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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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.

Emily Hope plays the Make Music Normal Festival tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. in the uptown Normal Roundabout.
Erin Barnard / Sesh Portraiture

Bloomington singer-songwriter Emily Hope is bullish on her sunny outlook and a sense of hope. Matter of fact, the first line in her online bio reads “ … a smiley 23-year-old singer/songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player.”

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.

Patrick Sweany
Joshua Black Wilkins

When bluesman Patrick Sweany plays Jazz UpFront on Saturday night, he'll be sporting a new release, and a new recording he says gave him goosebumps during the recording process.

Adia Victoria headlines the GLT Summer Concert June 8
Red Light Management

South Carolina native Adia Victoria is often described as a blues woman with elements of punk, gospel, and goth. Not unlike Flannery O’Connor, one of her favorite authors.

Gangstagrass performs Tuesday at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington
Sean Jamar

You might think bluegrass and hip-hop would mix like oil and water, but Gangstagrass banjoist Dan Whitener says the band attracts bluegrass fans being turned onto hip-hop for the first time, and hip-hop heads who get into bluegrass through Gangstagrass.

Reverberation Vinly's John Anderson holding the album "My Pharaoh, My King" by  John Moloney and Anthony Pasquarosa
Jon Norton / WGLT

Reverberation Vinyl owner John Anderson is enamored with many styles of folk, psychedelic and instrumental music. That music is often on the turntable when you enter his store across from Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington.

Daniel Wolff and Sarah Vos. Dead Horses play The Hallowed Hall Saturday night.
Brandie Myhre

Sarah Vos said she was conflicted about her religious upbringing even before her father was kicked out as pastor of their Missouri Synod denomination Lutheran church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Ken Lam in action
Ken Lam

The lure of the symphony and the timelessness of classical music comes from the power and images invoked in the listener.

Duane Betts and Devon Allman
Allman Betts Band

When you're the son of an Allman Brothers founder, music doors can open easier ... but expectations are higher.

Devon Allman and Duane Betts know this firsthand.

Dan Hubbard playing the keyboard
Troy Phillips

Bloomington singer-songwriter Dan Hubbard was so pleased with his 2016 self-titled album, he decided to put music aside. He even enrolled in seminary school.

Jamie Day

Twin City musicians Gregg Brown and Trenton Perry may seem an odd pairing. Brown came of age during the late 60s hippie movement, Perry grew up in the 90s enamored with the music of Blink-182 among other favorites from the 80s and 90s.

Promotional poster for Kool Ray & the Polaroidz, circa 1980s
Tracy Pitts / Stormbrew Music

Members of the 1980s central Illinois band Kool Ray & the Polaroidz reunite Sunday evening at Daddios in downtown Bloomington for a musical celebration of life for the man who managed them.

Brianne Murphy playing Durand Jones on the turntable at Waiting Room Records
Jon Norton / WGLT

The sound of classic soul music is enjoying a renaissance. Artists including Sharon Jones & the DapKings, Leon Bridges, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and Jill Scott have taken inspiration from late 60s and early 70s soul when writing and recording new music.

Dire Wolves
Dire Wolves

Record store culture is in the blood of Jeffrey Alexander.

“I’m a complete record nerd,” said the Dire Wolves band member. “Just like everybody who plays this kind of music, I’m sure."

Rhett Miller of Old 97's Keeps Moving

Mar 25, 2019
Rhett Miller
Ebru Yildiz

Rhett Miller and his band Old 97’s hail from Texas. Yet, with songs set in Chicago’s Empty Bottle nightclub or others with titles such as “Champaign, Illinois,” and “Bloomington,” there often seems to be an Illinois connection.

Why so many Illinois songs?

Performer and educator Paige Hernandez said she created the multi-cultural/multi-generational show Liner Notes to bridge generational gaps while preserving the culture of hip-hop.

Miles Nielsen is a homebody. Despite (or perhaps because of) heavy touring with his own band The Rusted Hearts and spending his youth traveling the world with his father's band Cheap Trick, he continues to make Rockford his home.

Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas
The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots lead vocalist/bassist Kelly Ogden said moving from Florida to Los Angeles in 2002 and then forming their own record label a decade later have been shrewd life decisions.

Daniel Watkins
Troy Phillips

Alt-folk and newgrass singer-songwriter Daniel Watkins felt somewhat isolated growing up in Henry, a town today of roughly 2,300 on the west side of the Illinois River about 45 minutes northeast of Peoria.

Anthony Gomes
Stephen Jensen

Blues-rocker Anthony Gomes says he's donating a portion of the proceeds of his Friday show at the Castle Theatre to the Twin Cities-based HEAL Foundation, which supports autism acceptance.

Way Down Wanderers, left to right, John Merikoski, Travis Kowalsky, John WIlliams, Austin Krause-Thompson, Collin Krause
Keith Cotton

The Peoria-based Way Down Wanderers are giddy their just released second full-length album “Illusions” is currently No. 3 on Billboard Magazine’s Bluegrass chart.

Vandoliers
Mike Brooks

Dallas-based Vandoliers' recent deal with respected Chicago indie label Bloodshot Records was a big deal.

Sierra Hull
Sierra Hull

Sierra Hull fell in love with the mandolin almost immediately after her father taught her a few songs on the instrument.

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