NPR Music

Parallels
4:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

'Arab Idol' Finalist Delivers Sweet Music, Palestinian Pride

Palestinian performer Mohammad Assaf is a finalist on Arab Idol, which is filmed in the Lebanese city of Jounieh north of the capital Beirut.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 7:18 am

In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.

Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.

"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."

So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.

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Music Interviews
3:58 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

A Rock Star, A Novelist And A Super-Producer Write A Musical

T-Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are the creative team behind Ghosts of Darkland County, a stage show based on a true story of small-town tragedy.
Kevin Mazur Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:04 am

Comedian George Carlin liked to say that art doesn't have a finish line. The trio behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County are the embodiment of that idea. Each is a superstar in his chosen field: rock music legend, best-selling novelist, record producer — trades they could have been content to pursue to the grave. Instead, they went and wrote a musical together, 13 years in the making.

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Favorite Sessions
6:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Aoife O'Donovan: The Voice Of Crooked Still Breaks Loose

Aofie O'Donovan performs live for Folk Alley.
Folk Alley

First things first: Aoife O'Donovan's first name is pronounced EE-fuh. It's worth knowing how to speak it out loud, because a lot of people are going to talk about O'Donovan's first solo album, Fossils, which comes out Tuesday.

The lead singer of the folk-country band Crooked Still recently performed a special set for NPR affiliate FolkAlley.com, which included the catchiest song on Fossils, "Red & White & Blue & Gold."

Credits

  • Producers: Linda Fahey & Beehive Productions
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Music Interviews
5:32 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Aoife O'Donovan: Digging Up Musical 'Fossils'

Aoife O'Donovan's first solo album is called Fossils.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 9:12 am

Alison Krauss recorded "Lay My Burden Down" a couple of years ago for her No. 1 country album Paper Airplane, but the song was written by Aoife O'Donovan. The singer, best known as the voice of the alt-bluegrass band Crooked Still, is releasing her first solo album this week.

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The Checkout: Live
6:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Don Byron's New Gospel Quintet: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Don Byron.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:50 pm

Clarinetist and saxophone player Don Byron has a way of homing in on a departed artist's legacy and transforming it with intelligence and adventure. Having already dedicated albums to klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz, the great saxophonist Lester Young circa 1946 and R&B saxophonist Junior Walker, Byron and his latest project take after the legacy of classic gospel music, primarily that of composer Thomas A. Dorsey and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

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