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Music

Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson

Edward David Anderson has been flying solo as a folk/country/rock artist since Backyard Tire Fire announced an "indefinite hiatus" in 2011.  With two critically acclaimed albums since 2014 and a touring  schedule that keeps his cars odometer spinning, the multi-instrumental Anderson has found his sea legs post-BTF.  But he didn't find them overnight.

Janae Thomason

Though it's been done successfully, being band mates with a romantic partner can be fraught with ... challenges.  Where does business end and personal begin?  When is a decision final and who makes that decision?  What if one of the two becomes the breakout performer?

Husband and wife Jay and Jenae Thomason ARE the Bloomington-Normal based acoustic duo Hot Sauce Universe.   Jenae said playing with Jay in HSU brought them closer together.

"We connected hard from the get-go," said Jenae.

Paul Natkin

Rocking through what is now album 10 in a 30 year career with the legendary Alligator Records, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials show no sign of slowing down.  Though not as nimble as when he regularly performed back bends and toe walks, the energy and crunching houserockin' blues Lil' Ed Williams and his bandmates generate is as authentic as their late label mate Hound Dog Taylor.   Reflecting on those three decades of recording and performing, Williams said he has lived his dream.

“The funny thing about it, when I was walking around praying to the good Lord above saying what I wanted out of life, which was a wife and family, and a nice house to live in, I never asked for too much.  We start asking and we get greedy, you know.  And here it is: 19 (years of marriage) and 30 years later, I pretty much got what I asked for,” said Williams.

Radio Munson 11/10/16

Nov 11, 2016

Don is back in The Friendly Confines for this Week's Radio Munson, swinging out from the GLT studios with the Duke Ellington and Les Brown bands, Blossom Dearie, Ernie Andrews and the Manhattan Transfer, plus Lionel Hampton's famous recording of "Ring Them Bells!"

Dino Perucci

Danielle Nicole said flying solo after 15 years with her sibling band "Trampled Underfoot" had her a bit nervous.  But when critical raves and a Blues Blast Music Award for her debut album "Wolf Den" rolled in, she said it was validating.

"There was a lot of skepticism when "Trampled Underfoot" broke up and we went our separate ways.  Our fans said we were so great together and wondered how we're going to do this apart.  So it was pretty cool to be well received and to especially be nominated at all.  And then to receive the award was just awesome," said Nicole.

Marc PoKempner

Pierre Lacocque is especially geeked about Mississippi Heat's just released album "Cab Driving Man."  But to be fair, he was especially geeked about the band's last recording, 2014's "Warning Shot."

Radio Munson 11/3/16

Nov 3, 2016

A pair of originals from the flapper years of the 1920s headline this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins a hit by the girl who became “Betty Boop” and the guy who sang “Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now.”  Don also has sides by Curtis Stigers, Chris Connor, and Cassandra Wilson, plus an anniversary salute to Glenn Miller’s famous instrumental “A String of Pearls."

The Deep Hollow co-founder Micah Walk immediately knew “Devil” was a good song.

“Liz and I started writing songs together before Dave came along” said Walk, referring to fellow group members Liz Eckert and Dave Littrell.  “That was one of the first three or four songs we wrote, and I thought ‘this is coming along pretty well.’”

Hand Bell Choirs Enhance Church Worship

Nov 1, 2016
U.S. Coast Guard/Flickr

They produce one of the most distinctive and pleasing sounds to the ear. The mellifluous tones of hand bells and chimes are a regular part of the music ministry at many churches, like Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington.

John Legg / www.johnleggphotography.com

Oliver Wood sort of chuckled when he said joining forces with brother Chris to form the Wood Brothers in 2005 was a good career move.

"Until that time, I certainly put in my 10,000 plus hours of playing music and working as a musician, but I was never able to realize the creative part with the business part to really make a living and be taken seriously in the world" said Wood.

Mitchell Glotzner

“Big Head Todd and the Monsters” built an audience for their rock/alt/pop/jam sound over 30+ years of touring, even landing a few songs and albums on Billboard magazine’s music charts.  But blues music has always been near and dear to band leader Todd Mohr, even if straight-up blues songs haven’t been part of their recorded output.

Radio Munson 10/27/16

Oct 27, 2016

Bobby Darin, Ann Hampton Callaway and Buddy Greco belt out swingers on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Larry Clinton, Benny Goodman and Harry Connick, Junior, plus a 1954 West Coast Jazz classic from Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

Daniel Hartwig / Flickr

When Chess Records co-founder Phil Chess died October 18 at age 95, it was another opportunity to wax nostalgic about a fertile era of independent U.S. record companies.  From the early 1950’s through the late 1960’s, the Chicago based blues label and its peer independents Atlantic, Sun, and Stax Records, produced and sold millions of recordings of some of America’s greatest roots music.

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. 

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