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The Tiny Desk Concert series almost always brings out the lighter side of both the artists who perform and the staff of NPR Music. When Tom Jones or the band Dr. Dog shows up, for example, it can feel like a child’s birthday party or a field day from school, with lots of joking from a bunch of people glad to have a break from their normal routine. But when Dr. Ralph Stanley strolled in to give this Tiny Desk Concert, the office fell silent with the kind of reverence appropriate for a living legend. Ralph Stanley’s Tiny Desk set was shorter than most, but deeply moving. He didn’t play his trademark clawhammer banjo, and no one accompanied him as he sang three songs a cappella: “Gloryland,” “Turn Back, Turn Back” and “Amazing Grace.”
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