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Bobby Osborne is trying to find his way back to the lakeside home where he first heard "Rocky Top," the song that would define his career as one half of the Osborne Brothers, one of bluegrass' most popular and innovative groups.

There's a brilliant new instrumental project from violinist Andrew Bird. Echolocations: River takes its musical inspiration from landscapes and environments with distinctive acoustics.

Today we have a film of Andrew Bird performing under the Hyperion bridge in Los Angeles's Atwater Village. An earlier Echolocations project was recorded at the Coyote Gulch canyons of Utah in 2015. Andrew wrote us to explain how these compositions take shape.

Matisyahu and Common Kings will join us Live From Studio A during the Global Village

Based here in Central Ohio, these guys have a new release, "American Heir".

The CD release show will be taking place at Rumba Cafe the evening of the 8th.

Tune in to hear The Lost Revival play live from studio A, on 90.5 FM and HD WCBE Columbus, 106.3 FM Newark, online at wcbe.org and on Apple Music.

Luna On World Cafe

Dec 5, 2017

Around the time Luna announced it was breaking up back in 2004, lead singer Dean Wareham said, "This is what bands do." But you can bet any fan of Luna's dreamy, moody sound was secretly hoping they would undo it. And after about a decade, Luna did. (Or: undid.)

Richard Reed Parry plays to arenas full of fans as a member of the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, but he impressed listeners in 2014 with a more intimate record. Parry's Music For Heart And Breath featured compositions that asked some of the best musicians in contemporary classical music to use their own heartbeats and breathing to guide their performances.

The Ted Leo who showed up to perform at our office this fall was no stranger to NPR Music; in fact, he'd stood on that very spot a few years earlier, trading verses with Aimee Mann in their collaborative project The Both. But he did seem like a changed man.

Only Walter Martin would bring a barbershop quartet to the Tiny Desk. Best known as a singer and multi-instrumentalist with the band The Walkmen, Martin has spent his solo career making unabashedly joyful, sweetly innocent and playful music perfectly suited for quirky four-part harmonies. It works particularly well on the song with which he opens this performance, "I Went Alone On A Solo Australian Tour," a brilliant and comical call-and-response story-song about, well, going alone on a solo Australian tour.

The 2018 Grammy nominations are out. Rap and hip hop dominate. We talk about everything from classical to Albita’s Cuban big band sound to Jay-Z, who — with his album 4:44 — led all musicians with eight nominations.

This show airs Friday at 11 a.m. EST. 

Guests:

Dee Lockett, associate editor at Vulture. (@Dee_Lockett)

Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Dec 2, 2017

Like many aspiring performers, Jason Mraz graduated from high school and moved to New York to study musical theatre. But, just a year later, he realized he wanted to follow a different path.

"I knew I wanted to drop out of school and pursue original music," Mraz told host Ophira Eisenberg, "so I needed to find somebody who agreed with me."

In this week’s Here & Now DJ Session, host Jeremy Hobson speaks with KCRW DJ José Galván (@dj_josegalvan), whose latest favorites include unlikely bilingual heartthrob Cuco, British art rockers Django Django and Trio Da Kali of southern Mali.

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

Dec 2, 2017

Integrating both post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts into his palette with ease, Claudio Roditi plays with power and lyricism. This versatility has kept the trumpeter and flugelhorn player in demand as a leader, studio musician and sideman.

Having made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s, he was Marian McPartland's guest for this 1996 Piano Jazz session. With McPartland at the piano, Gary Mazzaroppi on bass and Roditi on his horn, the three dish up "I Remember April" and "Speak Low."

For someone from my generation, which grew up with the sound, it is a complete joy to see younger artists embrace soul music in such creative ways. Equally thrilling is to witness the genre's influence in Latin America and how it has been interpreted by the region's vocalists, whose first language may not have been English.

At a meeting in Geneva today, the treaty organization that shook the music industry with new trade regulations on rosewood took formal action to clarify and potentially ease some of the regulations.

Rosewood is a prized "tonewood" used for musical instruments from guitars to clarinets and oboes.

The treaty cracked down on the material's international movements late last year to combat worldwide depletion of rosewood trees, driven by China's burgeoning demand for rosewood furniture.

With the nominees recently announced, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards return to New York City, taking place at Madison Square Garden on January 28. Over the years, World Cafe has had numerous visits from those nominated and those who've won.

The Resilience Of Victoria Williams

Dec 2, 2017

You might think traditional West African music and Western classical music would share little common ground. But Ladilikan, the album from Mali's Trio Da Kali and San Francisco's Kronos Quartet is a welcome landmark in the history of unlikely musical collaborations.

Stunning singer-songwriter Angel Olsen stopped by our studio in the midst of some arena dates opening for Arcade Fire. She played favorites from her last two records with a full band, and played songs from the recently-released album Phases solo. "Sans" was simply breathtaking.

SET LIST

  • "Sans"

Photos: Steven Dewall/KCRW.

Brazil's Hermeto Pascoal is a legend among musicians and fans for his ability to conjure beautiful sounds out of just about anything — from tea kettles to PVC pipes to traditional woodwinds.

Moses Sumney puts a great deal of thought into the heartfelt music he creates. On his debut album, Aromanticism, he was inspired by everything from the works of Plato and Aristophanes' account of the origin of humanity to the Bible, particularly Genesis and the story of creation. It's all in an attempt to understand human relationships and the sorts of couplings we tend to be drawn to. But despite the working and reworking it took to put these ideas to song, and to then make his brilliant debut, there's a spontaneous side that you'll see in this Tiny Desk Concert.

Their cd release show will be at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza in Worthington on Saturday December 2.

The new one is titled "All The Feels".

Their last visit to studio A was back in December of 2016.

Find out what Honey And Blue has been up to since then.

That's on 90.5 FM and HD WCBE Columbus, 106.3 FM Newark, online at wcbe.org and on Apple Music.

Tom Misch is not just another British boy with a guitar. At just 22, the musical chameleon can play, produce, mix and self-edit his art without sacrificing its spark.

With his debut album on the way, the South East London singer-songwriter has released his video for "Movie."

Dhani Harrison's new record, IN///PARALLEL, feels a bit like walking through a lucid dream. It's complex and artful, and at first listen, maybe a little dark. But as he explains, he uses the dark to inspire catharsis, not fear. Dhani also told me he writes lyrics with caution: "You have to be careful with — with the words you use in the daytime, I think, because the English language, I think, is probably just a big magic spell, and when you say things they can tend to manifest."

Steely Dan, the artistic partnership of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (with a revolving cast of players), lasted nearly 50 years before Becker's death in early September. Now, a dispute between Fagen and Becker's estate, which is owned by his widow, Delia Cioffi, has put a bitter spin on the legacy of a warm, winking, coolly funky corner of pop.

LADAMA On Mountain Stage

Nov 21, 2017

A blend of rhythms and styles from their varying backgrounds, the music of LADAMA crosses musical boundaries and cultural borders. Here they perform songs from their self-titled debut record, including the bombastic "Porro Maracatu" and a cover of the protest song "Compared To What," most famously recorded by Les McCann and Roberta Flack.

Singer and songwriter Ledisi is a veteran R&B queen, which she immediately affirmed at the Tiny Desk with her powerful opening tune "Let Love Rule." It's the title song of her latest album, and a dazzling display of vocal range and technique. And yet, it hardly showcases the full scope of her artistic expertise. Classically trained, Ledisi is also celebrated as a jazz artist, which she clearly demonstrated when she broke out into a effortless scat outro on her second song, "I Blame You."

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