Blues

On her wonderful new album The Question, Anna Tivel zooms in on the kinds of people who don't usually get the red carpet treatment and makes them the stars of her songs. From the janitor sweeping up garbage at the theater late at night to a mother experiencing homelessness, Tivel's characters are so vivid and nuanced that each song could sustain its own feature film.

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Gary Clark Jr. had good reason to sweat. The blues-rock singer and guitarist opted to play his first-ever Tiny Desk concert — in front of a huge crowd that warmed the room considerably — while clad in a thick knit cap and heavy jacket. Plus, he'd brought his young son on tour with him and had to contend with a traditional parenting dilemma: How do you bring your kid to the office and still get work done?

When blues legend Buddy Guy calls you the real deal, that's no small compliment. Recently, Guy bestowed that honor on Mary Lane. After years of flying under the national radar, Lane has released a new album and is getting a well-deserved burst of recognition.

No ticket required! Nashville's WMOT Roots Radio is once again headed to Austin for SXSW 2019, presenting you with five straight days of live music.

To celebrate the release of his third studio album, Gary Clark Jr. performed music from This Land live on KCRW. A lot has changed in Gary's personal life and political outlook since his last album in 2015 — including marriage, two kids and two presidents — all of which has clearly informed this latest release and makes it his most intimate to date.

Every month, NPR member stations in our public radio network let us know what's been on repeat in their worlds to meet your music discovery and streaming needs.

You can expect an epic piano anthem from Florence + The Machine, Kehlani's sassy new dance-floor bop and an acoustic drive-by ballad by Oshima Brothers in this month's playlist. Below are some newfound favorites, all written from the voices of public radio stations across the country.

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks juggle the chaotic life of raising a family while also fronting the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band. The band's latest album, Signs, released on Feb. 15, explores that balancing act while also transforming grief and confusion into art.

A small moment of anger pushed Grammy-winning artist Gary Clark Jr. to create the unapologetic, seething song "This Land."

What is the blues? To some, it's a feeling; to others, a beer-selling brand. Adia Victoria captures the spirits of the blues in a simple phrase: black genius.

While accepting the Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for Please Don't Be Dead, Fantastic Negrito gave a shout-out to the Tiny Desk concerts series, which he said changed the course of his life and offered hope when he'd almost given up.

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