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Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016

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Adam Harris / Mountain Stage
From alt-rock to neo-soul and beyond, these are West Virginia Public Broadcasting and NPR's Mountain Stage's favorite performances of 2016.

2016 was a big year for NPR Music and West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Mountain Stage. We celebrated 33 years of live performance radio, commemorated the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.’s legendary set, and listened to the voices of two new guest hosts

And across seven venues in four states, we recorded over 120 live sets that showcased the best and brightest musicians in the world today. Along the way, we video streamed eight of our shows through VuHaus and made some new #gotowv friends along the way (with posters and glass records in tow!).  Of course, none of this would have happened without your support.

Before we embark on another musical year around the sun, Larry Groce and the Mountain Stage crew have picked out 33 performances that deserve another listen and another round of applause. From A to Z, these are our favorite Mountain Stage performances of 2016. (Hint: click the Episode # for their Mountain Stage podcast episode, where available.)

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Aoife O’Donovan – In the Magic Hour (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on October 30, 2016 – Episode #883)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Aoife O'Donovan on Mountain Stage

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Billy Bragg & Joe Henry – Gentle On My Mind (Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, PA on September 25, 2016 with WYEP & Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Episode #879)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
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Mountain Stage
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry - "Gentle on My Mind" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Bottle Rockets – Dog (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on March 20, 2016 – Episode #866)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Bottle Rockets on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Bottle Rockets - "Dog" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Brett Dennen – Cassidy (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on May 8, 2016 – Episode #870)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Brett Dennen on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Brett Dennen - "Cassidy" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Cheryl Wheeler – Estate Sale (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on July 24, 2016 – Episode #874)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Cheryl Wheeler on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Cheryl Wheeler - "Estate Sale" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Chris Smither – Leave the Light On (Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, PA on September 25, 2016 with WYEP & Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Episode #879)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Chris Smither on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Chris Smither - "Leave the Light On" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Darrell Scott – Desperados Waiting for a Train (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on May 22, 2016 – Episode #871)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Darrell Scott on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Darrell Scott - "Desperados Waiting for a Train" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Foy Vance – Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye (Clay Center in Charleston, WV on October 16, 2016 – Episode #881)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Foy Vance on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Foy Vance - "Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Hayes Carll – Sake of the Song (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on May 22, 2016 – Episode #871)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Hayes Carll on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Hayes Carll - "Sake of the Song" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Indigo Girls – Shame on You (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on September 18, 2016 – Episode #878)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Indigo Girls on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Indigo Girls - "Shame on You" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Iron & Wine – We Two are Moon (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on December 4, 2016 – Episode #885)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Iron & Wine on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Iron & Wine - "We Too are Moon" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester – Down the Road (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on July 24, 2016 – Episode #874)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester - "Down the Road" - Live from Mountain Stage

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John Paul White – Once and Future Queen (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on November 20, 2016 – Episode #884)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
John Paul White on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
John Paul White - "Once and Future Queen" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Judy Collins with Ari Hest – I Choose Love (West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV on April 17, 2016 – Episode #868)

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Credit Brian Blauser/MountainStage
Judy Collins with Ari Hest on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Judy Collins with Ari Hest - "I Choose Love" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Lake Street Dive – Call Off Your Dogs (Clay Center in Charleston, WV on June 5, 2016 – Episode #872)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Lake Street Dive on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Lake Street Dive - "Call Off Your Dogs" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Lucius – I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on June 26, 2016 – Episode #873)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Lucius on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Lucius - "I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on June 26, 2016 – Episode #873)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Margaret Glaspy on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Margaret Glaspy - "Emotions and Math" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Mike Cooley – Made Up English Oceans (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on March 20, 2016 – Episode #866)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Mike Cooley on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Mike Cooley - "English Oceans" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Ona – Sleep, Rinse, Repeat (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on February 21, 2016 – Episode #864)

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Credit Brian Blauser/MountainStage
Ona on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Ona - "Sleep, Rinse, Repeat" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Overcoats – Smaller Than My Mother (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on February 21, 2016 – Episode #864)

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Credit Brian Blauser/MountainStage
Overcoats on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Overcoats - "Smaller Than My Mother" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Rhiannon Giddens – At the Purchaser’s Option (Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV on August 13, 2016 – Episode #876)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Rhiannon Giddens on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Rhiannon Giddens - "At the Purchaser's Option" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Robbie Fulks – Aunt Peg’s Old Man (University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY on April 3, 2016, with WUKY – Episode #867)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Robbie Fulks on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Robbie Fulks - "Aunt Peg's Old Man" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Robert Ellis – California (Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, PA on September 25, 2016 with WYEP & Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Episode #879)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Robert Ellis on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Robert Ellis - "California" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Sarah Jarosz – House of Mercy (University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY on April 3, 2016 with WUKY – Episode #867)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
Sarah Jarosz on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Sarah Jarosz - "House of Mercy" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Steve Poltz – Folksinger (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on May 1, 2016 – Episode #869)

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Credit Brian Blauser/MountainStage
Steve Poltz on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Steve Poltz - "Folksinger" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche – Bleeker Street (Clay Center in Charleston, WV on June 5, 2016 – Episode #872)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche - "Bleeker Street" - Live from Mountain Stage

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The Wood Brothers – Never and Always (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on May 1, 2016 – Episode #869)

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Credit Brian Blauser/MountainStage
The Wood Brothers on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
The Wood Brothers - "Never and Always" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Tift Merritt – Heartache is an Uphill Climb (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on December 4, 2016 – Episode #885)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Tift Merritt on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Tift Merritt - "Heartache is an Uphill Climb" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Todd Burge – Time to Waste Time (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on December 4, 2016 – Episode #885)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Todd Burge on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Todd Burge - "Time to Waste Time" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Todd Snider – Stuck on the Corner (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on October 23, 2016 – Episode #882)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Todd Snider on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Todd Snider - "Stuck on the Corner" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Wilco – Space Oddity (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on February 14, 2016 – Episode #863)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Wilco on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Wilco - "Space Oddity" - Live from Mountain Stage

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William Matheny – Living Half to Death (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on June 26, 2016 – Episode #873)

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Credit Josh Saul/Mountain Stage
William Matheny on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
William Matheny - "Living Half to Death" - Live from Mountain Stage

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Wynonna & the Big Noise – These Are The Things That I Lean On (Culture Center Theater in Charleston, WV on September 18, 2016 – Episode #878)

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Credit Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Wynonna & the Big Noise on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances of 2016
Wynonna & the Big Noise - "These Are The Things That I Lean On" - Live from Mountain Stage

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