NPR Music

Music Interviews
4:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

For Amy Grant, Beauty And Tragedy Give Way To 'Mercy'

Amy Grant's new album is called How Mercy Looks from Here.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Amy Grant released her first album in 1977, when she was a teenager. Apart from a few secular mainstream hits in the 1990s, most of her work is unabashedly spiritual, and her name has become synonymous with contemporary Christian pop music. It doesn't bother the singer; for her, music has always represented a sacred place.

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Music Interviews
3:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

LL Cool J On 'Accidental Racist' And Authenticity

LL Cool J's latest album is called Authentic.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:57 pm

LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.

"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."

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Around the Nation
4:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Ala. Juke Joint Shuttered After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this final note on the blues. Two years ago on this show, we profiled Gip's Place, a real juke joint nestled in a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's not like going to a bar. It's not like going to a club. It's like going to your best friend's house and putting on just the newest record and sitting there and enjoying it together. Literally, there is truly a mix between the musicians and the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Welcome again. Y'all ready to get started?

CROWD: Yeah!

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Music Interviews
4:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

James Cotton: 'The Voice Is Gone, But The Wind Is Still There'

James Cotton is in his 69th year of performing. The latest album by the Mississippi-born, Chicago-based bluesman is called Cotton Mouth Man.
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 12:53 pm

Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.

Cotton's music begins at the source: He was born in Tunica, Miss., and started playing harp at the age of 9, learning directly from Sonny Boy Williamson II. He eventually made his way to Chicago, where he played for a dozen years in Muddy Waters' band before he struck out on his own.

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Author Interviews
1:03 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'I've Always Been A Little Bit Of An Extremist'

Swedish-born guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has released more than two dozen albums.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:11 am

Yngwie Malmsteen is the king of the neoclassical shred guitar. Since 1984's Rising Force, the Swedish musician and composer has somehow bridged centuries, from Paganini to his own arpeggiated acrobatics.

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