs are full of love and loss. They played songs from their latest album, A Blessing and a Curse, at NPR's studios.

Drive-By Truckers: Rock Southern Style

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5586939/5590855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Worlds of Ralph Towner

Veteran guitarist Ralph Towner has a unique style of playing, and his compositions are inspired by a wide array of influences, from Bach to Brazil and jazz. Towner plays an original piece, "Anniversary Song," followed by his own arrangement of George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now."

The Worlds of Ralph Towner

Audio will be available later today.

Ben Harper: 'Both Sides' of the Story

XPN

Blending together an array of musical styles and influences, singer/guitarist Ben Harper has carved out an unusual and exciting 12-year career. Accompanied by his backing band The Innocent Criminals, Harper skillfully combines acoustic folk, blues, funk, soul and hard rock.

Ben Harper: 'Both Sides' of the Story

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5507238/5579380" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Elvis Costello And Allen Toussaint: City of Hope

XPN

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint have come together to write and record a warm, hopeful new album. The two chose to make The River in Reverse in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans as a gesture of hope. Most of the album's 13 tracks were recorded as free-flowing jam sessions.

Elvis Costello And Allen Toussaint: City of Hope

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5461779/5563249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Stephen Stills: Solo Again

XPN

With a musical career that spans nearly half a century, Stephen Stills can be counted among rock's most enduring and vital icons. Stills possesses a highly melodic vocal and guitar style that has endeared him to millions of folk, rock and pop fans around the world.

Stephen Stills: Solo Again

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5491499/5548698" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Blues and Conversation with Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt stops by NPR's Washington studios for a live performance. She plays songs from Souls Alike, her 18th album, and chats with callers about music, her career, and the interplay between work as an artist and her social activism.

Blues and Conversation with Bonnie Raitt

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5534943/5541661" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tilly and the Wall: Tapping into Hearts

XPN

The band uses tap-dancing in place of drumming, but it's the Omaha natives' infectious blend of girl-group vocal harmonies, brash rock and tightly constructed pop that makes it far more than the sum of its gimmicks.

Tilly and the Wall in Studio on World Cafe - 07/06/2006

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5539149/5539191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Animal Liberation Orchestra: Feel-Good Jams

XPN

Drawing from their training in the classics, jazz, pop and funk, the four members of Animal Liberation Orchestra strive to make creative, upbeat, ever-evolving music. Their feel-good California vibe and their quirky, engaging live shows have made ALO a rising star in jam-band circles.

Animal Liberation Orchestra in Studio on World Cafe - 07/05/2006

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5535923/5536042" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Gabriela Montero: Classical and Improvisational

Gabriela Montero combines classical piano playing with improvisation. She stops by the NPR studios to share some of her music, including improvisations on Rachmaninoff's Moment Musicaux Op. 16, No. 4 and Bach's Toccata in D Minor.

Gabriela Montero: Classical and Improvisational

Audio will be available later today.

Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 55, No. 1

Pianist Kevin Li, 10, performs Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 55, No. 1. He named his piano "Susan" in honor of his first piano teacher, who is very special to him. "I've studied with her for the past five years, but she arranged for me to switch teachers recently," he explains. "She says it's important for me to learn a new style."

Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 55, No. 1

Audio for this story is unavailable.

Jacques Iberts Concertino de Camera

Saxophonist Walter Nichols, 15, joins Christopher O'Riley for a performance of Jacques Iberts' Concertino de Camera. Nichols started playing saxophone in the fifth grade and took to it almost immediately. "It didn't take much effort for me to become good at it, and I liked playing music," he says.

Jacques Iberts Concertino de Camera

Audio for this story is unavailable.

George Crumb's Cello Sonata, 1st and 3rd mvts.

Cellist Molly Goforth, 17, performs George Crumb's Cello Sonata, 1st and 3rd mvts. Goforth started playing cello in the fourth grade. "I started out through a string recruitment program in Birmingham called the Music Opportunity Program," she explains. "It's a recruitment program sponsored by the Alabama School of Fine Arts." She got a lot from the program, and now attends the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

George Crumb's Cello Sonata, 1st and 3rd mvts.

Audio for this story is unavailable.