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.

Brian Blauser

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

Brian Blauser

Singer, Songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint was not only a New Orleans institution, but musician's musician who was responsible for many of the most popular tunes in the American songbook.

Listen to James McMurtry on Mountain Stage

Jan 27, 2016
Brian Blauser

Acclaimed singer-songwriter James McMurtry makes his 10th appearance on Mountain Stage this weekend, with songs from his first new album in 7 years, Complicated Game.

Josh Saul

It's always a special occasion when Ray Wylie Hubbard returns to Mountain Stage.

Josh Saul

In January 2015, Blitzen Trapper, Birds of Chicago, Wild Child, Ruby Amanfu and Suitcase Junket joined Larry Groce onstage for a special Mountain Stage finale song - David Bowie's "Heroes."

Brian Blauser

Born and raised in the Clay County West Virginia town of Ivydale; David Morris and his brother John became an important link between oldtime masters like Ira Mullins and the new breed of folk and traditional artists in West Virginia.

Listen to Mac McAnally on Mountain Stage

Jan 5, 2016
Brian Blauser

Like many of the most beloved artists who perform on Mountain Stage, singer-songwriter and guitarist Mac McAnally may not be a household name, but his music might as well be.

Listen to Black Prairie on Mountain Stage

Dec 29, 2015
Brian Blauser

Black Prairie began as a bluegrass-influenced side project lead by 3 of the 5 members of indie rock band The Decemberists. 

Brian Blauser

It's no stretch to call Catherine Russell one of the most respected and versatile singers working today.

Listen to Craig Finn on Mountain Stage

Dec 10, 2015
Josh Saul

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. Here he perfroms the song "Christine," from his latest album Faith in the Future.

Listen to NRBQ on Mountain Stage

Dec 2, 2015
Josh Saul

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 the song "Waitin' on my Sweetie Pie."

Listen to Dawes on Mountain Stage

Nov 24, 2015
Brian Blauser

For the Thanksgiving holiday, Mountain Stage revisits one of its favorite broadcasts of this decade - a 2011 show which featured Jason Isbell, James McMurtry, Blitzen Trapper and Matthew Sweet. The episode closes with a set from Dawes, who perform this song, "A Little Bit of Everything."

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.

Josh Saul

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

Lead by songwriter and guitarist Taylor Goldsmith, California rock band Dawes make their 4th appearance on this week's encore broadcast of Mountain Stage. Here they perform the song "Things Happen," from their latest album "All Your Favorite Bands," produced by David Rawlings.

Listen to Chip Taylor on Mountain Stage

Aug 25, 2015
Chip Taylor on Mountain Stage
Josh Saul

Singer, songwriter, golf pro, and nationally recognized horse race handicapper Chip Taylor may actually be the Most Interesting Man in the World. While he's written hits like "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning," one of his best known solo albums was his country-influenced "This Side of the Big River," which featured a cover of the famous Johnny Cash tune of the same name. He performs it live on this week's broadcast of Mountain Stage.

Listen to Shovels & Rope On Mountain Stage

Aug 19, 2015
Brian Blauser

Husband and wife duo Shovels & Rope return to this week’s broadcast of Mountain Stage with songs from their latest album, Swimmin’ Time. Here they perform the song “Evil,” which showcases their passionate harmonies and uncharacteristically dark lyrics.

Listen to Jill Barber on Mountain Stage

Aug 12, 2015
Josh Saul

While singer-songwriter Jill Barber’s smoky, soulful voice has made her an alt-cabaret favorite on Canada's folk scene, she’s also known for penning songs with timeless hooks and melodies. Here she performs “Broken for Good,” from this week’s premiere broadcast of Mountain Stage.

Josh Saul

It's been said that singer, songwriter and performer Judith Owen displays the depth of Carole King with the European flair of Annie Lennox.

Listen to Chris Smither on Mountain Stage

Jul 29, 2015
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."

Listen to Martina McBride on Mountain Stage

Jul 15, 2015
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."

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.

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.

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