This week was a lot. We were busy, you were busy and even though it's August, musicians, music writers and fans aren't taking a break. There were several Twitter spasms, somebody broke into LL Cool J's house, the Pussy Riot verdict continued to reverberate and we took our regularly scheduled, but heartfelt, moment to mourn Aaliyah.
With the voice of a classic country crooner, singer-songwriter Doug Paisley writes lyrics to which everyone can relate. While fiddles sound off in the background, Paisley takes a break from Oregon's Pickathon Music Festival to perform a new acoustic song for opbmusic.org.
Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world — in Belgium, with her guitar and a MySpace page. That's how Selah Sue used to introduce her music to those outside her hometown: with short videos made between high-school classes and weekend shows at local clubs, posted to her online journal.
Sean Rowe has a voice and a style that stands out in popular music. His voice is deep — really, truly deep — fine, and often doleful. He's a baritone troubadour who sings of roads not taken, regrets and the dreams that shake you awake at 3 in the morning.
After years of working bars, road houses and more bars, Rowe is playing concert stages and winning over critics for his story-songs and that remarkable voice. But, as he tells NPR's Scott Simon, he wasn't always so proud to be a singer.