WMM Playlist from July 28, 2021

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

WMM Celebrates 900 Shows with four of our most favorite musical guests: Calvin Arsenia, Krystle Warren, Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, and Ivory Blue

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Experience”
    from: Catastrophe / Calvin Arsenia / February 14, 2017
    [Calvin Arsenia premiered these songs in a live show at recordBar in November 2016 in a stage show that involved a company of 50 people, dancers, stilt walkers, special lighting, back up singers, guest artists. Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies. Since Calvin Arsenia came home to KC after living in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has released his EP, Moments, in 2014, and his EP Prose in 2015, and his Folk Alliance exclusive EP Catastrophe in 2016. His full-length album Catastrophe on February 14, 2017, His EP Caviar in Novenber 2017. Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, was released on September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On September 20, 2019 Calvin released LA Sessions. On December 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Calvin is also a graduate of Artist INC. Since 2014 we have been celebrating the music of Calvin Arsenia. He has played Folk Alliance International, Kansas City Fringe Fest, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, The Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Calvin was first on WMM on July 25, 2012. He has appeared live on 19 shows, including today, and most recently on Oct 14, 2020]

10:04 – Interview with Calvin Arsenia

Calvin Arsenia has been described as,”Jeff Buckley meets Nina Simone with the soul of Sam Cooke, and the sparkle of Bjork on a harp.” Calvin Arsenia is one of our most frequent guests who first appeared on WMM on July 25, 2012. Today marks his 19th appearance! Since signing to Center Cut Records, Calvin released the albums: Cantaloupe in 2018, L.A. Sessions in 2019, the EP HONEY DEW, and the EP with Quixotic, the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin collaborated with Mike Dillon on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show that starred Calvin as an actor. Calvin is getting ready to release a book, an new musical, and new tours of the East Coast and West Coast. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com

Calvin Arsenia, thanks for being with us on WMM.

Calvin Arsenia plays The Cable Building, 1321 Burlington Street, North Kansas City, on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM, for a live podcast recording of Spirituality Adventures with live speaking from Fred Herron. Previous podcast: Former Evangelical Megachurch Pastor Fred Herron and I talk about my musical career and Cantaloupe. We talk about the context of my show at the Gem Theater, incorporating the Marching Pythons as well as civil rights and gay marriage.

Calvin Arsenia plays The Candlelight Sessions at PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington Ave Kansas City, MO Monday, August 2, at 6:30 PM – The Candlelight Sessions Showcase is an intimate and experimental open mic and networking event designed and curated by Calvin Arsenia to elevate and empower singers, musicians, writers, and artists who are looking to expand the depth and breadth of their craft. 1-3 songs/pieces or 10 minutes per performer. This is a chance to share what your passions are and what you Pedal harp, acoustic steel string guitar, and a non-weighted keyboard are provided.

Calvin plays the Inner Sanctuary with Maralis Self on Wednesday, Aug 25 at 7:00PM at The Shop, 407, N 6th St., Kansas City, KS – There is a magnificent thing that happens once we become more aware of, connected to and more perceptive of our own energy. We can then learn ways to sense and navigate that energy. We, as humans, are in charge of our own energy. We get to discern and decide what our reactions to energy and emotions will be. Join Calvin & Maralis as we discuss ways to direct your energy, and ways you can begin to utilize your energy for self-healing. We will learn and experience how music and sound can work harmoniously in tandem with our efforts to uplift and shift. If you missed the first event in the series, not to worry, we have notes! Come as you are, ready to connect, with an open mind and an open heart. We will learn, we will move, we will experience music, and we will share in the beautiful harmonious vibration we create. Join us! *Please bring a mat or something to sit /lay on, a blanket if you’d like, a journal and your favorite writing utensil. **Handout will be provided with the teaching and with our information.

Calvin is working on a new book that will be released by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Calvin is also working on a new musical about Marie Antoinette with Calvin playing in the title role.

Calvin Arsenia at Recordbar Sept. 19, 2019

Calvin came home to KC in 2014 after working in Edinburgh, Scotland. Calvin was voted KC’s Best Musician in The Pitch in 2018, and 2020, and featured in Billboard, NPR.org, and GRAMMY.com, Calvin’s classically trained voice, visually striking 6-foot-7 presence, and deft harp playing have built his reputation as an incredible live performer.

Calvin Arsenia’s angelic stylings on voice & harp create rare harmonies & arrangements that look past the boundaries of traditional gospel & classical disciplines finding the most direct line of expression to inform common struggles. Known for his elaborate and ceremonious sensory concert experiences that merge jazz & electronic influences, “Calvin has consistently delivered genre-bending (and gender-bending) shows that tackle sexuality, religion, and race in a stunningly unorthodox manner. Somewhere between sacred and sacrilege.”

Calvin recently played shows in Homer, Alaska and on the West Coast.

Calvin can be heard on several tracks currently on the radio:

Making Movies –”Listening Wind ft. Calvin Arsenia, Jeremy Kittel”
From La Cuarentena EP / 3/2 Recordings / February 5, 2021

Rob Rice – “Tiny Window (feat. Calvin Arsenia & Ezgi Karakus)”
from: “Tiny Window” – Single / Rob Rice / March 3, 2021
[1st single from the debut EP of Rob Rice titled, and the Devil’s Threesome to be released March 21, 2021.. Singer/songwriter Rob Rice is a Kansas City native with a spark of millennial magic, his dusty acoustic music transitions from barn-burning ballads to soothing serenades, all of which contain notes of love, loss, and lust whilst learning to live with oneself through it all. On his debut EP and the Devil’s Threesome, Rob humbly assumes the role of choirmaster to a caravan of iconic Kansas City artists and musicians (12 in total) to create unique trios for each song, meditating and musing on the woes and wins of yesteryear.

True Lions – “Blue Marble feat. Calvin Arsenia”
from: The Fempire Strikes Back, / Manor Records / April 9, 2021
[Alisön Hawkins on keytar & vocals, Aryana Nemati on saxophone, Calvin Arsenia on harp & vocals, Claire Adams on guitar, Elizabeth Kosko on drums & percussion, Fritz Hutchison on lead electric guitar, Iona DeWalt on synthesizers;, Leslie Butsch on saxophone, Teri Quinn on bass, plus a sample of Greta Thurnberg’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in NYC, Sept. 2019. Recorded at Deep Space Co-op. Tracking & engineering by Ross Brown at Escape Pod Audio. Mixing and mastering by Joel Nanos at Element Recording. In 2019 True Lions released their EP debut, “Cute at Best,” on Feb. 5, 2019. They followed up with a second EP called. You’re Not Invited, released on Nov. 9, 2019. For these recordings True Lions was: Alison Hawkins on guitar, synth, and vocals; Elizabeth Kosko on percussion, vocals; Mikala Petillo on bass, vocals; Claire Adams on guitar, vocals; Leslie Butsch on saxophone, Ezgi Karakus on cello; and Teri Quinn on vocals. All songs written by True Lions and produced by Claire Adams &Alison Hawkins. Tracking & Engineering by Claire Adams. Mixing & Mastering by Ian Dobyns and Chase Horseman. Info at: http://www.manorrecords.com ] ]

Calvin is working on a new record with J. Ashley Miller and Simon Huntley

Congratulations to Calvin and his fantastic team of co-conspirators & creators: Khitam Jabr, John P. Beatty, Ignacio Galarza III, Ashlee Fairchild Jones, production assistants, & crew. The Toxic music video earned its sixth set of laurels as an official selection of the L.A. Music Video Awards, where they were nominated for Best Music Video, Best Cover Song & Best Male Vocalist.

Born in Orlando, Florida, his creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond.

His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life.

Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-7-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’

Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe (Center Cut Records), has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. Calvin performed live at L.A.’s The Mint, showcasing the songs on LA Sessions with the musicians who collaborated with him on the album. Says Calvin: “It’s such a special experience to play with them. To be able to perform these songs in front of an audience and do this for a living – to have made a career out of something I love is so amazing – it is an honor that I never take for granted.”

On September 15, 2018 Calvin released Cantaloupe on Center Cut Records.

Calvin released L.A. Sessions September 20, 2019 on Center Cut Records

Calvin Arsenia – Honeydew / Center Cut Records / June 28, 2019
[On September 15, 2018 Calvin released Cantaloupe on Center Cut Records. This new EP is a remix of three of the songs from Cantaloupe, plus a Talking Heads cover that was performed live in this style at a New Year’s Eve show at The Truman opening for Making Movies who performed the entire Talking Heads album, Remain in Light. The last three songs on Honeydew were from performed in this style at The Nelson Atkins 2019 event “Party Arty.” Honeydew was produced by Jametatone, Simon Huntley, Calvin Arsenia.

Quixotic & Calvin Arsenia – “Goddess – EP / Quixotic / May 17, 2019
[An innovative performance art collective that fuses imagination with technology, dance, projection, mapping & live music to create fully-immersive, multi-sensory experiences. Quixotic harnesses light, rhythm and expressive emotion. Quixotic was given Silicon Valley’s unofficial stamp of genius when they were invited to perform at the global TED Conference in 2012. A unique blend of performance art, technology & emotion. Quixotic fuses all these elements in to what the New York Times branded an “innovative circus performance”.]

Calvin Arsenia – all is calm / Calvin Arsenia. / December 13, 2019
[Arsenia’s dreamlike whimsy shimmering through your favorite Christmas Classics. All proceeds for this album go towards the purchase of Calvin’s first harp. Featuring: Ben Muñoz on Cello, Shane Borth on Violin and Voila, and Luke “Skippy” Harbur on Beatbox. Mastered by Jametatone at the Infoaming Vertex and special thanks to Simon Huntley. Calvin wrote: “I recorded the majority of this album in my bedroom in between flights to and from KC and SF. I had my nephews and friend’s kids in mind and wanted an album of Christmas lullabys. I think it became just a little more sassy than anticipated, but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.

Arsenia’s powerful vocals span a 4.5 octave range, playing piano, banjo, guitar & harp. Calvin has played Folk Alliance Int., KC Fringe Fest, Apocalypse Meow, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Calvin undertook a three month US/European Outlyre Tour playing San Francisco, Vancouver, NYC, Boston, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland and Paris.

Calvin Arsenia, thanks for being with us on WMM.

More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com

10:25

Calvin Arsenia at recordBar September 19, 2019
  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Falling Over”
    from: L.A. Sessions / Center Cut Records / September 20, 2019
    [Produced by Tony Braunagel (he also delivers exquisite percussion on LA Sessions) with Paul Brown on guitar, Mike Finnigan on keyboards, Freddie Washington on bass, and David Garfield on piano. Between them, the five musicians have worked with some of music’s most iconic names, including Jimi Hendrix, George Benson, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Raitt, Chuck Loeb, Rickie Lee Jones, Buddy Guy, The Neville Brothers From Center Cut Record Press Release: “It was a thrill for me to work with such legendary players,” says Calvin. “Not only were they incredibly talented, but I got off a plane straight from Australia, hit the studio, and they were more than ready to get to that place where you honor the songs, leaving their egos at the door and honoring what the muses tell them. It was one of the best recording experiences I ever had.” Calvin’s production M.O. on previous recordings was to piece together songs “like pieces of a puzzle” and “layer them over several sessions.” He believes the immediacy of the LA Sessions, and having the instrumentation all happening in the “same emotional space together as a band,” powerfully served the intimacy of the album, particularly on the reflective “Back To You.” “It’s one of the most vulnerable songs on the album, and it always plays that way in my live set, and the guys were able to help me capture that,” he says. “The song is a very heartfelt admission of guilt, I think. But it’s done in a way people usually don’t want to talk about. Breakup songs are usually angry and lashing out and this is a very sober-minded take on it. It’s not something we usually want to admit, surrendering or admitting defeat in a relationship, because everyone thinks you’re always going to make it through, and this is saying ‘no we didn’t…but it’s OK.’” Born in Orlando, Florida, his creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-7-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe (Center Cut Records), has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. Most recently, Calvin performed live at L.A.’s The Mint, showcasing the songs on LA Sessions with the musicians who collaborated with him on the album. Says Calvin: “It’s such a special experience to play with them. To be able to perform these songs in front of an audience and do this for a living – to have made a career out of something I love is so amazing – it is an honor that I never take for granted.” On September 15, 2018 Calvin released Cantaloupe on Center Cut Records. Calvin released Honeydew on June 28, an EP including a remix of three of the songs from Cantaloupe.]

[Calvin Arsenia plays The Cable Building, 1321 Burlington Street, North Kansas City, on Friday, August 13, at 7:00 PM, for a live podcast recording of Spirituality Adventures with Fred Herron.]

[Calvin Arsenia plays The Candlelight Sessions at PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington Ave Kansas City, MO Monday, August 2, at 6:30 PM]

[Calvin plays the Inner Sanctuary with Maralis Self on Wednesday, Aug 25 at 7:00PM at The Shop, 407, N 6th St., Kansas City, KS]

10:29 – Underwriting

  1. Station ID with Krystle Warren
  1. Krystle Warren & The Crew – “Gimme Some Truth”
    from: The Crew EP / Parlour Door Music / September 15, 2020
    [Through isolation came unity. The Crew is Lakecia Benjamin, Matthew Silberman, Jacob Snider, Joe Blaxx, Solomon Dorsey, Zach Djanikian, Cassorla, Krystle Warren, and Ben Kane. They have recorded unique versions of classic songs with the hope of encouraging the rallying cries of The Moment: the movement of the people. // In the lockdown of their homes, they sewed together their interpretations of “Bein’ Green” (based upon Ray Charles’ rendition); “Gimme Some Truth” (a mighty John Lennon composition); “Dear Landlord” (a scathing indictment from the blistering pen of Bob Dylan); and “Rhythm of Life”, (a timeless statement originally performed by Oleta Adams). // A portion of the proceeds from The Crew. EP will be donated to the various causes and organizations The Crew. support.From Billboard.com: Singer-songwriter Krystle Warren has made a powerful statement about the struggle for Black equality with the help of Kermit the Frog’s iconic song “Bein’ Green” (written by Joe Raposo). // The moving five-minute clip, over which Warren sings her rendition of the 1970 song — since recorded by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and others — sprang from a covers EP she recorded during the pandemic with a group of musicians known as The Crew. Warren embarked on the project after her forthcoming album with her regular group, The Faculty, was put on hold due to COVID-19. The EP, which tackles themes of racial injustice in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests this summer, also includes a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth.” // The “Bein’ Green” video weaves in footage of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and also includes a heartbreaking montage of young Black children choosing white dolls over dark-skinned ones. It additionally features archival footage of such transformative Black figures as James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Malcom X, Nina Simone, Marsha P. Johnson and Al Sharpton, as well as victims of police brutality including Sandra Bland, George Floyd and Eric Garner. It ends with a clip from a speech by civil rights activist Ella Baker. // “‘Bein’ Green,’ it’s such a gorgeous song, and it says so, so much,” says Warren. “I began thinking about what I wanted it to express visually before we started [recording the song]. Essentially — it’s not easy being Black. That’s what Ray Charles was saying, and we felt it needed to be said again.” // Warren, who now resides in Paris, began performing in her native Kansas City at the age of 16 before moving to New York City, where she started busking on the streets and later formed her regular band, The Faculty. She and the group have recorded several full-length albums, including 2009’s Circles, 2012’s Love Songs and 2017’s Three the Hard Way. Her next album is slated for release this winter. // A large percentage of proceeds from sales of the EP will be donated to the ACLU.]
  1. Krystle Warren and The Faculty – “Tuesday Morning”
    from: Love Songs- Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace (A Time to Refrain from Embracing) / Parlour Door Music / April 9, 2012 UK]
    [Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections.]
  1. Krystle Warren & The Faculty– “Rising”
    from: Rising – Single / Parlour Door Music / May 31, 2019
    [This single was produced by co-founding member of The Faculty, bassist Solomon Dorsey. I was texting with Krystle over the weekend after the KC Bands Together (May 15 and May 16, 2020) weekend, 6-hour streaming concert, where Krystle shared three songs including a cover of Gerry Raferty’s “The Ark” from his 1978 album, City to City. Krystle was currently doing over dubs on “Rising” that will be included on the new Krystle Warren & The Faculty album called, “Extended Play.” Krystle told me that they had wanted to do album cover photos during a concert that was scheduled in Kansas City in March, 2020, but was cancelled due to COVID-19. Getting everyone together has not been possible. Krystle was hoping for a late 2020 release. This album will now come out in 2021.]

10:41

Krystle Warren‘s album THREE THE HARD WAY as #1 on WMM’s Best Recordings of 2017. Released on Parlour Door Music, on August 18, 2017 and Produced by Krystle Warren and Ben Kane. Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Ben Kane. Written & performed by Krystle Warren. Mixed at The Garden, Brooklyn. Mastered & cut by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk. Last year in Krystle Warren premiered this song and her other new songs from this album at the Middle of the Map Fest in a packed room at Californos in Westport and later at The Polsky Theatre for the Performing Arts Series of Johnsons County Community College. For this record Krystle decided to play every instrument and vocals & back up vocals, “playing bass, drums, lap steel, piano, guitar, and vocals directly to analog tape. She and Ben Kane recorded in Villetaneuse, France, a small town on the outskirts of Paris in a vintage 70s era studio that offered just the right, rich sound to suggest the musical foundation for the record, and to do justice to the duo’s carefully balanced arrangements.” On the Wednesday MidDay Medley radio show in 2016 Krystle shared inspirations for this record, early gospel recordings, that crossed over into Jazz from: Pharoah Sanders, Edwin Hawkins, and The Swan Silvertones.

10:43

  1. Krystle Warren – “Move!”
    from: Three The Hard Way / Parlour Door Music / August 18, 2017
    [Produced by Krystle Warren and Ben Kane (D’Angelo, Emily King, PJ Morton). Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Ben Kane. Written & performed by Krystle Warren. Mixed at The Garden, Brooklyn. Mastered & cut by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk. Last year in Krystle Warren premiered this song and her other new songs from this album at the Middle of the Map Fest in a packed room at Californos in Westport and later at The Polsky Theatre for the Performing Arts Series of Johnsons County Community College. For this record Krystle decided to play every instrument and vocals & back up vocals, “playing bass, drums, lap steel, piano, guitar, and vocals directly to analog tape. She and Ben Kane recorded in Villetaneuse, France, a small town on the outskirts of Paris in a vintage 70s era studio that offered just the right, rich sound to suggest the musical foundation for the record, and to do justice to the duo’s carefully balanced arrangements.” On the Wednesday MidDay Medley radio show in 2016 Krystle shared inspirations for this record, early gospel recordings, that crossed over into Jazz from: Pharoah Sanders, Edwin Hawkins, and The Swan Silvertones. Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections.

10:48 – Interview with Krystle Warren

KC born and internationally known singer songwriter Krystle Warren joins us from France. One of our most played artists of all time on the show. Krystle has appeared on WMM nearly 15 times. Mark first interviewed Krystle Warren for The Tenth Voice, back 2002. Krystle’s critically acclaimed album, Three The Hard Way was #1 on WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. Wednesday MidDay Medley was the first to play tracks from Krystle’s album, before it was released. Krystle came on the show months before the release, to share music that was the inspiration for the recording. We last talked with Krystle last fall sharing details about The Crew EP where Krystle and friends recorded unique versions of four classic songs with the hope of encouraging the rallying cries of the moment: the movement of the people. Warren embarked on the project after her newest album, with her band The Faculty, was stalled due to COVID-19.

Krystle Warren, thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Back 2002, Mark waited several hours, during a winter snow storm, at a huge party, where Krystle played with her band including her longtime friend Solomon Dorsey on bass, in a packed, smoke filled apartment near Community Christian Church across the hall from where Solomon lived, to be given a 2 song demo CD, that contained Krystle’s first recorded music, including a song called “Chanel #5.” Krystle has since gone on to be known all over the world, but still maintains contact with her hometown of Kansas City.

Warren began performing in her native Kansas City at the age of 16 before moving to New York City, where she started busking on the streets and later formed her regular band, The Faculty. She and the group have recorded several full-length albums, including 2009’s Circles, 2012’s Love Songs and 2017’s Three the Hard Way. Her EP, THE CREW was released on September 15, 2020. Her band The Faculty is ready to release their new album EXTENDED PLAY.

Krystle recently played the Stimmen Festival Ettiswill in Switzerland on May 8.

Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, who gave her a one way ticket to France. Krystle moved to Paris to release CIRCLES in 2009. Krystle played French & British TV programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world on tours with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman.

Krystle left Because Music and created her own recording label, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace / A Time to Refrain from Embracing” a double album recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. In 2019 The Kansas City based Owen/Cox Dance Group premiered a new dance piece titled “Love Songs” with choreography by Jennifer Owen, set to all 24 songs, in the order they appear in the recording.

Krystle Warren has collaborated with Erykah Badu, Keziah Jones, Zap Mama, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, Brad Cox, Amadou & Mariam, Lakecia Benjamin, Guarco, Teddy Thompson, Gwyneth Herbert, Hercules & Love Affair, and Joon Moon. Along with being included in the compilation “NYC Subway – Songs from the Underground,” and tribute recordings for Kate McGarrigle, and Nick Drake,

Warren has released the EP “Diary” on May 1, 2007; “The Up Series – EP” on November 10, 2008; “Circles” her 13-song full length on March 13, 2009; “A Time To Keep – Love Songs EP”, on August 12, 2011, The double album 24-song “Love Songs” released on vinyl in Europe on April 9, 2012 and as separate digital and CD albums in the U.S. as: “Love Songs: A Time to Embrace,” on March 13, 2012 and “Love Songs: A Time to Refrain from Embracing” on February 27, 2015; Krystle released “Three the Hard Way” on August 18, 2017.

Last time Krystle was on the show live, was October 16, 2019 with Brad Cox when she was here in KC to present Love Songs with Owen/Cox Dance Group at Oct 19 & 20, 2019 at Polsky Theatre at JCCC.

In an article in SPIN Magazine, December 6, 2020,
The 35 Best Lesser-Known Artists of the Last 35 Years, Picked by 35 Well-Known Artists — Krystle Was named twice!

Joan as Police Woman on Krystle Warren: “Most stellar voice, tender and strong in equal measure with a range nothing short of miraculous. Incredible writer of songs, the type of which used to get written and go on to become classics. Exquisite live performer in the way you forget completely where you are and what’s happening in your life.”

Rufus Wainwright on Krystle Warren: “Krystle Warren’s voice and performance style seared an indelible mark on me years ago when she joined Martha and I on tributes to our mom Kate McGarrigle in both London and New York. Her haunting interpretations, vocal timbre and singular look completely devastated all present, and soon after I had the honor of taking her out on the road with me. Be it covers, her own material or harmonizing with others, she is a true musician and should be considered an international treasure.”

From http://www.krystalwarren.com written by Phil Anderson:

From Diary EP to Extended Play A Truncated History of Krystle Warren & The Faculty

Krystle Krystle Warren met Solomon Dorsey some weekend at a high school debate competition in Kansas City. After she had trounced Solomon’s debate partner, the two ended up in an open classroom where they began playing music—Krystle had brought her guitar and was practicing chords, and Solomon, then an accomplished violinist, cellist, bassist, and singer likely had some sort of instrument on him, and even if he didn’t he had his voice.

Due to some specific details we’re not going to get into, Krystle was already living on her own; she was eighteen and he was seventeen. But she had a friend who had an apartment near hers, and this friend was having a party. “Wanna go?” she asked Solomon. And, as Solomon puts it, he has seen or spoken to Krystle every single day of his life since.

So when Solomon decided to attend the jazz program at New School in New York, he asked Krystle, “Wanna go?” And a few months after he moved, Krystle showed up. On her first night in the city, Solomon introduced her to Zach Djanikian, a saxophonist he’d become fast friends with at school. They lived in the same dorm, and Zach and Solomon took Krystle to a practice room in the basement and the three of them played musical games. According to Zach, “We’d sing as many melodies as we could over four open strings of the upright bass, plucked successively. ‘Norwegian Wood’ and the theme to ​Family Matters​ were a couple favorites.”

This led to busking as a trio, and each of them was hustling for gigs. An Italian restaurant that featured live music gave Krystle a regular night, and she often had Solomon and Zach play with her. Zach’s friend from Philadelphia, Ben Kane, would come to these nights, and he brought Mike Riddleberger.

In Philly, Zach was in a band called The Brakes, and Ben Kane was producing an album for Zach’s band in a windowless apartment that he shared with Riddleberger. Kane and Riddleberger had become friends a year earlier at NYU, bonding over their love of D’Angelo’s album ​Voodoo​. Riddleberger says that even though he saw Krystle perform, he didn’t speak to her until after she saw him play with his band, Quintus. Zach had brought her, and she approached him after the show to play in a band she was starting.

The Faculty was formed with Krystle, Solomon, Zach, Riddleberger, and Dave Moore, a keyboardist from Kansas who was at New School, too. While the four boys had classes and gigs, Krystle floated around New York and made a lot of friends. She busked and wrote songs, and, with the help of her band members and Ben Kane, who had an internship at ElectricLady Studios and was sneaking them in at odd hours, Krystle turned those songs into an EP called ​Diary​.

And it was a diary. The songs were about her daily experiences in this new place and with these new people. “I’ve Seen Days” has a title that implies a reflection, but it’s about how the world is new to her, how she’s “a frightened child” in a new city. “The New Astrologer” is about a new and exciting love, one that remains a good friend of hers. “A Song For Holly” is a letter to family explaining her new quotidien life (“your big sister / out in New York on some subway / your big sister, out trying to get paid”). And “Central Park” is a document of a night she had in Central Park with Zach and his boyfriend (now husband) Jesse, and how she is coming to embrace this new city, these new people, and this new chapter of her life.

If ​Diary,​ the Faculty’s first recordings, is Krystle’s “Songs of Innocence,” then ​Extended Play​, the Faculty’s latest, is Krystle’s “Songs of Experience.”

Diary​ led to ​Circles,​ which Ben Kane co-produced with ​Voodoo​ engineer Russell “The Dragon” Elevado. ​Circles​ was bought by Because Music in France, and Krystle had her next move. She stayed in France even when her relationship with Because ended because she found Vanessa, and Vanessa was worth staying in France for. But Krystle still recorded ​Love Songs​ in New York, a double album that invokes a Blakean duality with its two subtitles, “A Time to Refrain from Embracing” and “A Time You May Embrace.” ​Love Songs​ was produced with most of the Faculty (Zach was on tour with Amos Lee) and a slew of guest musicians in Brian Bender’s Brooklyn studio. Bender’s assistant, Jonathan Anderson, would later go on to replace Dave Moore on keys in the Faculty.

The Faculty has always been a tenuous project for everyone involved because of the distance and the schedules. While everyone remains close friends, the band members are spread across the globe. Krystle in France. Riddleberger in New York and Zach in Woodstock. Solomon and Jonathan in Los Angeles. And then they are all working musicians, touring, recording, and collaborating with an impressive list of artists. Musicians like, in no particular order: D’Angelo, Hercules and Love Affair, Donald Fagen and the Nightfliers, Joan As Policewoman, Jose James, Emily King, Janet Jackson, Ron Sexsmith, The Dixie Chicks, Amy Helm, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Rufus Wainwright, Kylie Minogue, Sara Bareilles, Natalie Merchant, Kesha, Bleachers, Emylou Harris, Amos Lee, Lana Del Rey, Broken Social Scene, Teddy Thompson, Lakecia Benjamin, Jenny Lewis, and honestly that’s less than the half of it.

So they have been busy, and they have gained a lot of experience since the days of sneaking into ElectricLady late night or playing for meager pay and free wine at an East Village Italian resto. And while ​Diary​ and ​Circles​ and ​Love Songs​ were recorded with everyone in the same room (​Three the Hard Way​ was just Krystle and Kane together), ​Extended Play​ was recorded disparately and assembled together by the steady hands and ears of Kane and Krystle. There is distance between the musicians in the recording process, but there is still a close emotional connection that can be heard in these songs.

And Krystle is writing with a close emotional connection to the distant past. The songs that make up ​Extended Play​ are songs of experience—the lyrics reflect on a crush from high school, a departed musical hero, and others who live in memory. There is nostalgia in ​Extended Play​, and a forlornness. And these songs are filled with references, musical and otherwise, to those who have inspired Krystle over the years, from ​Les Mis ​(specifically the song adopted by the ACT UP movement) to Gregory Djanikian, Zach’s poet father, and Audre Lord.

Krystle describes “When I Look Back,” the last song of ​Extended Play​, as “an apology to my teenage self.” Seventeen years ago she was writing songs about what happened day-of because being young is about immediacy and living in the present tense. Now the songs are about years past because life slows down, and we are allowed the time to “look back.”

But as Krystle sings in “Rising,” “Future lingers while past is present.” She’s writing about the past because we are all our collected histories—or as she puts it in “When I Look Back”: “there’s still something of her that stays.” The future, of course, still lingers, always there waiting for us, for the next move. The album ends with a recording of Audre Lorde’s gravelly voice. She says,

“I’m going on to something else, the shape of which I have no idea. ‘Only thing I know, is it’s going to be quite different. What I leave behind has a life of its own. I’ve said this about poetry… Well in a sense, I’m saying it about the very artifact of who I have been.”

Krystle Warren & The Faculty still have more to come. They have built seventeen years of memories, experiences, recordings, and shows, and with the release of ​Extended Play​, they continue to show a commitment to growing as musicians together, even if apart.

From http://www.krystalwarren.com written by Phil Anderson:

In 2020 Krystle Warren & The Crew released the 4-track EP THE CREW. Warren embarked on the project after her forthcoming album with her regular group, The Faculty, was put on hold due to COVID-19. The Crew EP, which tackles themes of racial injustice in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests this summer, also includes a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth.”

The Crew: Lakecia Benjamin, Matthew Silberman, Jacob Snider, Joe Blaxx, Solomon Dorsey, Zach Djanikian, Cassorla, Krystle Warren, and Ben Kane.

With the EP, The Crew, the band released a video of their interpretation of “Bein’ Green” an emotionally stirring five minute montage of footage of Black Lives Matter protests, young Black children choosing white dolls over dark-skinned ones, archival footage of James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Malcom X, Nina Simone, Marsha P. Johnson Al Sharpton, Ella Baker, as well as Sandra Bland, George Floyd and Eric Garner. Proceeds from the EP will be donated to the ACLU.

Bein’ Green – Kermit the Frog’s iconic song “Bein’ Green” (written by Joe Raposo). // The moving five-minute clip, over which Warren sings her rendition of the 1970 song — since recorded by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and others — sprang from a covers EP she recorded during the pandemic with a group of musicians known as The Crew. ‘Bein’ Green,’ it’s such a gorgeous song, and it says so, so much,” says Warren. “I began thinking about what I wanted it to express visually before we started [recording the song]. Essentially — it’s not easy being Black. That’s what Ray Charles was saying, and we felt it needed to be said again.”

Krystle Warren, thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Krystle Warren & The Faculty are working on a new album, the first single “Rising” was included in the official soundtrack to the Ana DuVernay television series soundtrack for “When They See Us.” The single was released May 31, 2019. The Crew EP was released by Parlour Door Music on September 15, 2020. More info at http://www.krystlewarren.com

11:00 – Station ID with Bobby Watson

  1. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – “Never Met a Mutha”
    from: Started With a Family / Starts With Music, LLC / September 6. 2019
    [Produced with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman at iconic Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear have garnered international acclaim, and new fans from all over the world. They signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abiss. They performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman, they’ve toured across the United States, and Europe, more than once. They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and “Later With Jools Holland and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, and the Newport Folk Festival, and the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville. Ruth Ward has continually performed throughout her life, mostly in coffee shops and open mics, for over 30 years, even recording a solo record. In the midst of this she got married and became a mom, and was busy raising a family. Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen’s journey to become a musician, was “melodically passed down” through the songs of his mother, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. They began playing Madisen’s original songs along with the ocassional cover of a classic track, reinterpreted in their own incredibly beautiful performance of two voices and two guitars in harmony and orchestration. Their debut album, The Skeleton Crew, was released May 9, 2015 and was our most played record that year and was #1 on WMM’s The 115 Best Recordings of 2015. Their follow up EP Radio Winners was released July 27, 2018 and received critical acclaim.] [Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear played Crossroads Music Fest, Sat., Sept 7,, Crossroads KC, with Shy Boys, Split Lip Rayfield, The Freedom Affair.]

[Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear play the 2nd Annual Camp Leavenworth, Friday, September 24, at 8:30 PM. More info at: http://www.madisenwardandthemamabear.com]

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

11:04 – Interview with Madisen Ward and Ruth Whitlock Ward

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear released their debut album, The Skeleton Crew on May 9, 2015 and performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman. They have been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, “Later With Jools Holland” and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, the Newport Folk Festival, and at the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville. Getting married and raising a family slightly delayed Ruth Ward’s 30-year musical journey. Her son Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear have released two albums, and two EPs, and a Live Album. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear play the 2nd Annual Camp Leavenworth, Friday, September 24, at 8:30 PM. More info at: http://www.madisenwardandthemamabear.com

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear thanks for being with us on WMM.

We first played the song “Whole Lotta Problems” on May 8, 2013 from their self produced We Burned The Cane Field Down / Independent / October 6, 2012. Their debut EP was recorded in Kansas city’s Element Studios with recording by Joel Nanos who passed this release on to me back then and said he hadn’t ever heard anything quite like it.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear played live on our shows on July 10, 2013, November 20, 2013, July 9, 2014, September 24, 2014, and came back to see us on November 18, 2015, and September 20, 2017, September 4, 2019 and now today.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear are part of great lineup, this time at Camp Leavenworth that features Melissa Etheridge, returning to her hometown for a big show.

During the quarantine, Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear created their own podcast: “Mad Mama Half Happy Hour Podcast.” They’ve already have created 33 episodes with some amazing guests including: Will Forte, Heidi Gardner, and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Ruth Ward said it was her brother who turned her onto Folk Music. Ruth Ward has continually performed throughout her life, mostly in coffee shops and open mics, for over 30 years, even recording a solo record.

In the midst of this she got married and became a mom, and was busy raising a family. Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007.

Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. They began playing Madisen’s original songs

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear consists of singer-songwriter and guitarist Madisen Ward and Guitarist and vocalist Ruth Ward. They are a modern soulful/folk music duo from Independence, Mo. The band’s debut album Skeleton Crew, produced by Jim Abbiss, known for his award-winning work with Arctic Monkeys and Adele, captures Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear in their most natural setting. The two tracked most of the tracks live, sitting across from one another in the recording studio. They didn’t use a click track. With help from a handful of session musicians, the two Wards captured the sound they’d been making since those coffeeshop days. The album was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. The album reached number 50 on the UK Albums Chart on June 14, 2015.

The Skeleton Crew, was released May 19, 2015 and was our most played record on WMM that year and was #1 on WMM’s The 115 Best Recordings of 2015.

In 2015, The duo appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, Later… with Jools Holland, BBC Breakfast News, CBS News Sunday Morning, and Today (U.S. TV program). That same year, the band performed in the USA, Canada and Europe, including Bonnaroo Music Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Americana Music Festival & Conference.

They also supported The Tallest Man on Earth, Sufjan Stevens, Pixies, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

The duo released The Radio Winners (EP) in July 2018. They co-wrote each song, also working with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman — a producer on Taylor Swift’s first five albums — and Ryan Hadlock, best known for his work with the Lumineers.

Madisen War and the Mama Bear’s video for “Started With a Family” was released Aug 6, 2019 was shot at the iconic Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Produced by Nathan Chapman.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

Two years ago, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear headlined the 15th Annual Crossroads Music Fest, on the KC Crossroads Stage.

Madisen Ward ‘s Birthday is August 23.

Ruth’s Husband and Madisen’s Dad is Kenneth Ward

Madisen Ward wanted to follow in his uncle’s footsteps. His Uncle was on The Wire and has been in many other TV shows and films. Madisen’s Uncle, Ruth’s brother is, Isiah Whitlock Jr. Born September 13, 1954, in South Bend, Indiana, USA. – He is an actor and writer, known for Da 5 Bloods (2020), Cedar Rapids (2011) and BlacKkKlansman (2018). Trade Mark – Distinctive way of saying “shit” in many of his films and “The Wire” He has received widespread acclaim for his sensitive portrayal of Joe, a married English professor who arranges a date with a teenage boy, in Christopher Shinn’s “Four”, a role he has played in several productions around the U.S.

Isiah Whitlock Jr pursued advanced drama studies as a member of American Conservatory Theater in San Fran. He graduated from Southwest State University (Marshall, Minnesota) in 1975. e Grew up the 5th of 10 children in South Bend, Indiana, where his father was a steel mill worker. Was in a long-term relationship with actress Wilma Mondi.

Interview in Milk

Recently, Milk’s JamRoom served up something a little different to its select patrons. The featured artists of the night? Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. The mother-son duo has been touring across the world, even stopping by one of the last shows of Letterman, in support of their debut album Skeleton Crew.

Much like their music, the pair is relaxed and completely authentic in their interactions. Seeing them sit together really is just like watching a mother and son laugh, banter, and be family, but once they get on stage, they have a sound that can bring you to tears as easily as it can make you get up and boogie. Milk Made’s Jordan Mack got to sit with them minutes before the rocked the Jam Room to talk about their relationship as bandmates and family members, David Beckham and opening for one of B. B. King’s last shows.

Are you guys excited for the show tonight?

Madisen: Yeah, Milk is a cool space. Plus, they just told me David Beckham might be coming. DBecks! That’s just so cool.

Ruth: We’re getting a picture with him. I don’t care what I have to do.

How did the mother-son duo come to be?

Ruth: Well, I’ve been playing music since I was 19 in coffee houses, some clubs. The whole family would come out to hear me play. Then when Madisen was in high school, he started to play and write songs. I noticed that he had a gift, so when I would go to play, I would make Madisen come up to play some of his songs. We got a good reaction from the audience, and we had a good rapport, so it just evolved from that.

Was that nerve-racking at first to be called up on stage like that?

Madisen: Not at all. I’ve always loved being on stage. When I was young, I would act in plays and stuff like that. I love performing. Music was just a later ambition, because it was always in the house. I grew up with it, and Mom always played it, but it felt like her thing. Once I got up on stage though, it clicked. It was really comfortable, especially having my mom literally right next to me. There was a certain freedom that I became addicted to in just being able to write whatever you want. I think if I had been playing from when I was little, my writing would be very different.

How do you think coming to music later shaped your writing?

Madisen: You have a weird sense of discovery when you start playing music. I’ve never been one to focus on other artists, or learn their riffs. There are bits of my mother’s playing style with me, but it’s really just me sitting in a room trying to figure this thing out.

If you could cover any musical artist, who would it be?

Madisen: Tom Waits, for sure. He’s got soul.

Ruth: Out of anyone, probably Adele.

Madisen: Really?

Ruth: Oh yeah, she’s got a depth to her that you know is real. She’s my girl. When anyone, man or woman, can sing and really just caress the vocals.

Madisen: Oh, can I change my answer to Ginuwine? [laughs] That’s my real answer.

What’s it like touring together? Do you ever get on each others nerves or anything?

Ruth: Oh yes! All the time.

Madisen: It’s the nature of family really. It’s really not different than living at home together. I think that’s also the nature of touring with anyone, it’s like having a roommate. My mom and I get on each other’s nerves but we still love each other. It’s kind of a cruel advantage because –

Ruth: We know we’re not going anywhere [laughs]

Madisen: Well that and we know it’s not personal. If I had just met her and we had just starting playing together, I’d be so nervous because let me tell you, my mother knows how to tell it like it is. If I wasn’t her son, I would totally think she disliked me, but there’s that love there as a base.

So you debuted ‘Skeleton Crew’, and you guys have blown up between Letterman and Rolling Stone. How has this increase in fame changed the process, and the dynamic between you two?

Madisen: It makes you want to work harder, but the dynamic really hasn’t changed. It’s still the same feeling of us just playing at home. That hasn’t changed too much, and we don’t want it to change.

What’s it like raising Madisen Ward and vice versa? What’s it like being raised by Ruth Ward?

Ruth: Well I have two other children. I have an older daughter and son, and a beautiful granddaughter. I raised them the same. Everyone is the same. I would joke with them and tell them that ‘fair’ doesn’t live here, when they would say ‘it’s not fair!’ But I don’t know. I mean he’s my son? No one has ever asked me that question [laughs]

Madisen: You don’t know what it was like to raise me? [laughs]

Ruth: I guess I was there, but no one really asks that. He was a good kid. He never gave us any real problems. He’s very normal. My biggest thing was to love unconditionally and allow them to be who they wanted to be, whether it’s a musician or a real estate agent, like my other two children. I just wanted them to be able to function as adults.

Madisen: Growing up having my folks as my folks was an interesting background. They’re pretty eclectic people with great taste, which is something I really appreciate, looking back. It’s really affected my own tastes. They didn’t really argue. Like she said, it’s a pretty normal household. We’re all really close because it’s always just been the five of us. We’ve always depended on each other and had a tight knit group.

If we talked to either of you 10 years ago, and we told you that would be playing together, going on tour together, doing these interviews, what would you have said?

Madisen: If you had told me that 10 years ago, I would have told you my dad’s favorite line, ‘You teasin!’ [laughs] I really wanted to do something in the entertainment industry, not necessarily music. I always wanted to follow my uncle’s footsteps, Vincent Ward. He was on The Wire and I looked up to him my whole life. So if you told me all of this 10 years ago, I’d be thinking ‘oh good, my plan comes together.’ [laughs] But as far as what it became, that’s where the unreal aspect comes in.

Ruth: I’m of the same mindset, ‘you teasin.’ I’m surprised. 10 years ago, I never would have dreamed of this. I was playing coffee houses for years, and my brain never really went further than that. Now that we’re doing this, my mind has really expanded. We even went to Europe! I went to a cooking school in Italy about 10 years ago, and I always really regretted not traveling when I was younger. Here I am now, fulfilling all of these dreams. But the most important thing is that no matter what, I’ve always been content.

Madisen: That’s always been a big theme in our family: contentment. It’s never been about having a lot. It was about using what you had. It comes into the music too. We don’t like big production, it’s just our voices and our guitars. That’s the ‘skeleton crew’. Just basics.

Ruth: My husband would always say, ‘simple pleasures are the best.’

Your husband has a lot of great one liners.

Madisen: That’s all he does. We’re going to make him put out a book of them [laughs]

Have you always been a ‘Mama Bear? Like ‘don’t mess with my cubs or I’ll cut you’ kind of thing?

Ruth: Cut you? That’s intense. You sound like B. B. King with that. When we opened for him, he would always talk about cutting people! ‘Don’t do this or I’ll cut ya!’ That’s an old school thing to say. But to answer the question, when we were first putting the duo together, Madisen suggested Mama Bear, but someone had that. So then my husband said ‘Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear’, and it just stuck. As far as protecting my ‘cubs,’ I’m like a mama lion keeping the pride together, bringing home the bacon. ‘Mama Bear’ is new, but I accept it.

Madisen, would you say you have a ‘hip mom’?

Madisen: A hip mom? I don’t think I’m even that hip. [laughs]

Ruth: I’m not hip, but Madisen is definitely not hip either. [laughs]

Madisen: We’re just us. On stage we’re bandmates, but as soon as we walk off it’s back to mother and son. We’re not doing anything crazy and cool. We’re just doing us and having a great time. Our biggest mission is to make people happy. If people like our music, we can’t help but keep making more.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear play the 2nd Annual Camp Leavenworth, Friday, September 24, at 8:30 PM. More info at: http://www.madisenwardandthemamabear.com

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear thanks for being with us on WMM.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

11:24

  1. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – “Started With A Family”
    from: Started With a Family / Starts With Music, LLC / September 6. 2019
    [Produced with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman at iconic Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear have garnered international acclaim, and new fans from all over the world. They signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abiss. They performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman, they’ve toured across the United States, and Europe, more than once. They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and “Later With Jools Holland and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, and the Newport Folk Festival, and the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville. Ruth Ward has continually performed throughout her life, mostly in coffee shops and open mics, for over 30 years, even recording a solo record. In the midst of this she got married and became a mom, and was busy raising a family. Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen’s journey to become a musician, was “melodically passed down” through the songs of his mother, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. They began playing Madisen’s original songs along with the occassional cover of a classic track reinterpreted in their own incredibly beautiful performance of two voices and two guitars in harmony and orchestration. Their debut album, The Skeleton Crew, was released May 9, 2015 and was our most played record that year and was #1 on WMM’s The 115 Best Recordings of 2015. Their follow up EP, Radio Winners, was released July 27, 2018 and received critical acclaim. Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear played Crossroads Music Fest, Sat., Sept 7, Crossroads KC, with Shy Boys, Split Lip Rayfield, The Freedom Affair.]

[Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear play the 2nd Annual Camp Leavenworth, Friday, September 24, at 8:30 PM. More info at: http://www.madisenwardandthemamabear.com]

11:28 – Underwriting

Ivory Blue

11:30 – Interview with Ivory Blue

KC based singer songwriter and rock & roller, Ivory Blue has been busy in the studio putting together new music. In 2020 Ivory released the singles “Elite Dreamland,” (Feb. 17), “Half a Life” (Sept. 20), and “Family Tables” on December 7. In 2011, Ivory landed in the Kansas City area, and became a part of new family. Ivory Blue’s debut EP, Ready Get Set was released in 2015 and had wide radio airplay. Ivory Blue has played Crossroads Music Festival, The Middle of the Map Festival, The Westport Roots Festival, Kansas City Public Library, and Kauffman Stadium. More info at: http://www.ivorybluemusic.com

Ivory Blue thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

Since 2015 Ivory Blue has been on the WMM 10 times.

Ivory Blue was born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, as Devin James Miclettet. Ivory’s birth mother put them up for adoption at the age of four. Ivory speaks about how it was difficult to find trust in people offering their home to someone denied it for so long, Ivory lived with eight different families. before running away at 15.

Ivory has talked with us about how in their life they have turned to music to express pain. Ivory spent most of their childhood looking for a family. In 2010 Klaartje Van Lue saw Ivory performing in a YouTube video and contacted them, flying them Ivory KC, and adopting Ivory into the Van Lue family. During the past 10 years Ivory came out as “Non-Binary Transgender.

Ivory Blue’s debut EP, Ready Get Set was released in June 2015 and had wide radio airplay on this show and multiple radio and television stations in Kansas City and across the country. Recorded and mastered by Larry Gann of Awestruck studios. Micah Burdick on guitar, Craig Kew on bass, and Lester Estelle, drummer for Kelly Clarkson, on drums for Ivory ‘s EP.

11:35

Ivory Blue
  1. Ivory Blue – “Elite Dreamland” (Live)
    from: Ivory Blue’s new full length 10-song album COMPOUND LOVE to be released later this year.

We are talking with KC based singer songwriter and rock & roller, Ivory Blue has been busy in the studio putting together new music for upcoming releases of a new album COMPOUND LOVE and several EPs. In 2020 Ivory released the singles “Elite Dreamland,” (Feb. 17), “Half a Life” (Sept. 20), and “Family Tables” on December 7.

More info at: http://www.ivorybluemusic.com

Ivory Blue was among 1800 bands that competed in neXt2Rock.

Ivory won local and regional challenges and advanced to the nationals in Los Angeles, where the top five bands played The Viper Room before judges that included: Scott Borchetta President & CEO of Big Machine Label Records; fashion designer John Varvatos; songwriter & producer Desmond Child; engineer Chris Lord-Alge; Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols; and Gavin Rossdale of Bush. Ivory won the entire competition and the opportunity to record “Ready Get Set” for Big Machine Records / John Varvatos Records.

11:45

  1. Ivory Blue – “Heavy” (Live)
    from: Ivory Blue’s new full length 10-song album COMPOUND LOVE to be released later this year.

We are talking with KC based singer songwriter and rock & roller, Ivory Blue has been busy in the studio putting together new music. In 2020 Ivory released the singles “Elite Dreamland,” (Feb. 17), “Half a Life” (Sept. 20), and “Family Tables” on December 7.

Ivory Blue thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

Klaartje Van Lue is Ivory’s manager and she was the one who helped Ivory find their way to KC. Ivory has said that Klaartje saved their life.

Ivory Blue’s new full length 10-song album called COMPOUND LOVE will be released later this year.

Ivory Blue thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

More info at: http://www.ivorybluemusic.com

For Ivory Blue, and WMM, I’m Mark Manning. Thanks for listening!

11:56

Ivory Blue
  1. Ivory Blue – “Family Tables”
    from: “Elite Dreamland” – Single / Devin Robert Kesler / February 17, 2020
    [KC based singer songwriter and rock & roller, Ivory Blue is currently in the studio putting together a new full length 10-song album called “Compound Love” for release in 2020. Ivory Blue’s debut EP, Ready Get Set was released in June 2015 and had wide radio airplay on this show and multiple radio and television stations in Kansas City and across the country. In 2017 Ivory was among 1800 bands that competed in neXt2Rock. Ivory won local & regional challenges and advanced to nationals in Los Angeles to win the top prize. Ivory Blue has played Crossroads Music festival, The Middle of the Map Festival, The Westport Roots Festival, the KCPT Screening of “Real Boy” at The Kansas City Public Library, Kauffman Stadium. Born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, and given up for adoption at the age of four, it was difficult to find trust in people after living with eight different foster families. Running away at 15, Ivory moved from Indiana to Oklahoma and eventually ended up in Seattle. In 2011 Ivory moved to Kansas City, and has became a part of new family.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now” from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week on WMM, on August 4, we bring you our 901st show with 9 special guests who all help KKFI 90.1 keep going! These nine guests will tell stories about 90.1 FM that have never been spoken on the radio before. KKFI Guests include: Tom Crane, Judy Ancel, Barry Lee, Dorothy Hawkins, Marion Merritt, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Ebony Johnson, Catina Taylor and Leslie Pories.

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:
http://www.kkfi.org,
http://www.WednesdayMidDayMedley.org,
http://www.facebook.com/WednesdayMidDayMedleyon90.1

Show #900

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