Live Music Fridays

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Lila Downs has spent her career exploring the furthest reaches of Mexican folk music. With a voice that borrows heavily from opera, Downs performs the kind of full-throated mariachi singing that would fit right in at Mexico City's Garibaldi Square — ground zero for mariachi.

Phil Denny photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

For Live Music Friday this week, we’ve invited jazz saxophone star Phil Denny back to Current State for a touch of Christmas as the holiday approaches.


Twyla Birdsong photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest this week is Lansing singer Twyla Birdsong. She’s well known in blues music circles.


Monte Pride and Benjy Joung photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Monte Pride is our Live Music Friday artist this week. “Hawthorne Morning Sound” is his first full-length album.


The Blue Echoes photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

The Who recently celebrated a 50th anniversary tour, but that’s nothing. For Live Music Friday, we have a group that’s been together for 60 years! The Blue Echoes, Lansing’s first rock band, perform live in WKAR’s Studio S.


Ryan Shadbolt and The Weathermen
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Ryan Shadbolt and The Weathermen are here for Live Music Friday. They have a new EP being released tonight called “Michigandering.”


Alex Mendenall photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Alex Mendenall is back to appear on Current State’s Live Music Friday. The singer-guitarist has a new CD called “Into the Hinterland” coming out at a release party in Lansing in November.


Taylor Taylor photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

We welcome Taylor Taylor back for Live Music Friday. Now studying at Lansing Community College, Taylor has become a fixture on the local music scene. We catch up with her and hear songs from “Right Here,” her latest EP.


The Springtails photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

“Rain or Shine” is the name of the new album from The Springtails. The husband-and-wife duo of Andy and Julianna Wilson are our Live Music Friday guests this week.

Don Henry and Craig Carothers photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guests this week are top Nashville artists Don Henry and Craig Carothers. They’re in town for an acoustic lunch performance at the Broad Art Museum and a Pump House concert.


Zach Pohl photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

For Live Music Friday this week, our guest is Zach Pohl. He’s a singer-guitarist-songwriter who blends folk music with a touch of soul, based in Austin, Texas.


Class & Jazz photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Is it classical? Is it jazz? It’s both! Our Live Music Friday guests this week are Oleg Bezuglov and Natalia Bezuglova. Together, they’re known as Class & Jazz.


Mary Flower photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

The Michigan BluesFest returns to Lansing this weekend, and our Live Music Friday guest is Mary Flower, in town from Portland, Oregon to perform tonight. We also talk with organizer Terry Terry about this year’s BluesFest.


Brendan Doherty photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest is Brendan Doherty, an Irish singer-guitarist songwriter now living in East Lansing. His new album is called “Feels Like Home.”

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