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In this session, we have some serious musicians who trained at a conservatory and make carefully arranged music with tricky harmonies. Sound like a recipe for fun? It is. This is Lake Street Dive we're talking about, and if you've heard any of the original music they make, you know they take all the most fun bits of pop, soul, disco, jazz, rock and roll and stitch them together into something all their own.

Most music-industry awards shows hand out armloads of trophies, but the Americana Music Association only gives out six. Besides a handful of lifetime achievement awards — which, for this year, have yet to be announced — the only categories are for best album, artist, duo/group, emerging artist, song and instrumentalist.

Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, whose bleak but often triumphantly arranged rock songs tackled depression, anxiety and self-doubt, was found dead at Port Edgar near South Queensberry, Scotland, around 8:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, Edinburgh Police confirmed in a statement provided to NPR. He was 36.

Spinal Tap Bassist Derek Smalls Is Back

Apr 10, 2018

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Soul music savant Leon Bridges has announced a new album, Good Thing, and with it, two new tracks.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Every band needs to refresh and reconsider its sound sooner or later, no matter how sharp it's gotten over the course of a long career. Creative stagnation comes for us all — even The Decemberists, a band whose records have always come bursting with verve and verbosity.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Seun Kuti was just 14 when he became the lead singer of Egypt 80 — the Nigerian band that had carried the infectious groove of Afrobeat worldwide under the direction of Seun's father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The musician says keeping the band together after Fela's death in 1997 was a way of sustaining his message — which often included railing against government corruption and social injustice.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

It's time to crank up the amps, warm up the drum machines, dust off the sax (or whatever your instrument of choice is) and enter the Tiny Desk Contest.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Empowerment anthems have had a good run since the early aughts, during which time we grew accustomed to hearing powerhouse pop singers turn downtrodden verses into launching pads for triumphant hooks. That tried-and-true way of displaying feminine strength made the moment of overcoming tribulation feel almost inevitable.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

WCBE and Woodland's Productions presents the FREE SweetWater Winter Sessions every Thursday through March 31st @ Woodland's Tavern!

Music starts at 7PM!

Jan. 14th     Year Of The Buffalo, Hocking River String Band

Jan. 21st     John Boerstler & The Sidewinders

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


You either get The Grateful Dead or you don't, to the point where it's virtually impossible to explain. So why bother?

Anyone who caught the national television debut of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats on The Tonight Show recently witnessed something special: the arrival of a force of nature. The song was titled "S.O.B." Rateliff, backed by his gritty band — which comes complete with an organist and a horn section — veered from whispery pleas to ecclesiastical howls.

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Pavement's minor MTV hit, "Cut Your Hair," came out in 1994, and the song's offbeat, ramshackle charm introduced the cult indie band to a broader audience. It also marked the end of an era. Pavement had been releasing records for five years at that point, most of them shaggier and noisier than the weirdly winning "Hair." Yet despite the absurdity and abrasiveness at its heart, the band had been swept into the alt-rock mania of the mid-'90s. The Secret History, Vol.

WCBE proudly presents First Aid Kit at The Newport Music Hall On Tuesday, July 21st!  The Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg are now touring in the U.S. in support of their critically acclaimed release Stay Gold and will be making a stop in Columbus!  Doors are at 7PM and Andy Shauf supports!

Tune in during the weekday music programs 9:15AM-3PM for more chances to win tickets to the show! 

It's all waiting for you on 90.5FM Columbus, 106.3FM Newark and on line at www.wcbe.org!

SweetWater's Heady Peddlers - Ohio Summertime Concert series presented by WCBE  will run every Wednesday July 15th - Aug. 26th!

Say the name "Les Paul" to anybody born after 1960, and they'll probably think you're talking about an electric guitar. But the musician and inventor, who was born 100 years ago Tuesday, was also an accomplished jazz guitarist. Paul was never happier than when playing for a live audience.

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