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Ken Tucker

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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.
09:45

How country music allowed Jerry Lee Lewis to vary his wild-man persona

Lewis came up in rock, but proved his country chops on the 1968 album Another Place, Another Time. The music suited his piano style, and the lyrics fit the emotions he brought to every performance.

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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.
09:07

Taylor Swift's 'Midnights' mixes late-night dreaminess with steely control

Swift's new album, which chronicles 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life, includes a bracing amount of clear-headed thoughts about love and life as a pop star.

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Exclusively on
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.
09:00

Singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde gives voice to an imaginary town on 'Lindeville'

McBryde mixes passionate music with novelistic details on a concept album about the inhabitants of a small rural town, named after the songwriter Dennis Linde.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
09:40

'Words & Music' offers 15 demos Lou Reed recorded as a fledgling artist

Reed died in 2013. A new collection, recorded in 1965, captures the earliest-known versions of some of the Velvet Underground's best known songs, including "Heroin" and "Pale Blue Eyes."

Review
Exclusively on
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.
09:34

This reissue proves Roger Miller was more than just a novelty act

Best known for novelty songs like "King of the Road," Miller was also a serious songwriter who wrote ballads for artists such as Ray Price. Miller's '70 album A Trip in the Country is newly available.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
06:41

Loudon Wainwright III goes back to the basics on 'Lifetime Achievement'

The singer-songwriter is known for his intensely autobiographical writing. When Wainwright turned 75 recently, he decided to make an album about trying — and mostly failing — to age gracefully.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
08:17

'Renaissance' places Beyoncé at the very center of pop music right now

The escapist aesthetic of Renaissance is its own kind of statement — Beyoncé's way of asserting the primacy of Black musical forms throughout American pop history.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
09:40

Singer/songwriter beabadoobee expands her sound dramatically on 'Beatopia'

Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Beatrice Kristi Laus takes her stage name from a former Instagram handle. The music on beabadoobee's new album is a blend of timelessness and immediacy.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
08:44

Charming and catchy, Bartees Strange cuts across boundaries on 'Farm to Table'

As a Black artist in the indie-rock space, Strange makes distinctively original music. Where his debut album showcased a highly eclectic performer, his sophomore effort is even more impressive.

Review
Exclusively on
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.
09:00

3 songs prove just how elastic the definition of country music has become

The range of country music is on display in Kane Brown's hit single; a duet by Wynonna Judd and the alt-rocker Waxahatchee; and the title song of Big Time, indie singer-songwriter Angel Olsen's album

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