Song of the Day

Song of the Day > All Episodes

March 10, 2023

Alison Brown: “Sun and Water (Here Comes the Sun/Waters of March)”

By: Jack Anderson

Concerning instruments with gorgeous tones and rich cultural histories, the banjo is often overlooked. And it makes sense to some extent; outside the roots world, banjo is rarely front and center. But when an innovator like Béla Fleck or Alison Brown comes along, it’s a refreshing reminder of banjo’s intrinsic magic.

Brown has bred an impressive legacy of success that stretches back to the early ’80s. Shortly after she was recruited into Alison Krauss’ Union Station, the title track for I’ve Got That Old Feeling won the Grammy for “Best Bluegrass Recording”, the same year Brown’s own album Simple Pleasures scored a nominated for “Best Bluegrass Album”. She co-founded Compass Records in 1995, the label that released Fair Weather in 2000, which earned Brown the “Best Country Instrumental Performance” Grammy for her Béla Fleck collaboration, “Leaving Cottondale”.

But at the turn of the 2010s, after two decades of consistent solo releases, Brown began to focus on production. As such, the last LP we received from Alison Brown was 2015’s The Song of the Banjo. Well, coming up this summer, the five-string phenom returns with the succinctly-titled On Banjo. On Banjo finds Brown and her eponymous quintet trading licks with the likes of The Kronos Quartet, Anat Cohen, Sierra Hull and more. Alongside pleasant surprises like the Steve Martin co-written “Foggy Morning Breakdown”, you’ll also hear more exotic explorations into Brazilian sounds when On Banjo drops May 5th.

Maintaining Brown’s boundary-less repertoire for cross-genre compositions, On Banjo‘s lead single masterfully mashes up The Beatles with Antônio Carlos Jobim for a spring stroll-ready medley, “Sun and Water (Here Comes the Sun/Waters of March)”.


June 19, 2024

Daniel Fears: “Home” (Live from the Draylon Mason Music Studio)

Happy Juneteenth! While it’s now a national holiday, it’s always been a celebration here in Texas, where historically Black hubs like Houston were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War’s end later than the rest of the states. And it’s Houston that gave us our July 2021 Artist of the Month Daniel Fears. […]


June 18, 2024

Luke Smith: “Jimmy”

We’re right at Pride Month’s midpoint, so just as a refresher: no matter how you identify, be proud of yourself! At the same time, it’s worth acknowledging our place in a progressive city, a quarter century into the 21st, because not every Queer person’s been blessed with those privileges; more often than not, it’s a […]


June 17, 2024

Alexi 8bit: “You Don’t Have to Be Alone Anymore”

In the world of singers, acting cutesy doesn’t necessarily negate sophistication. Like, we’ve seen a lot of success in going north of mere infantile novelty and co-opting that puppy love naivety in a way that’s accessible to all age groups. And while we can point to a major movement of such with jazz-pop hits from […]


June 14, 2024

Molecular Steve: “Wolfman”

Depending on who you ask – a coworker, a friend, or a family member – they’ll all have slightly different takes on your “character” based on previous interactions and observations. But what about those parts of our identities that never reach the surface? Those personality traits that stay buried deep within us? Well, we won’t […]


June 12, 2024

The Wild Kindness: “No One Belongs Here More Than You”

Random acts of kindness: we can’t recommend ’em enough. Because it’s those little gestures you catch in the wild that help us make new connections (no matter how brief or passing), break past malaise and monotony, and recognize the world as a more compassionate place. And new connections are also a key component to what […]


June 11, 2024

Mark Hallman: “Bright Star”

When you’ve spent decades making great records for other people, you’ve got all the tools to do it on your own, right? Yeah, although producers often get relegated to a “man behind the curtain” position for other artists’ critical success, at the end of the day they’re some of the strongest shapers of sound. Take […]


June 10, 2024

Holy Roller Baby: “Speaking In Tongues”

Since its advent at the turn of the millennium, the term “swag” has lent itself to plenty of manufactured personalities. We don’t hear “swag” much anymore, which is fine by us, since swagger ought to come naturally; it shouldn’t be too sophisticated. You take one look at multi-instrumentalist Jared Mullins, who (in the best way […]


June 7, 2024

Daily Worker: “Street Cred”

Ah, Friday afternoon. A beautiful time to be a daily worker, at least in an era where weekends are the norm. And not just because of the standardized two days off. No, there’s also new music from Austin outfit Daily Worker. The trio typically conjures a non-centrist, counter-capitalist aesthetic, down to their choice of band […]