Jon Norton | WGLT

Jon Norton

Music Director/Morning Edition Host

Not a hunter, skier, ice fisherman or hockey player, Northern Minnesota native Jon Norton has adapted well to what he considers the warm climate of Central Illinois.

After 20+ years in commercial radio, he's also "adapted" well to programming and playing jazz and blues music for listeners in Central Illinois.  John Lee Hooker and Oscar Peterson are among his favorite artists.

Norton is an ISU and Chicago Bulls Basketball fan, a Minnesota Twins baseball fan and treasures his time at home with his wife and son. 

Peggy DeRose

The music world has had many romantic couples; the most famous include Sonny & Cher and Ike & Tina Turner. It’s probably not the best comparison to San Francisco based blues artists Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz. Not that they’re not making great music, but the chemistry isn’t, well, tempestuous.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Supersuckers returns to Bloomington-Normal to play the Castle Theater on Thursday, Aug. 10.

Courtesy / Redbird Athletics

Kristen Gillespie is incredibly upbeat for a someone who took the helm of an ailing Illinois State University women's basketball team just four months ago.

David Dobson

George Thorogood & the Destroyers have been ripping through blues classics for four decades. Their ferocious recorded takes on "Move It On Over," "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," and of course "Bad To The Bone" are classic rock radio staples.

Sandro Campardo / The Associated Press

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

Here are GLT Music Director Jon Norton's Top 10 songs for the week ending Aug. 4, via a Spotify playlist. Like what you hear? Listen to GLT Blues every weekend on-air 89.1 FM, or streaming all day every day on WGLT.org.

Courtesy

A mountain of research—including a stunning new study on the brains of deceased NFL players—is changing the way that the Illinois State football team is practicing this summer.

senatorbarickman.com

State Sen. Jason Barickman issued a clarifying statement Thursday after implying during a press conference that Gov. Bruce Rauner would “hold” the controversial school funding bill after it lands on his desk instead of immediately vetoing it.

Marcie Hammerstrand

So how does the name "Mongolian Death Wyrm" symbolize J Alan Balmer's vision for his progressive blues/rock/funk trio?

"It doesn't symbolize it so much as it begs the question: Who are we? And what kind of music do we play?" said Balmer.

dawestheband.com

The indie-rock band Dawes plays the Castle Theater in Bloomington on July 31. Occasional GLT Music Critic Taylor Bauer considers the California born and bred quartet to be one of the most exciting bands of the past five years.

Ennemay Photography

Downers Grove native Scott Marek is an aspiring country singer/songwriter/bandleader ready to up his game.

"It's so much fun to get up on stage and sing," said Marek. "Hopefully everyone is listening, and as long as that continues to climb as it has been, I don't see why I should turn back."

Jesse W. Johnson
Kelli Morrison / Courtesy

Listening to Jesse W. Johnson's latest album certainly begs a comparison to Bob Mould's Husker Du and Sugar incarnations of the 1980s and 90s. But a hint of the early to mid 70s sounds of Love, Fleetwood Mac, and John Stewart can also be discerned. 

Phil Brisse / Courtesy

Joel Da Silva came to blues in the Chicago bars he worked in as a teenage bar-back. That’s where he bumped into legends including Junior Wells, Magic Slim, A.C. Reed and Rod Piazza. Well, he didn’t just “bump” into the them; he would pick them up at the airport and deliver them to their hotel.

“Or I would get them barbeque or whatever they wanted,” said Da Silva.

matthewcurry.com

Matthew Curry is in a groove. Oh he was in a groove three years ago opening for legendary names including The Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller, and Peter Frampton. It's just that that sort of exposure isn't supposed to happen right out of high school.

"It almost happened a bit backwards," said Curry, referring to his career path. "I think most people start with the club circuit and build and build and then hope to be on some of the tours we had the honor to be on."

Chief Heffner talks to aldermen
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council likely won’t be voting on the proposed police civilian review board Monday as planned, after aldermen asked the police chief to share more information about current practices.

Don Oneil / Don O'Neil Photography

A woman in her early 30's embracing honky-tonk? A music genre that peaked decades ago? Sarah Shook has answered the query many times.

"I had a very strange upbringing as far a music goes," explained Shook via phone from her North Carolina home. "I was certainly not exposed to a lot of the pop music that was popular in my age group, then and now."

Scott Davidson / flickr

A car-semi truck crash on I-74 near Farmer City has claimed the life of an Illinois state trooper. Ryan Albin died June 28 from injuries sustained as a result of the crash earlier in the afternoon. Albin had been with the Illinois State Police for 11 years and was assigned to District 6 in Pontiac as a canine officer.

Henhouse Prowlers

The Chicago based bluegrass quartet Henhouse Prowlers is now a teenager. Founding member and banjo player Ben Wright said despite the title of their latest album, he's not surprised the group is "Still On That Ride" 13 years later.

"When you start something like a band," said Wright. "You don't think too much about the future, because so many bands come and go."

Jon Norton / WGLT

Occasionally I like to drop in on local record stores to hear what's playing on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  This week I stopped by Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal, where owner Jared Alcorn was playing an album a little out of left field for the a store named after a Fugazzi album.

Loren Root

An injured shoulder derailed country-rocker Joe Stamm from his dream of playing college football. A star quarterback at Metamora High School in the mid 2000's, Stamm signed with Northern Illinois University after initially committing to Illinois State University during the Denver Johnson era.
 

Robert Earl Keen

A conversation with country-folk-rocker Robert Earl Keen is easy and enjoyable. He'll "go on forever" about many topics, including his music, how he lobbies Congress on behalf of musicians, and his friends Lyle Lovett and Joe Ely. But he was especially animated this day talking about children and classical music in his home state of Texas.

David Carroll / Flickr

Thornetta Davis is known as "Detroit's Queen of the Blues." Her childhood was anything but royal.

"My mom raised four girls with the help of my grandmother," said Davis. "It was an upbringing of turmoil .... my father was an alcoholic and quite violent. When my mother got out of that situation, that's when I feel I started to live."

David McClister

St. Paul & the Broken Bones front man and songwriter Paul Janeway said his reading of "Just Mercy" by "Equal Justice Initiative" founder Bryan Stevenson played a role in the direction of the band's latest album "Sea Of Noise."

"Being from Alabama, and with the Equal Justice Initiative (which was started by Bryan) being from here in Montgomery, I said 'if I'm going to write a record, these are the things that are moving me,'" said Janeway. "So are we trying to seek out love, is there a possibility of that? So it's been an interesting journey and the record kind of navigates through that.

Hannah Lauber

The 30-something brother team of Page Burkham and Jack Torrey are deep into classic country. Getting there was somewhat accidental, originally stumbling onto the music through thrift shops and libraries in their hometown of Minneapolis. Performing the music came from extended shows as the duo ramped up their performance schedule .

Lincoln, NE Police Department

Community groups in the Twin Cities are advocating for a citizen-led review board to monitor and weigh in on the actions of the Bloomington Police Department.  Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner has resisted the call, saying citizens don't understand the intricacies of police work.

But there are many citizen led review boards across the country, including in Illinois. Perhaps the oldest is in Lincoln, Nebraska. That state's capital city with a population of just over 270,000 has had some aspect of a citizen led police advisory board since the 1970's.

Sgt. Pepper Turns 50

May 24, 2017
Jon Norton / WGLT

North Street Records owner Jeff Wilson paused to contemplate the 50 year anniversary of The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.

"I can't believe all Beatles records are starting to be 50 years old," said Wilson sitting next to the turntable behind the counter in his store. "I guess it's like the world's classical music, especially Sgt. Pepper because it's so iconic."

Even veteran coaches can get nervous when jumping into a new endeavor. Adding to the apprehension for Illinois Wesleyan women’s basketball coach Mia Smith is jumping midstream into an at-large representative for selecting athletes and coaches for the national USA Basketball committee. She had no idea she was even being considered. 

Terrion Williamson

South side Peoria native and Manual High School alum Terrion Williamson returns to her hometown to discusses her first book. Williamson will share her thoughts on "Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life" at the Peoria Public Library - Lincoln Branch at 3:00 p.m on May 21. 

Jon Norton / WGLT

By NOT intervening with childhood trauma at an early age, Baby Fold of Normal Training Coordinator Keith Brotheridge said society pays much more in the long run. He cited the Centers for Disease Control "Adverse Childhood Experience" which followed 17,000 people with extensive traumatic experiences.

Adairs Run

Adairs Run frontman Todd Hanchock said the title track to the band's 2016 EP "Turn Back The Miles" is where the band is headed.

"All these songs we're writing are based on some serious experiences in the last few years, or when we were growing up," said Hanchock. "For me, 'Turning Back The Miles' is just a cool way to put a spin on 'hey man, I wish I COULD turn back time.'"

Jon Norton / WGLT

Reverberation Vinyl owner John Anderson has spent the last few weeks dropping the needle on the turntable in his store onto late 1960's and early 1970's Pentangle albums. Though not old enough to have been at the show, the group's May 11, 1970 concert at Illinois Wesleyan's Fred Young Fieldhouse has him obsessed with unearthing a recording from that show.

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