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. 

Lee Ann Womack
Ebru Yildiz / Shore Fire Media

Lee Ann Womack’s 2017 album “The Lonely, The Lonesome, And Gone” turns to darker themes than her critically acclaimed 2014 release “The Way I’m Livin’.”  And those darker lyrics are often accompanied by a swampy blues not heard on a lot of country music today.

Intrail, left to right, Micheal Hill, Trefan Owen, Tommy O'Donnell, John Ganser.
Scott Harrison

Two instrumental, improvisational bands have become two of the bigger musical draws in the Twin Cities over the past couple years.

Miles Nielsen performing  in "The Hallowed Hall" October 11, 2018
Karen Bridges

Bloomington-Normal musicians continue to create new ways to promote their events and are even creating new venues for performances.

Jay and Jenae Thomason
Taylor Christian Brooks

“Then just weeks later, boom.”

Jenae Thomason was flashing back to June 30, the Saturday night she and husband Jay simultaneously were rear-ended at a stoplight en route to a private event and sidelined from their full-time foray into music they initiated just weeks prior.

The Smokers Blues Band at Buddy Guy's Legends
The Smokers Blues Band

Peoria's The Smokers Blues Band hopes its blues-rock music can be part of a broader scene helping unite deep political divisions among Central Illinois music fans.

Brett Conlin
Brett Conlin

It’s not that Brett Conlin secretly eavesdrops on conversations in his downtown barbershop to mine material for new songs.

The Dead South perform a recent show in Salt Lake City, UT
runawaytroutman / Instagram

The folk/bluegrass quartet The Dead South has been described as "the evil twin" of Mumford & Sons for their twisted lyrics that often depict violence and gruesome deaths.

Edward David Anderson
Kim Anderson

Bloomington musician Edward David Anderson recorded his new album "Chasing Butterflies" in the musically fertile Muscle Shoals, Alabama, area. He said he wanted to use musicians in that region to organically build and arrange his newly written songs.

Fantastic Negrito performing at the Ohana Festival on Sept. 30, 2018, in Dana Point, CA.
AP / AP

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

Jared Alcorn holding Lucero's 'Among The Ghosts' LP
Jon Norton / WGLT

When the Memphis-based alt-country rockers Lucero plays the Monarch Music Hall in Peoria this Sunday, Sept. 30, they'll be performing songs from "Among The Ghosts," their latest album getting plenty of play inside Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal.

Nolan Kelly, right and Flaccid
Jamie Day

The Bloomington-Normal psychedelic rock band Flaccid is calling it quits after six years. But founding member Nolan Kelly said members are not splitting without releasing a final album, and performing a final show at the Castle Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Jeni B. with performing partner Andrew Brucker
Kevin Schertz

Bloomington native Jenny Bratcher-Crafton, a.k.a. "Jeni-B.," has an opera and musical theater background. But debilitating health issues sidelined the music career of this talented vocalist and songwriter just over a decade ago.

The Robber Barons, left to right: Andrew Moody, Eric Fisher, Rob WIlls, Matt Garrison, Kevin Loeske
Lisa Schneider

Matt Garrison says bandmates in Bloomington-Normal cajoled him out of a seven-year music hiatus that began with the birth of his son nine years ago.

Erik Nelson at Eclipse Studios
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Music industry experts have predicted the demise of the traditional recording studio for nearly two decades.

Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture.

Billy Branch
Melodie Strowbridge

Billy Branch is a Chicago bluesman through and through. But he says many bands we now call classic rock had as much an influence on his sound as did the blues legends that became his mentors.

Reverberation Vinly's John Anderson holding Aretha Franklin's 'Young, Gifted and Black" LP
Jon Norton / WGLT

The contemporary music world lost perhaps its greatest voice Thursday morning when Aretha Franklin passed away at age 76.

Illinois Wesleyan University jazz studies director Glenn Wilson says rare concert footage is a major reason the Thelonious Monk documentary is "a must watch."

Miski Dee Rodriguez, center,and City Mouse
Faith Cardelli

Miski Dee Rodriguez said she left corporate America 15 years ago to follow her true love: Music.

Adam Humphreys and Jessica Wheet of Old Smoke
Adam R. Day, Betania M. Carvalho

The now five member blues-rock outfit Old Smoke has been headlining central Illinois shows and opening for national acts including Samantha Fish and Tommy Castro at the Castle Theatre for roughly three years -- despite no album to sell or promote.

Cody Diekhoff, aka Chicago Farmer
Cody Diekhoff

Cody Diekhoff as his alter ego Chicago Farmer is a riveting live performer who has cultivated a loyal following with folk songs and stories about the American heartland. And especially central Illinois.

Stefen Robinson and his dog Kodo
Jamie Breeck

What to do when words won’t describe the current political landscape in the United States? At least words that can be aired on the radio?

Dominique Stevenson a.k.a 'V8 Vast Change'
Livid Expression

Bloomington hip-hop artist Dominique Stevenson said positive messages and uplifting vibes in his music are connected to his religion. He doesn't believe people can achieve happiness, or good, alone.

Howlin Rain
Kristy Walker

John Anderson has filled a record store niche in the Twin Cities with an eclectic mix of genres at Reverberation Vinyl, his store on Main Street across from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

The Something Brothers (L-R): Gregory Pare, John Ganser, Scott Lee Wilson, Tommy O’Donnell, Edwin Pierce
Scott Harrison

The Something Brothers guitarist Edwin Pierce said it was surprisingly easy for band members to create and record new music together despite a nearly 30-year studio hiatus, and missing a key band member.

Megg Farrell & Friends including Ryan Weisheit, left and Megg Farrell, right.
Natalie Allante

The woman who fronts the Hot Jazz band Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers with Normal native and saxophonist Ryan Weisheit said a desire to tap into her folk and country roots was the impetus to morph into a different lineup with a new name.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The last time singer-songwriter Neko Case played the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, the sold-out crowd missed out on her new album. The recording "Hell-On" was still a few months away from release.

Band Of Heathens
Greg Giannukos

Musicians not prone to wade into politics are showing their hand more often in the current political climate.

Bloomington singer-songwriter Kyle Yap said his father raised him on a steady diet of his classic rock LPs. You can hear the influences during a live Yap show.

Harmonius Wail at Stoughton WI Opera House
Nick Berard

The husband-wife team behind the Madison, Wisconsin-based Harmonious Wail says their resolve to play uplifting music was tested when their son died three years ago.

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