Blues

5:36pm

Wed October 30, 2013
World Cafe

Black Joe Lewis On World Cafe

Black Joe Lewis.
Keith Davis Young Courtesy of the artist

In this session, World Cafe welcomes back the Austin blues-funk band Black Joe Lewis, which recently released a new album called Electric Slave. It's a different animal than the group's first two albums, 2009's Tell 'Em What Your Name Is and 2011's Scandalous: It's fiercer, it's more rock-driven, and it moves away from the soul-revival sound of the earlier discs.

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12:13pm

Sun October 27, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Accordions, Beer And God: Zydeco In Gran Texas

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 5:07 pm

After years of attending church dances, Step Rideau says he was moved to connect with his heritage on a deeper level.
Courtesy of the artist

The modest, cream-colored '50s-era chapel that's home to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Houston looks like many other places of worship you might find in urban America. The first clue to a unique tradition here pulls up Sunday afternoon.

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5:19pm

Fri October 25, 2013
Mountain Stage

The Slide Brothers On Mountain Stage

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 10:35 am

The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Most people think of the steel guitar as an instrument associated with country music — from country rock and pop to alt-country. But there's another style of steel playing that dates back to African-American Pentecostal churches of the 1930s, when a handful of congregations began using steel guitars in place of organs.

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2:00pm

Thu October 17, 2013
World Cafe

Tedeschi Trucks Band On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:47 pm

Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Two of the best roots rock musicians of their generation make an appearance on a special episode of World Cafe, which is hosted in NPR's Studio A at the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Singer Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, joined forces in 2010 and formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

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8:03am

Sat October 12, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Valerie June: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:06 pm

Valerie June performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
NPR

Short of seeing her live and in person, this is the best way to encounter Valerie June's heartfelt sound. Her new album Pushin' Against a Stone is terrific, but when I first heard that voice unadorned, I was hooked. The same may happen to you.

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4:53pm

Fri October 4, 2013
World Cafe

Shuggie Otis On World Cafe

Shuggie Otis.
Courtesy of the artist

Blues and R&B musician Shuggie Otis is back with a new album for the first time in almost 40 years. For the reclusive Otis, the release of Wings of Love is major news. Its release is paired with his 1974 masterpiece Inspiration Information, which drew attention to Otis when it was first reissued by the Luaka Bop label in 2001.

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4:35pm

Wed September 18, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Sacred Strings Guide Gospel Through Thunder And Steel

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

The Sacred Steel tradition is an integral part of worship. From the House of God Keith Dominion Church, Aubrey Ghent (pictured) helped revive the style in 1990s.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Some say the purpose of church is to deliver the word of God. If so, what's the role of music in the service?

"The music has always been a part of God's way of getting people's attention," says Bishop Calvin Worthem, pastor at the Church of the Living God in Toccopola, Miss. "Sometimes he speaks through the thunder, the lightning, and sometimes he speaks in the music."

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1:52pm

Fri September 6, 2013
Music Reviews

The Dawn Of Sun Records: 15 Hours Of Blues

The Prisonaires, a band formed in a Memphis-area prison, created one of Sun Records' early hits.
Courtesy of Bear Family Records

Sam Phillips is famous for saying that if he could find a white boy with the authentic Negro sound and feel, he'd make a billion dollars. Seeing Phillips in his striped sport coat and tie in 1950, you might well wonder if he'd know that sound and feel if it came up and bit him. But he'd been a fan of blues and country music since childhood, and he bet that his technical knowledge and feeling for this music could make him money.

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3:08pm

Thu September 5, 2013
World Cafe

James Cotton On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:30 pm

James Cotton
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

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5:19am

Sun August 25, 2013
Music Interviews

Black Joe Lewis And His Band Stay The Course, Lose The Name

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 11:22 am

Black Joe Lewis' new album is Electric Slave.
Courtesy of the artist

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