Blues

As with the best Van Morrison songs, "Transformation" billows out from its oft-repeated refrain. The lead single off Morrison's upcoming Roll With The Punches (out Sept. 22) consists largely of the 71-year-old Irish singer belting "gonna be a transformation" over a triumphant soul progression. But if there's been a transformation in Morrison over his long career, it isn't evident here. This is a soaring bit of classic Morrison roots-soul — and his best outing in recent years.

The moment you get a look at ALA.NI behind the Tiny Desk, you'll notice it in the foreground: The singer asked us to record her set using her vintage RCA Ribbon microphone, which she carries around in a small briefcase between shows. It's a security blanket, a bit of visual branding, a statement of stylistic intent — and, not for nothing, a big reason ALA.NI's voice carries with such warmth and intimacy.

Beginning at noon ET on Sunday, July 30, you can watch Drive-By Truckers, Davy Knowles, The Record Company, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Adia Victoria and more perform live from day three of WXPN's 2017 XPoNential Music Festival.

Beginning at noon ET on Saturday, July 29, you can watch Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Strand Of Oaks, Rhiannon Giddens, The Suffers, Foxygen, Xenia Rubinos and more perform live form day two WXPN

The Black Keys frontman and all-star producer Dan Auerbach settled into his Nashville studio to record his second solo album, Waiting On A Song, with some of the legendary musicians based into the city. The acoustic set he performed for KCRW featured many new tracks — including this unreleased song, "Trouble Waits For You."

SET LIST

  • "Trouble Waits For You"

Denise Eileen Garrett was only 3 years old when her family moved to Flint, Mich., from Memphis, Tenn. This was long before she became Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz-vocal superhero — to say nothing of a mother, a Tony- and Grammy-winner or an NEA Jazz Master. But Memphis left an impression on the little girl, subtle but persistent, somewhere in her psyche.

There are as many ways to celebrate summer as there are cover versions of George Gershwin's "Summertime." Maybe you're looking forward to hot fun in the summertime or slathering on sunscreen so you can soak up the sun.

Even if you've never heard of Memphis' Royal Studios, you probably know some of the records made there. Royal was the home studio of Hi Records and producer Willie Mitchell in the '70s; it's the birthplace of countless Al Green hits, including "Tired Of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together," as well as records by Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson and others.

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