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Music

Radio Munson 2/25/16

Feb 26, 2016

Stacey Kent, Kurt Elling, Sarah Vaughan, and Kenny Rankin are among the vocalists on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Glenn Miller, Larry Clinton and Stan Kenton, plus a virtuoso solo of Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

jimmyburnsband.com

Former GLT Summer Concert headliner Jimmy Burns says if you want to test your blues chops, show up on a Monday night at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago's Loop.  Now a senior member of the Chicago blues scene, Burns hosts the weekly Blues Jam every other Monday night.  WGLT's Jon Norton recently caught up with Burns.  They talked about his brothers, the restaurant Burns once owned, and about his latest album on Delmark Records titled "It Ain't Right."  Burns says one song he wanted to get on the CD was the Ben E. King classic "Stand By Me."

davealvin.net

Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin play the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington Saturday March 5th.
 Many music critics credit the two for kicking off the American Roots Rock scene in the early 1980's with their band The Blasters.   As teens the brothers absorbed the recordings of now legendary blues, rockabilly and country performers, and as Dave Alvin tells WGLT's Jon Norton, they also frequented nightclubs that featured these bands in their hometown of Downey, in Southern California.

Alyce Jackson

Band members Dennis Bosley and Danny Meyers met when both played in an early incarnation of the Dave Chastain Band.  When members of that band went their own ways, Bosley and Myers created "Rooster Alley." 

Though the band has been an active part of the central Illinois live music scene for nearly a quarter century, their recordings are few and far between. 

Radio Munson 2/18/16

Feb 17, 2016

There’s some “Jumpin’ Jive” from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on this week’s Radio Munson, along with a 1936 Benny Goodman set featuring vocals by Helen Ward and Lionel Hampton plus Benny’s iconic recording of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”  Ann Hampton Callaway is on Don’s playlist along with piano great Art Tatum.

Chicago Jazz Store Closes

Feb 16, 2016
Doug Siefken / Facebook via Creative Commons

The Chicago shop that bills itself as the world largest purveyor of jazz and blues records has shut down. The Jazz Record Mart closed the shop Monday, minutes after a deal was completed to sell the business. Reno, Nevada-based Wolfgang's Vault, which buys and sells music, film and other cultural items, has acquired the store's inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and web site. Owner Bob Koester, who began selling records in Chicago in the 1950s, said in January he put the business up for sale because of rising rent.

Ralph Weisheit

One of the musicians behind Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers is also now working with another New York City hot jazz band, "Jessy Carolina and The Hot Mess." Normal native and saxophonist Ryan Weisheit, along with vocalist Megg Farrell played the 2014 GLT Summer Concert in downtown Bloomington and their group continues to thrive in New York City's vibrant hot jazz scene. 

Radio Munson 2/11/16

Feb 12, 2016

Radio Munson makes a promise to take the chill off your Thursday evening with the Pointer Sisters’ rousing version of “Steam Heat,” plus Louis Armstrong’s rousing “Swing That Music, Johnny Hartman’s treatment of “Lush Life", and songs from two veterans of the vaudeville circuits—George Burns and Jimmy Durante.

Jon Norton / WGLT

A small independent Chicago record label has been documenting Chicago's unsung jazz, blues, and gospel keyboard players since the 1970's. One of the founders of the label is Steven Dolins, who founded "The Sirens Records" as a teenager in the 1970's. After a couple early pressings, he took a long break from recording to focus on his professional life.

Delta Groove Records

Andy Santana is a west coast harmonica player also known for his guitar and vocal prowess.  Though he's a household name up and down the California coastline, and he's played with blues music legends, his name outside the Golden State barely registers, even among blues fans.  On this edition of Talkin' Blues, Santana tells GLT's Jon Norton that it was his wife's urging that convinced him to make a "go of it" nationally. 

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Isle of Man native Davy Knowles brings his blues-rock to the Castle Theater Friday night (Feb 12).  Still just in his late 20's, Knowles says it was his father that first introduced him to the great British and American blues legends, as well other rock music of the 1960's and 70's.  Now living in Chicago, Knowles talks with WGLT's Jon Norton about a DVD project that has him back in Isle of Man.  He also talks about how his life changed the moment he first heard "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits. 

joedowell.com

Bloomington native Joe Dowell died yesterday (February 4) at age 76. His publicist said he had a heart attack last weekend and never recovered.  Dowell was briefly popular in the early 1960's with the #1 hit ballad "Wooden Heart."  The song had already been a European hit for Elvis Presley when Dowell's version was released in America.

35 year old Canadian JW-Jones has released 8 blues albums in just over a decade.  His latest is titled Belmont Boulevard.  It's his first album with producer Tom Hambridge, who has guided a slew of albums for many artists, including blues legend Buddy Guy.  On this Talkin' Blues excerpt, Jones tells GLT's Jon Norton that Hambridge's guidance was invaluable in the making of his new album.

Radio Munson 2/4/16

Feb 4, 2016

Carmen McRae, Charlie Barnet, Ethel Merman, and George Shearing are among the greats on Radio Munson this week as Don hosts Radio Munson from Southern Arizona, plus, in honor of this week’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the world’s oldest and largest, Don gives a spin to Glenn Miller’s classic “String of Pearls."

Portland Oregon based blues vocalist and songwriter Karen Lovely has a commanding stage presence that matches her equally powerful voice.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Lovely tells Jon Norton how she has learned to channel stage fright into that commanding stage presence.  She also talks about
her brand new album, titled "10 Miles of Bad Road."

Radio Munson 1/28/16

Jan 28, 2016

It’s “Buddy” week on Radio Munson as Don spins swingers from Buddy Bregman’s Band, singer Buddy Greco, and legendary drummer Buddy Rich with his band.  Make that three Buddys and one “Bunny,”—the great trumpeter Bunny Berigan.  Vocalist Annie Ross is on Don’s playlist along with Cab Calloway, The Boswell Sisters, and pianist Erroll Garner.

As a young girl, Brooklyn native Alexis P. Suter says she listened almost exclusively to gospel music.  That is, until a chance meeting with the Mills Brothers at age 9 opened up a new musical world for her.  She says from there she sang in school choirs and eventually found her way as a vocalist for House and Dance music in the early 1990's. Today she's the leader of the band that bears her name, and has opened for some of the bigger names in blues music.  Her latest album is "Love The Way You Roll." 

To peg San Francisco based Kim Nalley as just a vocalist and songwriter would be selling her short.  She's also an actor, a featured writer in various Bay Area publications, a former club owner, and a PhD candidate in history at UC-Berkeley.  Nalley covers some of that ground with GLT's Jon Norton on this edition of GLT Jazz Next.  She begins by talking about her new album "Blues People," which was inspired by the famous book by LeRoi Jones.

Radio Munson 1/21/16

Jan 22, 2016

Brothers take the spotlight on this week’s Radio Munson as Don plays Woody Herman’s famous 1947 song “Four Brothers,” plus a 1932 classic by the harmonizing Mills Brothers.  Terry Gibbs, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, and Peggy Lee are also on the playlist.

Gary Mitchell

Chris Yakopcic is a young guitarist/singer/songwriter who found himself drawn to acoustic blues at a young age.  He includes blues legends Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell as inspirations. But it was a show by a lesser known guitarist that sparked an "a-ha" moment along his musical career path.

"The Chief" talks Blues and Famous Friends

Jan 20, 2016

Jeff Ziff aka sodafixer / Flickr

Chicago Blues legend Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater celebrated his 81st birthday January 19th.  For his 79th birthday, Clearwater celebrated with a live show at Space Nightclub in Evanston. That show was recorded and produced as his most recent album "Soul Funky."  On this Talkin' Blues encore, Clearwater talks with GLT's Jon Norton about the album, his friendship with fellow blues legend Lonnie Brooks, and a chance  encounter with one of his hero's, Chuck Berry.

Frank Kohl No Longer Under The Radar

Jan 18, 2016

New York City area native Frank Kohl was drawn to the guitar at a very young age.  He became proficient enough to be admitted to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in the 1970's, where his fellow students included fellow guitarists Pat Metheny and John Scofield.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Kohl talks to WGLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Invisible Man," how he came to love jazz, and how as a young child he says he had an "a-ha" moment watching The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.

Bruce Bergathon: A Musical Family Affair

Jan 15, 2016

The Legacy of David Bowie

Jan 15, 2016

When Champaign-Urbana based Kilborn Alley plays Jazz UpFront in downtown Bloomington tomorrow night, Virginia based vocalist Jackie Scott will be sitting in with the band.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Andrew Duncanson tells Jon Norton that Scott brings an exciting presence to Kilborn Alley.

Radio Munson 1/14/16

Jan 14, 2016

When Elmo Tanner, vocalist with the Ted Weems Orchestra, learned that his boss had just hired a young Perry Como to sing with the band, Elmo got serious about his gift for whistling and, in turn, saved his job.  Tanner contributed a memorable whistling solo to the band’s next recording, “Heartaches,” and re-launched a second career with Weems’ group.  You’re invited to whistle along with Elmo when Don spins “Heartaches” on this week’s Radio Munson.

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