WUNC Music

WUNC Music is a place for music discovery

Listen to our music stream with the web player at the top of this page, on the WUNC App (iOS or Android), via TuneIn or on our HD2 channel in the Triangle area. 

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Jake Fussell Playing Guitar
Brad Bunyea

Jake Fussell didn’t have to look far for musical inspiration in his home state of Georgia.  Even before he picked up a guitar, he was surrounded by some of the region’s most storied performers and committed documentarians.  Fussell grew up in the town of Columbus, GA, the son of parents whose passion was studying, teaching, and presenting regional culture.  For Fussell, an American folk song like “Raggy Levy” isn’t just an archival find.  It’s a part of his lived experience. 

She & Him

The holidays are among us, and WUNC-Music is here to help you get in the right spirits! Starting today you'll hear a festive variety of holiday tunes in the mix from some of your favorite artists that we play on the station. Here's a short sampling of what we've got coming your way. Happy Holidays!

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Mandolin Orange's new album, "Blindfaller," moves between a haunting warning about politics, allusions to lingering effects of historical wars in the South, and a honky-tonk ode to life on the road.

A picture of Skylar Gudasz.
dukeperformances.duke.edu

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

A Queen Among Kings

Nov 21, 2016

The first time I ever saw Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings perform was circa 2002 at the Elbo Room, a tiny venue in San Francisco's Mission District. If you've ever been there, you know the Elbo Room doesn't need many bodies to pack the floor, and with the Dap-Kings crowding the diminutive stage, the full intensity of their act filled the space from practically the first note. I was already familiar with the group through its early records, but hadn't fully appreciated how much power Jones could pack into her stout, 5-foot frame as she sang, sweated, stamped, strutted, slayed.

A year ago today, terrorists attacked six locations in Paris, killing 130 people. Most of them were shot during a rock concert at a venue called the Bataclan. The attacks led to heightened security throughout Europe, and they've also led to some changes in how rock bands tour.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

FLOTUS album cover
Merge Records / Merge Records

It's rare when an established band with a recognizable sound makes a big change. But that's what Lambchop has done with it's new recording For Love Often Turns Us Still, or FLOTUS

Lead singer and songwriter Kurt Wagner has electronically treated most of his vocals and made room for drum loops and other audio treatments on songs inspired by the sounds he heard coming from his neighbors and recent records from Kendrick Lamarr, Kanye West and Frank Ocean.

Happy Halloween from WUNC Music! We'll be celebrating with a spooky mix of Halloween themed music in the mix for one day only. Here's 13 of the ghoulish tunes you'll hear today. Enjoy!

Image of Mount Moriah
Lissa Gotwals

North Carolina Public Radio has a new music stream.  It's a place where you can discover new songs and get a taste of the local music scene. 

One song that's in the mix right now is called "Higher Mind" by the Durham based band Mount Moriah.  Heather McEntire says it's one that she wrote while on a cross country drive with her dad.

A picture of Sylvan Esso.
Sylvan Esso

Here's the latest in our occasional series  called Songs We Love.  It's a look at the stories behind the songs we're playing on WUNC Music.  That's the new music stream from North Carolina Public Radio.  (WUNC's Songs We Love is also available as a podcast.)

John Paul White
Allister Ann / Sacks and Co.

Today we launch WUNC's Songs We Love Podcast. It's where we look at the stories behind some of the songs in rotation on our 24-hour music discovery stream, WUNC Music.  

One song that's in the WUNC Music mix right now is "Black Leaf" by John Paul White.  

White used to be in the band The Civil Wars but has since branched out on his own. His song "Black Leaf" is one recorded for his solo album "Beulah."

In this first podcast, Eric and John Paul talk about music inspiration, song writing and more.

With simple beats and a breezy bass line, the quirky new pop cut from The Shins channels the band's vintage mix of wistful meditations and infectious melodies. "Dead Alive" is typically playful and tongue-in-cheek, but also slightly foreboding.

The 2016 North Carolina State Fair kicked off last weekend and the list of bands playing this year is quite impressive. Here's a list of our top picks.

(Hear music by these bands and more on WUNC Music, our new streaming and HD2 music channel.)

Wednesday, 10/19
SUPERCHUNK with SKYLAR GUDASZ
Dorton Arena, 7:30 PM

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

The Luck Mansion sessions was one of the coolest things at AmericanaFest 2016. In the parlor of an old mansion in East Nashville, the label Third Man Records and the mansion's hosts, the organization Luck Reunion, paired musicians together to record a song. But it was more social and way more laid-back than just that, with time and space for musicians to hang out, jam, talk, drink and eat together while figuring out what they would commit to tape. Some of the pairs, like John Paul White and Rodney Crowell, wrote an original tune.

Turnpike Troubadours
David McClister / All Eyes Media

The Turnpike Troubadours came roaring out of Oklahoma ten years ago with a sound that has been described as a synthesis of Woody Guthrie and Walyon Jennings with the guitars turned way up. Their fourth release is self-titled, and it swings from melancholy ballads, to out-and-out rockers fiddle not withstanding. Turnpike Troubadours play in Raleigh tomorrow night at the Lincoln Theatre.

Michael Rank (right) with Heather McEntire
Andy Tennille

Michael Rank has released his sixth record in about four years. Being that prolific can lead to self-indulgence, but not this time. Red Hand contains nine taut songs of what has been called outlaw folk, damaged country and backwoods Americana. Whatever you call it, it comes with duet vocals from Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire on every song.

Regina Spektor's family — Russian Jews from Moscow — left the former Soviet Union for the U.S. in 1989, when Spektor was 9. They settled in the Bronx, where her dad, despite their financial struggles, managed to secure his daughter a piano teacher so she could keep playing her favorite instrument.

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are back with a new Mandolin Orange recording. It's called Blindfaller.  The duo recorded its fifth album in their hometown of Chapel Hill during a week off between tour dates.  The record builds on a mix of folk, country and bluegrass while always keeping the spotlight on their captivating vocal harmonies.

Remarkable falsetto singing, accompanied mainly (and sometimes solely) by acoustic guitar, was the calling card for Justin Vernon's breakout as Bon Iver. Since his widely praised debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, he's sung with pop superstars, produced for other artists and greatly expanded the sound of his own band. This week — after a five-year break — he takes another step away from his beginnings with Bon Iver's third album, 22, A Million.

This past week I was at the 17th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference in Nashville, listening to and having conversations with musicians. One songwriter and singer I've admired from the world of Americana during this decade is John Paul White, whom you may know as a former member of the duo The Civil Wars.

When Conor Oberst started releasing music more than 20 years ago, first as a solo artist and later as Bright Eyes, he was just a teenager from Nebraska. Everyone marveled at how a kid could write and record at such a breathlessly prolific pace, producing inspired, sonically adventurous songs with a wisdom and world view beyond his years. Now just in his mid-30s, he's already a veteran, with dozens of albums and EPs behind him.

Like Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye, Anthony Hamilton began his path to soul stardom in the front of a church. Before his gold and platinum albums, before songs like "Charlene" and "The Point of it All" and this year's "Amen," Hamilton first sang in the choir of Charlotte, N.C.'s New Shiloh Baptist Church.

Over the last year, Chapel Hill-based songwriter and producer Chris Stamey has been working on a narrative song cycle set in Manhattan in the early 1960s. Called Occasional Shivers, it centers around a circle of jazz theater performers and their experiences.

For the past 25 years I've had this notion that on every successive Leonard Cohen record his voice would get deeper and deeper until one day he'd put out an album so subsonic that you'd just feel it, not hear it. Well, we're close. On this day, Leonard Cohen's 82nd birthday, he's given us a gift: It's dark, it's beautiful and it's deep. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to his soon-to-be-released album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. The album of nine songs, out Oct. 21, is produced by his son, musician Adam Cohen.

Margo Price has had an incredible year, but there's a long story to be told leading up to Midwest Farmer's Daughter. The country singer-songwriter will join NPR Music's Ann Powers during AmericanaFest, along with friends and collaborators who have made East Nashville such a thriving hub of roots music. Everyone will share songs and stories in-the-round, with a live webcast on this page on Sept. 21, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.

It's been six years since Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae released her second album, The Sea, so this Tiny Desk concert feels like both a re-introduction and a welcome back.

Dwight Yoakam definitely doesn't need to pad his resume. He's recorded more than 22 albums — and sold over 25 million. He's received 21 Grammy nominations. He's worked with everyone from Johnny Cash and Buck Owens to Kid Rock and Jack White.

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