NPR Music

Music Al Fresco
5:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

A Honky-Tonk Duo Takes The Piano Outdoors

Pianist Kirby Lee Hammel and drummer Jake Alexander perform as Clangin' & Bangin' at an Oakland farmers market.
Nina Thorsen KQED

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 1:41 pm

Weekend Edition continues its series on the sounds of music al fresco with a musical act founded on a very inconvenient choice. You'd think a street musician would want to travel light when selecting an instrument — say, a ukulele, a violin, maybe a guitar. But a piano?

"It's about 300 pounds," says Kirby Lee Hammel. "Only one pulled muscle in the last year and a half, I think."

Read more
Music Interviews
2:23 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Rhiannon: An Improviser Resists The Urge To Reuse

Spontaneous." href="/post/rhiannon-improviser-resists-urge-reuse" class="noexit lightbox">
"There was this sensation of going on a journey together, without seat belts," says Rhiannon of her band's first totally improvised performance. Her newest album is called Spontaneous.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 6:14 pm

If you ever listened to jazz vocalists and wondered if you could ever in your life scat like them, there's someone who's willing to teach you. The vocalist Rhiannon has long held the importance of improvisation as a personal credo, and in her career has blended that art form with jazz, world music and storytelling.

Read more
Favorite Sessions
6:14 am
Sat August 18, 2012

The Devil Makes Three: Punk Ethos With A Country Twang

Folk Alley

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 4:15 pm

Based on their instruments, they seem like an old-time string band; based on their appearance, they seem like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, where they met Lucia Turino (upright bass), and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski fills in for Lucia, who had a broken arm.)

Read more
The Record
5:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

It's Her Spotlight, The Band Just Lives In It

Lighting director Jackie Finney runs the light show during concerts for the band fun.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:17 pm

Read more
Newport Folk Festival
6:15 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2012

Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Kristian Matsson, the smallish Swede who performs under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, sings, plays guitar and occasionally takes a turn at the piano. That's all there is to his act: no backing band, no frills. Heck, he barely needs amplification, given the volume at which he performs. But that right there — the gigantic force of his delivery, the percussive hyper-dexterity of his playing — is part of what makes him so magnetic on stage. On paper, he's just another poet strumming a guitar.

Read more

Pages