Tiny Guitar, Kevin Spacey Highlight Entries to NPR Tiny Desk from Local Talent

Photo by Darrell Nance
Written by Josh Matthews  for www.MusicBham.com

The 2017 NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest reached its deadline last week and attracted several entries from Birmingham’s new musical talents and unknowns. The Tiny Desk series began in 2008 and features intimate live video performances recorded at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen. The series features all genres of music from amateurs to professionals where artists like Adele, T-Pain, Wilco and Tinariwen have performed. This is the 3rd annual NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest. Both 2015 and 2016 drew nearly 7,000 entries each with “Lost in a Crowd,” by Fantastic Negrito, and “Someday We’ll Linger In The Sun,” by Gaelynn Lea winning, respectively.  The 2017 contest accepted entries from January 13 – January 29. The Judging period runs from January 30 – February 23, with the grand prize winner to be announced on February 28, 2017, at 10AM E.S.T. The grand prize wins a trip to perform live at NPR’s headquarters in Washington D.C. to be produce and distributed as part of the NPR Music Tiny Desk series. They also win a trip to perform live at Brooklyn, NY’s Bell House during the Ask Me Another live show, and additional trips to perform at 6 NPR Music live events at Lagunitas Breweries around the country including Austin, TX; Charleston, SC; Portland, OR; Chicago, IL, Petaluma, CA; and Azusa, CA.


Birmingham had a total of ten entries all involving tiny desks and… a tiny guitar? Standout solo performer Matt Bryant created atmospheric wizardry using a small guitar and loop peddle for his song, “Stratosphere.” “Kevin Spacey” even made and an appearance. Or, atleast in name from the The Brook & The Bluff song, and New Devils lost their mind on “Dad Ads.” Other notable entries include a solo from John James who makes the best of working over-time on his solo, “After Hours,” and Early James and the Latest light up the line in “Gravy Train.” Dirty Girl, Jeremy Jackson, Steel City Jug Slammers, Joe & Jana, and Chad Gill also submitted. To see performances from all Birmingham entries, visit www.TinyDeskConcert.NPR.org.


“Stratosphere,” by Matt Bryant

“Kevin Spacey,” by The Brook & The Bluff

“Dad Ads,” by New Devils

“After 5” by John James

“Gravy Train,” by Early James & The Latest