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Music

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.

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."

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

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

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?

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.

Acousticity's March Playlist: Favorite Female Artists

Mar 14, 2019
Eliza Gilkyson
Jordan Strauss/Invision / AP

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

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.

Gary Clark Jr. performs
Matt Sayles/Invision / AP

We think of GLT Blues Radio as the Best Blues Station on Planet Earth because that's what you tell us.

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.

The Bloomington-Normal based rock/pop/folk quartet She Said So is intentionally all-female.

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Nigel Beale / Flickr

New Yorker magazine music critic Alex Ross credits his parents' love of both classical music and European and American history for the intimate connection he made between the two disciplines at a young age.

Pokey LaFarge performs
Amy Harris / Invision/AP

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

https://www.facebook.com/brushville/videos/2039769556060105/
Brushville

Brushville guitarist Dustin Reynolds said band members have soaked up music industry wisdom since their 2012 “Battle for the Saddle” victory at Nashville’s legendary Wildhorse Saloon.

Neal Francis playing keyboard on his new single "These Are The Days"
Neal Francis / YouTube

Chicago keyboard player Neal Francis said he was knocked out by rootsy New Orleans and Chicago music at a very young age.

Steve Albini, left, with his band Shellac
Vladimir / Flickr

One of America's top music engineers and producers said hearing the pop-punk of the Ramones as a teen changed his life.

The Twin City duo Stone & Snow performs their song "Love Is A Weapon" for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
YOUTUBE / STONE & SNOW

Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson of the Bloomington-Normal folk duo Stone & Snow are on a roll with their original song "Love is a Weapon."

Sunday Afternoon, from left: Logan Berg, Jacob Labertew, Austin Willis, Nick Saathoff, DiMari Fennell
Sunday Afternoon

Members of the Bloomington-Normal neo-eclectic band Sunday Afternoon said winning a couple Battle of the Bands confirmed their retro sound was finding an audience.

Cindy Youngren and Dan Diefendorf with Hoosier Daddy at Crusens in Peoria
TJ Dehn

Members of three established Peoria-based bands have come together as the Americana trio Hoosier Daddy.

C.J. Chenier
Karen Murphy / Chicago Blues News

CJ Chenier is known as “The Crown Prince of Zydeco.” But the son of the man known as “The King of Zydeco” said the music he plays isn’t technically zydeco.

Dave Simonett, at the piano, with Trampled By Turtles
David McClister

Dave Simonett of Duluth, Minnesota-based Trampled By Turtles is a talented musician, vocalist, and songwriter. He’s also got some game as a collector of vinyl.

Sarah & the Underground performing at The Limelight Eventplex in Peoria
Ian Lester / Alek Photography

The implications of being gifted the raw recording of their live August show on WTVP-TV in Peoria didn’t dawn on Sarah & the Underground members Sarah Marie Dillard and Brandon Mooberry. At least not right away.

Denny De Bourbon, circa late 1970s at the Lazy-J Saloon near Cooksville when he worked at New Age Entertainment
De Bourbon's Facebook page. Photographer unknown.

Central Illinois musicians and music fans are mourning the death of longtime band manager, booking agent, and event manager Dennis "Denny" De Bourbon, who passed away Saturday at age 69 after a long illness.

Acousticity's Best of 2018 Playlist

Jan 4, 2019
Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

Heartland Trio founder and bassist Hannah Marks’ introduction to music performance had spiritual beginnings, if by accident.

Acousticity 12/13/18

Dec 17, 2018

Bruce Bergethon plays songs in tribute to his longtime friend and bandmate, Ken Holder. The popular artist, educator and musician was 82 when he passed away on Dec. 7, 2018.

Edward David Anderson
Kim Anderson

2018 was a great year for the Bloomington-Normal music scene.

GLT's Jon Norton was with you all year long, bringing the best artists onto GLT's Sound Ideas as they passed through Bloomington-Normal music venues.

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