Acousticity | WGLT

Acousticity

SUNDAY 9PM - MONDAY 5AM

Acousticity showcases a broad spectrum of acoustic music, from the classic American folk sounds of Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe and Bob Wills to more modern purveyors like Gillian Welch, the Milk Carton Kids and the Avett Brothers, with Celtic classics from Mary Black, Altan and Solas mixed in.

You can listen to this unique blend of "flexible folk" any time by using the persistent player link above to access our 24/7 Acousticity audio stream, or visit the Ways To Listen page for more streaming options.  Scroll down for the Acousticity stream playlist.

Ways to Connect

Brent Simonds

Illinois State University School of Communication Professor Brent Simonds knows his just completed documentary of Nashville singer/songwriter Verlon Thompson tells a compelling story.

“It’s a sweet story about a really sweet man who has monstrous talent, especially when it comes to playing acoustic guitar,” Simonds said of his film "Sweet Dreams Do Come True."

Shelly Swanger / Shelly Swanger Photography

Bluegrass legend Sam Bush included the original song “Bowling Green” on his latest album titled “Storyman.” It’s an ode to growing up on a farm just outside the southern Kentucky town.

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."

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.

Singer-songwriter Nick Africano said songwriting is a craft he loves.

"As much as songwriting has been therapeutic for me in a way ... it has ultimately become something that I have taken great pleasure doing," said Africano.

Nathan Bridges

On the pleasure/pain continuum, Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson of the Bloomington-Normal folk duo "Stone & Snow" concede the latter often wins out.

Karen Bridges

Bloomington's Dan Hubbard recently made the transition from fronting his band "The Humadors" to solo artist. He has also adopted a storytellers point-of-view to his songwriting, crediting Tom Petty producer Ryan Ulyate, who he got to know by phone. 

"And when I was in L.A. doing a couple shows, he invited me to his house.  He listened to my stuff, critiqued me, and said I needed to consider something Tom does, which is tell more stories instead of talking about my feelings and what I'm doing," said Hubbard.

"Lay These Weapons Down" is a musical departure for Rebecca Rego & the Trainmen.  Where their now two-year-old "Tolono" album is firmly rooted in folk, "Weapons" shows the quartet veering into more contemporary territory, including horns and other colors.  Rebecca Rego said that musical evolution coincided with personal difficulties the band experienced since "Tolono."

Edward David Anderson has been flying solo as a folk/country/rock artist since Backyard Tire Fire announced an "indefinite hiatus" in 2011.  With two critically acclaimed albums since 2014 and a touring  schedule that keeps his cars odometer spinning, the multi-instrumental Anderson has found his sea legs post-BTF.  But he didn't find them overnight.

Janae Thomason

Though it's been done successfully, being band mates with a romantic partner can be fraught with ... challenges.  Where does business end and personal begin?  When is a decision final and who makes that decision?  What if one of the two becomes the breakout performer?

Husband and wife Jay and Jenae Thomason ARE the Bloomington-Normal based acoustic duo Hot Sauce Universe.   Jenae said playing with Jay in HSU brought them closer together.

"We connected hard from the get-go," said Jenae.

The Deep Hollow co-founder Micah Walk immediately knew “Devil” was a good song.

“Liz and I started writing songs together before Dave came along” said Walk, referring to fellow group members Liz Eckert and Dave Littrell.  “That was one of the first three or four songs we wrote, and I thought ‘this is coming along pretty well.’”

John Legg / www.johnleggphotography.com

Oliver Wood sort of chuckled when he said joining forces with brother Chris to form the Wood Brothers in 2005 was a good career move.

"Until that time, I certainly put in my 10,000 plus hours of playing music and working as a musician, but I was never able to realize the creative part with the business part to really make a living and be taken seriously in the world" said Wood.

Neil Larimore Photograpy

Rico Wayne Johnson and Dove Benoit are a pair of Peorians bringing the sounds of Brazil, and other Latin American rhythms, to central Illinois. The Brazilionaires will kick off the GLT Summer Concert presented by CEFCU this Saturday June 11th in downtown Bloomington.

A few months ago, the group stopped by the GLT studios with a bunch of great local jazz musicians to play some tunes from their new CD, and talked with Bruce Bergethon about spreading sambas and boleros across the Heartland.

Dave Glacinski

Writing one song with an appealing melody is difficult.  Bloomington's Michael Adams and his War Painted Horses band mates have filled their debut album “Murder at the Wheelhouse” with 12 melodic gems (not including a hidden track).  When lauded for his impressive songwriting ability, a trait not always present in even great musicians, Adams deftly deflected the compliment.

Stone & Snow

Just because you don’t see the acoustic duo Stone & Snow on stage every week, doesn’t mean the band isn’t working. They just got the results of their entry for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. (See their video entry below) Clint Thomson and Karen Bridges, who are the core of Stone & Snow, said they’re not too upset or surprised they weren't selected. There were 6,000 entries.

Ray Kennedy

Singer/songwriter Chris Knight still lives on the outskirts of his rural Kentucky hometown of Slaughters.  He says it's where he's comfortable, and where he writes honest, nuanced and unflinching sketches about the people he holds dear.  Knight returns to Central Illinois to play Boondocks Pub in Springfield Tuesday March 10. 

Every year, Acousticity host Bruce Bergethon keeps a list - of the favorite holiday songs by artists he interviews for the GLT Sunday night program. It's December, and Bruce has checked the list twice, tracked down the songs, and presents this medley of holiday treats, naughty AND nice, for your enjoyment.

Compass Records

Alison Brown is the CEO of Compass Records. She's also a mom, an MBA and a musician. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with the woman who's working to redefine her instrument of choice.

Doug Anderson

The man behind the group called Backyard Tire Fire has just released his second solo album. It was produced by Anthony Crawford, longtime collaborator with Neil Young. GLT's Bruce Bergethon caught up with Edward David Anderson, to talk about "Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions."

album art by Solitaire Miles

You might associate "Western swing" with Texas dancehalls and Oklahoma honky-tonks. But a great new take on the classic American idiom comes from a Chicago jazz singer.

Justin Niguchi

Hot on the heels of their fourth album, "The Muscle Shoals Recordings," The Steeldrivers return to Bloomington's Castle Theatre on Thursday, October 15. The hard-driving bluegrass/Americana band is growing its audience through relentless touring and distinctive original music. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with founding member, fiddler/singer/songwriter Tammy Rogers.

Compass Records

Everybody in Nashville recognizes the name of fiddle virtuoso and singer Andrea Zonn. A native of Champaign/Urbana, she's backed up George Jones, George Strait, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, and for the last 12 years has been a member of James Taylor's band. This month, she's released her second solo CD, "Rise." It features a stellar cadre of singers like Gill and Taylor, and a set of songs catalyzed by the medical travails of Zonn's son Leonard. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with Zonn about the new release.

The Guardian

Rhiannon Giddens performed at Bloomington's Castle Theatre on September 18th. She's touring behind her new CD, "Tomorrow is My Turn," produced by T Bone Burnett. Giddens is the co-founder of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her first solo CD is a convincing collection of diverse American styles, from country to gospel to blues. From her home in southern Ireland, Giddens spoke with GLT's Bruce Bergethon.