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Blues

Taj Mahal On Mountain Stage

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Taj Mahal's influences are drawn from many places around the world, from California to Africa to the Pacific Islands. But in this archival Mountain Stage performance from 1995, he pays tribute to his roots with a lively set of blues and boogie songs.

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Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite On World Cafe

Monday, April 22, 2013

The singer-songwriter and harmonica legend give the blues a modern twist on their new album, Get Up!

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Next: Luella And The Sun

Monday, April 08, 2013

Nashville veterans John Radford, Joe McMahan, Adam Bednarik and Melissa Mathes come together to craft a raw and powerful fusion of gospel and roots music.

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Kail Baxley: Music From An Amateur Boxer Who Danced For James Brown

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The singer-songwriter plays songs from his full-length debut, Heatstroke/The Wind and the War, and talks about how his father's funeral inspired "The Rebel."

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In 'Fulton Blues,' Corey Harris Resurrects Memories Of Southern Neighborhood

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Richmond, Va., neighborhood of Fulton was once home to a large number of the city's middle class African-American families. But by the 1960s, it had fallen on hard times. A new album by bluesman Corey Harris pays tribute to the Southern neighborhood with a haunted past.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Buddy Guy

Monday, December 24, 2012

Buddy Guy has been called the greatest blues guitarist of all time, influencing Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, among others, and he’s the living embodiment of Chicago blues. In his new memoir, When I Left Home, Guy tells of moving from rural Louisiana to Chicago in the 1950s, the blues masters he played with, and the evolving culture of music that happened all around him.
(Originally aired June 7, 2012)

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Soundcheck

Valerie June: On A Journey Toward A Dream

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The up-and-coming roots musician Valerie June previews new songs live in the studio.

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Soundcheck

Christmas Funk With Holidelic, Scott Walker, And Valerie June

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today on Soundcheck: Christmas music from Holidelic, a funk holiday spectacular that owes more to Parliament than Perry Como. Composer and E Street Band member Everett Bradley brings his platform boots, light-laden Afro wig and the rest of his ensemble to our studio to perform live.

Then, Scott Walker, the musician who found early success as part of the Walker Brothers in the mid 60s -- talks about his dark, challenging, but rewarding new record, Bish Bosch

And the young blues singer Valerie June sings new music from her upcoming debut studio album.

Spinning on Air

Singing the Story

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Here are some story-songs, grounded in old blues and British folk traditions, performed by musicians for whom the past is just a starting point. Host David Garland offers the distinctive, captivating voices of Woody Guthrie, Connie Converse, Alasdair Roberts, Sam Amidon, and others; musicians old and new who all have stories to sing.

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Soundcheck

Shemekia Copeland Sings It How She Sees It

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shemkia Copeland's latest album, 33 1/3, evokes not only the revolutions per minute of LPs, but also her current age, and the record is filled with songs that don't hold back on opinions or emotions. Hear Copeland perform live in the studio.

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Spinning on Air

Authenticity

Sunday, August 26, 2012

These days, when blue jeans, building exteriors, singing voices, signage (and so much more) are calculatedly "weathered" for a patina of "authenticity," it's refreshing to listen to some authentically authentic songs.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Boo Hanks And Dom Flemons

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blues guitarist Boo Hanks and Dom Flemons, of Carolina Chocolate Drops, play Joe's Pub Thursday night. Download the track "Girls Are Crazy About Me."

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Soundcheck

Summer Resolutions Check-In: Listener Frank

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Soundcheck listener Frank contacted us back in May with his "summer resolution": learn a 12-bar blues chord progression in all twelve major keys on guitar. Frank told us, "I bought an acoustic guitar about a year ago, but since then it's been mostly sitting in it's bag in the corner of my bedroom. I told myself the first thing I wanted to do was learn a blues progression - but working on my goal hasn't happened. I think learning the blues in major keys would be a fast track to the basics." 

We checked in with Frank to see how his summer resolution is going - and here's what he had to say. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Buddy Guy

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Buddy Guy has been called the greatest blues guitarist of all time, influencing Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, among others, and he’s the living embodiment of Chicago blues. In his new memoir, When I Left Home, Guy tells of moving from rural Louisiana to Chicago in the 1950s, the blues masters he played with, and the evolving culture of music that happened all around him.

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Soundcheck

Robert Johnson At The Crossroads: What Really Happened?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Recently, Radiolab host Jad Abumrad started wondering about the legend of bluesman Robert Johnson. You know, the one where he goes down to the crossroads and sells his soul to the devil in return for unnatural guitar ability. What you don’t know, and what Jad found out, is that the truth is far stranger than the fiction. He’ll join us to share the story. 

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Soundcheck

Johnny Colon Does the Boogaloo

Monday, April 23, 2012

In the 1960s and ‘70s, Latin boogaloo arose from the jazz, soul and R&B traditions around New York. Spanish Harlem native Johnny Colon was part of the boogaloo wave and helped define the iconic sound with hits like like “Boogaloo Blues." Today, the bandleader, pianist and educator joins us for a look at boogaloo's past and present.

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Radiolab

Crossroads Music

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We discovered a ton of amazing music while putting together our story about the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson (which you can hear in our show The Power of Music). Check out the line-up here -- if you listen through, you end up with something of a history of the roots of rock n' roll.

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Soundcheck

Something To Talk About With Bonnie Raitt

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bonnie Raitt began her career in the 1970s as a young guitarist and singer who shared the stage with legendary bluesmen like Howlin’ Wolf and Mississippi Fred McDowell. But despite entering the record business at a time when it was almost entirely run by men, she managed to maintain complete control over her music. “The feminist movement was really part of the generation I was in,” said Raitt on Soundcheck. “Your turn at the food coop, your turn with the dishes. If a guy wanted to get laid, he’d better step up to the plate.... I would not have signed a record deal where I had to give up one bit of control over what I recorded when and with whom.” Listen to Soundcheck’s entire interview with the blues legend here. 

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Radiolab

Crossroads

Monday, April 16, 2012

In this short, we go looking for the devil, and find ourselves tangled in a web of details surrounding one of the most haunting figures in music--a legendary guitarist whose shadowy life spawned a legend so powerful, it's still being repeated...even by fans who don't believe a word of it.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Joe Henry

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Veteran roots singer-songwriter Joe Henry performs with Marc Ribot at the City Winery on Wednesday night. Download his bluesy single "Odetta."

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