WGLT Music Podcast | WGLT

WGLT Music Podcast

WGLT's Music Director Jon Norton interviews big names and emerging talent from the music world as their travels take them into Central Illinois. Discover eclectic music spanning blues, rock, jazz, and more.

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Michael Mwenso & the Shakes perform "Harlem 100" Thursday night at The Krannert Center in Urbana
Elizabeth Leitzell

Michael Mwenso's music destiny appeared after his mother was deported from their home in London to her native Africa.

Sherwood Forest's EP release party is Saturday night at the Coffeehouse in Normal
Cedric Wilder

The principal songwriter and lead vocalist for the Bloomington-Normal folk-rock quintet Sherwood Forest said the group's new EP digs into personal struggles both internal and with family, friends, and lovers.

Hot Sauce Universe during the live recording of 'According to Lore'
Erin B

Intentionally recording a studio album in front of a live audience can be perilous. What if the audience doesn't respond? What if the performers aren't in synch musically that night?

Chris Corkery's CD release party is Saturday night at Keg Grove Brewing Company
Chris Corkery

Alcohol and anger fuel many of the original songs on the just released "The Gill Street Sessions" live album from Saybrook singer-songwriter Chris Corkery.

Good Morning Bedlam plays Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night.
Good Morning Bedlam

Good Morning Bedlam is another young string band more inspired by — than tethered to — traditional bluegrass.

Old Salt Union plays the Castle Theatre Friday night
Jfeldman Photography

In the bluegrass world where technical prowess is highly valued, stand-up bassist and vocalist Jesse Farrar of Old Salt Union believes songwriting actually trumps instrumental virtuosity.

Danielle Nicole plays the MSA Blues Concert and Fundraiser at Monarch Music Hall tomorrow night
MF Photography

It's not easy to recapture the magic of a family music group after touring exhaustion kills the joy and the chemistry. Kansas City native Danielle Nicole has done that by changing her scene.

Guitarist Naeim Rahmani guests at the upcoming Classical Mandolin Society of America Convention in uptown Normal
Naeim Rahmani

Naeim Rahmani is unusual in the world of classical guitar. He began formal lessons at age 22, an age most serious players had already been practicing for up to 4-5 hours per day since their mid-teens.

Jason Hawk Harris plays Nightshop Friday night.
Bloodshot Records

Jason Hawk Harris’ debut on Bloodshot Records is an Americana gem many are calling one of the best albums of the year.

Jared Alcorn of Waiting Room Records reviews the new Drab Majesty album
Jon Norton / WGLT

If you had walked into Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal in the last few weeks, you might have thought owner Jared Alcorn was in a nostalgic 1980s mood. An album with a nod to that synth sounding decade was getting heavy play on the store's turntable.

Wiplot plays a rare show at Nightshop Saturday night.
Vince SanFilippo

The Bloomington-Normal alt-pop/rock quartet Wiplot makes a rare performance Saturday night at Nightshop in downtown Bloomington.

Les Filles de Illighadad plays Reverberation Vinyl Monday night.
Les Filles de Illighadad

This week wasn’t the first, tenth, or maybe the hundredth time Reverberation Vinyl owner John Anderson was spinning what’s become known as Desert Blues on the turntable in his Bloomington store.

Stephanie Jean and Chris Turpin are Ida Mae. They play the Peoria Blues and Heritage Festival Saturday night.
Dean Chalkley

Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean seemingly had it made by 2014. The English natives were half of the grunge/blues band Kill It Kid that was signed to Sire Records and had just released its third album.

Grant Milliren plays Nightshop in Bloomington Saturday night
Jeff Smudde / Courtesy of Grant Milliren

Grant Milliren, now 21, was getting serious about music by his mid-teens. But the Illinois State University arts technology student was also a varsity athlete at Neuqua Valley High School in suburban Naperville.

Josh Ritter plays The Castle Theatre Friday night.
David McClister

Josh Ritter is known worldwide as a talented songwriter. Matter of fact, Paste Magazine named him one of the 100 greatest living songwriters in 2006.

Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials headline the Front Street Music Festival August 17.
Paul Natkin

Lil' Ed Williams and his band The Blues Imperials emulate the Chicago houserockin’ style of fellow Alligator Records great Hound Dog Taylor and Lil' Ed's uncle, Delmark Records artist J.B. Hutto.

John Conlee play the Normal Theater tomorrow night
John Conlee

John Conlee is one of those small-town boys that made good. Coming of age in the 1950s on a farm outside Versailles, Kentucky, Conlee’s family sold eggs door to door and raised sheep and even feeder pigs. Their cash crop at that time was tobacco.

National Park Radio plays the Hallowed Hall in downtown Bloomington Sunday night
National Park Radio

Stefan Szabo came to professional music at the relative late age of his later 30s.

The founder of the folk/Americana band National Park Radio says working full-time in IT after college, then getting married and having two kids at 19 and 21 kept him from pursuing his love of music, at least full time.

The Menzingers play The Castle Theatre Friday night
Jess Flynn

The Philadelphia-based pop/punk band The Menzingers has received critical acclaim for their last two albums, much of which fleshes out the angst of moving from 20-somethings into their 30s.

The Darts play Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night
Chris Barber

A judge and prosecutor ... a sports medicine teacher ... an orthodontist office administrator. That doesn't scream "all-female horror-punk/garage-rock band that tours the world."

Tony Young, center on vocals, and Baaad Boyz play Jazz UpFront tonight
Baaad Boyz

The leader of Springfield's soul/R&B/funk mostly cover band Baaad Boyz said a special ingredient separates them from other area bands.

Denise LaGrassa at the piano
Mark Gordon

Denise LaGrassa is known best in the Central Illinois area and in Chicago for her jazz-blues sound.

Illinois Rail play the Bluegrass and Brass Summer Concert tomorrow
Illinois Rail

A steamboat cruise on the Illinois River seems an unlikely first gig for a gospel-tinged bluegrass band.

The Shugz Beatz play the Sugar Creek Arts Festival Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Shuga Beatz

Songwriting is an important component for members of the Shuga Beatz, the Bloomington-Normal rock/blues/R&B sextet. Important enough to mention such on the group's website.

Stone & Snow
Courtesy

For over seven years, the alternative folk group Stone & Snow has been building a career one step at a time.

David Lowery, front, and Johnny Hickman of Cracker
Bradford Jones

If David Lowery did nothing else but write and record “Teen Angst” for his early 90s debut Cracker album, it would be one heckuva song to be remembered for.

The crackling rocker takes an apparent jab at folk music and conventional wisdom with one of the great lines in a rock song:

Lauren Jenkins plays The Castle Theatre Friday night.
Michael Church

Big Machine label group artist Lauren Jenkins utilized her background in acting and film directing to produce a video short to compliment three traditional music videos related to her new album.

Matt Anderson, Edward David Anderson and Tim Kramp of Backyard Tire Fire
Edward David Anderson

Black Dirt Music Festival founder Edward David Anderson says the outdoor July event next to the Castle Theatre is intended to celebrate the best features of Bloomington-Normal.

Travis Thacker (sax) and Ryan Nolan (bass)
Robert Clark / RobotFresh

The Bloomington-Normal instrumental powerhouse Disorganizer unveils its first full-length album Friday night when the quartet performs at Nightshop in downtown Bloomington.

Poster Children vocalist and lyricist Rick Valentin said his one-man project Thoughts Detecting Machines allows him to flesh out ideas not necessarily a fit for Poster Children.

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