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Sam Phillips: Tiny Desk Concert

I don't think enough people have heard the music of Sam Phillips, and now seems like a good time to change that. Her songs unfold like perfect, miniature pop dramas. Her new album, Don't Do Anything, is loaded with great ones. Of all her incarnations as a performer — first as a Christian singer, then as a pop singer — the current Sam Phillips is the one I find most alluring.

All Songs Considered recently asked Phillips to play an intimate concert at my desk here at NPR. She listened to a Tiny Desk Concert we did with Laura Gibson, and that convinced Phillips to play for us. Little did we know that our air conditioning would die during a record-breaking heat wave on that day, but she was a trouper.

Now you can see and hear Sam Phillips perform four songs with the help of Erik Gorfain, who plays an electric guitar with amps the size of cigarette boxes. He also trots out a Stroh violin — a contraption that must be seen to be believed.

Set List

  • "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us"
  • "No Explanations"
  • "Signal"
  • "Little Plastic Life"
  • Credits

    Cameras by Bob Boilen and Frannie Kelley

    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.