WUNC Music

Dom Flemons
Tim Duffy / Music Maker

This is episode two from season two of American Songster Radio.

Black Cowboys
Tim Duffy / Music Maker

This is episode three from season two of American Songster Radio.

Charles Henry Flemons (Dom's father) in Texas with Cousin Slick
From Flemons Family Collection

This is epsidoe four from season two of American Songster Radio.

Black Cowboys
Tim Duffy

This is episode five from season two of American Songster Radio.

Dom Flemons' "Black Cowboys"
Tim Duffy

This is the sixth and final episode from season two of American Songster Radio.

A single voice can send a powerful message - and that's just what Jim James did at the Tiny Desk, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar. His lead-off song, "I'm Amazed," comes from My Morning Jacket's 2008 album Evil Urges. It's a prophetic song in many ways - it speaks not only of a divided nation and the need for justice but also to the beauty in the life and plight of others.

WATCH "Black Woman" By Dom Flemons Video Premiere

Oct 25, 2018
Vania Kinard
Tim Duffy

WUNC is proud to present the world premiere of the video for "Black Woman" performed by Dom Flemons. The song was explained in the first episode of Season 2 of the American Songster Podcast and is included on Dom’s “Black Cowboys” release on Smithsonian Folkways.

Banner Logo for American Songster Radio Season Two Preview Episode
Tim Duffy / Keith Weston / Music Maker / WUNC

The cowboy is an icon of American culture. But the popular image of the white cowboy skews our perception of what kind of Americans did—and do—cowboying work. 

The American West after the Civil War was a dynamic and ethnically diverse place. As many as a quarter of the cowboys during the frontier era were African Americans.  

Photo of Amy Ray
Carrie Schrader

Singer-songwriter Amy Ray is bringing her new album Holler to Durham next week.

 After most fans had retired their copies of “Ziggy Stardust,” John Elderkin whipped out his pen and decided to write a sequel to the legendary David Bowie album. This desire to tell stories along with his love for music would meet in a band called Mad Crush.

A picture of The War and Treaty
David McClister

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

It's not enough to make list after list. The Turning the Tables project seeks to suggest alternatives to the traditional popular music canon, and to do more than that, too: to stimulate conversation about how hierarchies emerge and endure. This year, Turning the Tables considers how women and non-binary artists are shaping music in our moment, from the pop mainstream to the sinecures of jazz and contemporary classical music. Our list of the 200 Greatest Songs By Women+ offers a soundtrack to a new century. This series of essays takes on another task.

Up Close with R&B Star Anthony Hamilton

Oct 15, 2018
photo of singer Anthony Hamilton holding a cigar
photo LeAnn Mueller

His soulful songs may be reminiscent of Sam Cooke, but Anthony Hamilton refuses to be put in a box. He was discovered while cutting hair at a barbershop in Charlotte and was signed to Uptown Records, but it took him 10 years and several failed record deals to finally establish himself as a solo superstar.

Dante High Debuts With Abundant Hooks

Oct 12, 2018
Brian Livingston

Ari Picker's first band Lost In The Trees was known for cinematic, orchestral folk music that incorporated many layers of instrumentation including strings and horns. It was beautiful, complex and artful. His new project is more direct and takes its lead from keyboard synths, guitar and a driving rhythm section. Dante High's debut is eight tightly performed, taut songs that clock in at just 30 minutes.

A picture of The Felice Brothers
The Felice Brothers

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

This time, we're talking with The Felice Brothers about 'Plunder,' a song off of their 2016 album 'Life In The Dark.'

The song has all the qualities of a great Felice Brothers tune, catchy guitar riffs and quirky lyrics. 

Listen to the episode here:

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Britt Snuzz Uzzell
Gabby Bulgarelli for WUNC Music

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

This time around we're talking about the song "Fayetteville."  The city has had a rough week.  The Cape Fear River crested at near record levels, flooding streets and neighborhoods and forcing people out of their homes.

Many have left town for higher ground, but if they're anything like songwriter Britt Uzzell they'll be back.

John Howie Jr. 'Not Tonight'
Kevin Clark

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge talks with John Howie Jr. about his first solo record 'Not Tonight.'

The album is full of songs of heartbreak and resilience delivered in Howie's distinctive baritone. He talks about how the album came to be, and what inspired him to record this one as a solo artist.

Listen to the episode here:

When Flute Meets Neo-Soul

Sep 20, 2018
Erin Patrice O'Brien

When Nathalie Joachim was studying flute at Juilliard, Allison Loggins-Hull was pursuing her own love for the flute closeby at the State University of New York’s Purchase Conservatory of Music. Imagine two young African-American flutists both from the New York tri-state area who had never crossed paths until Myspace. 

John Howie Jr.'s new album is 'Not Tonight'
(John Howie Jr. photo by Kevin Clark)

Misery and heartbreak make a good country song. Multiply that weeping and twang by eleven and you get John Howie Jr.'s latest "Not Tonight". (The album features eleven cuts. Cuts might be the operative word here.)

"Not Tonight" is set for release on September 21, 2018.  You can get an exclusive preview of it here.

PHOTO GALLERY: Hopscotch 2018 Highlights

Sep 11, 2018
Nile Rogers & Chic performing at Hopscotch on Saturday September 8, 2018
Rodney Boles

The streets, clubs and theaters of Raleigh were rocking, hopping, and jamming hard last week as the ninth annual Hopscotch Music Festival filled downtown with all manner of music.

A picture of Stuart McLamb of The Love Language.
Marci Hohner / Merge Records

Stuart McLamb had to make a big move to complete his new album under the moniker The Love Language. Baby Grand got its start in a warehouse in Virginia, but it was McLamb's move to the west coast that prompted a creative surge that completed the collection.  Each song inhabits its own universe and stands alone, but it also holds together as an expression of McLamb's creative vision.

A picture of Amanda Shires.
Elizaveta Porodina / All Eyes Media

The surprisingly hard rocking song "Eve's Daughter" is just one of the stand-out singles on Amanda Shires' new record To The Sunset. The singer-songwriter and fiddler wrote her fifth collection of songs while sharing child-care duties with her partner Jason Isbell.

WATCH: Aretha Franklin Detroit Memorial

Aug 30, 2018
Aretha Franklin preforms at the Lincoln Memorial for President Clinton's inaugural gala on January 17, 1993.
Mark Reinstein / Corbis via Getty Images

Detroit will celebrate the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday, August 31, at 10 a.m EST.

More than two dozen people – including heads of state, a record mogul, and music legends of nearly every description – will take the stage of the Greater Grace Temple to speak, sing and pray in honor of the gift that Franklin so readily shared with the world.

The Be Loud Sophie Foundation will host its 5th anniversary show at the Cat's Cradle this weekend.  

The annual event raises money to benefit adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill. The foundation honors the memory of Sophie Steiner, a Chapel Hill teenager who died of cancer in 2013. It was founded by her parents Lucy and Niklaus Steiner.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

Franklin sold more than 75 million records during her life, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She took soul to a new level and inspired generations of singers who came after her.

The album cover of 'Shadowlawn'
Harrison Haynes

After almost two decades with The Old Ceremony and other side projects like Au Pair and the traveling Big Star Tribute, Django Haskins has a new solo record.

A picture of the Cowboy Junkies.
Heather Pollock

Cowboy Junkies have been making music together for more than 30 years. 

Siblings Michael, Margo and Peter Timmins are once again joined by childhood friend Alan Anton for their first new recording is six years.  It's called All That Reckoning, and it reflects a more direct political stance from the band.

Nathan Bowles' clawhammer banjo music has always lived in three planes of existence: Rooted in the past, with a foothold in the present and an eye on the future. But as much as we think about folk music speaking across time — its seeking melodies and lyrics ever-resonant — Bowles wants to pluck sound from space itself.

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