NPR Music

The Record
2:29 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 3:49 pm

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All Songs Considered
3:50 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.

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Music News
3:19 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 8:29 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.

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World Cafe
2:55 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.

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All Songs Considered
1:54 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.

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