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joe pena harmonica

Regular listeners to Arizona Spotlight have probably heard a Spotlight Session before. The sessions provide a chance for local artists to perform music in the Arizona Public Media radio studio, and to talk about both how and why they do what they do.

But recently, recording engineer Jim Blackwood decided to try something new. For years, Jim had noticed the unique acoustics of the five-story stairwell that is right outside the studio door. He decided to try recording musicians in the stairwell's confined, reverb-rich space. And now you can hear the result.

For more than two decades, singer - songwriter & guitarist Joe Peña has been the front man of the Tucson-based band Greyhound Soul. Lately, he's also been playing with a band called The Sundowners, and working on a new solo album, which will include versions of some of the songs that Joe performs in this first Stairwell Session.

Mark McLemore talks with Joe Peña about his personal take on the blues in this interview plus music:

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Listen to the complete music-only Stairwell Session featuring Joe Peña:

The music for this Stairwell Session was recorded and mixed by Jim Blackwood, with assistance from Jamison Waddell.