July 18, 2016 by BOB BOILEN • Gregory Porter's healing soul music sends a message of compassion, and he's got a baritone voice that resonates love. When Porter visited NPR, we'd just learned that our colleague, photojournalist David Gilkey, had been killed while working on a story for NPR in Afghanistan. When Porter began singing the calmly beautiful "No Love Dying," he may not have known how much it would mean to us. Yet this song of compassion and hope, from his Grammy-winning 2013 album Liquid Spirit, was just what we'd needed.
Porter and pianist Chip Crawford continued their thoughtful, entrancing set with "Take Me To The Alley" (the title track to Porter's new album), a song about how we treat and think about those who live on society's margins. Closing this Tiny Desk concert is "Don't Be A Fool," another new song of love, loyalty and trust. For us, Porter's set provided a timely reminder that we can all use comfort, counsel and guidance — and that music can be serious and heartwarming without losing its sense of wonder and delight.
Take Me To The Alley is available now:
"No Love Dying"
"Take Me To The Alley"
"Don't Be A Fool"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael; Production Assistant: Marissa Lorusso; Photo: Bob Boilen/NPR.
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