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!

Simon and Wes started down the musical road at around the same time, on the same small island, but only met by chance and with the accidental help of jazz guitarist Bill Frissell and a local noodle shack. Fast friends from the start, they’ve made music together every chance they’ve had along the way, making two records with chamber grass outfit the Bee Eaters, and stealing chances to get in a tune or two when passing through each other’s city of residence while on tour with other bands. Now, sixteen years after meeting, they’re releasing their first duo recording.

On Friday, August 9th at Noon, JPR welcomes the duo Penny & Sparrow into our new studios for a JPR Live Session presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

On Friday, August 2nd at Noon, JPR welcomes back John Paul White - this time with his full band - for a JPR Live Session presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

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"What is the future, if this is now?” asks Canadian-born Mike Edel on his latest single. This question, echoing throughout the lush indie-rock track “Challenger,” recounting the 1986 Space Shuttle tragedy and the loss of optimism in technology, politics and beyond, similarly echoes throughout Edel’s latest album Thresholds, produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla.

Established in 1996, Chirgilchin is a group of throat singers from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia. Chirgilchin's music tells stories of their homeland, its horses and its people. Tuvan songs are sung in minor pentatonic scale, similar to American blues. The monotone sustained notes that branch out into overtones with slight shifts in pitch give Tuvan throat singing its characteristic buoyant yet meditative drone quality.

Blood Harmony. Whether it’s The Beach Boys, Bee Gees or First Aid Kit, that sibling vocal blend is the secret sauce in some of the most spine-tingling moments in popular music. The Cactus Blossoms – Minneapolis-based brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey – offer compelling evidence that this tradition is alive and well, with a deceptively unadorned musical approach that offers “creative turns of phrase, gorgeous harmonies, and an ageless sound” (NPR All Things Considered), not to mention spine tingles aplenty.

Jonathon Robert Linaberry has visited us twice before, last in 2018 just before we moved into our new facility. As insulating as solo musicianship can be, J.R. finds comfort in reflecting on how much The Bones Of J.R. Jones has grown in the last year. His new album marked the first time J.R. felt able to adequately flesh out his ideas in the studio without feeling rushed.

Despite the name, Matt the Electrician is no longer an electrician, focusing instead on a music career that has spanned the course of two decades, a dozen records, and thousands of shows. His music, however, remains rooted in his blue collar beginnings, with lyricism that embraces the day-to-day, the mundane, the beauty of the ordinary.

On Friday, July 26th at Noon, JPR welcomes Briston Maroney into the studios for a JPR Live Session Presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

For a guy whose career has evolved more by serendipity than design, Ben Dickey’s professional journey has turned into one heckuva ride. It’s not every day an obscure musician’s famous actor/ director friend hands him the lead in a passion-project indie film, and he not only winds up sharing the screen with one of his musical heroes, he also wins a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Achievement in Acting — and a Variety magazine “for your consideration” plug for a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Decker’s music draws inspiration directly from the vortexes of the red rock mountains where he resides —an area of Arizona so widely known for its healing energy that millions of spiritual travelers flock there every year in an attempt to harness its power. Releasing albums at the extraordinary clip of nearly a record-per-year since 2009, Decker’s songwriting has garnered love from press and radio around the country.

The Wild Reeds are a band led by women. Not a sister band, not a girl group, but a band fronted by three women, all talented singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists in their own right: Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe, and Sharon Silva, with drummer Nick Jones and bass player Nick Phakpiseth providing the Los Angeles-based band's rhythmic foundation.

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.

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.

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.

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