kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR's All Songs Considered features your favorite musicians performing at Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR Music office. This is the AUDIO only archive.Are you a fancy A/V nerd and need video? Visit our new Tiny Desk Concert video channel. Eye-popping video and all of the music you've come to expect.

Alice Russell: Tiny Desk Concert

There's nothing restrained about an Alice Russell performance: It's emotionally fiery from the start and just gets hotter and grittier — especially when she's singing "To Dust," the title track from her first new solo album in almost five years.

Russell is a classic soul-infused singer — close your eyes and it's easy to hear a Southern drawl, but truth be told, she's a Brit. American-style R&B from Britain has a long history dating back to the 1960s with Dusty Springfield and on up through 21st-century artists like Adele. As for Alice Russell, she's been making great soul music for 10 years, and her arrangements on To Dust often include a dose of electronics.

To Dust is Russell's fifth album, but the hiatus that followed 2008's Pot of Gold may be the reason too many people don't yet know what she's doing. This stuff is as powerful as the work of any American singer making soul music in the 21st century. If you haven't heard of her yet, think of this as a well-overdue introduction.

Set List

  • "To Dust"
  • "For A While"
  • "Heartbreaker"
  • Credits

    Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Parker Miles Blohm; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Gabriella Demczuk, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Marie McGrory; photo by Marie McGrory/NPR

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

    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.
    Related Content
    • The U.K. singer-songwriter and a bandmate are just two men with unplugged instruments, but they still convey the bawdy rowdiness of a full band. Performing three songs in the NPR Music offices, Turner shines in what may well be the most brightly lit performance space he's ever graced.
    • The rowdy English folk-punk band shows up at the NPR Music offices bearing lots of beer, some mysterious alcohol in an even-more-mysterious jug, and an assortment of instruments. Barely controlled mayhem ensues.
    • Malian tradition lies at the heart and foot-stomping soul of Cheick Hamala Diabate and his band, but their melodies and undeniable rhythms cut across age and ethnicity. Their music often tells a story about Mali and its people as part of the sway and shake.