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Radio Munson 10/20/16

Oct 21, 2016

Now that the final debate of the political season is history, Don turns to some Happy Talk on this week’s radio Munson.  The SONG “Happy Talk,” that is, as Karrin Allyson does honors. Don also has singers Dianne Reeves and Dick Haymes on tap, along with the bands of Les Brown and Terry Gibbs plus a hat-tip to the season with “Autumn Leaves” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."

A two saxophone, one drummer lineup playing mostly instrumental, often challenging music is probably not a path most would take to win widespread acclaim.  But both the honest (if edgy) bounciness of their music and the unadulterated joy they deliver their muscular sound is attracting new fans to New York City based Moon Hooch nightly. 

For those old enough to remember the late avant-garde saxophonist Thomas Chapin, Moon Hooch’s energy and stage movement will sound and look familiar.  When asked if the band views itself as Chapin did, that the band is a conduit rather than creator of music, drummer James Muschler said he’s still trying to comprehend music itself.

The Black Crowes founder Chris Robinson formed his latest incarnation “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood"  in 2011.  Since then, the group has 5 albums to its credit, including the well-received self-produced "Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel."  Robinson said the band wasn’t looking to forgo an outside producer for the July 2016 release so much as band members felt they had a grip on the sound they were looking for.

Radio Munson 10/13/16

Oct 14, 2016

Big Band vocalists drifted from band to band during the 1930's and 40's and the Ted Weems Orchestra boasted of some good ones, most notably Perry Como.  But Weems was stuck with some clunkers at times, too, and one of those was Elmo Tanner.  At one point Weems was so disappointed with Elmo’s singing that he asked Tanner to just WHISTLE the lyrics to a song titled “Heartaches.”  The record became one of the era’s biggest hits, and Don gives it a spin on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 10/6/16

Oct 7, 2016

Don checks in from Tucson, Arizona for this week’s Radio Munson with Tony Bennett’s promise that “There’ll Be Some Changes Made.”  There are sides from Jonah Jones, Janice Siegel, Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore on Don’s playlist, plus Stacey Kent states the obvious when she sings “’Tis Autumn."

Eight Time Tony Winner 'Once' Comes To Springfield

Oct 6, 2016
Sangamon Auditorium

In 2007, a low budget sleeper film called "Once" about a Dublin street singer and a Czech woman who begin to write songs together gained a cult following.

In 2012, "Once" was first staged as a Broadway musical, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It was an unusual film and musical in that there's very little plot and character development.

The show's popularity stems from its staple of pop-style songs. "Once" is coming to Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium this Sunday, October 10

Radio Munson 9/29/16

Oct 3, 2016

Catherine Russell kicks off this week’s Radio Munson with “We the People (Gotta have Rhythm and Song)” and Don follows up with plenty of all of that!  There’s Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Django, the Mills Brothers, Hoagy Carmichael and plenty more.

Cody Diekhoff (a.k.a Chicago Farmer) said he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life while growing up in rural Delavan, Illinois.  And it frustrated him.

"I remember my councilor and parents asking me what I wanted to do after high school" said Diekhoff.  "And I said 'I don't know.'  They asked me what I liked to do, and I said 'I like to go around breaking things.'"

One day he returned from school and announced he wanted to be a musician.  He said his parents were thrilled.

casajimbopics / Flickr

Country-folk rocker James McMurtry  attributes his penchant for writing about many different kinds of rural characters to growing up in rural northern Virginia, and to relatives in rural Texas.  And he said he often writes about the dark side of those characters because he gets tired of what he called "the glossing over of real life."

"I get sick of hearing 'what have they done with old home place' over and over again.  Cause I know what they did with the old home place" said McMurtry.  "Grandpa got senile, your evil Aunt Francis got power of attorney and sold it out from under everybody.  That's what happens in the real country."

Radio Munson 9/22/16

Sep 23, 2016

Trumpeter Jonah Jones left his home in Louisville to play jazz on the riverboats that plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in the 1920's before touring with Cab Calloway’s band in the 30's and then he re-emerged in the 1950's and 60's as the leader of a small combo that sold a bunch of albums for Capitol Records.  Jonah Jones comes alive again on this week’s Radio Munson along with the classic “Let Me Off Uptown” with vocalist Anita O’Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge.

Radio Munson 9/15/16

Sep 22, 2016

There might be rain in the weekend forecast but Don is urging all Radio Munson listeners to “Keep Your Sunny Side Up.”  The Hi-Los do honors on the sunny 1929 song.  Plus, Don has the swing bands of Les Elgar, Gordon Goodwin and Les Brown, vocalists Dianne Reeves, the Andrews Sisters and Leon Redbone.

Beth Hart is teasing fans ahead of the release of her new album with the iTunes and Spotify release of the title track.  "Fire On The Floor" is another smoldering blues ballad, a style that has become her calling card.  "Fire On The Floor" might be even more intense than her 2012 Kennedy Center Awards performance of "I'd Rather Go Blind" with Jeff Beck.  When asked for a preview of other songs on her upcoming album, Hart said she took a different approach to songwriting on "Fire On The Floor."

Radio Munson 9/8/16

Sep 20, 2016

Frank Sinatra at his prime from Las Vegas highlights Radio Munson this week.  Frank belts out a pair of songs from the Vegas Sands Hotel, backed by the Count Basie Band.  Don also serves up a Jimmie Lunceford band classic, swinging vocals by Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae, and the Hot Sardines, plus a breathtaking solo from guitar virtuoso Joe Pass.

egkight.com

"Georgia Songbird" E.G. Kight talks with GLT's Jon Norton.

Flaccid

Nolan Kelly and Nick Ward of Flaccid said they can't remember seriously considering another name for their Bloomington-Normal based band.  Ward recalled "Captain something or other."   Kelly laughed and said "Once you go with Flaccid you never go back." When pressed further, Kelly adamantly said no other name came to mind. "You have to be pretty sure of yourself when you settle on a name like that" declared Kelly.

Ward and Kelly said the band name starts a few snickering conversations.

"Usually at first it's a pretty good laugh" said Kelly.  "But once they hear the music or get what it's about, they're usually pretty impressed it's a little more under the surface than what they might have expected."

Dave Weld is one of the founding members of the Chicago Blues Band Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials.  But his Chicago Blues history dates back to his time with Ed's uncle, the now legendary bluesman J.B. Hutto.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin Blues, Weld talks to Jon Norton about meeting Hutto and other blues artists when he ventured from white clubs on Chicago's north side to the black clubs on the city's "grittier" west side. 

Chris Monaghan

As one of the top blues harmonica players in the world, Chicago area native Bob Corritore travels the world playing the music he learned to love as a teenager growing up in Wilmette.  Now living in Phoenix, Corritore also owns "The Rhythm Room," a club specializing in blues and roots music.  Corritore also has a regular blues show on a Phoenix radio station, and is an enthusiastic blues ambassador and historian.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Corritore talks to Jon Norton about hearing the blues as a teen. 

Marty Rickard

Shaun Murphy returns to central Illinois to perform at the 2016 Blues Blast Music Awards September 23 at the Fluid Events Center in Champaign.  Murphy is nominated for Female Blues Artist, a category she won in 2012 when GLT Blues Radio broadcast the awards show live from Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago.  In addition to fronting her own band, Murphy has a distinguished music background.

Radio Munson 8/25/16

Aug 31, 2016

Don salutes the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and its young singer, Frank Sinatra, on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Harry Connick, Jr., Peggy Lee, June Christy, plus some memories of Toots Thielemans.

James Christopher

At this time last year, Walter Trout was still re-gaining his strength following a liver transplant the year prior.  Today Trout sounds strong and happy to be alive.  When a 16 year old recording of a performance at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival was brought to his attention, specifically his aside saying he was appreciating his mortality more than ever as friends and family were beginning to die, Trout took a deep breath and said "I feel right now even more that every day is a bonus, every breath is beautiful.  Like 'there's another breath, I got to do that again'."

Marc Murphy

Chicago native Greg Murphy has been a fixture on the New York City jazz scene since the 1980's, performing and recording with numerous jazz luminaries.  Ahead of his show at The Promontory in Chicago August 25,
the one time Illinois State University computer science student talked with GLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Summer Breeze."  Murphy said among  the songs he recorded for the album were originals he wrote nearly 30 years ago.

A. BANKS/MRTJAZZ.COM

Mardra and Reggie Thomas are a husband-wife jazz team from DeKalb, Illinois.  Mardra is a vocalist with a theatrical background.  Reggie is a pianist and coordinator of the jazz program at Northern Illinois University.  They'll play the Front Street Music Fest in downtown Bloomington August 20, where they'll feature music from their new album "Matters of the Heart."  Reggie Thomas said he appreciates when fans refer to their recordings as "albums."

Radio Munson 8/18/16

Aug 18, 2016

One of Duke Ellington’s most haunting compositions was “Creole Love Call,” and Duke’s band plays it on this week’s Radio Munson; plus a newly-discovered recording by jazz guitar innovator Wes Montgomery, vocals from Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Eydie Gorme, and a rousing 1938 concert swinger by Benny Goodman.

Dylan Langille (OntheDL)

Transcendental Folk is a term often used to describe the music of Nederland, Colorado based Elephant Revival.   The town of 1500 sits in the rarified hills just southwest of Boulder. 8200 feet above sea level, this mountain town with a mining past has a burgeoning music scene far surpassing its small population.  Elephant Revival's fiddle player Bridget Law says the high profile artists utilizing the now legendary Caribou Ranch Recording Studio just outside Nederland helped the town become home to a concentrated group of talented musicians.

Radio Munson 8/11/16

Aug 16, 2016

How hot is it?  Don totes out the ultimate cooler on this week's Radio Munson, “T’aint No Sin (To Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around In Your Bones)”  Drummer Gregg Field’s band plays “The Heat’s On,”  Mizz Elizabeth and The Hot Sardines offer “Honeysuckle Rose,” and 1950s pop star Frankie Laine show his jazz chops with Buck Clayton’s band singing “Until the Real Thing Comes Along."

Radio Munson 8/4/16

Aug 9, 2016

Radio Munson returns to GLT from summer vacation with Andy Farber's "Seems Like Old Times" kicking off a swinging Thursday evening.  Don has lined up sides from Will Bradley's band, vocalists Lena Horne, Nat Cole and Diana Krall plus, as we head into the dog days of summer, an upbeat Artie Shaw version of "Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog gone."

@jeffbeckmusic

60 years into a career seems like an odd time to shake things up, but for iconic guitarist and blues-man Jeff Beck, the timing could not be any more perfect.

Miami bluesman Albert Castiglia returns to central Illinois early next month, and this time he's touring on what critics are calling his finest album.  Castiglia says he agrees with with what his critics are saying about the album titled "Big Dog," and credits the albums producer Mike Zito.

"Because Mike and I are cut out of a similar cloth musically, and we both grew up listening to blues and rock music made it a good pairing. There's an edge to this album.  Mike dialed in my guitar sound. When we met at the studio, he brought his trailer full of all the equipment he owns.  We experimented with sound and he really got my guitar sound to what I sound like live.  And vocally he pushed me to heights I never thought possible."

Required Listening: The First Half of 2016

Jul 22, 2016
@carseatheadrest

2016 has been a year of major loss in the music community. But halfway through the year, an incredible array of music has been released to help the healing process. WGLT's Taylor Bauer takes a look at five releases that caught his eye in the first half of 2016.

Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool

@chrisyoungmusic

Country music is changing in just about every way. A more pop-friendly sound, sold out stadium tours, and a fresh batch of new talent is challenging tradition and moving the genre to new heights. Don't panic; the classic country style is still alive and well.

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