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.

Brian Blauser

First Family of the Banjo Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn return to Mountain Stage this week, with songs from the first album they've recorded together as a duo.

Brian Blauser

This week's special Thanksgiving weekend broadcast of Mountain Stage features a performance by bluegrass icons the Traveling McCourys, who are joined onstage by acoustic music hero Keller Williams. When playing together, they're known to explore sounds ranging from the traditional to jazz and jamband, along with covers of well-known pop songs. Here they perform Jessie J's hit "Price Tag," recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston.

Josh Saul

An 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 this year, when the show visited 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 her 11 member road band, which includes a 4 piece horn section, Martina McBride performs the Willie Dixon-penned 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 was inspired a recent trip she took through the American deep south. She performs the song live on Mountain Stage, backed by her partner in life and music, guitarist and producer John Leventhal.

Josh Saul

Jason Isbell took home top honors last night at the 2014 American Music Association's awards ceremony in Nashville; winning  Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Cover Me Up." Isbell perfomed "Cover Me Up" when he visited Mountain Stage last year, backed by his wife Amanda Shires on violin.

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 has formed the heavily pop-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 return 22 years later to perform some of their most beloved songs, including this favorite, "Walk on the Ocean."

Josh Saul

Earlier in the year, Mountain Stage staffers each picked a single performance to be featured as bonus content on the "best of" USB drives that are given away as pledge premiums. Associate Producer Jeff Shirley chose "Wreck" by singer-songwriter Mieka Pauley:

Brian Blauser

Bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers appear on this week's broadcast of Mountain Stage, fresh off their Grammy award-winning collaborations with Steve Martin. Here they perform the title track from their latest album, "Tell The Ones I Love."

Brian Blauser

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott are two of roots music's most formidable singer-songwriters in their own right, but when they join forces, the results are nothing less than spectacular. Here they perform "It All Comes Down to Love," from their acclaimed collaboration Memories and Moments.

Josh Saul

Singer-songwriter Brett Dennen was so beloved by the audience in Charleston that he was asked to perform an encore at the end of his set - a Mountain Stage rarity. Here he is performing "Don't Mess With Karma," from this week's special encore broadcast.

Josh Saul

Jesse Winchester - who passed away this April - visited Mountain Stage 8 times during his career; always captivating the audience with his nimble lyrics and trademark low-key delivery. A songwriter's songwriter in the truest sense, he had come to count Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffet and Neko Case among his most vocal fans. Winchester continued to create amazing new music until the end of his life, including the instant Mountain Stage staff favorite "Never Forget to Boogie," which was recorded during his final appearance on the show in October of 2014.

Brian Blauser

Many have tried - but the late Jesse Winchester was among the elite group of songwriters who could truly captivate an audience with just his words, his voice, and an acoustic guitar. Here he preforms one of his most beloved tunes, "That's What Makes You Strong," in front of an entranced Morgantown audience during his final Mountain Stage appearance, recorded in October of last year.

Dave Mason
Brian Blauser

English singer-songwriter and musician Dave Mason has had his hand in countless classic rock staples, including his chart-topping single "We Just Disagree." He performs it here, on the special 800th episode of Mountain Stage.

Josh Saul

For this week's rebroadcast of the 800th episode of Mountain Stage, we have a special bonus Song of the Week: "Most People" by California rock band Dawes. It's been a staff favorite since it was first released last year, and the Mountain Stage performance of the song features extended guitar work by frontman Taylor Goldsmith that isn't usually heard in other broadcasts.

Josh Saul

Based out of her hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts, Lori McKenna has become one of Nashville's most in-demand singer-songwriters. Here she performs "If I Could By This Town," on an episode of Mountain Stage recorded on the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

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