Martin Sexton says that when he sat down to produce his latest album, Mixtape Of The Open Road, he'd originally set out to record around a theme, like a "Nashville, 1972 album or a bluegrass record or a Zeppelin-esque rockin' CD." But the songs that were coming out had a different plan — each had its own distinct feel. So, as Sexton says, he just "stepped on the gas and headed in that direction of making a mixtape ...
Kate Tempest is a woman of words. The English rapper, poet, playwright and novelist keeps language — and the stories that language brings to life — at the core of everything she does. Her subjects are everyday people: their hardships and failures, their loves and losses.
Antonio Sanchez is one of the most accomplished and in-demand drummers around, and right now he's experiencing a breakthrough. Jazz heads have known him for years, but he reached a much wider audience last year with his score for the film Birdman.
"The monastic life is very plain and ordinary," says Father Cassian Folsom, the founder and prior of the Monks of Norcia, ensconced in the St. Benedict Monastery in central Italy. "You get up, and you pray, and you do your work and go to bed and then the next day you do the same thing."
A large portion of the monks' daily routine is singing. "We chant the Divine Office and the Mass every day," Folsom tells NPR's Scott Simon. "And if you put all of those moments together it takes about five hours a day. Three hundred sixty-five days a year."
Ben Folds music has taken another turn, firmly embracing strings and chamber music yet still maintaining a passion for his love of pop. So There, his next album, will consist of eight chamber pop songs with the very talented yMusic Ensemble and one piano concerto performed with the Nashville Symphony. Today we premiere a little pocket symphony of sorts, a bit of pop perfection called "Capable of Anything."