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Difficult Truths Best Whispered: Joan Shelley Sees The Beauty In The Fading

Where a musician lives can tell you a lot about their songs. Joan Shelley wears her love of Kentucky proudly, but for her latest album, Like The River Loves The Sea, Shelley left her home outside of Louisville, Ky., and headed to a very different environment: Iceland.

Iceland presented its own opportunities and difficulties. Shelley found a wonderful string section that lends a lot of weight to the record, but apparently it's hard to find a banjo in Iceland. There may or may not be a single one in the whole country, but Shelley made the most of it with this beautiful and restrained album.

We'll talk to her and her musical partner, Nathan Salsburg, about recording in Iceland and the very powerful nature of natural love — and she'll perform live. Hear it all in the player above.

Copyright 2019 XPN

Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.