WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Rita Houston

There's a world of music you enter when you open the Bessie Smith door. A fierce, independent artist before those labels were so commonly applied, she was a huge talent in her day and her ongoing impact is undisputed. This playlist showcases some of Smith's best songs, as well as songs from the musical world she moved through and helped to create, including her influences (like her mentor Ma Rainey) and her inheritors (like Janis Joplin, who once said, "Bessie made me want to sing").

John Prine was not even on the bill at Newport, but he stepped out on stage to introduce Margo Price. The set just got better from there.

The family spirit of the Newport Folk Festival is solid in Brandi Carlile's hands. She formed her own musical family with Phil and Tim Hanseroth years ago, and now they all tour together with their wives and children (they even make an appearance on the Newport stage). Stemming out from there, Carlile has fostered a living, breathing collaborative network of artists, walking the walk by showing up early and staying late to perform with her friends.

Tuck and Patti need no more than each other and a guitar to make magic. Married and making music for nearly 40 years, Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart perform as one with his masterful guitar playing and her fluid, free vocals.

Gus Philippas/WFUV

Tune in Tonight, Thursday June 7 at 8PM for A Live First Listen Concert with Neko Case.

The ever-evolving artistic journey of Neko Case takes new turns and hits new heights with Hell-On, an album borne of life's curveballs and collaborations, triumphs and surprising influences.

Way back in February, Lo Moon visited the WFUV studios in New York City and performed an unreleased song called "Thorns." We've been sitting on this stunning five and a half minutes ever since, waiting for the day the band chose to release the single. Eight months later, today is that day.