GLT Blues

Friday 7PM - Saturday 5AM, Saturday 1PM - Sunday 5AM, Sunday 1PM - 7PM, and 24/7 on the GLT Blues Radio stream

We think of GLT Blues Radio as the Best Blues Station on Planet Earth because that's what you tell us.  You hear new stuff every weekend from "young bloods" like Joe Bonamassa, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Beth Hart, and Gary Clark Jr.  And of course you'll hear classics from legends including John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, B.B. King and Etta James.  GLT Blues Radio has all of this and more all day, every day.  You can also learn about up-and-coming artists and hear first-hand stories about the music from the artists themselves by checking out the stories and interviews on this page. 

Use the persistent player links above to listen to GLT Blues Radio any time, or visit the Ways To Listen page for additional streaming options. Scroll down to see a playlist for the GLT Blues Radio stream.

Ways to Connect

Miami bluesman Albert Castiglia returns to central Illinois early next month, and this time he's touring on what critics are calling his finest album.  Castiglia says he agrees with with what his critics are saying about the album titled "Big Dog," and credits the albums producer Mike Zito.

"Because Mike and I are cut out of a similar cloth musically, and we both grew up listening to blues and rock music made it a good pairing. There's an edge to this album.  Mike dialed in my guitar sound. When we met at the studio, he brought his trailer full of all the equipment he owns.  We experimented with sound and he really got my guitar sound to what I sound like live.  And vocally he pushed me to heights I never thought possible."

One of the founding members of the early 1980's Rockabilly revival group "The Stray Cats" will headline the GLT Summer Concert June 11.  Double-bassist Lee Rocker has had a successful career of his own following the bands breakup.  Despite being the son of acclaimed clarinetists Stanley and Naomi Drucker, and brother to country music artist Rosanne Drucker, Rocker said from an early age, his ears were tuned to rockabilly and blues music.

Monaghan Photography

Corey Dennison listened to a lot of music growing up in Chattanooga TN and various other southern burgs.  But he said everything changed once he heard Howlin' Wolf's "London Sessions" album.

"Right then and there is when I said 'whoa ... I gotta have this.'"

Brad Olson Photography

Following his muse has worked well for California based singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Eldred. Exhibit A is a recent album of Elvis covers titled "Elvis Unleaded."  Eldred said his latest album “Baptist Town” was inspired by his readings of folklorist Alan Lomax, which themselves have inspired many trips by Eldred to Mississippi.

“The more I dug into the folklore and history, and the prisons, prison work songs and field hollers, I realized that this music has always done something to me, as has gospel.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

WGLT's legendary Blues host "Delta" Frank Black made an encore appearance during GLT Blues Sunday, May 15.  Black played his 50 favorite blues songs as part of GLT's 50th anniversary celebration, and said he had "a blast."

"It's been a long time since I've been on the radio. I tell ya, and I haven't had this much fun in a long, long time."

Guy King Goes 'Uptown'

Apr 10, 2016
Roman Sobus / Roman Sobus Photography

Chicago’s Guy King spices his blues with Jazz & R&B, the "uptown" sounds he devoured growing up in his native Israel.  When he moved to the United States in his early 20’s, those sounds became the foundation of his own music.

Dragan Tasic

"Paying your Dues" is a saying heard frequently in blues music.  Chicago's Toronzo Cannon has been doing that nightly for two decades ... while driving a CTA Bus during the day.  Cannon began his dues paying as a sideman with some of Chicago's big blues names.  He later formed his own band and worked his way through the city's club circuit, and eventually to large crowds in Europe and a label deal with Delmark Records. 

Blues singer-songwriter-performer Shari Puorto grew up in Connecticut listening to some of the great names in rock and blues, and was especially drawn to the intensity of Etta James. 

Peoria's Smokers Blues Band member Hal Duckett recently stopped by the GLT Studio's to talk with Jon Norton about band's debut album, titled "Roads Less Traveled."  He also talked about their recent trip to Memphis representing Peoria at the International Blues Challenge.  

Duckett says his brother introduced him to Blues through his record collection.  But he says he REALLY got the Blues ... in his car.  He says he was driving home from St. Louis ... and was listening to WGLT on his car radio.

Jean-Luc Bouchier

The latest album from Blues/Roots Rocker Peter Karp titled "The Arson's Match" is actually an over decade ago live date with former Rolling Stones member Mick Taylor.  In this Skype conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Karp details how he and Taylor met, and how as a teenager, he coincidentally found his calling at the "The Bottom Line," the same famous New York City nightclub where he recorded his new album shortly before the venue closed in 2004.

Florian Levassort

Linsey Alexander's second album for Chicago’s Delmark Records is only his fourth as a solo artist.  WGLT's Jon Norton spoke with Alexander via phone at his home in Chicago to talk about his latest album titled “Come Back Baby” and about growing up in Memphis. 

They also talked about his live shows, which are often laden with flirtatious innuendo.

Delbert McClinton says as a young child in 1940's and 50's Texas, he knew music was going to be a huge part of his life. After six decades on the road and multiple Grammy awards to his credit, he says he's lived his dream.  That dream nearly ended two years ago when McClinton underwent triple bypass surgery. 

Carol M. Highsmith

Rick Hall has lived the mythical American story.  As a boy in 1930's rural Alabama, he lived in a house that literally had a dirt floor.  Seven decades later, Hall is rich many times over and is considered one of the great producers in music history.  Hall recently released a memoir that documents his life and career.  
WGLT's Jon Norton caught up with Hall via Skype to talk about the book, and the historic role he played in creating the world famous "Muscle Shoals Sound."

April Martin

When St. Louis based author, documentary filmmaker, theologian and activist Rev. Osagyefo Sekou met Bay area educator, musician and arts administrator Jay-Marie Hill, they found they shared a common interest in social justice and blues, soul & gospel music. Seven months later they released an album titled "The Revolution Has Come" under the name "Reverend Sekou and the Holy Ghost."

Hill and Sekou tell WGLT's Jon Norton via Skype that they met in Cleveland at a Black Lives conference last summer.  Hill says when she and fellow conference attendees surrounded a police car after a 14 year old boy was arrested for what she characterizes as "sitting while black," it was Sekou who cleaned the police administered pepper spray from her face.

jimmyburnsband.com

Former GLT Summer Concert headliner Jimmy Burns says if you want to test your blues chops, show up on a Monday night at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago's Loop.  Now a senior member of the Chicago blues scene, Burns hosts the weekly Blues Jam every other Monday night.  WGLT's Jon Norton recently caught up with Burns.  They talked about his brothers, the restaurant Burns once owned, and about his latest album on Delmark Records titled "It Ain't Right."  Burns says one song he wanted to get on the CD was the Ben E. King classic "Stand By Me."

davealvin.net

Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin play the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington Saturday March 5th.
 Many music critics credit the two for kicking off the American Roots Rock scene in the early 1980's with their band The Blasters.   As teens the brothers absorbed the recordings of now legendary blues, rockabilly and country performers, and as Dave Alvin tells WGLT's Jon Norton, they also frequented nightclubs that featured these bands in their hometown of Downey, in Southern California.

Alyce Jackson

Band members Dennis Bosley and Danny Meyers met when both played in an early incarnation of the Dave Chastain Band.  When members of that band went their own ways, Bosley and Myers created "Rooster Alley." 

Though the band has been an active part of the central Illinois live music scene for nearly a quarter century, their recordings are few and far between. 

Jon Norton / WGLT

A small independent Chicago record label has been documenting Chicago's unsung jazz, blues, and gospel keyboard players since the 1970's. One of the founders of the label is Steven Dolins, who founded "The Sirens Records" as a teenager in the 1970's. After a couple early pressings, he took a long break from recording to focus on his professional life.

Delta Groove Records

Andy Santana is a west coast harmonica player also known for his guitar and vocal prowess.  Though he's a household name up and down the California coastline, and he's played with blues music legends, his name outside the Golden State barely registers, even among blues fans.  On this edition of Talkin' Blues, Santana tells GLT's Jon Norton that it was his wife's urging that convinced him to make a "go of it" nationally. 

35 year old Canadian JW-Jones has released 8 blues albums in just over a decade.  His latest is titled Belmont Boulevard.  It's his first album with producer Tom Hambridge, who has guided a slew of albums for many artists, including blues legend Buddy Guy.  On this Talkin' Blues excerpt, Jones tells GLT's Jon Norton that Hambridge's guidance was invaluable in the making of his new album.

Portland Oregon based blues vocalist and songwriter Karen Lovely has a commanding stage presence that matches her equally powerful voice.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Lovely tells Jon Norton how she has learned to channel stage fright into that commanding stage presence.  She also talks about
her brand new album, titled "10 Miles of Bad Road."

As a young girl, Brooklyn native Alexis P. Suter says she listened almost exclusively to gospel music.  That is, until a chance meeting with the Mills Brothers at age 9 opened up a new musical world for her.  She says from there she sang in school choirs and eventually found her way as a vocalist for House and Dance music in the early 1990's. Today she's the leader of the band that bears her name, and has opened for some of the bigger names in blues music.  Her latest album is "Love The Way You Roll." 

Gary Mitchell

Chris Yakopcic is a young guitarist/singer/songwriter who found himself drawn to acoustic blues at a young age.  He includes blues legends Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell as inspirations. But it was a show by a lesser known guitarist that sparked an "a-ha" moment along his musical career path.

Jeff Ziff aka sodafixer / Flickr

Chicago Blues legend Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater celebrated his 81st birthday January 19th.  For his 79th birthday, Clearwater celebrated with a live show at Space Nightclub in Evanston. That show was recorded and produced as his most recent album "Soul Funky."  On this Talkin' Blues encore, Clearwater talks with GLT's Jon Norton about the album, his friendship with fellow blues legend Lonnie Brooks, and a chance  encounter with one of his hero's, Chuck Berry.

When Champaign-Urbana based Kilborn Alley plays Jazz UpFront in downtown Bloomington tomorrow night, Virginia based vocalist Jackie Scott will be sitting in with the band.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Andrew Duncanson tells Jon Norton that Scott brings an exciting presence to Kilborn Alley.

Soul singer and Blues Hall-of-Fame inductee Otis Clay died of a heart attack January 8th in Chicago.  WGLT's Jon Norton talked with Clay just last year about his busy work schedule.  That schedule included a solo album, a duet album with Johnnie Rawls, guest vocals on guitarist Dave Specter's latest album, and a soundtrack to the film "Take Me To the River."

Trish Badger

Jonn Del Toro Richardson spent years playing guitar in the blues bands of Otis Taylor and vocalist Diunna Greenleaf.  He also spends time working with mandolin great Rich Del Grosso.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Richardson talks to Jon Norton about incorporating some Latin sounds into his music, and why it's taken so long to record Tengo Blues, his first album as a leader:

Bengt Nyman

Blues and Cajun singer/songwriter Tab Benoit makes a return appearance at the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington Thursday. The Louisiana native has won a number of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year awards from the Blues Foundation.  Benoit begins this conversation with GLT's Jon Norton ... talking about the art of entertaining.

Arborland / WikiMedia Commons

Not even three years out of Bloomington High School, Matthew Curry has been playing his brand of southern inspired blues rock around the USA, Canada and Australia.  For the past year, Curry has been opening shows for now legendary names including the Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, and the Steve Miller Band.  He's also been touring as a headliner at smaller venues across the country, including this Saturday night (Dec 12) when Curry headlines the first annual Matthew Curry Fender Bender at The Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington. 

Dave Weld is one of the founding members of the Chicago Blues Band Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials.  But his Chicago Blues history dates back to his time with Ed's uncle, the now legendary bluesman J.B. Hutto.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin Blues, Weld talks to Jon Norton about meeting Hutto and other blues artists when he ventured from white clubs on Chicago's north side to the black clubs on the city's "grittier" west side.  Weld begin his talk with Norton talking fondly about band mate Monica Myhre, who is also his romantic partner.

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