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Soul Singer Jams To Kings Of Leon, Christian Hymns


Finally today, it's time for the occasional series we call In Your Ear. That's when guests of our program tell us the songs they listen to for a little inspiration.

Today, we hear from singer and songwriter Ryan Shaw. He joined us recently to talk about his album, "Real Love." And when we asked him to give us his playlist he decided to not just tell us his favorite songs, he performed them. Here he is.

RYAN SHAW: Hi, I'm Ryan Shaw and this is what's playing in my ear. This first song is, I listen to a lot of hymns and stuff because I still work with my church. And this is a song that I've kind of redone and did a sort of classic modern version of its called "There is a Fountain."


SHAW: (Singing) There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins. And sinners who are plunged beneath the flood lose all their guilty stains.

And I like this song because it kind of, it just takes me back to my childhood and it's a song I grew up singing, and it's one of those classic songs that probably all the other great soul singers sang, such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett when they were in church. It's a pretty traditional song.

One of the big acts that - the first time I went to the Grammys, I went to Clive Davis' party and one of the acts that performed - he was like, there's this new act that's going to be taking over America in this next year. And sure enough the next thing you know, Kings of Leon hit the stage and they really, really can sing. And I really love the lead singer's voice. It reminds me, the way he sings like you can kind of tell he grew up in church. Before the whole story came out I could already tell. And this is one of my favorite songs from that album called "Use Somebody."


SHAW: (Singing) I was running around, I was looking down at all I see. Painted faces filled the spaces I can't reach. I know that I could use somebody. You know that I could use somebody. Someone like you. Woo-oh-oh. Woo-oh-oh-oh. Someone like you. Woo-oh-oh. Woo-oh-oh-oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

This is Ryan Shaw and that's what's been playing in my ear.


KINGS OF LEON: (Singing) Someone like you...

MARTIN: To hear my earlier conversation with Ryan Shaw, please go to npr.org and click on the Program guide and TELL ME MORE. And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.


LEON: (Singing) I've been roaming around. I was looking down at all I see. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.