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Lambchop's Kurt Wagner: Tiny Desk Concert

Kurt Wagner writes and sings beautiful songs with Lambchop, a hefty Nashville ensemble with a calm, restrained sound. When Kurt Wagner came by our office to play a Tiny Desk Concert, he came alone, with just an acoustic guitar, a stack of lyrics and his humble, good-natured sense of humor.

His performance was full of wonderful surprises, starting with a Bob Dylan song from Blood on the Tracks called "You're a Big Girl Now." Wagner was en route to New York, where he was going to introduce songs from the new Lambchop record, OH (Ohio).

Wagner gave us his solo take on these songs, and we've captured those on video for you here. Songs include "National Talk Like a Pirate Day" and "Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr." He closed with a version of the country song "I Believe in You" by Don Williams; some of you may remember when it was a big hit on the radio in 1980.

What I love most about Kurt Wagner — and what I think may strike you, as well — is how soft-spoken and gentle his singing is. He almost swallows his words, and that's what draws me in. You have to listen with vigilance to his frugal singing style, but it's always worth it.

Set Lists

  • "You're a Big Girl Now"
  • "Slipped Dissolved and Loosed"
  • "National Talk Like a Pirate Day"
  • "Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr."
  • "I Believe in You"
  • Credits

    Frannie Kelley (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; audio by Kevin Wait

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.