Music

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“Sometimes it’s hard to know who my biggest fans are,” says Mia Doi Todd, settling into a phone conversation from her home in Los Angeles. On the line to discuss her latest release, Songbook, a record that finds the singer focusing on some of her favorite songs by other writers, Todd remains curious about the divides in American popular music. Her eclectic range has seen her release albums that have found critics placing her in the world, folk and indie categories though any one record easily defies easy classification. 

NPR Music is once again asking unknown bands and musicians all over the country to film themselves performing one song at a desk of their choice. The contest will be sponsored for the third year by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and the winner will play NPR’s famous Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C., before embarking on a U.S. tour that includes appearances at a taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another and at events hosted by NPR Music and Lagunitas, in partnership with Member stations, throughout the country.

Here's all of the who, what, when and whatnot: 

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Sunday, January 15

Sunday on Soulsations Gospel singers Darwin Hobbs and Karen Clark Sheard sing a tribute song to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It's featured on the HBO movie soundtrack Boycott.  The slain civil rights leader would have been 88 today, January 15th.  We’ll also feature the sounds of Honey In The Rock, The Isley Brothers and The Staple Singers.  Find out more about MLK events this holiday weekend at kmuw.org.

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Wednesday, January 11

On My Way is the latest release from Kansas-based trio Split Lip Rayfield. We’ll hear selections from that recording on this episode of the show as well as music from Cy J. Hamilton’s 2016 effort This Is What It Is.

Thursday, January 12

Monday, January 9

As part of the January feature looking back at 2016 in world music, Global Village remembers many of the world music artists who passed away last year – including Esma, Gato Barbieri, Leonard Cohen, Angus Grant of Shooglenifty, Prince Buster, Buckwheat Zydeco, Papa Wemba and more.

Tuesday, January 10

January 13/15

Crossroads continues the January Best of 2016 feature with more show favorites and blues Grammy nominees, including Lurrie Bell, the Rolling Stones, Magic Same, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Meters and more.

Plus remembering the far too many artists who passed away last year, including Long John Hunter, Barrelhouse Chuck, Lonnie Mack, Sharon Jones, Maurice White, Buckwheat Zydeco, Candye Kane, Mose Allison and more.

Kevin Winter

When Aaron Watson released his album The Underdog in early 2015, he believed it was good, but wasn't expecting it to make history. When it arrived in stores and online that year, the album debuted at the top of Billboard's country albums chart, becoming the first independent record to do so.

Its success, Watson says, was due to more than a decade of hard work in the country music scene and plenty of preparation.

Sunday, January 8

Sunday on Soulsations, hear California East Bay vocalist, poet, actress, African drummer and musician, AhSa-Ti Nu. Her debut release REBORN soulfully combines old school R&B, classical jazz, reggae roots with a little funk on top. AhSa-Ti Nu studied at Wichita State University and is a Wichita Heights High School graduate.

Here's the single "My Pharaoh" from her latest release. 

Saturday, January 7

It's Zoo Tunes tonight on New Settles' Radio Hour, with a compilation of performances from the Sedgwick County Zoo Summer Concert Series.  This show includes bayou-blues queen Marcia Ball, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, A Roomful of Blues and more. Great shows, great crowds!

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