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'You Can Always Come Home': Alan Jackson On Family And Bluegrass

Jackson's newest release, The Bluegrass Album, is exactly what its title promises: a collection of bluegrass covers, as well as some originals written in the style. Here, the country superstar discusses the personal stories behind the record.
NPR

Syleena Johnson And Musiq Soulchild, Making Music In Nine Days

Take two R&B heavyweights with a love of reggae, put them in the studio for nine days, and what do you get? Host Michel Martin speaks with Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson about their new albumm 9INE.
NPR

As Artistic Freedoms Dwindle, A Tunisian Rapper Is On The Run

Rapper Klay BBJ's mother says he was arrested and beaten over a song he performed that criticized police. Human Rights Watch says his case is one in a series of prosecutions targeting artists' freedom of speech.
NPR

For Families In Crisis, A Songwriter Offers Humor And Empathy

After his daughter Clio was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, Boston-based singer Alastair Moock turned to music. His latest album is called Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids.
NPR

Lucy Schwartz Is In Love With Her Own Voice, And That's OK

Frequently on her new album Timekeeper, Schwartz sounds like a throwback to another era. Her singing sometimes possesses the spirit of a more lighthearted Laura Nyro, and she has a healthy fondness for The Beatles.
NPR

Kings Of Leon: Back With The 'Comeback Story Of A Lifetime'

Mechanical Bull is Kings of Leon's comeback record after a two-year hiatus brought about by a memorable onstage breakdown. The gritty Southern rock group is ready to pick up where its members left off.
NPR

Ray LaMontagne On World Cafe

No longer a solo act, the singer-songwriter and his band The Pariah Dogs released God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise in 2010. In this archival recording, check out their old-school Americana on stage at WXPN in Philadelphia.
NPR

A More Reflective Leap On Elton John's 'Diving Board'

The pop star has a flair for the extravagant, to say the least, but his new album is stripped down. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the "Elton John excess," his fear of sex as a young man, and how Liberace's example encouraged John to make the piano a star instrument.
NPR

?uestlove And Elvis Costello On Writing Together

Costello has teamed with hip-hop legends The Roots for one of the more unusual, invigorating musical partnerships of the year. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Costello and Roots bandleader Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson about the new album Wise Up Ghost.
NPR

Walking The Sunset Strip, A Fading Beacon Of Cool

West Hollywood's Sunset Strip used to be the home of the city's hottest music venues — places that launched the careers of everyone from The Doors to Jane's Addiction — but has lost a lot of its influence over the years. NPR's Arun Rath visits the Strip with L.A. Times writer August Brown.

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