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!

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.

On Friday, December 28th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with singer/songwriter Laura Gibson on Open Air.

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."

Million Miles is the project of Franco/British singer Sophie Baudry, who infuses her music with elements of soul, folk and blues. She previously released “Ice Cream & Cigarettes” which shot to the top of Spotify’s US Viral Chart and has found great success across public radio.

Buffalo James Photography

On Friday, December 21st at Noon, JPR will broadcast a live session with Maiah Wynne on Open Air.

Kandace Springs' new album Indigo is simple while funky. Classic but contemporary. Straightforward in the way it breaks down complex ideas and genres. And, at the end of the day, undeniably human. That said, it isn’t quite a rebirth for the Nashville-born artist, who after stints living in New York and Los Angeles has returned back home to Music City. She’s long had that lithe and smoky voice and an intensely expressive mastery over the piano. For those paying attention, Kandace’s second album finds her unleashing what was there all along, all at once, for the first time.

Estas Tonne’ describes himself as a charismatic being who is committed to artistic expression and to the authentic unfolding of music. Authenticity and self-renewal makes him explore the individuality of sound and the possibilities of how the sounding source can create a space that arises creatively and that in the same time allows the listener to momentarily adapt it – for the purpose of wellbeing and for the purpose of a shift.

Before signing with New West Records in early 2011, country songwriter Robert Ellis made a name for himself in Houston, Texas. Inspired by the country, folk, and bluegrass records he’d heard while growing up in southern Texas, Ellis began playing shows around the city, eventually landing a Wednesday night residency at a local venue called Fitzgerald’s. His audience grew as a result of those weekly shows, nicknamed "Whiskey Wednesdays" for their rowdy nature and half-drunk clientele, and Ellis earned more fans on the strength of his self-released debut, The Great Rearranger.

From uploading her first single ‘Try’ to triple j Unearthed, the Brisbane artist has signed labels deals all over the world, played festivals such as Laneway, The Great Escape and Falls, headline shows in the UK & US and sold out her first Australian headline tour. Speaking of the single and video, Harriette Pilbeam – the artist behind Hatchie – says: “We decided to play on the idea that I’m trying to get someone to communicate with me in their sleep. We made a bunch of dreamy sets to focus on, like I’m talking to them in their dreams. At some points I’m really serious, at other points I’m almost teasing them because I’m so over trying to get them to talk.

Jon Stickley Trio is a genre-defying and cinematic instrumental trio, who’s deep grooves, innovative flatpicking, and sultry-spacy violin moves the listener’s head, heart, and feet. "It’s not your father’s acoustic-guitar music — although Stickley’s pop showed him his first chords when he was 12 years old. Instead, Stickley’s Martin churns out a mixture of bluegrass, Chuck Berry, metal, prog, grunge, and assorted other genres—all thoroughly integrated into a personal style,” writes Guitar Player Magazine.

Jade Bird is fast becoming one of the most exciting new British voices. With her debut EP and 2018's follow-up breakthrough single 'Lottery', Jade has won the hearts of people across the globe. She has already preformed on 'Later with Jools Holland', 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' and 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' and at SXSW she won the Grulke Prize for upcoming talent which follows her win of the ANCHOR Award at the Reeperbahn Festival in 2017. Since her last visit at JPR, Jade Bird was selected as one of NPR's 2018 Slingshot Artists - musicians destined for greatness and wider acclaim.

Nashville vocalist/guitarist Patrick Sweany doesn’t hold back on his latest studio album, Ancient Noise. Sweany recorded the new tunes with GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer/producer Matt Ross-Spang after Ross-Spang invited Sweany to check out his new homebase at legendary Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis. The studio that Phillips had custom built in the 70s has been meticulously refurbished by the Phillips family. “Sam Phillips Recording is the best place on earth to record a rock ‘n’ roll album,” says Sweany. “I live for going into the sessions with no pre-production rehearsals with the band, we just cut the album on the floor of Studio A song-by-song.

Terry Robb is one of the top acoustic blues guitarists of our time. His signature fingerpicking style has earned him international acclaim from worldwide audiences, music critics and his distinguished peers. Incorporating elements from the Mississippi Delta music tradition, ragtime, country, swing and free jazz, Robb has built a unique blues sound that has made him a legend in his prolific music career spanning more than four decades.

Growing up with a single mother in San Benito, Texas, the hometown of Tejano star Freddy Fender, was not easy for blues singer Charley Crockett. Hitchhiking across the country exposed Crockett to the street life at a young age, following in the footsteps of his relative, American folk hero Davy Crockett, who also lived a wild life on the American frontier. After train hopping across the country, singing on the streets for change in New Orleans French Quarter, playing in New York City subway cars and performing across Texas, California, and everywhere in between, Crockett set off to travel the world and lived on the streets of Paris for a year before wandering in Spain, Morocco, and Northern Africa.

River Whyless is a band much like that titular body of water - a mingling of currents, a flow of time and physical space, all brought together in a murmuring sense of purpose. It is the expression of a group of musicians, three of which are songwriters, who have played together in various forms since their college days in the North Carolina mountains.

I’m a singer not a preacher, but these songs are my sermon,” says Paul Cauthen. “We’re ripping each other apart out there, and forgiveness and mercy are what’s going to get us through. I want to use my voice the best I can to spread that message while I’m here on this Earth.” Somewhere between an EP and an album, Cauthen’s new seven-track collection, Have Mercy, is a showcase of the pure power of truth and love. Building off the success of My Gospel, the Texas troubadour’s breakout debut, Have Mercy pushes Cauthen’s songwriting to new heights as he searches for common ground and peace of mind in an increasingly polarized world.

Over the last year, Shawn Mullins has been hard at work on a recording project in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the release of Soul's Core, which came out July 17th, 1998. That album elevated Mullins' career to a new level and spread his music around the world.

This new release - called Soul's Core Revival - revisits those songs from Soul's Core in two different ways: brand new band recordings with new arrangements, and and second collection of stripped down solo performances; some on acoustic guitar, some on piano.

Raised in Ashland, Oregon, Sophia Pfister left rural southern Oregon for the artistically fertile landscape of Los Angeles. Her sultry blend of folk and blues, combined with experimental sonic soundscapes has already captured the attention and collaboration of such musical luminaries as California legend Dave Alvin and lap-steel wizard Greg Leisz.

Classically-trained singer/pianist Olivia Chaney graduated from England’s Royal Academy of Music, before teaching herself guitar and Indian harmonium, delving back to the inspiration behind the British folk revivalists. She has since built a loyal and growing following as a songwriter and interpreter, both in the UK and internationally, through her acclaimed and eclectic live performances and much lauded recorded works.

Massachusetts writer and song-singer Heather Maloney celebrates the release her 2018 EP, Just Enough Sun. The six songs (five new originals and a cover of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall") were recorded as mostly single-take, live performances in a room where instruments bled into vocal mics and vocals into instruments.

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