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Music Interviews

Morning Edition

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Red-Headed Stranger has a new memoir out, titled It's A Long Story. On a tour bus in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson explains to NPR's David Greene why no one can tell him what to do.

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All Things Considered

A New Jazz Suite For Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman's new album for large ensemble is called Synovial Joints, after the different ways the human body moves. The MacArthur Fellow explains how nature inspires him.

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Benjamin Clementine Trades 'Sleeping On The Floor' For 'Sleeping In A Palace'

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The singer and pianist went from busking on the streets of Paris to eliciting Nina Simone comparisons and headlining sold-out shows, but he says he's just lucky to be able to express himself.

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Soul Singer Jerry Lawson's 'Just A Mortal Man' Almost Came True

Sunday, May 03, 2015

"Boy, the truth of that song really came out," says the 71-year-old soul artist and former lead singer of The Persuasions. He spent three months in a hospital due to an infected esophagus.

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Kurt Cobain Speaks โ€” Through Art And Audio Diaries โ€” In 'Montage Of Heck'

Sunday, May 03, 2015

"The idea was not to tear him down, nor was it to put him on a pedestal," says director Brett Morgen. Instead, executive producer Frances Bean Cobain told Morgen to "make it honest."

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All Things Considered

John Lydon: The Foul-Mouthed Yob Sets The Record Straight

Saturday, May 02, 2015

"After reading so much rubbish written about me over the years, it became obvious that I had to just tell it like it is," Lydon tells NPR's Arun Rath. Lydon just wrote his memoir, Anger Is An Energy.

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Actor Alicia Witt Turns Musician With 'Revisionary History'

Saturday, May 02, 2015

In lean years she played piano in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Otherwise she's acted in roles for Justified and Mr. Holland's Opus. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Alicia Witt about her debut album.

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All Things Considered

You've Heard This Country Duo's Songs, Now Hear Them Sing

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On the TV show Nashville, actors have performed eight songs by Striking Matches. Now the duo has its own debut album out.

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All Things Considered

How Bessie Smith Ushered In The Jazz Age

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The singer known as the "empress of the blues" is the subject of a new HBO biopic. Jazz Night In America host Christian McBride breaks down her influence and legacy.

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Amber London: 'I'ma Show You How It's Done'

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Texas rapper's experiences as, at once, a member of an all-girl posse, the only woman in the room and a person strangers underestimate are fundamental to her formidable style.

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Fresh Air

Pokey LaFarge Mines His Midwestern Roots, Finds 'Something In The Water'

Monday, April 27, 2015

To mark the release of his seventh album, the singer-songwriter brings his acoustic guitar to the Fresh Air studio to sing some new songs as well as some of his favorites from the 1920s and '30s.

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All Things Considered

Kirk Franklin On 'Trap Gospel' And Taking Heat From The Church

Sunday, April 26, 2015

For gospel purists, Erica Campbell's "I Luh God" resembles secular club music in a way that's too close for comfort. Kirk Franklin knows a thing or two about that.

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All Things Considered

'It Crackles With Life': Beauty Pill Returns

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A virus caused Chad Clark's heart to tear with every beat, giving him a 22 percent chance to live. Eleven years after Beauty Pill's debut LP, he and his band come back resilient.

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Colleen: For The First Time, A Hypnotic Composer Sings

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The French musician Colleen has added lyrics to her music after more than 10 years of being strictly instrumental.

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Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the eclectic group's new album, Render, eight distinct voices assemble in a way that's hardly choral, according to artistic director Brad Wells and founding member Caroline Shaw.

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All Things Considered

The Nearly Lost Story Of Cambodian Rock 'N' Roll

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Before the Khmer Rouge regime, a thriving pop and rock scene adapted Western music heard on U.S. military radio stations. The documentary Don't Think I've Forgotten took 10 years to make.

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Fresh Air

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Donald Palumbo is the Metropolitan Opera's chorus master. He tells Fresh Air about "stagger breathing," the ways singers protect their voices and his own lack of formal training.

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All Things Considered

Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos: 'I Was Really Pretty Lost'

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Michael Angelakos comes to terms with his mental health and dedicates parts of his new album, Kindred, to his wife.

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Chris Washburne And The SYOTOS Band, 'Stairway To Heaven'

Monday, April 20, 2015

This clever medley superimposes one of Duke Ellington's sacred works over a Led Zeppelin classic.

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All Things Considered

System Of A Down, Armenia's Favorite Sons, On Facing History

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The band is performing in its ethnic homeland for the first time, on the centennial of the Armenian genocide. Singer Serj Tankian says that as historical events go, this one couldn't be more personal.

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