NPR Music

There have been plenty of distinctions in Robin Eubanks' career. The award-winning musician, composer and educator has played with Stevie Wonder, Elvin Jones and Art Blakey; he's appeared on The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, the Grammys.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Scottish punk rocker Nye Todd writes melodies for anyone who is young at heart. His lyrics, however, tend to be a bit more specific.

Todd is the transgender lead singer of queer punk band The Spook School, and the bulk of the songs on the band's new album, Try To Be Hopeful, are personal accounts from the fringes. Societal norms and gender stereotypes are in the crosshairs during many of these 11 threadbare tunes, but Todd gives equal airtime to trans love songs that hit home no matter your orientation.

A successful journalist, radio and TV host, screenwriter and songwriter, Mitch Albom is the master of many things. But he is assuredly best known for his memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, which has sold more than 14 million copies.

Villagers On World Cafe

Nov 27, 2015

Irish singer-songwriter Conor O'Brien, who performs as Villagers, has made three albums that have all hit Number 1 at home in Ireland, including his 2015 album, Darling Arithmetic. What's different this time has less to do with the fact that he's performing with a band and more to do with how he sees himself.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And earlier this week, we heard from one of the world's most celebrated classical musicians. Itzhak Perlman was just 13 when he performed on the "Ed Sullivan Show" in 1958. And he says he's still getting better.

This Thanksgiving, All Things Considered presents a twist on its annual music chat. Ari Shapiro welcomes four very different musicians, each of whom was named by one of his or her fellow guests as an artist to be thankful for.

The chain of gratitude begins with Shapiro's pick: lead singer Israel Nebeker of the band Blind Pilot. Hear the four-part conversation at the audio link on this page, and read excerpts below.

Soul/funk/jazz collective Hiatus Kaiyote received a Grammy nomination for their debut and found big-name fans in Prince, Questlove, Erykah Badu and more.

Billy Gibbons has been known for years as the larger-than-life, guitar-playing leader of ZZ Top, whose innovative showmanship and big licks have brought an equally oversized audience to rockin' blues. In today's Latin Roots segment, Gibbons and his band, The BFGs, put a Cubano twist on the blues. Timbales, congas and some smoky Hammond organ combine with Gibbons' guitar on Perfectamundo, his first solo album.

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