Blues

There's been a lot of talking recently. A lot of words. A lot of people talking, arguing, debating, shouting slogans at you. So today we present a giant playlist of songs with no words: 100 instrumental jams to clear your head. You can groove, you can surf, you can even "East St Louis Toodle-Oo."

On her new album, Uncivil War, blues singer Shemekia Copeland tells the story of what's thought to be the last slave ship to smuggle African captives to American shores, the Clotilda. On the centerpiece track, she sings:

She's coming for you, hear the chains rattle,
Turn you into a slave, another piece of chattel

Kingfish: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Oct 20, 2020

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Sometimes bass guitar can be an overlooked instrument. Sometimes it gets relegated to the background. But today, it's a 62-song playlist that's all about that bass. We asked our social followers "What is the greatest bass riff of all time?" and they delivered.

When you speak with The War and Treaty, you can feel the love that Tanya Blount-Trotter and Michael Trotter Jr have for each other and their fans, whom they credit as helping create the bubble of acceptance that is the duo's latest album, Hearts Town.

Title tracks often capture the mood, vibe and direction of an album.

In the liner notes to John Coltrane's 1964 album Live At Birdland, Amiri Baraka (then writing as Le Roi Jones) contemplated the gift the saxophonist and his band offered with this music inspired by the horrific deaths of four Black girls in a Birmingham church bombing inspired by white supremacist hatred. "Listen," Baraka wrote. "What we're given is a slow delicate introspective sadness, almost hopelessness, except for Elvin [Jones], rising in the background like something out of nature... a fattening thunder, storm clouds or jungle war clouds.

When Jason Molina died in 2013, the 39-year-old singer-songwriter left behind a mountain of works: wrenching solo albums, released under his own name and as Songs: Ohia, as well as louder electric recordings with his band Magnolia Electric Co. In 2007, Molina had amassed such a backlog of unreleased songs that he by

While Nashville's standard studio music-making processes remain at a quarantined standstill, here's another roundup of compelling new and recent music from visitors, part-timers, newcomers and lifers alike.


Today has been officially declared Public Radio Music Day across the country. It's a day to celebrate public radio, music and the people who love and support it. We're proud to be a part of the longstanding public radio tradition of helping you discover new artists, supporting the weird and wonderful and diving deep into the artists you love while going off the beaten musical path — and, as we discovered while doing some crate digging here at World Cafe, it's a love that goes both ways.

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