The East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Johnson City. Founded in 1982, ETSU has the oldest established roots-music studies program at any four-year institution. Each year, the Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies program fields its own band that plays and tours throughout the region. This year, the group focused on the historic Johnson City Sessions from country music's infancy; songs from these sessions make up the entirety of the band's set.
Fans of Midlake have no doubt grown accustomed to the band's malleable sound, which fluctuates from album to album. The Texas folk-rock band's second record, The Trial of Van Occupanther, was steeped in the atmosphere of the '70s, while 2010's The Courage of Others headed in another direction altogether.
Toward the end of every year, NPR Music invites some of the world's best jazz keyboard players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to take on some of their favorite Christmas tunes, solo, and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.