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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
43:53

Tom Waits says some songs just demand to be sung in a particular way

Wait's two lyrical concept albums, Blood Money and Alice, are being reissued on vinyl for their 20th Anniversary. We listen back to archival interviews with the musician, broadcast in 2002 and 2011.

Interview
43:49

Jazz Pianist Jason Moran

He's been awarded the 2005 Pianist of the Year award by the Jazz Journalist's Association, and he also received the first ever 2005 Playboy Magazine Jazz Artist of the Year. His new album is called Same Mother, which reflects the 30-year-old musician's current interest in the blues.

Interview
07:50

A Label Paramount To Early Blues And Jazz

Between 1917 and 1932, the label released thousands of records. Jack White's Third Man Records has joined with the reissue label Revenant to release the first of two packages documenting Paramount.

Review
06:34

Will The Real Llewyn Davis Please Stand Up?

Dave Van Ronk's autobiography inspired Joel and Ethan Coen's new movie about a '60s folksinger. Though he died in 2002, a new anthology ought to help give Van Ronk a long-needed boost.

Review
08:13

The Dawn Of Sun Records: 15 Hours Of Blues

In 1950, a red-haired Alabama boy who'd learned about radio and electronics in the U.S. Army opened a recording studio to document the blues and country music he loved. A new box set compiles the beginnings of Sam Philipps'

Review
07:46

The Moving Sidewalks: Where The British Invasion Met Texas Blues.

Before he became the guitarist for ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons was in a band called the Moving Sidewalks that just missed its shot at stardom. The album the Moving Sidewalks never released in the late 1960s was released in late 2012 and is very much a period piece, albeit a very well-made one.

Commentary
07:53

Turning Up The Volume On The Electric Blues.

A new 12-disc compilation traces the history of electric blues from its inauspicious start through its heyday in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Ed Ward says Plug It In! Turn It Up! does "a great job of illuminating one particular aspect of the blues."

Review
09:06

The Mythic Power Of Bessie Smith.

"The Empress of the Blues" gave voice the listeners' tribulations and yearnings of the 1920s and '30s. A new 10-CD box set collects the complete works of the colossus who straddled jazz and blues.

Review

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