Music | WGLT

Music

Louisiana native Marc Broussard seems to have life by the tail.  He’s a successful Southern soul singer/songwriter with an adorable family, including four children. But this self-described family man said his life has evolved quite a bit since breaking into the music business over 15 years ago. 

“I’ll put it this way. If today I ran into a 20-year old Marc Broussard, I’d walk right up to him and punch him straight in the face.”

Peoria’s Paul Adams is a multi-instrumentalist who writes and records music that spans multiple genres.  Adams embraces the characterization, and compared himself to a visual artist.

“For example, he may be tired of working in oils, so he says ‘I’m going to do something in acrylic.’ Or maybe he has some tools, and decides to carve some mahogany.  That’s my thing; I’m a generalist in music. I feel comfortable in a number of different genres.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

WGLT's legendary Blues host "Delta" Frank Black made an encore appearance during GLT Blues Sunday, May 15.  Black played his 50 favorite blues songs as part of GLT's 50th anniversary celebration, and said he had "a blast."

"It's been a long time since I've been on the radio. I tell ya, and I haven't had this much fun in a long, long time."

Joe Mazza

In a town that birthed House music and wears Blues music on its sleeve, Kent Rose is an outlier in the Chicago area.  A child of the 1950's and 60's, Rose grew up in suburban Glencoe devouring the rock & roll of Buddy Holly and Elvis.  He was also enamored by country and honky-tonk and the folk music of Pete Seeger and Mahalia Jackson. 

“What I found was that I was given some records by country artists by my cousin, and WLS radio at the time played a wider mix of music. You could hear something like Stonewall Jackson or The Statler Brothers. I was pretty entranced by the whole thing.”

Radio Munson 5/12/16

May 12, 2016

Billy Eckstine, Catherine Russell, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy put the swing into this week’s Radio Munson; plus a trip to 1937 to listen to some of Benny Goodman’s best soloists, the Buddy Rich Band roars through “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town), Bobby Troup sings a song he wrote—“(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,”--and Errol Garner plays one he wrote—“Misty."

Jamie Day

Alexandra "Alex" Fisher is the founder and leader of the Bloomington-Normal indie-pop band "Alex and the XO's."  Since forming five years ago, the band has toured the U.S. and has recorded three albums, with the 2015 self-titled being their latest.  Though not a household name outside the Twin Cities, they're having moderate success, which Fisher said seemed unlikely just over five years ago.

“My ambition at the time was to teach third grade, settle down, and have a family.”

Dave Glacinski

Writing one song with an appealing melody is difficult.  Bloomington's Michael Adams and his War Painted Horses band mates have filled their debut album “Murder at the Wheelhouse” with 12 melodic gems (not including a hidden track).  When lauded for his impressive songwriting ability, a trait not always present in even great musicians, Adams deftly deflected the compliment.

Radio Munson 5/5/16

May 5, 2016

Singers Matt Monroe, Mavis Rivers, Tony Bennett, and Nancy Wilson swing some familiar tunes on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Perez Prado, Ted Heath and Jimmy Dorsey, plus a classic live track from Oscar Peterson.

Radio Munson 4/28/16

May 3, 2016

Helen O’Connell is “Steppin’ Out With a Memory Tonight” on Radio Munson while Louis Armstrong climbs “Blueberry Hill” and Bobby Darin predicts “I’ll Remember April.”  Don samples a track from a newly discovered and issued album by jazz piano great Bill Evans and salutes the recording anniversaries of iconic songs by Jack Teagarden and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Marc Cooper / Flickr

Jeff Jensen was living in Portland Oregon in 2011 when he lost his marriage and house. Devastated, he packed what was left of his belongings and prepared to move to California,

“I have a really supportive family and they encouraged me to move back to California, where I’m originally from. That was the plan.” 

The plan changed at a service station.  As he was getting an oil change before departing, he said something didn’t feel right. On a whim, he drove east, instead of south.

Courtney Armitage

Covering a 1972 Black Sabbath song seems an unlikely choice for a black Soul singer.

“The reason I wanted to learn it is because of my Mom, and because the lyrics fit my soul. And when I hear something my soul likes, I can bring it out.”

Ralph Weisheit

Matthew Curry's ascent in the music business has been breathtaking.  Barely out of Bloomington (IL) High School, the 20 year old has recorded two full-length albums and has opened for some of the biggest names in the music business, including Peter Frampton and the Doobie Brothers.  But that steep trajectory flat-lined in late 2015. Instead of opening for rock legends or crisscrossing the country on another solo tour, he was back in Bloomington, scratching his head.

Radio Munson 4/21/16

Apr 22, 2016

They’ll be dancing in the aisles to Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” on this week’s Radio Munson.  Buddy Greco offers a finger-snapping version on “Satin Doll,” both Arthur Prysock and Ella Fitzgerald swing with the Basie Band, Buddy Rich leads his 1970-s band through “Love For Sale," and Joe Williams is joined by Supersax as he sings the Gershwins’ “Embraceable You."

Trainer Tour Makes Stop At State Fair

Apr 21, 2016
Ronald Woan / Flickr via Creative Commons

Meghan Trainor is bringing her summer tour to the Illinois State Fair.The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will perform Aug. 13 on the grandstand.

Radio Munson 4/14/16

Apr 14, 2016

“One More Time," Don gives a spin to the iconic Count Basie recording of “April in Paris” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Woody Herman’s BeBop classic, “Lemon Drop,” and Duke Ellington’s favorite, “Chelsea Bridge.”  Toni Tennille is also on Don’s playlist, plus Tony DeSare, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, and more.

In December 1956, an impromptu recording session in the now legendary Sun Records Studio's became legendary itself.  Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis spent a relaxed afternoon recording mostly gospel music. An article featuring a photograph of the four who themselves would reach legendary status appeared in a local newspaper the next day. The headline simply said "Million Dollar Quartet."

Guy King Goes 'Uptown'

Apr 10, 2016
Roman Sobus / Roman Sobus Photography

Chicago’s Guy King spices his blues with Jazz & R&B, the "uptown" sounds he devoured growing up in his native Israel.  When he moved to the United States in his early 20’s, those sounds became the foundation of his own music.

Radio Munson 4/7/16

Apr 8, 2016

Radio Munson does its best to answer a question posed by Tony Bennett on this week’s show when he sings “Are You Having Any Fun?”  Bob Dorough and Sammy Davis, Junior romp through some upbeat lyrics, and so do Stacey Kent and the Boswell Sisters.  There’s Woody Herman’s famous “Four Brothers” and Stan Kenton’s band plays the only known song dedicated to a car’s automatic transmission, “Dynaflow."

Dragan Tasic

"Paying your Dues" is a saying heard frequently in blues music.  Chicago's Toronzo Cannon has been doing that nightly for two decades ... while driving a CTA Bus during the day.  Cannon began his dues paying as a sideman with some of Chicago's big blues names.  He later formed his own band and worked his way through the city's club circuit, and eventually to large crowds in Europe and a label deal with Delmark Records. 

D.L. / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Chicago Blues Festival will include a celebration of the city's independent blues record label, Alligator Records, and a tribute to guitarist Otis Rush. The city announced the lineup Tuesday. The free festival runs June 10 through 12 in Grant Park. Shemekia Copeland and Curtis Salgado perform on the opening night in a salute to Alligator Records, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary. The second night's headline concert will be jazz and funk trombonist Fred Wesley and the New JBs. An all-star tribute to Otis Rush closes out the festival on the third night.

Trumpeter Randy Brecker Visits ISU

Apr 6, 2016
John Abbott

One of the most respected living jazz trumpeters is sharing his knowledge during an appearance at Illinois State University this Friday and Saturday during the school's jazz festival.

Blues singer-songwriter-performer Shari Puorto grew up in Connecticut listening to some of the great names in rock and blues, and was especially drawn to the intensity of Etta James. 

Radio Munson 3/31/16

Apr 1, 2016

Annie Ross, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, and Frankie Laine are among the vocalists on this week’s Radio Munson, plus the Ellington and Basie bands, the Hot Club of Cowtown, Fats Waller and more.

Peoria's Smokers Blues Band member Hal Duckett recently stopped by the GLT Studio's to talk with Jon Norton about band's debut album, titled "Roads Less Traveled."  He also talked about their recent trip to Memphis representing Peoria at the International Blues Challenge.  

Duckett says his brother introduced him to Blues through his record collection.  But he says he REALLY got the Blues ... in his car.  He says he was driving home from St. Louis ... and was listening to WGLT on his car radio.

Jean-Luc Bouchier

The latest album from Blues/Roots Rocker Peter Karp titled "The Arson's Match" is actually an over decade ago live date with former Rolling Stones member Mick Taylor.  In this Skype conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Karp details how he and Taylor met, and how as a teenager, he coincidentally found his calling at the "The Bottom Line," the same famous New York City nightclub where he recorded his new album shortly before the venue closed in 2004.

Radio Munson 3/24/16

Mar 28, 2016

There’s another eclectic lineup on this week’s Radio Munson with Norah Jones, Bob Crosby’s Bobcats, the Hot Club of Cowtown, and Leon Redbone, among others.  There’s a cool jazz version of Rogers and Hart’s song “Spring Is Here” and, before all is said and done, Oscar Peterson plays “Easter Parade.”

Elizabeth Geyer is an Australian singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who says creating albums can be a lengthy process for her.  She says she waited seven years after her last album to the record her latest.  In this Skype conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Geyer explains how she was inspired by Peoria multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Paul Adams to write and record her latest album, titled "The Bridge."

Matthieu Bitton

Dr. Lonnie Smith is now in his fifth decade of recording and performing as a solo act, and behind a virtual who's who of jazz legends.  Smith makes a stop in Chicago to play the Jazz Showcase this weekend (March 24-27). In a conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Dr. Smith says he remembers longing for a chance to make music from an early age.

Florian Levassort

Linsey Alexander's second album for Chicago’s Delmark Records is only his fourth as a solo artist.  WGLT's Jon Norton spoke with Alexander via phone at his home in Chicago to talk about his latest album titled “Come Back Baby” and about growing up in Memphis. 

They also talked about his live shows, which are often laden with flirtatious innuendo.

Carl Lender / Flickr

Livingston Taylor and his older brother James are polar opposites on the celebrity scale.  Though they have a similar vocal quality and share a love of well-crafted melodic pop songs, Livingston Taylor is about as anonymous as James Taylor is well known.  WGLT's Jon Norton caught up with Livingston Taylor in advance of his two Chicago appearances this weekend to talk about his anonymity.They also discussed his father’s alcoholism, and how it affected both brothers.

Pages