Blues

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

No matter what you listen to in your life right now, no matter how far your musical tastes have come, the music you grew up with will always be special. Today's guest, Boz Scaggs, can tell you that firsthand. He played with the Steve Miller Band in the '60s and became a household name in the '70s thanks to songs like "Lido Shuffle" and albums like Silk Degrees.

The XPoNential Music Festival, presented by Subaru, offers an unparalleled experience for music discovery. With a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists, the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, N.J.

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.

Harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet has played with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran ... even Prince. But his biggest fan and supporter is Dave Chappelle, who worked with the Normandy native on Dave Chappelle's Juke Joint, a series of intimate parties featuring Yonnet, his Band With No Name, and an all-star cast of unannounced special guests.

Over the years, some bands who've released recording debuts have launched their careers with a single from the album that, in many cases, was the first song on the first side of their record. In the business, these songs are called "lead-off tracks," denoting the first in a series of songs on an album.

Shemekia Copeland On Mountain Stage

Jul 3, 2018

As Larry Groce mentions in his introduction, the daughter of Blues Music Hall of Fame member Johnny Copeland is anything but predictable. Her albums have been produced by the likes of Dr. John and Steve Cropper. For 2015's Outskirts of Love, Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers manned the board.

Marcia Ball On Piano Jazz

Jun 22, 2018

Pianist, vocalist and songwriter Marcia Ball brings together Texas blues with Louisiana flavors, melding boogie-woogie, zydeco and Swamp Rock. Influenced by artists of the region, such as Janis Joplin, Ball first came to the blues as a child by listening to Etta James and learned the piano through a mix of formal and informal lessons.

Described by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys as the "greatest soul singer alive," Robert Finley joined us for a live session. His story is a quintessential American one of perseverance. He's loved music and performing his whole life, and now finally released his first album in his early 60s.

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