JPR Live Sessions

JPR Live Sessions is a weekly series of live in-studio performances and conversations with musicians from a wide variety of genres. Recorded primarily at the JPR studios in Ashland on the Southern Oregon University campus or at the Cascade Theatre in Redding, California, the series is the work of JPR Program/Music Director Eric Teel, who brings over 30 years of experience in music ranging from classical to indie-rock.

JPR Live Sessions are also available as a podcast via Apple Podcasts or the Stitcher app.

Cold wars come in a few sizes, but the warm wars -- the ones that burn and give off a fair amount of long stares and result in exasperation and quivering faces — are the ones that Christopher Porterfield of Field Report worries about on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin band’s third album, Summertime Songs. They’re suntanned and wind-swept. They’ve been crying and they’ve been drinking. These warm wars are the result of chaffing, of friction and boredom. They’re caused by everything and nothing at all, just guys deciding to act on a foggy and cowardly, oftentimes mistaken heart’s behalf. Some people give up and some people are given up on.

Adrian Legg has forged a path unique among guitarists. His quest to blend the tonality of an acoustic with the amplified power of the electric guitar continued today. “I wanted something that had the harmonic content roughly like an acoustic, and that had the flexibility in terms of stringing and volume levels, whatever you wanted to do, of an electric,” he explains.

Realism and storytelling are qualities that are prominent on I Am Nice, the 17-year-old Utah singer-songwriter's New West debut. The 12-song album—produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and John Paul White of the Civil Wars—shows the young troubadour to be a timeless talent whose catchy compositions embody the sort of wisdom, empathy and insight that's usually associated with more experienced songwriters.

JPR Live Session: Gordi

May 18, 2018

On the farm in rural Australia where Sophie Payten – AKA Gordi – grew up, there’s a paddock that leads down to a river. A few hundred metres away up the driveway of the property named “Alfalfa” sits another house, which belongs to her 93-year-old grandmother. The rest, she says, “is just beautiful space. And what else would you fill it with if not music?

With a celestial voice and lyrics only an old soul can write, singer/songwriter Olivia Millerschin is racking up the accolades. Most recently, Olivia’s blend of vintage folk and modern pop earned her a second John Lennon Songwriting Award and the opportunity to showcase her music with a mainstage performance at NAMM 2018. She was a quarter finalist on America’s Got Talent, won the Great American Song Contest, is featured on Republic Records soundtrack to Mitch Albom’s latest novel alongside musical greats Ingrid Michaelson and Tony Bennett, and has music placed in national and international film and tv.

The Ballroom Thieves fought through a year of tribulations with their sophomore album, 2016's Deadeye, as their shield and sword. Only through continuing to write and perform together were guitarist Martin Earley, cellist Calin Peters, and drummer Devin Mauch able to fend off their darker days.

On Tuesday, April 24th, NPR announced Naia Izumi as the winner of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Izumi was chosen from a pool of over 5,000 entries from all 50 states. Here at JPR, we wanted to once again feature our favorite regional submission, and this year's honor goes to singer/songwriter Hannah Mayree!

Drawing from diverse influences ranging from John Hartford, Joanna Newsom, Pete Seeger and Townes Van Zandt, Hollis Peach weaves evocative, mischievous and deeply personal stories in the American vernacular of song and story.

If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group — Michael Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler — has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country.

Good Old War is an American indie-folk band from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Named with a selection of "parts" of its members' names -- Good Old War was launched by Days Away's Keith Goodwin and Tim Arnold. Joined by Daniel Schwartz of Unlikely Cowboy, Good Old War began recording its debut in Los Angeles in 2008.

The Bee Eaters are brother-sister duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, long known and lauded by those steeped in the American fiddle tradition, plus hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman. Together, they weave a tapestry of sound all their own, drawing on roots in bluegrass, Celtic, jazz and old-time traditions.

Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin testify mightily to life’s great struggles and joys, heralding the morning that dispels the dark night. The Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself why you started something in the first place,” muses Seth Walker. On his stellar new album, Gotta Get Back, he does precisely that, excavating the roots of his love affair with music and reuniting with the family that helped spark the fire all those years ago. The record is as remarkable as the story behind it, which stretches from Walker’s childhood living on a commune in North Carolina to stints in Austin, Nashville, New York and New Orleans.

Forward motion belies creativity and evolution. A staunch and unwavering commitment to progression is how an unassuming group of five friends can collectively become a Grammy Award-winning force of nature. That’s exactly how it happened for The Infamous Stringdusters. Within thirteen years since their 2005 formation, the band—Travis Book (bass, vocals), Andy Falco (guitar, vocals), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle, vocals), Andy Hall (dobro, vocals), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo, vocals) — have consistently forged ahead, relentlessly exploring the musical possibilities of a “bluegrass ensemble” and breaking down boundaries in the process.

The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

Robert Francis is a multi-instrumentalist, Americana singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. As the youngest member of a music-filled household, Robert benefited from a diverse musical climate thanks to his late pianist/producer father, his songwriting sister Juliette Commagere, and his Mexican mother, who sang native ranchera songs around the house.

Building on a career that spans over 17 years with a history that includes Seattle, New York City, and everywhere in between, Jon Fickes proudly debuts his most ambitious album yet, Closer to a Ghost. The album, a release by his newest musical endeavor, A View of Earth from the Moon, is “everything I’ve always wanted a record to be.

In North Central Washington State, Tyson Motsenbocker grew up in the apple orchards and pine forests at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It’s the pastoral sound of his childhood that has defined the sound of his music, even among the freeways and fast pace of his new Southern California home. After the release of two EP’s Until it Lands and Rivers and Roads, Motsenbocker defined himself as a mature lyricist and accomplished songwriter, sharing the stage with the likes of David Bazan, Vance Joy and James Bay.

Kuinka's genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and eclectic instrumentation including cello, banjo, synthesizers, ukulele and electronic percussion. For all of their sonic experimentation, the Seattle quartet's songs and live shows are linked by an infectious energy that remains present in everything they do.

Caught halfway between the dark swoon of pop-noir, the raw rasp of soul music, and the honest punch of Americana, Suzanne Santo's new solo album Ruby Red tells the story of a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who, more than 10 years into an acclaimed career, is turning a new corner. Produced by multi-platinum Grammy nominee Butch Walker (whose Los Angeles recording studio gives the album its name), Ruby Red marks Santo's first release as a solo artist.

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