Mountain Stage Song of the Week

Every Wednesday

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 more than 130 stations across America, and around the world via NPR Music and mountainstage.org.

Josh Saul

The undisputed master of acoustic blues guitar,  Chris Smither's  songwriting often draws on the influences of poets, folk singers, philosophers and humorists. Now in his 5th decade of making music, Smither made his 13th appearance on Mountain Stage last year when the show returned to the lakeside town of Grand Marais, Minnesota. Here he performs "Get a Better One," recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School.

Brian Blauser

Roane County, West Virginia native Dave Bing is a veteran fiddle teacher and musician, with decades and performing throughout the United States and abroad. He's backed here by fellow West Virginian Ben Townsend (of beloved stringband The Fox Hunt) on banjo and vocals for "Red Mountain Wine."

Josh Saul

Although she's a bona fide country music superstar, on this week's episode of Mountain Stage Martina McBride explores her rhythm and blues side. Backed by her 11 member road band, which includes a 4 piece horn section, McBride performs the Little Walter classic "My Babe."

Brian Blauser

Whether you call it progressive rock, progressive improvisation or "improg," the force of Umphrey's McGee's musicianship cannot be denied. On any give night they can be found performing for thousands of screaming fans, but on this week's broadcast of Mountain Stage, they deliver a special performance for a sold-out crowd of 400. Here they are performing "Comma Later," live in Charleston.

Josh Saul

Rosanne Cash's song "A Feather's Not a Bird" comes from her latest album, "River and the Thread," which earned her a Grammy for Best Americana performance earlier this year. She performs the song live on Mountain Stage, backed by her partner in life and music, guitarist and producer John Leventhal.

Brian Blauser

With his trademark humor and razor-sharp insight, singer-songwriter Paul Thorn asks a question about the state of the world today as only he can: "What the Hell is Going On?"

Brian Blauser

After nearly  two decades fronting iconic emo band Dashboard Confessional, Chris Carrabba formed the heavily pop and Americana influenced acoustic quartet Twin Forks. Here they perform "Kiss Me Darling," from their self-titled debut.

Brian Blauser

Hitmakers Toad the Wet Sprocket made their first appearance on Mountain Stage near the beginning of their career in 1992. They returned 22 years later to perform some of their most beloved songs, including this favorite, "Walk on the Ocean."

Josh Saul

Proclaiming “It’s not retro music, it’s American music that never died,” Pokey LaFarge takes to this week's Mountain Stage with songs from his new album," Something in the Water, including this one, "Wanna Be Your Man."

Brian Blauser

The tight harmonies and furious guitar picking of the Milk Carton Kids recall the sounds of legendary folk duos like Simon and Garfunkel, along with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings. They make their second appearance on this week's broadcast of Mountain Stage, bringing with them this song, "City of our Lady."

Brian Blauser

Since they emerged in the mid 1990's, bluegrass band The Gibson Brothers have won nearly every award and accolade the genre has to offer; earning a place alongside great sibling duos like The Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and West Virginia's own Lilly Brothers. But here, they take on the harmonies of Don and Phil Everly, with their own version of the beloved early rock standard "Bye Bye Love."

Brian Blauser

Alt-country-rock masters Drive-By Truckers return to Mountain Stage this weekend with a preview of the sounds from their "Dirt Underneath" tour.  Inspired by a character in book he'd just finished, singer Patterson Hood wrote the song "Pauline Hawkins" in a single day.

Wikicommons

"Technically, I think I'm a crap singer. I don't have the chops, but I know that I can move people and I can touch them. That interests me more."

The proliferation of  singing talent shows on American TV all suggest that prodigious vocal technique, along with the singing of as many notes (plus ornamentations) is the pinnacle of musical expression.

Wrong.

More is not better. Quality is not defined by quantity.

Brian Blauser

It's been suggested that the Earls of Leicester (pronounced "Lester") might well be one of the greatest band  name puns of all time.

Brian Blauser

One of acoustic folk and blues' most respected singers, songwriters, and guitarists; Eric Bibb closes this week's all new broadcast of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce. Here he plays the song "New World Comin' Through."

The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience featuring Del McCoury on guitar and vocals play "Little Georgia Rose," live on Mountain Stage, recorded April 9th, 1989.

Brian Blauser

Mountain Stage ventures looks back at a classic show from 2008 this week, featuring Swedish indie folk singer and songwriter Jose Gonzalez.

This week, Mountain Stage dips into its 30 year archive of live music to visit a 1999 performance by acclaimed songwriter Randy Newman.

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Whether you're listening over the air or joining us in person -or both- Mountain Stage has a lot of great music cued up for you this weekend.

Brian Blauser

Singer, Songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint is not only a New Orleans institution, but he's had his hands in many of the most popular tunes in the American songbook.

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