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Music

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."

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.
 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The 2017 GLT Summer Concert is history. We hope you had a great time! We did! Performers include Edward David Anderson's Black Dirt Revival band, Los Texmaniacs, and Thornetta Davis.

Radio Munson 6/15/17

Jun 14, 2017

Was Anita O’Day referring to Uptown Normal when she recorded “Let Me Off Uptown?”  Probably not, but the question provides some fodder for discussion and the playing of Anita’s famous duet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge on this week’s Radio Munson.  The exciting Buddy Rich band is also on Don’s playlist along with Chick Webb, Bobby Troup, and a new duet with vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and Bloomington-Normal pianist John Campbell.

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.

Radio Munson 6/8/17

Jun 9, 2017

There’s a lot of the 1940s in this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins platters by the Andrews Sisters, Cab Calloway, and the Mills Brothers.  Woody Herman sings the “G.I. Jive", while Doris Day croons “Sentimental Journey."

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.

Once there was a brief shining moment known as Camelot the musical, with a score by Lerner and Lowe that became a Broadway classic.

Then there was the dark, free-wheeling Spamalot, a musical based on the cult film classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's that version of the English legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table that will prance across the Connie Link Amphitheatre as the first of this summer's outdoor musicals.

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 .

Radio Munson 5/18/17

May 19, 2017

Four harmonizing saxophones in Woody Herman’s 1947 jazz band recorded a song called “Four Brothers” and changed Woody’s fortunes for decades to come.  The record is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, along with Nicki Parrott (puh-ROT), Nat “King” Cole, Beth Hart, and pianist Freddy “Daddy” Slack plays “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar."

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.'"

Radio Munson 5/11/17

May 11, 2017

The Mother of all “Battles of the Bands” took place in Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom 80 years ago on the night of May 11th, 1937.  Benny Goodman’s popular swing band set up on a bandstand on one side of the huge ballroom, while the Savoy’s “house” band, Chick Webb’s band held court on the other side of the dance floor.  The two bands volleyed back and forth for 5 hours that night, a tune from one and then a tune from the other.  Don takes us back to that night on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 5/4/17

May 8, 2017

Duke Ellington’s famous orchestra recorded an instrumental on May 4th, 1940 that composer Ellington titled “Never No Lament".  You will recognize the old song when Don plays it on this week’s Radio Munson—it’s one of Ellington’s best, made more palatable when Duke gave it a new title.  Matt Monro is on Don’s playlist, too, along with the Merry Macs, Mel Torme’, and Sarah Vaughan live at the famed Mister Kelly’s Jazz Club on Chicago’s Rush Street.

DelmarBrown.com

Bloomington lost a major musical son when Delmar Brown passed away last month from cancer at age 62. The diminutive keyboard player who wowed fellow central Illinois musicians later did the same with some of the most recognizable names in music.

Sheryl Clark Productions

"This is very much a partnership," said Sara Quah, glancing sideways at the man who produced her upcoming "Taking Me Back" album. I don't think the album would be what it is, if it was just my vision."

Quah was referring to Tony SanFilippo, owner of Oxide Lounge Recording Studio in Bloomington. Quah enlisted SanFilippo to produce her first full length album, and credits him as the person who put meat onto the bones of the lyrics and musical song skeletons she had written over the previous year.

Radio Munson 4/27/17

May 1, 2017

A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Harry James, Eartha Kitt, the Hot Club of Cowtown, and the Gene Harris Superband.

Hip Pocket

Hip Pocket band leader and founder Marc Boon said losing three friends recently made the decision to reunite the band an easy one.

"I think at some point along the line we get into a stage of life when we take account of stuff," said Boon.

Radio Munson 4/20/17

Apr 20, 2017

Siblings star on this week’s Radio Munson with Freddy and Nat “King” Cole, Bing and Bob Crosby, the Boswell Sisters and the Dorsey Brothers, plus classics from Henry Mancini, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 4/13/17

Apr 13, 2017

Some piano adventures on this week’s Radio Munson with Boogie Woogie great Meade “Lux” Lewis playing his signature “Honky Tonk Train Blues” and vibraphone innovator playing a romping tune on piano using only his two index fingers.  Mavis Rivers is on Don’s playlist, along with Leon Redbone, Billie Holiday, and your chance to do the ‘Shag” to the “Johnson Rag."

"Whenever I call it a jazz band I do air quotes. 'Jazz.'" said Disorganizer mandolin player Stefen Robinson, gesturing with the index and middle fingers of both hands over his head.

Why?

"Because I don't even know what that means anymore," continued Robinson. "Are you talking about Miles Davis? Are you talking about Wayne Shorter? Are you talking about Kneebody?

Paul Beaty

Blues, R&B, and rock were stamped on Mojo Stew's calling card from the mid 1980's through the early 90's. The central Illinois quintet that toured the Midwest extensively and appeared on Natalie Cole's "Big Break" show reunites for a show with The Mechanics and The Something Brothers April 8 at The Castle Theater in Bloomington. Guitarist Bill Porter said the reunion show has jogged fond memories from the band's heyday some 30 years ago.

Radio Munson 4/6/17

Apr 6, 2017

There’s an anniversary salute to Duke Ellington's iconic “Satin Doll” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Carmen McRae, Stan Kenton, Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie’s salute to “April In Paris."

Scott Harrison

I could have opened with "which Something Brothers members will play the reunion show?" Or "why now?" Former manager Denny De Bourbon would have been an appropriate opening salvo, as the April 8 show at The Castle Theater will also serve as a benefit for the man who guided the Bloomington-Normal sextet into a regional powerhouse in the mid 1980's and early 90's. And they got sooooo close to making the big time.

Instead, "so how many 'hauser's' did you tip back ... back in the day?" popped out of my mouth.

Radio Munson 3/30/17

Apr 3, 2017

Erroll Garner plays “Misty" for you on this week’s Radio Munson and that’s not all.  There’s Ella Fitzgerald, Arthur Prysock, Louis Armstrong, Ann Hampton Callaway and a trip back to the red hot 1920s for a classic recording of “Everything Is Hotsy-Totsy Now." 

Paul Hudson / Flickr

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a devastating disease that has been described as "Parkinson's on steroids."

"I hate to say that's pretty accurate," said Steve Gorman, founding member of both The Black Crowes and more recently, Trigger Hippy. "It's the kind of disease that's very rare, it's very hard to diagnose and it's the kind of thing that's usually only diagnosed after all other neurodegenerative ailments have been eliminated.  So it can take years to get a proper diagnoses."

Laura Jane Grace Of Against Me!: Talking Is Still Honest

Mar 30, 2017
Casey Curry

Against Me!'s 2014's "Transgender Dysphoria Blues" was a coming out party for band founder Laura Jane Grace, who announced two years prior she was a transgender woman.  The punk-rock outfit with roots in Gainesville, Florida has been on Lilyana Arielle Fey's radar since the early 2000's. The Peoria native is also a transgender woman, who says she has found solace and community through the music of Against Me!
 

Radio Munson 3/23/17

Mar 27, 2017

British singer and icon Vera Lynn celebrated her 100th birthday Monday.  She is revered for helping hold a reeling Great Britain together during the bleak early years of World War II.  Don remembers Vera Lynn and plays her memorable song,”We’ll Meet Again” on this week’s Radio Munson, plus Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Sarah Vaughan, and more.

EMily Butler Photography

The viral 2013 video of Puddles Pity Party covering Lorde's "Royals" (see below) propelled the "sad clown with the big voice" to national and international prominence. The man who channels Puddles and his operatic voice is Big Mike Geier, who makes an appearance at the Castle Theater in Bloomington March 26. At 6' 8", Geier IS big, something he acclimated to at an early age.

Tyler Zoller

The line "I just want to make music and friends/Been that way since I was 12 years old" is from "Music and Friends" off Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band's recent "So Delicious" album. Hearing the words fed back to Josh"Reverend" Peyton elicits a smile from the trio's founder.

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