Live Music

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player. Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Little Ugly performed live on WNPR's Where We Live from our pop-up radio storefront. If you couldn't make it to our pop-up radio storefront, relive it here.

Illustration by Johnnie Cluney / Daytrotter

New London's Daphne Lee Martin is making a national name for herself. Earlier this year, she released a new album called Moxie and went on to tour throughout the country. 

Most recently, she stopped off in Chicago during a tour in the Midwest, which is where Daytrotter is located. Daytrotter records sessions with a range of musicians like The Civil Wars, Iron & Wine, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Deer Tick.

An Ode to Opera

Nov 6, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, the New York City Opera-- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

Neko Case: Live Tiny Desk Concert

Oct 31, 2013

It's Halloween! Watch a live Tiny Desk Concert featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, as well as Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf. Case is keeping her outfit under wraps for now, but promises a reveal worthy of the occasion.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Little Ugly has become a staple of the Hartford music scene. They were named the "Best Indie Rock" band at the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards and were referred to as "one of the hardest working bands you'll ever encounter." Their latest release is called Where the River's Born and we'll talk with Little Ugly and hear some music.

Chion Wolf

Today you're going to meet the new State Troubadour, Kristen Graves, and renew your acquaintance with three former troubadours.

Chion Wolf

If Sean Spellman’s life was captured in a TV show, it’d be Portlandia. He’s a bearded guy - whose rootsy, folky rock band Quiet Life tours the country in a van powered by used vegetable oil.  And yeah, they’re based in Portland.

But get beneath the surface a bit, and Spellman’s an east coast guy - raised in New London CT and the Jersey shore, he wears his complicated love for New England on his sleeve, and has a spot in is heart for Springsteen, like any good Jersey guy would.

The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. The group just followed its dynamite 2012 album Look Out Mama with a Kickstarter-funded collection of covers (and two originals) called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor.

Raised in Alabama and based in Brooklyn, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck makes moody, searching, raggedly pretty music that reflects the sounds of both his respective homes. But there's also a wise, homesick weariness to Houck's voice that transcends time and place: Listen at just the right time, and a Phosphorescent record feels like a warm conversation with a friend who understands loneliness.

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles makes some of the most good-natured chamber-pop music around, led by the unmistakably kind voice of Matt Bishop. Naturally, given the band's size, Hey Marseilles gets to make the most of a wide array of warm sounds, from cello and viola to horns and accordions, but those ingredients are all wisely wrapped around songwriting that exudes sweet, hooky sunshine.

JD McPherson provides a refreshing reminder that retro roots music isn't timid: His debut album, Signs & Signifiers, synthesizes blues and rockabilly and old-school rock 'n' roll with an unmistakable punk spirit. Throughout the record, he finds the delicate balance between a classic, traditionalist sound and the understanding that the styles he's emulating are rooted in rebellion, menace and even danger.

The Boston band Kingsley Flood has spent the last few years polishing, refining and expanding its folk-rock sound, in the process incorporating horns, more strings and ever-brighter production. The sextet sounds more confident than ever on its new album, Battles, which continues to explore some of Kingsley Flood's favorite subject matter: the balance of hopes and dreams, expectations and the everyday.

Chion Wolf

The music of Caravan of Thieves is just about what you'd expect from a band with that name.

Their gypsy-rock hybrid has won them legions of fans around the country - a community they lovingly call "Freaks." And they’re back home, playing in Stafford Springs tomorrow night at the Palace Theater.

Today, we'll talk to this Connecticut-based band that's fronted by husband and wife duo Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni.

Chion Wolf

What can you say about the Blues? Maybe more than any other musical form, it exists to explore the ineffable -- and to guide us almost wordlessly along that corridor connecting sorrow to joy.