Open Air

Rhythm & News: Mon-Fri • 9am-3pm

Open Air is more than a show. It's a sound. It's a home for music people - a place where you can hear the latest indie rock/pop, AAA and Americana, plus blues, jazz, world, and alt.country. Open Air is hosted by people who share your passion for new music as well as favorites from the past.

Open Air is curated each day to keep you up to date on emerging artists like Lord Huron, Lake Street Dive and José González. At the same time, our extensive music library allows us to properly honor the past with legendary artists like Pete Seeger, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, and Robert Johnson. We haven't forgotten our musical roots, and with Open Air you don't have to either.

It's unique, it's fresh, and it's always looking ahead to what's next. It's the music you already love plus the new artists you're about to. It's Open Air from JPR.

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and multiple-Grammy winner, Rodney Crowell has been making music for over forty years. In that time, he's released over twenty albums, written and recorded five consecutive number-one hits, and produced scores of albums for other stars. He's been honored with an ASCAP lifetime achievement award for his work.

On Friday, February 7th at Noon, JPR welcomes back sister duo Lily and Madeleine for a JPR Live Session on Open Air.

On Friday, January 31st at Noon, JPR will broadcast a JPR Live Session with songer/songwriter Liz Longley on Open Air.

Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, J.S. Ondara was tuned into the BBC and the vast world of music that was often as far away as the United States. None of those sounds resonated more clearly than those of one particular troubadour from Minnesota: Bob Dylan.  Fast forward ten years and J.S. Ondara has relocated to Minnesota, hoping to follow a path of inspiration and carve his own career as a singer and songwriter.

On Friday, January 24th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a JPR Live Session with The Portland Cello Project on Open Air.

Shovels & Rope is the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. Over the course of the last dozen years, the duo has fine tuned their gritty and self-described "imperfect" Americana sound across seven albums.

Texas Piano Man - the new album and persona of Robert Ellis - is something his friends and bandmates could see coming from miles away. In fact, Ellis had to create the full blown bedecked character in order to finally be himself on stage.

Boy & Bear have been living on the radio charts in their native Australia since 2011, when their debut album won them five Aria awards and landed three separate songs on the "best of the year" list assembled by influential radio station Triple-J.

Tinariwen, or ⵜⵉⵏⴰⵔⵉⵡⵉⵏ in their traditional Tamasheq language, is a group of Tuareg rock musicians from the Saharan Desert region of northern Mali. The band formed in 1979 in Algeria, and first started to gain a following outside the region in the early 2000s with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions. NPR calls the group "music's true rebels."

Donovan Woods is a known as a true songwriter's songwriter. His tunes have been recorded by major musical stars, including Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Billy Currington. But some of the tunes that come from his pen are reserved for his own recordings. In the last 18 months, Woods has released Both Ways, and The Other Way - an acoustic re-imagining of the songs.

Amy LaVere's voice is what catches you first - girlish, but with the depth of someone with a full book of stories. NPR’s Robert Siegel once said that Amy LaVere “specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for.” Her latest album Painting Blue - produced by her husband and frequent musical collaborator Will Sexton - was released earlier this year on Nine Mile Records. In our live session, Sexton joined LaVere for some tunes from the new album.

Molly Tuttle's facility on acoustic guitar is already well-known, but on her recently released debut album When You're Ready (Compass Records), she also displays her songwriting skills. She sat down with Eric Teel to talk about her upbringing in a musical home, her practice routine, and her recent haul of awards.

The Commonheart is an 8-piece soul band from Pittsburgh. Stocked with fantastic instrumentalists and vocalists at every spot, the band flows seamlessly through rock, soul, r&b, gospel and more on their latest album Pressure.

JPR Live Session: Barrie

Nov 8, 2019

Barrie is the musical project of Barrie Lindsay – a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. 

For this edition of Heavy Rotation, take a listen to NPR member stations' most-loved songs of October. You'll find new music from Frank Ocean and the R&B stylings of Sampa the Great.

All songs from this month's Heavy Rotation are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page.


Bouncing back and forth between New Orleans where she now lives, and Austin, Texas where she cut her musical teeth, Albanie Falletta has absorbed much of the sound of the American past. There was zydeco, jazz, and blues from the music festivals, and gospel music from churches and backyard parties.

The Suitcase Junket is the musical project of Massachusetts singer/songwriter and musical raconteur Matt Lorenz. It's a hard to describe amalgam of rock, blues, folk and even world music influences created by a veritable one man band with a rather creative ensemble of instruments.

Dixieland and ragtime wasn't Blair Crimmins' first musical stop, but it's the one he and his band The Hookers have made their home.  Their sound is a combination of witty lyrics, tight playing and the kind of deft percussion that almost sounds like they've got a sound effects guy in the band.

Ben Fuller (not to be confused with the country/Americana singer of the same name) is a singer and songwriter from the Lake Tahoe area. Earlier this year, Fuller released an EP called Service To The Stars. That in itself was a major accomplishment considering that just two years before, a freak brain injury nearly ended everything. Lucky to survive that incident without any major lasting effects, Fuller has altered his music's outlook, focusing now days on uplifting stories and messages which are on full display on the new release.

Sisters Chloe and Leah Smith have been making music since childhood, but the sound of Rising Appalachia is one born from their upbringing but educated by their travels and connections made around the world. 

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