Music Features | WGLT

Music Features

GLT has always been devoted to music. Blues, folk and jazz have been among our offerings for decades but we're also eager to explore just about any musical genre with you.  We love to feature interviews with musicians, visits to record stores, talking about who's rising in the local music scene and telling you about national acts headed our way. Here are some of our best music features. 

Jon Norton / WGLT

Occasionally we ask WGLT's Jon Norton to peruse local record stores to hear what's playing on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  Recently he stopped by Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal, where owner Jared Alcorn was spinning the new album by "Anohni." He summed up the album as violent, haunting, and devastating.

Emo-Rock Underdogs Feel Right at 'Home'

Jun 3, 2016
@realfriendsband

The emo-rock band "Real Friends" released their latest record last Friday at a theater in Kingston, a royal borough in southwest London. That's quite a feat for the suburban Chicago band that as recently as 2012 was playing house shows in Bloomington-Normal.

A Mashup Of Ska & Jazz

Jun 2, 2016

Casey Doremus was a band nerd of sorts.  Growing up in Washington, Illinois, he watched all kinds of bands, and said his heroes were the local drummers and musicians that performed in jazz and marching bands.   But like many a teen, his first experienced was in a rock band.

"It was high school kids putting together something.  A lot of people were into the "Screamo" music at the time. So we had many heavy parts to it like we were almost a metal band."

An Incident To Remember

May 28, 2016

On Memorial Day weekend in 1970 an estimated 60,000 mostly hippies and college-age students invaded the village of Heyworth, Illinois. They descended on this small McLean County town to attend a rock festival named "Incident at Kickapoo Creek." 

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.'"

Official Twitter: @the_jayhawks

Occasionally we ask GLT listeners to let us know what's playing on their turntable. Alt-Country rockers The Jayhawks recently played the Castle Theater in support of their latest record. WGLT's Taylor Bauer, who helps out during Morning Edition, brought in the band's just released album "Paging Mr. Proust."

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.”

Louisiana native Marc Broussard seems to have life by the tail.  He’s a successful Southern soul singer/songwriter with an adorable family, including four children. But this self-described family man said his life has evolved quite a bit since breaking into the music business over 15 years ago. 

“I’ll put it this way. If today I ran into a 20-year old Marc Broussard, I’d walk right up to him and punch him straight in the face.”

Peoria’s Paul Adams is a multi-instrumentalist who writes and records music that spans multiple genres.  Adams embraces the characterization, and compared himself to a visual artist.

“For example, he may be tired of working in oils, so he says ‘I’m going to do something in acrylic.’ Or maybe he has some tools, and decides to carve some mahogany.  That’s my thing; I’m a generalist in music. I feel comfortable in a number of different genres.”

Jamie Day

Alexandra "Alex" Fisher is the founder and leader of the Bloomington-Normal indie-pop band "Alex and the XO's."  Since forming five years ago, the band has toured the U.S. and has recorded three albums, with the 2015 self-titled being their latest.  Though not a household name outside the Twin Cities, they're having moderate success, which Fisher said seemed unlikely just over five years ago.

“My ambition at the time was to teach third grade, settle down, and have a family.”

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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