NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
9:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

5 Blues Songs That Feel Your Midwinter Chill

Muddy Waters, c. 1979.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 9:21 am

In the Northern Hemisphere, January is typically the coldest month of the year. If we can somehow drag ourselves through the month, things will begin to turn around and we'll be on the road to springtime. But January often feels as if it'll never end.

So as we slog through the cold rain and snow, awaiting January's demise, here are five blues songs to help get us through the winter.

Deceptive Cadence
9:28 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada, who has just been named as the next music director of the Houston Symphony.
Martin Sigmund courtesy of the artist
  • After a five-year search that encompassed some 50 contenders, the Houston Symphony has announced its new music director: Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The 35-year-old Colombian trained in Vienna and will take over from the retiring Hans Graf, who is departing at the end of this season.
Read more
World Cafe
3:27 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Rev. John Wilkins On World Cafe

Rev. John Wilkins of Memphis.
Courtesy of Andy Modla

We couldn't leave Memphis without a taste of the blues from gospel-blues singer and preacher Rev. John Wilkins. He's the son of Rev. Robert Wilkins, who wrote "Prodigal Son," a song famously covered by The Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet.

Here, we've got a performance by Rev. John Wilkins with his band — and his daughters on backing vocals. During our interview, Wilkins spoke about his faith and his father, and even sings a version of "Prodigal Son" himself.

Read more
World Cafe
3:27 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Royal Studio On World Cafe

The late Willie Mitchell of Royal Studio in Memphis.
Courtesy of Royal Studio

As part of our "Sense of Place" tour of Memphis, we're on to Royal Studio, where Al Green, Ann Peebles and others made some of the 1970s' most important soul music for Hi Records.

Most of that music was produced by the late Willie Mitchell. Here, we've dug up a 2005 interview with Al Green wherein he tells the story of how Mitchell helped him find his voice. We also talk with Mitchell's son, Boo, who grew up at Royal. His dad told him, "Don't turn Royal into a museum when I die." Don't worry; he hasn't.

Read more
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
3:11 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The Mingus Orchestra On JazzSet

Gunther Schuller conducts the Mingus Orchestra at St. Bartholomew's Church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:12 am

Correction: The audio of this segment mentions a February performance by the Mingus Jazz Orchestra. There will be no Mingus Jazz Orchestra concert this year. The audio and text of this segment also misidentified the dates of the 2013 Mingus High School Competition. The competition is Feb. 15-18.

Read more

Pages