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Welcome to a brand-new season of New Music Friday! After a few quiet weeks, the flood gates are opening and we've got a whole bunch of essential albums dropping on Jan. 18 to tell you about. This includes the smart, sparkling pop of singer Maggie Rogers, swooning love songs from James Blake, deep introspection from Pedro The Lion's first new album in 15 years, pure joy from Toro y Moi and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson for this quick sprint through the essential releases for Jan. 18, the first busy drop date for the new year.

So far, Maggie Rogers has spent a healthy dose of her professional career as an online sensation. That may not sound strange given the Internet age, but in Rogers' case, it was entirely accidental.

Slingshot: 20 Artists To Watch In 2019

Jan 17, 2019

A new year calls for new discoveries, and 2019 is no different. As part of NPR Slingshot, member stations have chosen a select group of artists who are making this a promising year in music.

Packed with discoveries, our 2019 Artists To Watch list is more than just an unpredictable mix of jazz montages, complex grunge solos and unifying anthems. It's a diverse celebration of artists who've been here all along, but are only now getting to be heard.


Mike Farris is unflinchingly optimistic. You can read it on his Twitter, hear it in his music and feel it in conversation when you talk with him. He can even have a laugh about the name of the band he played in during his 20s while signed to Atlantic Records, The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies.

Damn The Witch Siren
Mitchell Multimedia

Columbus outfit Damn The Witch Siren will perform Live From Studio A in advance of the art party of the season at Wonderball At Columbus Museum Of Art!  

YouTube

There's a sense of voraciousness in Sasami Ashworth's musical resumé.

As a gay, left-wing woman living in the South, Indigo Girls' Amy Ray says she's in love with a place that doesn't always love her back. But she draws creative fuel from the differences of opinion and expresses gratitude for the village that's helped Ray and her partner raise their child in rural Georgia. On her latest solo album, Holler, Ray calls out the difference between Southern pride and Southern hate and imagines what Jesus might have thought of a border wall.

There are songwriters and then there are storytellers, and Steve Earle is very much the latter. His songs, such as "The Devil's Right Hand," "Copperhead Road" and "Guitar Town," have been sung by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and many, many more.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


By the early 1960s, Nina Simone was well-known to the world as a singer, songwriter and classically trained pianist. But around 1963, as race relations in America hit a boiling point, she made a sharp turn in her music — toward activism.

Sean McConnell returns to WCBE to perform Live From Studio A!  

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of The Byrds' album "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NOTHING WAS DELIVERED")

THE BYRDS: (Singing) Nothing was delivered. And I tell this truth to you.

The progressive bluegrass outfit The Wooks from Lexington, Kentucky will perform Live From Studio A in advance of the show the night at Woodland's Tavern with The Way Down Wanderers!

They're out on the road with their 2018 release  Glory Bound and you'll get to hear all about it on WCBE!

Today, we're traveling back 50 years to 1968 Memphis, Tenn. to take a peek inside one of the most influential recording studios, Stax Records. Co-founded by brother and sister Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, Stax was home to the likes of Otis Redding, the Staples Singers, Booker T.

In her Turning the Tables essay for NPR Music, singer-songwriter Kaia Kater extols Rhiannon Giddens' virtues as not only a singer, fiddler, banjoist and folklorist, but also as a reckoner of truth. "Throughout her career Giddens has been reaching towards something more imperative than the honors and praise she's received," Kater writes.

On Saturday night, Bruce Springsteen will perform, for the 236th and final night, Springsteen on Broadway, his intensely personal one-man show at the intimate, 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre. Just a couple of hours after that, Netflix will make public a document of the show, filmed during a July performance.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its newest class of inductees Thursday, one year to the day after the 2018 class was announced. From 15 nominees, seven remain. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • The Cure
  • Def Leppard
  • Janet Jackson
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Radiohead
  • Roxy Music
  • The Zombies

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

WCBE is looking forward to the long awaited return of the Bottle Rockets  to peform Live From Studio A!  

Bird Streets
Anna Azarov

Bird Streets will perform Live From Studio A in advance of the show that night at the Tree Bar!

Tune in for live music and conversation on 90.5FM Columbus, 106.3FM Newark and on line at www.wcbe.org!

LISTEN HERE!

Sugarcane Jane
Fred Salinas Photography

Sugarcane Jane will perform Live From Studio A in advance of their show that night at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza & Live Music in Worthington!

They're out on the road with their brand new release Southern State Of Mind produced by Anthony Crawford and Buzz Cason.

Tune in for live music, conversation and a chance to win tickets to the show!

Columbus reggae outfit The Quasi Kings will perform Live From Studio A in advance of their EP release show for Throwaway Culture on Saturday, Dec. 8th at Woodland's Tavern presented by WCBE! 

Liz Cooper
Courtesy of Sacks and Co.

Liz Cooper & The Stampede will join us Live From Studio A in advance of the show that night at The Newport with Phosphorescent presented by WCBE!  

Tune in for live music, conversation and a chance to win tickets to the show!

Rubblebucket
Shervin Lainez

Rubblebucket will return to WCBE to perform Live From Studio A during the Global Village!

They're out on the road with their latest release Sun Machine and were happy they're making a stop in Columbus!

That night you can catch them over at Skully's with And The Kids.

CAAMP
Josh Wool

WCBE is looking forward to the return of CAAMP to perform Live From Studio A during the Global Village!  

Bobby Rush
Rick Olivier

WCBE is looking forward to hosting legendary bluesman and Grammy award winner Bobby Rush Live From Studio A!  

WCBE is looking forward to the return of Aaron Lee Tasjan with his band to perform Live From Studio A in advance of the show at the Rumba Cafe with Brandy Zdan!

He's out on the road with his brand new release Karma For Cheap and we're excited he'll be coming back home for a show in Columbus!

Kendall @softcrowdclassic via Instagram

With three full-length releases to his credit, Aaron Lee Tasjan has earned quite the following from music fans. 

Ha Ha Tonka
Jason Conulsen

WCBE is looking forward to the return of Ha Ha Tonka to perform Live From Studio A in advance of their show that night at the Rumba Cafe!

Tune in for live music, conversation and a chance to win tickets to the show!

It's all waiting for you on 90.5FM Columbus, 106.3FM Newark and on line at www.wcbe.org!

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