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. 

Patrick Sweany
Joshua Black Wilkins

When bluesman Patrick Sweany plays Jazz UpFront on Saturday night, he'll be sporting a new release, and a new recording he says gave him goosebumps during the recording process.

Adia Victoria headlines the GLT Summer Concert June 8
Red Light Management

South Carolina native Adia Victoria is often described as a blues woman with elements of punk, gospel, and goth. Not unlike Flannery O’Connor, one of her favorite authors.

Gangstagrass performs Tuesday at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington
Sean Jamar

You might think bluegrass and hip-hop would mix like oil and water, but Gangstagrass banjoist Dan Whitener says the band attracts bluegrass fans being turned onto hip-hop for the first time, and hip-hop heads who get into bluegrass through Gangstagrass.

Reverberation Vinly's John Anderson holding the album "My Pharaoh, My King" by  John Moloney and Anthony Pasquarosa
Jon Norton / WGLT

Reverberation Vinyl owner John Anderson is enamored with many styles of folk, psychedelic and instrumental music. That music is often on the turntable when you enter his store across from Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington.

Duane Betts and Devon Allman
Allman Betts Band

When you're the son of an Allman Brothers founder, music doors can open easier ... but expectations are higher.

Devon Allman and Duane Betts know this firsthand.

Dan Hubbard playing the keyboard
Troy Phillips

Bloomington singer-songwriter Dan Hubbard was so pleased with his 2016 self-titled album, he decided to put music aside. He even enrolled in seminary school.

Jamie Day

Twin City musicians Gregg Brown and Trenton Perry may seem an odd pairing. Brown came of age during the late 60s hippie movement, Perry grew up in the 90s enamored with the music of Blink-182 among other favorites from the 80s and 90s.

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.

Brianne Murphy playing Durand Jones on the turntable at Waiting Room Records
Jon Norton / WGLT

The sound of classic soul music is enjoying a renaissance. Artists including Sharon Jones & the DapKings, Leon Bridges, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and Jill Scott have taken inspiration from late 60s and early 70s soul when writing and recording new music.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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