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GLT Music Evolves With Highway 309, Plus Three New Shows

Ariele at the microphone
Jeff Smudde
Ariele Jones hosts GLT's Center Stage, which is moving to Sunday nights. She'll also be the voice of the new Highway 309 music format.

Some changes are coming to GLT’s music lineup—and we think you’re going to love it.

This summer GLT will debut a new music format with an expanded music catalog, plus three new music shows. Center Stage will move to Sunday nights as GLT’s Acousticity signs off after 27 years.

Starting June 8, GLT Blues will evolve to Highway 309, led by Music Director Jon Norton, with an updated roots-based format that encompasses GLT's deep history with blues and folk while including soul and gospel seasoned with a dash of adult rock. Hear it on 89.1 FM on weekends and overnights, and streaming 24/7 at WGLT.org.

Here’s a taste of Highway 309, via a Spotify playlist curated by Jon Norton:

We’re also thrilled to be adding World Cafe to GLT’s lineup, weeknights from 7 to 9 p.m. starting June 3. This show, from NPR Music and WXPN in Philadelphia, serves up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances, and intimate interviews. It’s a perfect fit for GLT’s Highway 309 format.

Also joining the schedule is Sound Opinions (noon Saturdays) and All Songs Considered (7 p.m. Saturdays). Sound Opinions features smart and engaging music criticism and conversation from respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. It’s produced by WBEZ Chicago. All Songs Considered, produced by NPR, is home to the best new music and a community of fans always ready to share their opinions on the current music scene.

“We’ve had our eye on several of these shows for a while, and we believe they will bring even more diversity of content to GLT’s already strong lineup,” said GLT General Manager R.C. McBride.

GLT’s Center Stage, hosted by Ariele Jones, will move to Sunday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight, starting June 9. That’s the former home of GLT’s Acousticity, which ends June 2. The Acousticity music stream will end June 10.

“After 27 wonderful years of hosting and producing Acousticity, I’ve decided to ‘fully retire’ in June,” said host Bruce Bergethon. “I’m excited about becoming a grandpa—twins! yikes!—and look forward to continuing to enjoy music as a player and listener. But it’s time to leave the show while it’s still (I think) in top form.”

“There are many great memories, including artist interviews, Blue Moon broadcasts and GLT concerts, the unveiling of exciting new artists, and the celebration of legacy folkies. Most important has been the encouragement of GLT’s great listeners over the years. Thank you! (Bluegrass speakin’: thankyavermuch!)”

Many of the artists featured on Acousticity—like Steve Earle, Rhiannon Giddens and Bob Dylan—will continue to be part of GLT’s new Highway 309 music format, Bergethon said.

“I encourage you to tune in and enjoy,” he said.

Questions? Contact GLT General Manager R.C. McBride.