Mountain Stage Song of the Week

Every Thursday

For over 30 years, Mountain Stage has been the home of live music on public radio. Recorded in front of a live audience, every episode features performances from seasoned legends and emerging stars in genres including indie rock, folk, blues, world music and beyond. Each week, host Larry Groce hand picks his Song of The Week from the two hour broadcast. Produced in West Virginia and distributed by NPR, Mountain Stage can be heard every week on 200 stations across America and around the world via NPR Music and mountainstage.org.

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Warren Zevon was a beloved cult hero in the world of rock music. Born in Chicago but raised on the West Coast, Zevon began his music career as a classical piano student before broadening his admiration of Stravinsky to The Everly Brothers and other folk and pop icons.

Zevon’s stoic vocals and gallows songwriting led to critical acclaim and popular success, eventually leading to his 1978 hit “Werewolves of London.” Although he could certainly be “Mr. Bad Example,” Zevon was an artist’s artist, one that we were proud to welcome twice to the Mountain Stage

Judith Owen
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

If Judith Owen had not gone off to become a powerhouse singer-songwriter, she could have easily become a full-time humorist with her sharp wit and self-deprecating charm.

For her fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, the Welsh chanteuse is joined by Brazilian percussionist Pedro Segundo and the legendary bassist Leland Sklar for a performance of "We Give In," which you can also hear during this week's broadcast.

Margo Price
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

Country's next superstar, critically-acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price performs "Hurtin' (on the Bottle)" on this week's brand new broadcast of Mountain Stage

Pokey LaFarge
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

"An aural anachronism of country, Western swing, ragtime, jazz, bluegrass and Americana [that] brings the nostalgia to Technicolor-life," critically-acclaimed Mid-Westerner Pokey LaFarge performs a rollicking "Hard Times Come and Go" during his four appearance on Mountain Stage with special guest host Todd Burge. 

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

On this week's brand new Mountain Stage broadcast, critically-acclaimed "one-man orchestra of the imagination" Andrew Bird stops by with a set full of classically-trained folk-pop (not to mention some A+ whistling).

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

On this week's brand new Mountain Stage broadcast, West Virginia super pickers Johnny Staats & Robert Shafer return with a new self-released record in tow titled Music from the Mountains, featuring this upbeat performance titled "El Cumbanchero." 

Amos Perrine / Mountain Stage

 

Piers Faccini is an English singer-songwriter with Anglo-Italian and Jewish roots who currently resides in Southern France. His music is just as storied as his past, blending folk, acoustic blues, and West African textures into his sound. For his Mountain Stage debut, he performs an even more colorful rendition of "Cloak of Blue" during this week's broadcast.

Sam Beam, Iron & Wine
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

An ear for cinematic folk music, critically-acclaimed singer Iron & Wine performs "We Two are a Moon" during his Mountain Stage debut during the show's 33rd anniversary celebration. 

This week's broadcast also features performances from Tift Merritt, Todd Burge, Paper Bird, and Andy Shauf.

Catch Iron & Wine's performance of this song on Mountain Stage's VuHaus channel.

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Roots rock standard-bearers the Bottle Rockets return to Mountain Stage this week. Here the Bottle Rockets perform their song "Dog," which showcases lead singer Brian Henneman's irreverent humor, as well as his love for his canine friend.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Since they first met as students in Syracuse, New York, Ra Ra Riot has put a decade of experience performing under its collective belt. They draw influence from the experimental side classic rock like The Police and Talking Heads, but they also feature a small string section, which sometimes leads to their music being called "chamber pop," like in this performance of "Water."

Wilco, Jeff Tweedy, Space Oddity
Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Since their formation as an alt-country influenced group in the mid 90's, Chicago-based band Wilco have evolved into the de facto standard bearers for experimental and indie rock. They close their Mountain Stage set this week with a cover of the late David Bowie's masterpiece "Space Oddity."

Listen: Larry Groce Perform on NPR's Mountain Stage

Feb 1, 2017
Larry Groce
Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Although he's hosted over 850 episodes, it's been a long time since Mountain Stage host Larry Groce has performed a set of his own on the show. But he does this week, with songs from his first album in over two decades, Live Forever.

This week's broadcast also features performances from seminal indie pop band Guster, established singer and entertainer Robert Earl Keen, and Americana folk band The Westies.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Since their formation in 2000, Portland-based indie rock band Blitzen Trapper have played nearly every major festival in America and shared the stage with the likes of Iron & Wine and Wilco. Here they play "Black River Killer" from this week's encore broadcast of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce.

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys
Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Keeping one foot in their native Michigan's Mowtown soul and another in Music City, bluegrass-inspired ensemble Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys delivered one of our favorite performances of 2015. You can listen to their entire set on this week's encore broadcast of Mountain Stage.

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Best known for his 1971 acoustic pop hit "Sunshine," Jonathan Edwards also has a solid background in country, folk, and bluegrass music. Here he performs the traditional song "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground," from this week's encore broadcast of Mountain Stage.

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

From Northampton, Massachusetts, beloved folk-rocker Stephen Kellogg returns to Mountain Stage this week with a band that includes Miranda Mulholland of the Great Lake Swimmers. He closes his 2015 set with crowd favorite "The Bear" on this week's encore broadcast.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

 

Singer and songwriter Craig Finn is best known as the frontman of the raucous punk-influenced rock band The Hold Steady. But in his solo work, Finn turns his focus to quiet themes of perseverance and redemption, as we can hear on this Mountain Stage performance of "Christine" from his latest album Faith in the Future.

Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

Over the course of nearly half a century, NRBQ - which stands for "New Rhythm and Blues Quartet" - has earned the distinction of being one of the most finely tuned bands in America, with plenty of swing. Lead by founder and pianist Terry Adams, Scott Ligon takes the lead on this Mountain Stage performance of "Waitin' on my Sweetie Pie."

Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

As Don Henley's long-time writing partner, JD Souther has had his hands in some of the most memorable pop songs of all time,  including "The New Kid in Town" and "Best of My Love." But here, Souther teams up with Mountain Stage favorite Nellie McKay to cover another legendary songwriter: Cole Porter's standard "Every Time We Say Goodbye."

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Once part of the Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars, Southern folk musician John Paul White returns to the Mountain Stage to perform cuts from his new solo release Beulah, including the atmospheric lament "Once and Future Queen." 

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