Music

The Record
3:29 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Why Al Walser Got A Grammy Nomination And Justin Bieber Didn't

Justin Bieber on stage in December. Bieber's 2012 album Believe, despite selling over 1,000,000 copies, wasn't nominated for a single Grammy Award.
Michael Kovac Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:49 pm

Among the hundreds of musicians vying for Grammy Awards this year is Al Walser, a Los Angeles-based disc jockey and singer whose song "I Can't Live Without You" is nominated in the best dance single category. Walser is not a widely known name — many Grammy nominees aren't — but he's competing in a category against some of pop music's heaviest hitters.

Read more
All Songs Considered
4:50 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

James Hunter's Well-Worn Soul Bursts With Life

Geoff Woods Courtesy of the artist

James Hunter has spent his life learning how to tell soul's stories in fresh and personal ways. Born in 1962 in Essex, England and mentored early on by Van Morrison, he embarked on a career with many ups and downs before breaking through in America in his forties. Now the Grammy-nominated Hunter has made his first album in the States, where the music he loves was born.

Read more
Music News
4:19 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The 'Ancient Vibration' Of Parlor Music, Revived By Two Generations

Lena Hughes recorded one album of Southern parlor music before her death in 1998.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:29 am

Sometime in the mid-1960s — no one's really sure when — Lena Hughes walked into a recording studio, probably in Arkansas. What we do know is that she recorded 11 tunes on the guitar.

"It's kind of like listening to 1880," folklorist Howard Marshall says. "You kind of get a wonderful, ancient vibration."

Marshall wrote a book about traditional music in Missouri, called Play Me Something Quick and Devilish.

Read more
World Cafe
3:55 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The Amazing On World Cafe

The Amazing.
Viktor Araskog Courtesy of the artist

The four main members of the Swedish band The Amazing play in many other successful music acts (Dungen, et al), some of which are shared projects. The overlap makes for obvious chemistry within this experimental, genre-bending folk-rock supergroup.

On its most recent album, 2011's Gentle Stream, The Amazing jumps around quite a bit, delving into psychedelic folk, pop and acoustic rock. Here, the group plays songs from its latest album and sits down with David Dye to discuss its grandiose name and musical influences.

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:54 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Hear Lisa Hannigan Cover Nick Drake For A New Tribute Album

Lisa Hannigan performs in one of several live concerts for a new tribute album, Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.
Courtesy of the artist

Veteran producer Joe Boyd says he'd long resisted putting together some sort of tribute album for his late friend, the legendary folksinger Nick Drake. But he finally decided to make one when Boyd realized that the recordings could be captured in a live concert. "In my opinion, the only way to make a tribute record work is to get everyone together in the same place so there's a unity of sound and spirit," he tells us in an email.

Read more
Music Interviews
2:27 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Anat Cohen: Bringing The Clarinet To The World

Jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen has a new album out called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz Anzic Records

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:28 pm

Clarinetist Anat Cohen is one of a handful of Israeli jazz musicians making a mark on the American jazz scene. She's been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and her most recent album, Claroscuro, showcases the range of her talents and musical influences, from New Orleans-style jazz to Israel to Latin music — particularly that of Brazil.

Cohen says that the clarinet's somewhat old-fashioned reputation may be the result of the very thing that attracts her to the instrument.

Read more
Classical Sessions
1:35 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Pianist Daniil Trifonov: Disappearing Into Chopin

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:55 am

The 21-year-old pianist Daniil Trifonov has been living through the kind of career trajectory that's often called "meteoric." Within one concert season he won gold medals at both the Tchaikovsky and Artur Rubinstein competitions, and a third prize at the Chopin competition.

Read more
The Record
1:34 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The Bizarre 20-Year Ride Of Two Pharcydes

The Pharcyde (from left to right, Tre "SlimKid3" Hardson, Romye Robinson, Emandu "Imani" Wilcox and Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart) backstage at KMEL's Summer Jam in July 1993 in Mountain View, Calif.
Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:53 pm

Read more
Thistle and Shamrock
1:03 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Thistle And Shamrock: Songs Of Robert Burns

Robert Burns
Courtesy of the artist

Hear various artists in the intoxicating embrace of the songs, timeless and thriving, of Scotland's National Bard.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A Blog Supreme
11:04 am
Wed February 6, 2013

When Your Grandfather Is The Greatest Living Jazz Drummer

Marcus Gilmore (left) and Roy Haynes perform together in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Haynes' daughter is Gilmore's mother.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 3:44 pm

The drummer Marcus Gilmore is coming off a major year in his career. In 2012, DownBeat magazine named him its top Rising Star Drummer in its long-running Critics Poll; pianist Vijay Iyer's trio, of which Gilmore is a member, also took the Jazz Album and Jazz Group of the Year categories.

Read more

Pages