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Music

Radio Munson 10/5/17

Oct 6, 2017

If the sky is all clouds and gloom, you can still sing “Shine On Harvest Moon" with Leon Redbone on this week’s Radio Munson.  Dianne Reeves is on Don’s playlist and so are Louis Armstrong, Manhattan Transfer, Charlie Barnet and Linda Ronstadt.

Victoria Smith

Tommy Castro has incorporated soul and rock into his blues from nearly the time he began playing music. On his new album “Stompin’ Ground,” he overtly tips his hat to the soul and “hippie-rock” he assimilated while musically coming of age in San Jose, California, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Radio Munson 9/28/17

Sep 28, 2017

Some time travel on this week’s Radio Munson for an autumn evening in 1939 when young drumming whiz Buddy Rich put a charge in the Artie Shaw Orchestra at New York’s Cafe Rouge.  Don also plays sides by Harry Connick Jr., Clark Terry, Dinah Washington, Tommy Dorsey, and the Hot Club of Cowtown.

Kate Ford

The now Chicago-based pop-rock quintet Red Scarves returns to Bloomington-Normal Sept. 30 for a house show, where they will feature songs from their scheduled late October release “Sort Of Scarlet.”

"Hard Rockin’ Woman" is the second song on “Hurricane” Ruth LeMaster’s latest album “Ain’t Ready for the Grave.” It’s an apt description for the Beardstown native.

Mike McMillen / Front Row Perspective

Peoria’s Bret Bunton remembers listening to GLT Blues when he was 6 or 7 years old.

Radio Munson 9/21/17

Sep 21, 2017

Don suggests enjoying this last evening of summer on tonight’s Radio Munson with a 1928 recording of “Get Out and Get Under the Moon.”  Betty Carter and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are on Don’s playlist along with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Nat “King” Cole, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 9/14/17

Sep 14, 2017

Don might be rushing the season just a bit, but this week’s Radio Munson features Woody Herman’s iconic recording of “Early Autumn.”  There’s also swinging tunes by Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, and a special duet by vocal legends Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis.

The Ronnie Baker Brooks 2017 release “Times Have Changed” is aptly titled. For one, he altered his guitar sound, leaving his coveted guitar pedals at home during the recording of the album.

“I plugged straight into the amp through a Gibson guitar,” said Brooks. “That was an adjustment for me at first, mentally.”

Radio Munson 9/7/17

Sep 8, 2017

Erroll Garner, Jane Monheit, Fats Waller and Ella Fitzgerald headline this week’s Radio Munson, along with Stan Kenton’s famous recording of “September Song” and the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing “Things Ain’t What The Used To Be.”  It’s radio the way IT used to be with Radio Munson.

Mdou Moctar and his band
Jerome Fino

The thriving Desert Blues sound of the Saharan peoples of North Africa is the spiritual homeland of the blues. Mdou Moctar is a Niger-based disciple of that sound. He's about to embark on a short American tour that kicks off at Reverberation Vinyl in Bloomington.

Hugo van Gelderen / Dutch National Archives

It’s been 50 years since John Coltrane died. How is it possible the just released documentary “Chasing Trane” from director John Scheinfeld is the first big screen telling of the jazz legend?

Radio Munson 8/31/17

Sep 1, 2017

Don Munson returns to GLT this week with an all new, all-Basie Radio Munson.  It’s the best of Count Basie’s five decades—the great band, spectacular soloists, swinging vocalists, and even a tap dancer doing a buck-and-wing with Basie’s piano supporting.

Cedric Wilder / Brown Bear Creative

The title track to Sherwood Forest’s just released “No Retreat” EP is a personal plea to an unnamed person.

Brian Rozman

Samantha Fish can shred her blues guitar with the best. So a new album with a dual focus on her voice and hits from the 1950s and 60s is a bit of a curve-ball. Fish calls it freeing.

Amy Harris/Invision / The Associated Press

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

Kathy Boyle

2017 has been the year of musical reunions in Bloomington-Normal.

In April, The Something Brothers, Mojo Stew, and The Mechanics convened at the Castle Theater in an encore for the ages. Marc Boon’s R&B big band Hip Pocket followed suit a few weeks later. And on Aug. 27, the four-member straight-up blues band The Blue Aces join the reunion tour.

Beth Bombara Music

Depression is an insidious condition. Unlike, say, a broken arm, where you can point to a single incident such as slipping on a patch of ice, depression has no cast for friends and family to notice, let alone sign. It happened to singer/songwriter Beth Bombara leading up to the release of her latest album “Map And No Direction.”

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.

Jerry Jin

Galen Weston was like a lot of college grads: proud of his shiny diploma on the wall, daunted by the immense loans that financed it. Taking a breath, the logical next step, at least in Weston’s mind, was to parlay his jazz degree into an online financial advice business.

Christi Bushby

Is this real what I’m feeling/Is this real or am I dreaming my life away?

Those lines from the song “Pills” open “Phantom Power,” the just released sophomore album from the Robert Brown Band. A life of delusion seems top of mind to band founder Robert Brown. Heck, he even titled the debut album “Love Is a Ghost.” 

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.

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.

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.

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."

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."

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