Music Features | WGLT

Music Features

GLT has always been devoted to music. Blues, folk and jazz have been among our offerings for decades but we're also eager to explore just about any musical genre with you.  We love to feature interviews with musicians, visits to record stores, talking about who's rising in the local music scene and telling you about national acts headed our way. Here are some of our best music features. 

Charlie Starr and Blackberry Smoke play the Corn Crib in Normal Saturday night
Blackberry Smoke

Musicians and concert promoters are working their way back into larger live music events. Blackberry Smoke headlines one of two shows this weekend at the Corn Crib in Normal.

The new album from V8 Vast Change is titled "Civil Disobedience"
Dominique Stevenson

Dominique Stevenson has been a very public figure in Bloomington-Normal this year. He founded the youth-based Next Gen Initiative. The social-justice group initiated several marches and education forums in the Twin Cities this summer.

Normal IL rapper and visual artist Grill Billyenz
Grill Billyenz

Rapper and visual artist Grill Billyenz of Normal says the darker industrial sound on his latest album "Metamorph" comes from the ghost-town feeling he gets working the third shift at his "day job."

Gina Schock, from left, Jane Wiedlin, Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey and Kathy Valentine pose for a portrait to promote the film "The Go-Go's" at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Park City, Utah.
Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP

You never know what you’ll hear traveling Highway 309, but what you do hear ... will be good.

Folk, pop, rock, soul, gospel, Americana, jazz, blues (and then some) are all part of the mix. That includes new music in the past few weeks from The Go-Go's, H.E.R., Dawes, Josh Ritter CeeLo Green, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Broadway Calls, The Mavericks, and Kathleen Edwards.

Listen to Highway 309 on-air weekends and overnights on WGLT and WCBU, and streaming 24/7 on both station websites.

You'll hear new music from the Hinds and many others right now on Highway 309
Alberto Van Stokkum

You never know what you’ll hear traveling Highway 309, but what you do hear ... will be good.

Springfield native Mary Jo Curry and her band are receiving much critical acclaim and airplay for their sophomore blues album "Front Porch." It’s an unlikely path for the Illinois State University theater program alum with training in classical voice and piano.

Releasing a new album during the coronavirus pandemic has a silver lining for the bluesy Peoria roots-rock trio Hoosier Daddy.

Zak Hoffman, Alex Girard, and Bill Price of NoRobot
Dave Fulton

Necessity really was the mother of invention for the Bloomington-based funk-rock band NoRobot.

A scene from Summercamp in May 2019
Aaron Bradley

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the live music scene to a screeching halt.

Edward David Anderson plays Nightshop in Bloomington Saturday night
Troy Phillips

Bloomington Americana singer/songwriter Edward David Anderson says his new "Live and Solo" album intentionally tried to capture where he's at in his current iteration.

Ana Popovic plays The Castle Theatre Thursday night
Marco Van Rooijen

Blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Ana Popovic said she mentally worked to overcome doubt when she crashed the male-dominated blues scene two decades ago.

Jared Grabb plays Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night
Rodger Hanlon

Peoria native Jared Grabb knew art would be a major part of his life from a young age. But once he arrived in college to study comic book art, he discovered his love of music trumped visual art.

Rich Fury/Invision/AP

You never know what you're going to hear on Highway 309. But know that what you hear will be good. 

Oak Park native and organ aficionado Neal Francis infuses his original music with the classic soul vibe of the 1960s and 70s. His debut album “Changes” is accompanied by lyrics that document his work to overcome addictions and other demons. A year later, his new single continues that effort.

Taylor Steele says a spicy sound may soon mix with the Illinois prairie sound her Effingham-based band is known for.

Touring the country with bandmates on the strength of major record label releases can sound glamorous.

Eric Johnson plays
Max Crace

During the 30th anniversary year of the release of Eric Johnson's classic album "Ah Via Musicom," the much lauded guitarist said looking back on that album and his other works can be helpful.

deFrance plays Jazz UpFront Tuesday night
deFrance

Drew deFrance loved the comparison of his namesake band with the sound of classic rockers like Bad Company and Mott the Hoople.

Chicago Farmer plays the Castle Theatre Friday night
Bradley J Scott

Bloomington's Cody Diekhoff, known professionally as Chicago Farmer, digs deeper into America's widening economic divide on his new album "Flyover Country."

Acclaimed 37-year-old bluesman Brandon Santini has an award-winning new album and is edging into a newer sound.

Them Coulee Boys play The Castle Theatre Wednesday night
Scotify

Them Coulee Boys frontman Soren Staff wanted the Eau Claire, Wis.-based band’s third album to hang together thematically. Like many bands, their first album was everything they had written prior to forming; their second was mainly leftovers.

Shawn Hoeft of Bloomington believes her son Zac would have celebrated his 29th birthday this year had the unknown gunman who killed him been exposed to conflict resolution.

Bloomington native Matthew Curry says his "guitar gun-slinger" days may not be completely over, but his sound should evolve.

Joe Stamm presents his Country Rock Revival Friday at The Castle Theatre with guests Lick Creek & The Bogart Jones Band
Joe Stamm

Joe Stamm said his version of country music contains rural American imagery and deeply personal songwriting.

2018 Silver Ball Group Shot. The 2019 Silver Ball is Saturday night at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington.
Morgan Schulte

Michael Klug of Jack Dupp & the Empty Bottles says the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival is a reminder that we're all connected in one form or another.

Michael Mwenso & the Shakes perform "Harlem 100" Thursday night at The Krannert Center in Urbana
Elizabeth Leitzell

Michael Mwenso's music destiny appeared after his mother was deported from their home in London to her native Africa.

Sherwood Forest's EP release party is Saturday night at the Coffeehouse in Normal
Cedric Wilder

The principal songwriter and lead vocalist for the Bloomington-Normal folk-rock quintet Sherwood Forest said the group's new EP digs into personal struggles both internal and with family, friends, and lovers.

Hot Sauce Universe during the live recording of 'According to Lore'
Erin B

Intentionally recording a studio album in front of a live audience can be perilous. What if the audience doesn't respond? What if the performers aren't in synch musically that night?

Chris Corkery's CD release party is Saturday night at Keg Grove Brewing Company
Chris Corkery

Alcohol and anger fuel many of the original songs on the just released "The Gill Street Sessions" live album from Saybrook singer-songwriter Chris Corkery.

Good Morning Bedlam plays Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night.
Good Morning Bedlam

Good Morning Bedlam is another young string band more inspired by — than tethered to — traditional bluegrass.

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