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!

There is deep soul in the music of Devon Gilfillian—but for the talented Nashville-based singer-songwriter and bandleader, that descriptor goes way beyond a mere genre classification. Growing up in Philadelphia on a steady diet of R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues, and soul music, Gilfillian gravitated to records that ignited his mind while making his body move.

On Friday, June 14th at Noon, JPR welcome Ben Dickey into the studios for a JPR Live Session presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Timing matters. With or without you the train is departing; the second hand doesn’t really stop when you won’t wind your watch; inspiration strikes in an instant but its reckoning can take an eternity. In the world of music, the concept of time doesn’t just pertain to cues to come in or a 4/4 beat - it is also equally about patience and the space an artist must allow themselves to create.

On Friday, June 7th at Noon, JPR welcomes back decker. for a JPR Live Session presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

On Friday, May 31st at Noon, JPR welcomes back The Wild Reeds for a JPR Live Session presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

After moving to Nashville in the early aughts to live with two buddies from college, Griffin House got a job at a shop on Broadway called Legend’s Gifts selling souvenirs to tourists and made a five-song demo called the “Never Sessions” with friends Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks. From there, the ball started rolling, but not without a few stalls. House eventually ended up deciding to make an album with Dreamworks Records in Los Angeles, but the record label folded the day before he was supposed to fly to L.A.

At 23 years old, Olivia Millerschin has composed and released two full-length albums. She was a quarter finalist on America’s Got Talent, won the Great American Song Contest, is featured on Republic Records soundtrack to a recent Mitch Albom novel, and has music in national film and TV. She plays ukulele, piano and guitar.

Whether seen on HBO’s Treme' or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.

Known far and wide as the impossibly big voiced leader of acclaimed soul collective Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, singer Arleigh Kincheloe has made an astonishing leap forward with Sister Sparrow’s new LP, Gold. The album sees Sister Sparrow taking the classic brass-fueled Dirty Birds sound and turning it into something altogether new: a soul-blasted contemporary pop sound both timeless yet utterly now. Recorded mere months after Kincheloe became a new mother, songs like the evocative first single, “Ghost,” and the ebullient title track highlight Sister Sparrow’s strikingly strong vocals while also showcasing her growing muscle as an individualistic, communicative songwriter.

Despite their brotherhood, Aaron and Phil Reed didn’t start playing music together until five years ago after Phil left their hometown of St. Charles, Missouri to join Aaron in the unsullied mountains of the American Northwest. The brothers family blend of folk encapsulates the grit and humor of Midwest life with the swagger and serenity of the west coast. Their style evokes finger picking folk singers of the 60’s and 70’s with a contemporary and boundless edge. Cultivated from years of performing in bands ranging from heavy metal to reggae and rock, to punk, country, and funk, their musical dichotomy is at the root of their diverse yet seamless folk-brand.

For their brand new album Rise Sun, The Infamous Stringdusters - the Grammy Award-winning quintet of Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass] - again sail into uncharted territory moored only by their expressive patchwork of All-American bluegrass threaded together with strands of rock, jazz, funk, country, old-time, and more.

Are You Open?Seth Walker sings on his transfixing new album of the same title. More than just a question, it’s a challenge, an invitation, a dare. “To me, being open means being vulnerable and exposed,” explains Walker, “but that’s where the little nuggets of creative gold come from. I never planned an overall concept for this record, but each of these songs seemed to spin out from asking myself that one simple question.

H.C. McEntire, frontwoman of Mount Moriah, struck out on her own with her debut solo album Lionheart. Stereogum describes her voice as “weary, wise, and bright as morning sunshine all at once,” and that sunshine glows throughout the triumphant Lionheart.

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.

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.

King Tuff is the name of an indie-rock band... but it's also leader Kyle Thomas's alter ego. One he's at times embraced wholeheartedly while performing, and other times stepped away from. After years of non-stop touring, culminating in a particularly arduous stint in support of 2014’s Black Moon Spell, Thomas found himself back in Los Angeles experiencing the flipside of the ultimate rock and roll cliche—that of an exhausted musician suddenly unsure where to go or what to do, held prisoner by a persona that he never meant to create, that bore little resemblance to the worn out person they now saw in the mirror.

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.

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