Gwen Thompkins

Host of Music Inside Out

Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Songs From The Road

Credit Nico Kaiser / Flickr

This week, Music Inside Out features Louisiana musicians telling stories of their experiences around the world.

Alex McMurray, Shannon Powell, the Pfister Sisters and Jim McCormick couldn't sound more different on stage. But they're all road-tested, having talked, played, sung or cooked their way out of tight spots in Nashville, Germany, Greece and Japan.

Jon Cleary was born and raised in Britain, but didn't find the right groove until he reached New Orleans. His experience adds a whole new layer to the concept of "Home and Away."

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Music
10:43 am
Mon July 1, 2013

First Listen: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 'That's It!'

Preservation Hall Jazz Band's new album, That's It!, comes out July 9.
Shannon Brinkman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:50 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

There's a magnificent design to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's new album. The 11 songs hang together so well that, like the most flattering gowns, they seem to be cut on the bias.

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Music Inside Out
1:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

The Legendary Taj Mahal

The legendary Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal has guts. What else would explain the song title, "You Ain't No Streetwalker Mama, Honey, But I Do Like the Way You Strut Your Stuff?"

In the history of the blues, there's never been anyone as bold, funny, carnal and canny.

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Music Inside Out
1:00 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Laughing It Up With Don Vappie

Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

This is an unofficial test from the staff of Music Inside Out. Remember, this is ONLY a test:

Question: Who's funnier? 

A. Bruce Springsteen
B. Bob Dylan
C. Laurel and Hardy
D. Don Vappie
E. I hate tests.

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Music Inside Out
1:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Tom McDermott's Memory Piano

Credit Gregg Goldman

The day we visited Tom McDermott's home, the sound of James Booker's "Classified" greeted us. It was a sweet gesture: walking into a man's home to the sound of your radio show's theme music.

McDermott knows how to communicate with a piano.

Blame it on Rio... and ragtime. McDermott has a piano playing style that smacks of sweet melodies, savory harmonies, and spicy Brazilian rhythm. And he serves up all three this hour. Pull up a chair, and enjoy.

LAGNIAPPE

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Pfister Sisters Are Pfabulous

The Pfister Sisters

Listen to the Pfisters

Harmony, thy name is Pfister!

This week, the Pfister Sisters sing out and occasionally act out during a rollicking hour spent on jazz vocal harmonies.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Dr. Michael White & His Mighty Clarinet

Dr. Michael White plays Doc Paulin's jazz funeral.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

What do you hear when Dr. Michael White plays his clarinet?

Can you hear the bayou? The river? The French Quarter? People sitting on their stoops waiting for someone to deliver the news? Penny parties?

That's not a clarinet in the doctor's hands; it's a time machine.

"I listened to Johnny Dodds' recordings. I listened to Sidney Bechet. I listened to George Lewis. I listened to Edmond Hall. I listened to Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and so many others. And you listen to that and you say, 'Wow, I would like to capture that feeling.'"

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
12:00 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Susan Cowsill: The Sound of Happy

Credit Dennis Gardner

Like most girls her age, Susan Cowsill watched The Partridge Family every week on television. But unlike most girls her age, she was related to the Partridges, albeit in a Hollywood kind of way.

The show was modeled after Cowsill and other members of her singing family.

In the 1960s and early '70s, The Cowsills were regulars on television, appearing with Ed Sullivan, Johnny Cash and on their own programs. They also had a string of top ten hits, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "Hair."

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Susan Cowsill: The Sound Of Happy

Credit Dennis Gardner

Like most girls her age, Susan Cowsill watched The Partridge Family every week on television. But unlike most girls her age, she was related to the Partridges, albeit in a Hollywood kind of way.

The show was modeled after Cowsill and other members of her singing family.

In the 1960s and early '70s, The Cowsills were regulars on television, appearing with Ed Sullivan, Johnny Cash and on their own programs. They also had a string of top ten hits, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "Hair."

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Sonny Landreth: Master Of The Slide Guitar

Credit Brian C. Miller Richard

Listen to Gwen & Sonny

If you've never seen Sonny Landreth's hands glide over the fret of his slide guitar, you should. It's like watching someone touch the finest of silk.

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