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Weekend America's Music Coverage


  • Iraq's Oud Ambassador

    Rahim Al-Haj

    Rahim Al-haj is a master of the oud, the ancient instrument that's the precursor to the lute and guitar. It's origins are in Iraq, where Al-haj was forced to flee Saddam Hussein's regime. He found a new home in the U.S., and recently returned to Iraq to play for his mother one last time.

  • Your Morning Music Hit List

    The crew of STS-122 wake up

    NASA has a tradition of playing wake-up songs for the Shuttle crew to start each day of a mission. Sometimes it's a crew member's favorite song, selected by a family member. Sometimes it has to do with the task they have to accomplish that day. We asked our listeners to submit their own wake-up favorites.

  • We Are Nowhere and It's Now

    Sara Quigley

    "I have been displaced since graduating from the seminary and I have ended up in rural Iowa while I wait to be appointed a call or given a church as a pastor. Listening to this song really speaks to my feeling of being displaced, being nowhere."

  • Klezmer Funk Hip-Hop? Abraham Inc.

    Fred Wesley, left, and David Krakauer

    The legendary Apollo theater in Harlem was one of the few theaters in New York to hire African-American performers in the 1930s, but the venue itself was owned by Jews. So it's fitting that the klezmer-funk-hip-hop group Abraham Inc. will be having their debut performance at the Apollo tonight.

  • A Dream Fulfilled in the Gospel Tent

    Ron Hadley leads The Worship Squad in rehearsal

    Ron Hadley got his girlfriend pregnant and faced jail time. When complications threatened his unborn child's life, he vowed to turn to God and turn his life around. His gospel choir just had their New Orlean Jazz Fest debut, and now he's set his sights on touring the world -- and making his now 6-year-old son proud.

  • Start with a Banjo, Keep Adding Strings

    Paul Metzger jams on his hybrid sitar-banjo

    Paul Metzger has spent more than 20 years tinkering with his banjo, adding more and more strings. A banjo normally has five strings -- Paul has gotten his up to 23 now. His highly modified instrument has pushed the sound of the instrument to new limits, and his haunting melodies can be mesmerizing.

  • 'Respiration' by Black Star

    Chad Swiatecki with Sparty the Spartan

    Reporter and writer Chad Swiatecki has lived in Flint, Mich., for eight years and is relocating to Austin, Texas. He thinks the hip-hop duo of Mos Def and Talib Kweli have captured the essence of city life and the compelling stories of each of our lives -- even if you're not living in New York.

  • Music, Memories for Record Store Day

    Flash Records Store circa 1955

    Independent record stores all over the world are celebrating Record Store Day. And in a world where the number-one music retailer doesn't even have a storefront (it's iTunes), record stores might be considered a precious resource.

  • Mapping the Score to Planet Earth

    James Plakovic's Earth map, set to music

    James Plakovic's unique map of the planet Earth looks familiar, until you look real close: It's made of musical notes, a score for 37 instruments. It may be difficult to listen to and a little chaotic. But then again, so is the real Earth.

  • 'Letting Nature Into Your Ears'

    Water cuts rock

    Haans Petruschke's Weekend Soundtrack is provided by the beauty that greets him outside his door every day.

  • Playing with Food... And Utensils

    Musical juggling act

    Umami is the fifth taste sensed by the tongue -- it's Japanese for "savory" or "meaty." Umami is also a food and art festival happening this weekend in New York City. And for that festival, composer Fast Forward -- his real name -- debuts music played using only kitchen utensils and foodstuffs.

  • 'The Happy Death Song'

    Jeff Horwich

    It was Benjamin Franklin who first famously said that nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes. So while some people are doing their taxes this weekend, Jeff Horwich looks around him and sees that other thing.

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