Music | WGLT

Music

Mandolin players rehearsing.
WGLT

Just over 100 years ago, mandolin mania swept across the United States, inspiring people of all ages to pick up the instrument and even form their own amateur groups.

Paul A. Hebert / Invision/AP

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

OC45: A Happy Accident

Apr 21, 2018
OC45, left to right: Nick Tanzi, Adam Femino, Ken Bousquet, Derek Rossi
Bombs Away Photography

On the day before the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, OC45 guitarist Derek Rossi was explaining “Keep Your Guns” from their 2017 album “Happy Accidents.”

John D'earth playing his trumpet
Bob Travis / Wikipedia

It’s odd hearing the director of a university jazz program argue that he is NOT an educator.

Dennis Mackrel at this drumset
Andrzej "Andre" Pilaczyk

From virtually the time he emerged from his mother’s womb, Dennis Mackrel was exposed to a steady diet of jazz.

Chow 4-Piece at Jazz UpFront in Bloomington April 5.
Jon Norton / WGLT

Trombonist Mason Riedel laughed when asked how his Illinois State University Jazz Combo acquired its name. He had just been called by Jazz Up Front owner James Gaston about filling in last minute on a Thursday night.

Kansas L to R is Richard Williams, Billy Greer, Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, Ronnie Platt, David Manion, and David Ragsdale.
Michie Turpin

The words "Congrats you got the job" are likely the five most exciting and terrifying words Ronnie Platt had ever heard.

Dexter O'Neal & Funkyard
http://dexteroneal.com/

“When I got to meet Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, I was on ‘10’ because he was my salvation,” said Dexter O’Neal of the R&B legend who passed away in 2013.

Ken Lam in action
Ken Lam

Organ music has the connotation of being confined to churches, but that’s not what’s happening Friday night at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

The HillBenders are Mark Cassidy, Nolan Lawrence, Gary Rea, Chad “Gravy Boat” Graves, and Jim Rea.
HillBenders

The marriage of rock and bluegrass might seem an odd combination, but for the bluegrass group the HillBenders, it works.

Nightshop during daytime
Jon Norton / WGLT

Longtime local musician and promoter Chris Golwitzer realized a dream this month when he opened Nightshop on the north end of downtown Bloomington.

Ike Reilly (in spotlight)
ikereilly.net

“My connection to Bloomington-Normal is pretty crazy,” said Ike Reilly from his home in Libertyville.

He was referring to guitarists Tommy O’Donnell and Phil Karnats, who will be at his side March 15 when the Ike Reilly Assassination returns to the Castle Theatre.

Jazz vocalist and international cabaret star Spider Saloff agreed jazz artists would be wise to incorporate a more theatrical style into their performances.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Owner James Gaston was sitting at a four-chair circular table in his club on Front Street across from the McLean County Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington. It’s been nearly three years since Jazz UpFront opened, and despite the immense pressures of running a live jazz club anywhere in America, jazz is still a staple in his club every Friday and Saturday night.

Gabby Bozeman / WGLT

In 2016 streaming services became the primary way Americans listened to music. But Bloomington-Normal still has three independent record stores, where physical music, mostly vinyl, makes up the vast majority of their sales. Indeed, record stores in the Twin Cities have bucked the current, rising in popularity from a low point about 15 years ago.

The BraziLionaires

The seven-piece Latin-fusion group The BraziLionaires add 50+ pieces to their sound when they merge with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra for their annual Romance Concert.

Courtesy

The Feudin’ Hillbillys. It's a name that conjures both a kind of music and an attitude.

Tom Becker library

Tom Becker graduated from Stanford (IL) High School. That alone will date him.

Kevin Schertz

What would life be without music for Chris Corkery?

“I can’t … ” said Corkery softly, pausing to consider the implications. “Wow … good question. It’s hard for me to even conceptualize that. Music … saved my life in a lot of ways for many years.”

Rebirth Brass Band

If you grow up in New Orleans, you’re going to absorb the musical legacy of that city.

Radio Munson 12/28/17

Jan 2, 2018

Don rings out 2017 and also closes a 58 year career on this week’s Radio Munson with music from some of his favorites—Count and Duke, Sassy and Satchmo, Ella and Frank, Lady Day and Tony—and a heartfelt thank you to generations of faithful listeners.

Emmy Holmes-Hicks

Emmy Holmes-Hicks caught the fiddle bug by age 4.

“An older cousin would visit from Thunder Bay, Ontario,” said Holmes-Hicks. “She played Canadian-style fiddle. There was something that just drew me to that music, so much I was just glued to her and I think my parents noticed that.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

The owners of the Castle Theatre in downtown Bloomington will soon have a second music venue in central Illinois.

Radio Munson 12/21/17

Dec 20, 2017

Kurt Elling is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson along with Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Keely Smith, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, plus Wynton Marsalis and friends with a rousing version of “Go Tell It On the Mountain".

Radio Munson 12/14/17

Dec 15, 2017

Louis Armstrong is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, along with the Boswell Sisters, Jimmy Rushing, stride pianist Jeff Barnhart, Harry James, Jane Monheit, Erroll Garner and more.

Matt Barber

Peoria-born Matt Barber was in high school in 2003 when hits from hip-hop star 50 Cent and others by R. Kelly, Beyoncé and rocker Three Doors Down topped the popular music charts. Barber wasn’t oblivious to those sounds, but his passion attending Rock Island high school gravitated to the chart-topping songs of many generations prior.

Radio Munson 12/7/17

Dec 7, 2017

The great bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw take center stage in this week’s Radio Munson, along with swingers from Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Carrol, and Fats Waller and, in a nod to their week’s blast of cold air, Johnny Mercer sings “Button Up Your Overcoat."

“Ever since I was a young boy, I've played the silver ball …”

The opening line from "Pinball Wizard" isn't the primary reason Bloomington-Normal cover band Wildermore decided to cover songs by The Who for the Silver Ball fundraiser “after party” Dec. 9 at Diggers in Bloomington. But it is a nice tie-in.

Don Munson Bids Farewell To Music Show Dec. 28

Dec 7, 2017
Courtesy of Don Munson

Popular Bloomington-Normal broadcaster Don Munson signed off for the last time from his morning show on WJBC in January 2000, telling his thousands of loyal listeners, “I’ve become such a part of so many people’s lives, generations of people in some households, and I only got it through my thick skull in recent years how much all of you have become a part of my life.”

Morgan Shulte

Growing up in Lincoln, Joe Borbely and Michael Klug had a mutual friend in elementary school who was a huge fan of The Beatles. But the 1976 born Borbely said the Fab-4 grew on him when he grew older and could appreciate the depth of the band’s music and lyrics.

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