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Big Thief: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

I love seeing friends playing comfortably at home, especially when those friends are members of my favorite band. What we see in this Tiny Desk (home) concert is playfulness substituting for the intensity that I normally find in Big Thief on a big stage. This band has made many of my best-loved albums in the past few years, beginning with its 2016 debut Masterpiece and including its 2022 double-album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. The first three songs in this set all come from that album and were written by singer Adrianne Lenker, with "Certainty" co-written with guitarist Buck Meek.

Big Thief songs are often filled with tender tales and poetic and playful words. I can say the same for Adrianne Lenker's many solo albums and for Buck Meek's 2021 solo album, Two Saviors. Drummer James Krivchenia produced Big Thief's recent album and also a 2020 ambient album of his own, A New Found Relaxation. Max Oleartchik plays upright bass for this intimate acoustic set on the top floor of a house in "windy Connecticut."

There's a bit of a "hold on to your hat" feel here, with players watching each other for a possible surprise. Maybe it's James Krivchenia's banjo percussion, the galloping rhythm on "Certainty" or how the four musicians sing aloud on a chorus; it is so much fun to see it all unfold. The final song was the biggest surprise; it's an unreleased song Big Thief has been performing, appropriately called "Happiness."

SET LIST

  • "Change"
  • "Dried Roses"
  • "Certainty"
  • "Happiness"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Adrianne Lenker: vocals, guitar
  • Buck Meek: guitar, vocals
  • Max Oleartchik: bass, vocals
  • James Krivchenia: percussion, vocals
  • CREDITS

  • Video by Adam Gundersheimer & Vanessa Haddad
  • Audio by Alice Wilder 
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Editor: Michael Zamora
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 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.