Music Features | WGLT

Music Features

GLT has always been devoted to music. Blues, folk and jazz have been among our offerings for decades but we're also eager to explore just about any musical genre with you.  We love to feature interviews with musicians, visits to record stores, talking about who's rising in the local music scene and telling you about national acts headed our way. Here are some of our best music features. 

Kansas L to R is Richard Williams, Billy Greer, Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, Ronnie Platt, David Manion, and David Ragsdale.
Michie Turpin

The words "Congrats you got the job" are likely the five most exciting and terrifying words Ronnie Platt had ever heard.

Dexter O'Neal & Funkyard
http://dexteroneal.com/

“When I got to meet Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, I was on ‘10’ because he was my salvation,” said Dexter O’Neal of the R&B legend who passed away in 2013.

Nightshop during daytime
Jon Norton / WGLT

Longtime local musician and promoter Chris Golwitzer realized a dream this month when he opened Nightshop on the north end of downtown Bloomington.

Ike Reilly (in spotlight)
ikereilly.net

“My connection to Bloomington-Normal is pretty crazy,” said Ike Reilly from his home in Libertyville.

He was referring to guitarists Tommy O’Donnell and Phil Karnats, who will be at his side March 15 when the Ike Reilly Assassination returns to the Castle Theatre.

Jazz vocalist and international cabaret star Spider Saloff agreed jazz artists would be wise to incorporate a more theatrical style into their performances.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Owner James Gaston was sitting at a four-chair circular table in his club on Front Street across from the McLean County Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington. It’s been nearly three years since Jazz UpFront opened, and despite the immense pressures of running a live jazz club anywhere in America, jazz is still a staple in his club every Friday and Saturday night.

Gabby Bozeman / WGLT

In 2016 streaming services became the primary way Americans listened to music. But Bloomington-Normal still has three independent record stores, where physical music, mostly vinyl, makes up the vast majority of their sales. Indeed, record stores in the Twin Cities have bucked the current, rising in popularity from a low point about 15 years ago.

The BraziLionaires

The seven-piece Latin-fusion group The BraziLionaires add 50+ pieces to their sound when they merge with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra for their annual Romance Concert.

Courtesy

The Feudin’ Hillbillys. It's a name that conjures both a kind of music and an attitude.

Tom Becker library

Tom Becker graduated from Stanford (IL) High School. That alone will date him.

Kevin Schertz

What would life be without music for Chris Corkery?

“I can’t … ” said Corkery softly, pausing to consider the implications. “Wow … good question. It’s hard for me to even conceptualize that. Music … saved my life in a lot of ways for many years.”

Rebirth Brass Band

If you grow up in New Orleans, you’re going to absorb the musical legacy of that city.

Emmy Holmes-Hicks

Emmy Holmes-Hicks caught the fiddle bug by age 4.

“An older cousin would visit from Thunder Bay, Ontario,” said Holmes-Hicks. “She played Canadian-style fiddle. There was something that just drew me to that music, so much I was just glued to her and I think my parents noticed that.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

Jeff Wilson of North Street Records in Uptown Normal suggests the new Beatles Christmas box set for the Beatles fan who has everything. The box set was released Dec. 15.

Matt Barber

Peoria-born Matt Barber was in high school in 2003 when hits from hip-hop star 50 Cent and others by R. Kelly, Beyoncé and rocker Three Doors Down topped the popular music charts. Barber wasn’t oblivious to those sounds, but his passion attending Rock Island high school gravitated to the chart-topping songs of many generations prior.

“Ever since I was a young boy, I've played the silver ball …”

The opening line from "Pinball Wizard" isn't the primary reason Bloomington-Normal cover band Wildermore decided to cover songs by The Who for the Silver Ball fundraiser “after party” Dec. 9 at Diggers in Bloomington. But it is a nice tie-in.

Morgan Shulte

Growing up in Lincoln, Joe Borbely and Michael Klug had a mutual friend in elementary school who was a huge fan of The Beatles. But the 1976 born Borbely said the Fab-4 grew on him when he grew older and could appreciate the depth of the band’s music and lyrics.

Maryelle St. Clare

Away from stage lights and adoring fans, life as a touring musician can be challenging. The stress of being away from family for weeks or months at a time and dealing with long rides between gigs can fray the nerves of the closest of friends.

Michelle Tschetter / zoomadesign.com

John Till grew up in Naperville but was always drawn to the outdoors and wide open spaces. Till gets right to it on the opening track to his new album of originals titled “Work Away The Day.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

Michael Klug and Joe Borbely of Bloomington’s Jack Dupp & the Empty Bottles say they have seen both the drought and the resurgence of the central Illinois Music scene. Klug said "it’s about time."

Simply Saucer founder and front man Edgar Breau said he never saw one of the band’s major influences when it played his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, in 1966.

"We looked up the show on microfiche just to see what the review said. The entertainment editor that saw them was completely baffled by the show," said Breau via Skype, referring to the groundbreaking but similarly then obscure Velvet Underground.

Not unlike reaction the proto-punk Simply Saucer was receiving in the early 1970s?

Stefen Robinson qualifies his thoughts even before he voices them. He wants to clarify that his new album under the moniker "Yea Big" has words and concepts that may raise a few eyebrows in central Illinois.

When we last caught up with Ryan Weisheit, “Pokey LaFarge sideman" was new to the musical resume of the co-founder of New York City’s hot jazz ensemble Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers.

Dave Frenzia

Normal native Adam Larson sounded more relaxed than during previous interviews. Has marriage and a very young son mellowed the intensity of the Type-A saxophonist?

Shervin Lainez

Black Crowes founding member Rich Robinson said his new band doesn't feel like the Black Crowes.

Victoria Smith

Tommy Castro has incorporated soul and rock into his blues from nearly the time he began playing music. On his new album “Stompin’ Ground,” he overtly tips his hat to the soul and “hippie-rock” he assimilated while musically coming of age in San Jose, California, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Kate Ford

The now Chicago-based pop-rock quintet Red Scarves returns to Bloomington-Normal Sept. 30 for a house show, where they will feature songs from their scheduled late October release “Sort Of Scarlet.”

"Hard Rockin’ Woman" is the second song on “Hurricane” Ruth LeMaster’s latest album “Ain’t Ready for the Grave.” It’s an apt description for the Beardstown native.

Mike McMillen / Front Row Perspective

Peoria’s Bret Bunton remembers listening to GLT Blues when he was 6 or 7 years old.

The Ronnie Baker Brooks 2017 release “Times Have Changed” is aptly titled. For one, he altered his guitar sound, leaving his coveted guitar pedals at home during the recording of the album.

“I plugged straight into the amp through a Gibson guitar,” said Brooks. “That was an adjustment for me at first, mentally.”

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