JPR Music

JPR Music is a place that celebrates music discovery.  It's a place that collects what we think is exciting on the contemporary music  scene, in the State of Jefferson and beyond.  JPR Music features exclusive Live Sessions, reviews by JPR music hosts, NPR Tiny Desk concerts and First Listens of new releases.  Visit often ... and re-discover music!

Everybody in your life will write his or her own chapter in your story. Take a step back, and you’ll see the influence of your loved ones, mentors, and friends in your decisions. Shook Twins refer to these folks in the title of their fourth album, Some Good Lives. Throughout fourteen tracks, the duo—identical twin sisters Katelyn Shook [vocals, guitar] and Laurie Shook [banjo, vocals]—pay homage to everyone from a late grandpa and godfather to Bernie Sanders.

On Friday, April 5th at Noon, JPR will broadacst a live session with The Infamous Stringdusters on Open Air in celebration of the release that day of their new album Rise Sun.

On Friday, March 29th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with Seth Walker on Open Air.

Famed keyboardist John Medeski is not easily contained to a single project or genre. He is credited on over 300 works to date, most notably as one third of the groundbreaking trio Medeski Martin & Wood. Equally comfortable behind a Steinway grand piano, Hammond organ or any number of vintage keyboards, Medeski is a highly sought after improviser and band leader whose projects range from work with John Zorn, The Word (Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstars), Phil Lesh, Don Was, John Scofield, Coheed & Cambria, Susana Baca, Sean Lennon, Marc Ribot, Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more.

"It's over now / The flag is sunk / The world has flattened out," are the first words of Extralife, the new album by Boston-based quartet. While the band's critically acclaimed 2015 release Birds Say was steeped in nostalgia and the conviction of youth, Extralife grapples with dystopian realities and uncertain futures. Whether ambling down a sidewalk during the apocalypse or getting stuck in a video game for eternity, the band asks, sometimes cynically, sometimes playfully: what comes next? Their erstwhile innocence is now bloodshot for the better.

On Friday, March 22nd at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with H.C. McEntire on Open Air.

King Tuff is the neo-garage alter ego of multifaceted musician Kyle Thomas. Adopting the moniker in his teens as a play on his initials and the name King Tut, Thomas made his recording debut as Tuff in 2006, when he self-released an album via CD-R between playing with freaky folk revivalists Feathers and J. Mascis' stoner metal band Witch.

As a babe Jeffrey Martin sought out solitude as often as he could find it. He's always been that way, and he has never understood the whole phenomenon of smiling in pictures, although he is a very happy guy. One night in middle school he stayed up under the covers with a flashlight and a DiscMan, listening to Reba McEntire's 'That's the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia' on repeat until the DiscMan ran out of batteries.

Throughout her career — a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock — Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations.

On her third album Soft Power, L.A.-based Doe Paoro digs into her own frustration and anguish, and ultimately comes away with a newfound strength that’s profoundly inspiring.

One of the country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums of extraordinary songs that have earned four Grammy Awards and nominations for 11 more. She is also an author whose four books include the best-selling memoir Composed, which the Chicago Tribune called “one of the best accounts of an American life you’ll likely ever read.

Hiroya Tsukamoto is a composer, guitarist and singer-songwriter from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing the five-string banjo when he was thirteen, and took up the guitar shortly after.

Anna Tivel reaches for that thread of understanding with her music, that moment of recognition, of shared experience. There are hundreds of thousands of miles on her touring odometer and each town is a tangled web of heartache and small reasons to believe. She gravitates toward the quiet stories of ordinary life. A homeless veteran sitting on a bench to watch the construction of a luxury hotel. A woman wondering about the life of the daughter she had to give up for adoption. Someone changing shape, someone falling in love, someone all alone.

Critically acclaimed vocalist and songwriter, actor and dancer, Kat Edmonson has played major stages across the United States, Europe and Japan. She’s appeared in major motion pictures, performed on radio and television, and released four groundbreaking albums to date. Her newest album, Old Fashioned Gal, is out now on Spinnerette Records.

Since 2016, brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed along with their partner and drummer Burleigh Drummond, have celebrated the pivotal music and history of The Everly Brothers legacy with enthusiastic crowds all across the US and over seas in prestigious venues.

Laura Gibson's new album Goners was released in October. It found its name in the first line she wrote in the bleak beginning of 2017: If we’re already goners, why wait any longer, for something to crack open. That line became a lyric in the title track. It also became a sort of mantra. “I’d known for a long time that I wanted to make a record about grief. In some ways, every song I’ve ever written has something to do with grief. This time around, I felt compelled to stare into the abyss. Goners seemed an apt title because it speaks of both the future and the past. The word is used for two types of people: those who lose themselves in the ones they love, and those whose deaths are imminent.

The human touch makes a noticeable difference. Listeners invariably respond to that tactile bond between the musician and the music. To put it simply in the parlance of our times, you know when it’s authentic. Jarle Bernhoft, who in recent months has stylized his name as Bern/hoft, emphasizes this personal connection on his fourth full-length offering and first as Bern/hoft & The Fashion Bruises — the aptly titled Humanoid.

Maiah Wynne is a multi-instrumentalist, one-woman tour de force, with a show that appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. Throughout her performances, Maiah fluently transitions through unique and traditional instruments, like the dulcimer, oil can ukulele, keys, and guitar, while her feet do the percussive work. 

The power of words isn’t lost on longstanding Americana triumvirate The Devil Makes Three— Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean. For as much as they remain rooted in troubadour traditions of wandering folk, Delta blues, whiskey-soaked ragtime, and reckless rock ‘n’ roll, the band nods to the revolutionary unrest of author James Baldwin, the no-holds barred disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway, and Southern Gothic malaise of Flannery O’Connor.

All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn't Do marks the first time that The Milk Carton Kids (acoustic duo Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale) have brought a band into the studio with them. "We wanted to do something new," Pattengale says. "We had been going around the country yet another time to do the duo show, going to the places we'd been before. There arose some sort of need for change." "Musically we knew we were going to make the record with a bigger sonic palette," says Ryan. "It was liberating to know we wouldn’t have to be able to carry every song with just our two guitars."

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