#870 December 30, 2020 Playlist

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, December 30, 2020

The 120 Best Recordings of 2020
(Part 4 of 4)

Wednesday MidDay Medley presents part-four, of our four-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2020. Based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length albums and EP recordings of 2020. We realize these “Best of” lists can seem subjective, so we ask that you please accept our list as a celebration of the year in music.

In 2020 we’ve broadcast nearly 900 different tracks over our 100,000 watts of 90.1 FM Community Radio Airwaves. Over 500 of these tracks were from New & MidCoastal Releases. We played tracks from 112 National Releases, and 209 MidCoastal Releases. 75 of the representative tracks in our “Best of” list are from MidCoastal Releases. In 2020 we’ve conducted 131 live interviews with 156 special guests. 48 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Universal / Dec. 20, 1979
    [WMM’s theme]

2 (#30.) Beverly Glenn-Copeland – “La Vita”
from: Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland / Transgressive Records / Sept. 25, 2020 [“There are three challenges in my life. The first is being black in a white culture. The second is being transgendered in a hetero-normative culture. The third is being an artist in a business culture” – Glenn-Copeland // Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland – A career retrospective release featuring music released over the last 50 years. “La Vita” was first released on Primal Prayer album under the moniker Phynix in 2004. Produced by John Herberman. Mixed by Composers Music Production. Additional vocals on La Vita by Maggie Dace Hollis. Electric Bass on This Side of Grace by Scott Alexander. Recorded at Composers Music Production studio in Toronto, ON. All tracks re-mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering. Artwork of The Raven by Evelyn Wolff. Graphic design and layout by Traianos Pakioufakis. // Born into a family all of whom were very musical, essentially studied the classical piano repertoire from ‘cradlehood,’ listening to his father playing the piano four to five hours a day. He went on to study classical music and then after a few years of concertizing he suddenly felt called to write music that would weave all the different musical cultures he had come to love. // Beverly Glenn-Copeland is a singer and songwriter who was born in Philadelphia, but has spent most of his life and career in Canada. He is a trans man. Glenn-Copeland began publicly identifying as trans in 2002. // In 1961, Glenn-Copeland became one of the first black students to study at McGill University in Montreal. // Glenn-Copeland started his career as a folk singer incorporating jazz, classical, and blues elements. He also performed on albums by Ken Friesen, Bruce Cockburn, Gene Murtynec, Bob Disalle, and Kathryn Moses, and was a writer on Sesame Street. He spent twenty-five years entertaining children as a regular actor on Canadian children’s television show Mr. Dressup. // His 1986 electronic album, Keyboard Fantasies, recorded using equipment including a Yamaha DX7 and a Roland TR-707, was rediscovered and given further attention in the 2010s. Before his gender transition was made public, the album was selected as one of the 70 greatest recordings by women by The Stranger. Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, a documentary directed by Posy Dixon, was released in 2019. // Planned 2020 international tours to Australia, the United Kingdom, and other European destinations were re-scheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A fundraising campaign was then started to help Glenn-Copeland and his wife after the loss of their house that resulted from these changes; the campaign raised over $90,000.00.]

3 .(#29.) The Heliocentrics – “Rehearsal 24”
from: Telemetric Sounds / Madlib Invazion / September 11, 2020
[The Heliocentrics are an English, London-based musical collective, combining funk, jazz, psych and library influences based around drummer and producer Malcolm Catto, Bassist Jake Ferguson, Guitarist Adrian Owusu and multi-instrumentalist Jack Yglesias. // They released their debut album, Out There in 2007 on Now-Again Records, followed by collaborations with Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke on the album Inspiration Information (2009) which was awarded that years Gilles Peterson Worldwide Winner Album of the Year award, Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics (OST) (2010), and Orlando Julius. // The Heliocentrics appeared on the track “Skullfuckery” on the UK release of the DJ Shadow album The Outsider, which was released in 2006. // In 2013, they released their second full album, 13 Degrees of Reality also on Stones Throw. The album with Astatke was included in a list of ‘Five Essential Jazz Albums’ chosen by pianist Jamie Cullum in 2013. // In 2017, they released A World of Masks with vocals by Barbora Patkova, as well as The Sunshine Makers OST, the score they wrote for the 2015 British documentary The Sunshine Makers, directed by Cosmo Feilding-Mellen. Both records were released on Soundway Records.]

4. (#28.) Lianne La Havas – “Can’t Fight”
from: Lianne La Havas / Nonesuch -Warner Records UK / July 17, 2020
[Third studio album from Lianne La Hava born Lianne Charlotte Barnes (born 23 August 23, 1989). Lianne La Havas is a British singer and songwriter. Her career began after being introduced to various musicians, including singer Paloma Faith, for whom she sang backing vocals. In 2010, La Havas signed to Warner Bros. Records, spending two years developing her songwriting, before releasing any music. La Havas’ debut studio album, Is Your Love Big Enough? (2012), was released to positive reviews from critics and earned her a nomination for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll and awards for the iTunes Album of The Year 2012. La Havas was born and raised in London, England, to a Greek father and Jamaican mother. She was raised in Tooting and Streatham, spending the majority of her time with her grandparents after her parents separated. La Havas began singing at seven, and cites her parents’ diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her music. Her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Lianne wrote her first song at the age of 11, but did not learn to play the guitar until she was 18 years old. Lianne sang in her school choir. She attended Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls in Thornton Heath where she studied art A-level, and had planned to take an art foundation course before she decided to leave college to pursue a career in music full-time. Her birth name is Lianne Barnes, and her stage name is an adaptation of her Greek father Henry Vlahavas’ surname. She lives in London.]

5. (#27.) Adrianne Lenker – “anything”
from: songs / 4AD / October 23, 2020
[11-song follow up to her solo release abysskiss, released October 5, 2018 on Saddlecreek Records, and two Big Thief albums: U.F.O.F. May 3, 2019 on 4AD, and Two Hands October 11, 2019 on 4AD. Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her “back story” has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of, the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world. In the hands of Lenker, songwriting is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this particular time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, abysskiss, out October 5th via Saddle Creek. “I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. “My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed.” Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time. With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.]

6. (#26.) Dirty Projectors – “Overlord”
from: Flight Tower – EP / Domino Recording Co / June 25, 2020
[Scarcely 18 months after the release of their album, “Lamp Lit Prose,” from July 13, 2018, and three months after their live-in-studio album “Sing The Melody” from December 10, 2019, Dirty Projectors released the single “Overlord”on February 26, 2020. Then several months later the band released their 4-song EP Windows Open on March 27, followed by the 4-song EP Flight Tower on June 25, followed by the 4-song EP Super João on September 4, followed by the 4-song EP Earth Crisis on October 1, followed by the 4-song EP Ring Road on November 20, 2020. Then the band collected all 20 new songs into a double album release called 5EPs also released November 20, 2020, featuring a different band member on lead vocals Maia, Felicia, Kristin & Dave with everyone trading verses on the fifth and final installment. Lead Projector Dave Longstreth put together the new band around the Lamp Lit Prose touring in 2018/19. Guitarist Maia Friedman handles lead vocals and co-wrote the lyrics with Dave, who wrote and produced the music. Felicia Douglass and Kristin Slipp contribute additional vocals. Nat Baldwin plays upright bass; Mike Johnson is behind the kit. Mauro Refosco plays congas.]

7. (#25.) Lava Dreams – “See It Thru”
from: “Good Energy + Focus / Lava Dreams / June 13, 2020
[Written by Lava Dreams and produced by Duncan Burnett. Solo artist Lava Dreams aka Julia Hamilton writes songs influenced by pop, soul, RnB, jazz, trap, house, funk, reggae, rock, and world music. Hailing from Kansas City, MO, her guitar-based music is both dreamy & electric. Lava Dreams began writing lyrics and melodies as a young child. Growing up, she learned to play her first guitar chords from her father – who played around the house and in local bars. After playing guitar and singing in several Kansas City bands as a teenager, she set out to become a solo artist in 2018. Julia Hamilton is also a film maker who received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Film from Avila Unversity. You can listen to Lava Dreams on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Deezer, Google Play, YouTube Music, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, or at LavaDreamsMusic.com. Lava Dreams joined us on WMM on April 22, 2020. ]

8. (#24.) Fiona Apple – “I Want Yu To Love Me”
from: Fetch The Bolt Cutters / Epic – Sony / April 17, 2019
[The fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple. It is Apple’s first release since The Idler Wheel… in 2012. The album was recorded from 2015 to 2020, largely at Apple’s home in Venice Beach. It was produced and performed by Apple alongside Amy Aileen Wood, Sebastian Steinberg and Davíd Garza; recording consisted of long, often-improvised takes with unconventional percussive sounds. GarageBand was used for much of this recording, and Apple credited the album’s unedited vocals and long takes to her lack of expertise with the program. Rooted in experimentation, the highly percussive album resists genre categorization. While conventional instruments, such as pianos and drum sets, do appear, the album also features prominent use of non-musical found objects as percussion. Apple described the result as “percussion orchestras”. These industrial-like rhythms are contrasted against traditional melodies, and the upbeat songs often subvert traditional pop structures. The album explores freedom from oppression; Apple identified its core message as: “Fetch the fucking bolt cutters and get yourself out of the situation you’re in”. The title, a quote from TV series The Fall, reflects this idea. The album also discusses Apple’s complex relationships with other women and other personal experiences, including bullying and sexual assault. It has nevertheless been referred to as Apple’s most humorous album. Fetch the Bolt Cutters was released during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many critics found its exploration of confinement pertinent. Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and poet. Her accolades include one Grammy Award, and an additional seven Grammy Award nominations in various categories. The daughter of actor Brandon Maggart, Apple was born in New York City but was raised alternating between New York and her father’s home in Los Angeles. Classically trained on piano as a child, she began composing her own songs when she was eight years old. Her debut album, Tidal, containing songs written when she was 17, was released in 1996 and received a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance for the single “Criminal”. She followed with When the Pawn… (1999), produced by Jon Brion, which was also critically and commercially successful and was certified platinum. For her third album, Extraordinary Machine (2005), Apple again collaborated with Brion, and began recording the album in 2002. However, Apple was reportedly unhappy with the production and opted not to release the record, leading fans to protest Epic Records, erroneously believing that the label was withholding its release. The album was eventually re-produced without Brion and released in October 2005. The album was certified gold, and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. In 2012, she released her fourth studio album, The Idler Wheel…, which received critical praise and was followed by a tour of the United States and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2013. Apple’s fifth studio album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, was released in 2020 to widespread acclaim. She has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and has received numerous awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award, 2 MTV Video Music Awards and a Billboard Music Award.]

9. (#23.) Old Sound – “Empire”
from: Deluge / Old Sound / October 16, 2020
[Greg Herrenbruck on bass & vocals; Grady Keller on mandolin, acoustic guitar & vocals; Chad Brothers on acoustic guitar & vocals. Recorded at Temple Sounds in Kansas City. The new album was produced by Old Sound, Brendan Moreland and Phil Wade. The album was engineered and mixed by Brendan Moreland and Mastered by Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Sound Lab. In 2014 they released their debut recording RAIN FOLLOWS THE PLOW. “Deluge” dives deep into the band’s 20-year chemistry, showcasing the band’s acoustic soundscapes and strong three-part harmony. The wide range of songwriting contains lyrics concerning life, love, self-expression, capitalism, climate change, police brutality, the demise of our country, death, and much more. Grady Keller plays guitar and mandolin, Greg Herrenbruck plays bass and Chad Brothers plays lead guitar. All sing. The three members have been creating music together in some fashion for more than 20 years. Greg Herrenbruck & Chad Brothers grew up together as friends in Winfield, Kansas. Winfield is the home of the Walnut Valley Festival. As young college students at Kansas State University they met Grady Keller. The trio has shared many years of picking, camping and performing at the Walnut Valley Festival. Old Sound, is a synthesis of the ideas, techniques, songs and stories we’ve found in those campground. The last time Grady was on WMM was on February 12, 2014 prior to the release of the band’s album Rain Follows The Plow, Recorded and produced by Phil Wade at his studio, Alluvial Fan. Producer and musician Phil Wade of The Wilders fame, returned to help with the new album. Grady Keller was our guest on WMM on November 18, 2020. More info at: http://www.oldsoundmusic.com]

10:29 – Underwriting

10. (#22.) Anjimile – “Giver Taker”
from: Giver Taker / Father/Daughter Records / September 18, 2020
[Queer & trans songmaker / boy king // On Giver Taker, the gorgeous debut album by Anjimile, death and life are always entwined, wrapping around each other in a dance of reverence, reciprocity, and, ultimately, rebirth. // Giver Taker is confident, intentional and introspective. Anjimile Chithambo (they/them, he/him) wrote much of the album while in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as while in the process of living more fully as a nonbinary trans person. Loss hovers over the album, whose songs grieve for lost friends (“Giver Taker”) and family members (“1978”) along with lost selves (“Maker,” “Baby No More,” “In Your Eyes.”) But here, grief yields an opening: a chance for new growth. “A lot of the album was written when I was literally in the process of improving my mental health, so there’s a lot of hopefulness and wonder at the fact that I was able to survive,” says Chithambo. “Not only survive but restart my life and work towards becoming the person I was meant to be.” // Each song on the album is its own micro-journey, adding up to a transformative epic cycle created in collaboration with bandmate Justine Bowe of Photocomfort and New-York based artist/producer Gabe Goodman. “1978” and “Maker” both begin as Sufjan Stevens-esque pastoral ballads with Chithambo’s mesmerizing voice. foregrounded against minimal instrumentation and swell into the realm of the majestic through the addition of warm, steady instrumentation (informed by the mix of 80’s pop and African music Chithambo’s Malawi-born parents played around the house) and harmonies by Bowe. “In Your Eyes” starts out hushed and builds to a crescendo via a mighty chorus inspired by none other than The Lion King. The allusion is fitting: each song encapsulates a heroic voyage, walked alone until accompanied by kindred souls. The choirs present throughout are equally deliberate. Chithambo grew up as a choir boy himself, and several songs (notably “Maker”) grasp not only towards reconciliation between his trans identity and his parents’ strong religious beliefs, but towards reclaiming his trans identity as an essential part of his own spirituality. (“[Less] Judeo-Christian, more ‘Colors of the Wind.’”) There is a boldness to this borrowing and shaping, a resoluteness that results from passing through hardship and emerging brighter, steadier. As a closing refrain on “To Meet You There” might sum it up: “Catalyst light of mine / now is your time.” // Giver Taker was recorded in Brooklyn, Boston, and New Hampshire by Goodman, thanks in part to the Live Arts Boston Grant by the Boston Foundation. All songs written by Anjimile Chithambo
Produced by Gabe Goodman & Justine BoweEngineered by Gabe Goodman. Additional engineering by Will G. Radin . Mixed by Will G. Radin. Mastered by Joe Lambert.]

11. (#21.) Fullbloods – “Soft and Virtual Touch”
from: Soft and Virtual Touch / High Dive Records / April 3, 2020
[3rd full-length album from, Fullbloods, a Kansas City based band. All songs written, performed, recorded, mixed by Ross Brown (℗© 2019 Bargain Hunt Music / ASCAP) in Kansas City, MO. Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Artwork by Nika Winn. Kyle Rausch played drums on 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9, sang on 9. Bill Pollock Played drums on 3 and 5. David Seume played bass on 5. Jerad Tomasino played synth on 9 and 10, sang on 9. Jenni Kornfeld played cello on 4. Leslie Butsch played sax on 10. More information at: http://www.fullbloods.com.]

  1. (#20.) Kevin Morby – “Valley”
    from: Sundowner / Dead Oceans / October 16, 2020
    [6th release from Kevin Robert Morby born April 2, 1988. follow up to his 2019 release Oh My God. Kevin Morby released City Music in 2017. Kevin learned to play guitar when he was 10. In his teens he formed the band Creepy Aliens. 17-year-old Morby dropped out of Blue Valley Northwest High School, got his GED, and moved from his native Kansas City to Brooklyn in the mid-2000s, supporting himself by working bike delivery and café jobs. He later joined the noise-folk group Woods on bass. While living in Brooklyn, he became close friends and roommates with Cassie Ramone of the punk trio Vivian Girls, and the two formed a side project together called The Babies, who released albums in 2011 and 2012. He began a solo career in 2013 releasing his debut album Harlem River. His 2nd album Still Life was released in 2014. His album Singing Saw was in WMM’s The 116 Best Recordings of 2016. His album City Music was in WMM’s The 118 Best Recordings of 2018]

13. (#19.) Waxahatchee – “Lilacs”
from: Saint Cloud / Merge Records / March 27, 2020
[All songs written by Katie Crutchfield. Recorded & mixed at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX & Long Pond in Stuyvesant, NY. Produced by Brad Cook. Engineered by Jerry Ordonez. Additional engineering by Jon Low. Mixed by Jon Low. Mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen. KATIE CRUTCHFIELD on vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, keys; BRAD COOK on bass, acoustic guitar, piano, keys, synth; BOBBY COLOMBO on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys; BILL LENNOX on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys, percussion; NICK KINSEY on drums, percussion; JOSH KAUFMAN on electric guitars, piano, organ, percussion. Katie Crutchfield’s southern roots are undeniable. The name of her solo musical project Waxahatchee comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going. More info at: http://www.waxahatchee.com.]

14. (#18.) Perfume Genius – “On The Floor (Edit)”
from: Set My Heart on Fire Immediately / Matador / May 15, 2020
[Second single from the fifth album from Perfume Genius, the stage name for Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas who was born in Des Moines, Iowa, moving to the suburbs of Seattle, Washington at the age of 7.. Hadreas studied painting in school and took piano lessons as a child. His mother was a special education teacher, and is now an assistant principal at a middle school. His parents divorced when he was a teenager. Growing up, Hadreas was the only openly gay student at his school, and he received death threats which were not addressed by the administration. He dropped out of high school during his senior year. Two years after dropping out, he was attacked by several young men in his neighborhood. He moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and worked as a doorman for a club in the East Village. In 2005, Hadreas returned home to Seattle and began recording music. In 2008, Hadreas set up a MySpace page under the name Perfume Genius, and thus began his music career. Hadreas’s music explores topics including sexuality, his personal struggle with Crohn’s disease, domestic abuse, and the dangers faced by gay men in contemporary society. In an interview with Jia Tolentino, Mike Hadreas described the album as influenced by his work with choreographer Kate Wallich on a 2019 dance piece titled “The Sun Still Burns Here”. Hadreas composed numerous songs for the performance, with two singles, “Eye in the Wall” and “Pop Song” resulting, though neither was included on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. Of the experience, Hadreas explained that the themes of embodiment in his prior music were complicated as dance felt “rebellious against [his] body.” He explained that dancing “blew up this separation between [his] work and the world,” resulting in changes to his songwriting, with songs now telling stories grounded in real-life settings and about real people. He cited Townes Van Zandt, Enya, and Cocteau Twins as influences on the new album]

15. (#17.) Aaron Alexander – “Worth It”
from: The Kushlov Effect Volume 1 / Dorothy’s Rose / August 23, 2020
[Follow up to Alexander’s previous release Memento Mori. Kansas City, Kansas based rapper and artist who graduated from Sumner High School and attended University of Missouri – Kansas City. Aaron Alexander recently collaborated with Google to showcase his music and Kansas City support. The collaboration with the tech giant comes eight years after Alexander, decided to pursue music professionally, cementing his mark as a national artist. Aaron told Kansascity.com: “It all kind of started off with poetry,” Alexander said of his beginnings. “I did poetry in like fifth grade. I kind of took a liking to it. Then I ended up getting a free laptop, so I started recording on Garageband, and it eventually turned into making projects and making music.” “I typically do have a theme with my music that I try to stick by, but this was, is, kind of a mood board of the last two years of my life,” Alexander said. “It’s a lot of frustration and heartbreak. It’s kind of like a roller coaster.” “Jazz is something that kind of inspires the way I do melodies,” Alexander said. “I just appreciate how loose and free-flowing it is, and I try to kind of do the same with my melodies. I mean, I grew up with it, so I think it’s pretty ingrained.” Other things Alexander uses as inspiration include anime, James Baldwin and Marvin Gaye. “I’ve been watching Marvin Gaye documentaries and listening to his music and kind of trying to cause a feeling the way he made a feeling throughout his music and his career, so I’m just trying to do the same for somebody else,” Alexander said. Brandon Williams, one of Alexander’s producers, attended Kansas City magnet school Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences with him, which was the start of the pair working together. He said working with Alexander has helped him grow as a producer. “I like the dynamics that he brings to a song. It’s not from a monotone stance, and he tries to take different approaches with his music.” The Kuleshov effect is a film editing (montage) effect demonstrated by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s and 1920s. It is a mental phenomenon by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. he effect has also been studied by psychologists and is well-known among modern film-makers. Alfred Hitchcock refers to the effect in his conversations with François Truffaut, using actor James Stewart as the example.]

16. (#16.) Fantastic Negrito – “Chocolate Samurai”
from: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? / Fantastic Negrito – Cooking Vinyl / August 14, 2020
[Follow up to his June 15, 2018 release, Please Don’t Be Dead on Blackball Universe – Cooking Vinyl Records that was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. His 2016 album The Last Days of Oakland won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 59th Grammy Awards. In 2019, his album Please Don’t Be Dead won the same category for the 61st Grammy Awards.Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. He was the eight of 15 children. When, at the age of 12, Negrito’s family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, California. Oakland in 1970s was a million miles from Negrito’s conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day. By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, and after some difficulties on the streets he packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette. Negrito signed with a million dollar deal at Interscope. The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He got married, he planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. And then his son Kyu was born. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta.]

10:59 – Station ID

17. (#15.) Katy Guillen & The Drive – “No Control”
from: Dream Girl EP / Katy Guillen / March 20, 2020
[New 7 song EP from Katy Guillen & The Drive, the latest project dedicated to Guillen’s songwriting that is founded on the creative spark and chemistry between Katy Guillen & Stephanie Williams. With Guillen on guitar & vocals and Williams on drums, the two sculpt a sound that recalls bands like Led Zeppelin, The Bangles, and Band of Skulls. In 2012, Guillen & Williams formed Katy Guillen and The Girls, and began to build a foundation of touring and recording that carried them through six years and produced three full-length albums: Katy Guillen & the Girls, Heavy Days, and Remember What You Knew Before. Between 2012 and 2018, they traveled the United States extensively, performed at the International Montreal Jazz Festival, toured Sweden, and supported major acts like The Doobie Brothers, Robin Trower, and Heartless Bastards. In these 6 years playing together, Guillen & Williams created a dynamic, sound informed by Guillen’s mesmerizing, emotive guitar style and poignant arrangements, and an equally captivating live show that showcased Williams’ technical, melodic style, resulting in a powerful on-stage chemistry. In addition to the compelling synergy formed by years of playing together, the two developed a method of working together on Guillen’s songs that only deepened their artistic connection, propelling them to forge a path to a new plateau in their music. KG & The Drive push ahead with a melodic, heavy, and soulful sound while maintaining the edge of the artist’s rock ‘n’ roll and blues roots. Katy Guillen joined us on WMM on March 18, 2020.]

  1. (#14.) Miki P and The Swallowtails – “Not Mine”
    from: Right Where We Are / Miki P / August 21, 2020
    [Rachel Lovelace on bassoon, Adee Dancy on cello & vocals, and Miki P on guitar & lead Vocals. Each member is an integral part of the Kansas City music scene, writing, arranging, performing, and collaborating original music for their own groups and several other projects in the metro. “Introspective pop music with lyric-driven folk influences, mixed with collaborative energy & an odd pairing of instruments, Miki P locked in with the Swallowtails create a moment with music written and arranged from the heart.” Miki P (Mikala Petillo) started playing guitar in middle school. She taught herself to play the drums, while listening to Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr. As a teen she played drums for various groups including American Slim. She wrote songs for their full-length album Irreplaceable released in 2017, followed by a single “Queen of Hearts” released April 11, 2018. She also plays ukulele & piano, teaching herself how to play both the instruments, using them frequently in all projects she is involved in. She was a featured vocalist with The Band That Fell to Earth Bowie Tribute. She’s played Boulevardia, Middle of the Map Fest, Royal’s Kaufman Stadium, recordBar, Uptown Theater, Arrowhead Stadium, Nelson Atkins Museum, the Crossroads Music Festival . More info at: http://www.mikipmusic.com. Miki P was our guest on WMM on April 15, 2020.]

19. (#13.) Fritz Hutchison – “Stationary”
from: Wide Wild Acres / Center Cut Records / March 27, 2020
[Debut album of Fritz Hutchison. Written & performed by Fritz Hutchison. Produced by Fritz Hutchison & Joel Nanos. Recorded & mixed in KC by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studio. Mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago. Multi-instrumentalist Fritz Hutchison was born May 27, 1991. A life-long resident of KC Since 2008 he’s been part of multiple bands playing drums with: She’s a Keeper, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, and Grand Marquis. As a guitarist he has played along side J Ashley Miller, Lauren Krum, Miki P and Calvin Arsenia. A decade of lending an ear and a hand to other musicians has left Fritz poised to launch his own solo career as a singer-songwriter.“Fortunate Flaws” features Ian Teeple on bass, and Coleen Dieker on strings. All other instruments: drums, guitar, piano and vocals are performed by Fritz Hutchison. Fritz was our guest on WMM on March 25, 2020]

20. (#12.) The Roseline – “Inside Out”
from: GOOD / GRIEF / Alt Country Club / April 3, 2020
[From the 6th album of the Lawrence, KS, based alt-country, Americana, rock band, formed by Colin Halliburton with friends in 2005. The songs were born, largely, in response to the death of Halliburton’s best friend (and keyboardist in The Roseline), as well as the loss of his mother-in-law to suicide. Additionally, the album explores themes of love & marriage, the grieving process, elder millennial existential dread, politicized rage, drugs, and mortality. Beyond simply the lyrics, they have added sonic textures that have not previously been explored, thanks to the addition of guitarist Bradley McKellip, bassist Colin Jones, and keyboardist and vocalist Heidi Gluck. Drummer Jim Piller and guitarist Kris Losure have returned as solid mainstays of the band. Guest appearances from lap steel player Mike Stover, pianist Dan Loftus, and vocalist Chase Horseman widen the sonic spectrum even further. The album was recorded, engineered and produced by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios in KCMO. The new album follows the September 29, 2017 release “Blood,” and the June 19, 2015 album, “Townie.” The band has toured the US and Halliburton has completed two European solo tours thus far, taking him through Poland, Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Colin Halliburton joined us on WMM on March 25, 2020.]

  1. (#11.) Bettye LaVette – “Blackbird”
    from: Blackbirds / Verve Records / August 28, 2020
    For Bettye LaVette’s Blackbirds Steve Jordan served as producer. Blackbirds features songs primarily popularized by peers-other iconic women in music-who she respected and admired. This is the 11th studio album from Bettye LaVette, born Betty Jo Haskins, on January 29, 1946. She is an American soul singer-songwriter who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music.LaVette was born in Muskegon, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not begin singing in the church, but in her parents’ living room, singing R&B and country and western music. She was signed by Johnnie Mae Matthews, a local record producer. In 1962, aged sixteen, she recorded a single, “My Man — He’s a Lovin’ Man”, with Matthews, which became a Top Ten R&B hit after Atlantic Records bought distribution rights. This led to a tour with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and then-newcomer Otis Redding. She next hit the charts with “Let Me Down Easy” on Calla Records in 1965. This led to a brief stint with The James Brown Revue. After recording several singles for local Detroit labels, LaVette signed to the Silver Fox label in 1969. She cut a handful of tracks, including two Top 40 R&B hits: “He Made A Woman Out Of Me” and “Do Your Duty”. The Memphis studio musicians on these recordings have since become known as The Dixie Flyers. In 1972, she signed once again with Atlantic/Atco. She was sent to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama to record what was to be her first full-length album. Titled Child of the Seventies, it was produced by Brad Shapiro and featured the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, now known as The Swampers, but Atco chose not to issue the album. The mid 1970s saw a brief stint and two 45s with Epic, and in 1978 she released the disco smash on West End Records “Doin’ The Best That I Can”. In 1982, she was signed by her hometown label, Motown, and sent to Nashville to record. The resulting LP (her first album actually issued), titled Tell Me A Lie, was produced by Steve Buckingham. The first single, “Right In The Middle (Of Falling In Love)” hit the R&B Top 40. She briefly gave up recording for a six-year run in the Broadway smash Bubbling Brown Sugar, appearing alongside Honi Coles and Cab Calloway. After LaVette had played her own personal mono recordings of Child of the Seventies for Gilles Petard, a French soul music collector, he sought the master recordings at Atlantic, whose personnel had previously thought they had been lost in a fire some years back. In 1999, he finally discovered the masters and then licensed the album from Atlantic and released it in 2000 as Souvenirs on his Art and Soul label. At the same time, Let Me Down Easy — Live In Concert was issued by the Dutch Munich label. Both albums sparked a renewed interest in LaVette and in 2003, A Woman Like Me (produced by Dennis Walker) was released. The CD won the 2004 W. C. Handy Award for “Comeback Blues Album of the Year”. In an interview, LaVette identified A Woman Like Me as the first album in the second phase of her career and said her 2012 autobiography was named after the album.]
  1. (#10.) Krystle Warren & The Crew – “Bein’ Green”
    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. 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 — which is available for digital downloads via Warren’s website now and released on all streaming platforms next Friday — will be donated to the ACLU. Krystle Warren joined us live on WMM on September 23, 2020.]
  1. (#9.) Betse & Clarke – “We Can Get Across”
    from: Winter / Betse & Clarke / June 4, 2020
    [A collection of songs and tunes, including original compositions, traditional songs and fiddle tunes, and modern songs re-envisioned. This recording was compiled during winter 2020, with a feeling of introspection. Songs under copyright were properly licensed for this digital release. Regular folks, exceptional music: This duo from the heartland (Kansas City, Missouri) has its roots in Ozark old time music, honoring traditional songs and tunes that resonate with human experience. New compositions add compelling elements to their musical tapestry. Follow up to the duo’s 2017 release, Tunes We Like released only in analog on cassette. Betse & Clarke are a traditional and future folk duo with Betse Ellis on fiddles, violins, viola & vocals and Clarke Wyatt on banjos, guitar, cello, multi-instruments. Betse & Clarke have played and toured around the world. Individually their musical roots go deep in the KC music scene. Clarke Wyatt is a founding member of Mr. Marco’s V7, and Betse Ellis is a founding member of The Wilders. Last year Betse & Clarke released ”River Still Rise,” originals and reworked traditional compositions presented “to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name.” http://www.betseandclarke.com]
  1. (#8.) Daniel Gum – “Ruin Your Life”
    from: Thirteen / Manor Records / October 30, 2020
    [Produced by Mike Crawford and Daniel Gum. All songs written, performed, and mixed by Daniel Gum.
    Engineered by Mike Crawford. Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Daniel Gum is a 23 year old singer-songwriter from Kansas City. Since the age of 12, he has spent the majority of his time writing and recording songs by himself in his room. His most recent project, Moon, on the other hand was recorded by someone else in another room while Daniel was by himself in yet another room. The Moon EP was released December 7, 2019. It was engineered by Mike Crawford and Daniel Gum and mixed by Daniel Gum with piano and accordion by Cole Crawford. Daniel Gun released his EP i’m not dead October 25, 2017, and his 10-song album Reorient on July 31, 2015, with all songs written, recorded and mixed by Daniel Gum who also performed all vocals guitars, drums, piano, bass. harmonica, and programming. The first single from Daniel Gum’s album, Thirteen “Ruin Your Life” was released on September 4, The second single, “In The Worst Ways” was released September 28, 2020. ] [On our July 22, 2020, WMM show we played Daniel Gum’s track, “Tired Saint” from French Exit Records – Black Lives Matter Compilation, released July 6, 2020. French Exit Records was launched two years ago as an independent music label in KCMO, founded by Brad Girard. French Exit Records has released albums for No Magic and Raymond,. BLM Compilation is 22 acts from the area, with all proceeds donated to One Struggle KC’s Liberation Fund, a Black-led coalition of KC activists seeking to connect the struggles of oppressed communities, locally & globally. Daniel Gum joined us on WMM on November 11, 2020.]

11:28 – Underwriting

25. (#7.) Pedaljets – “Disassociation Blues”
from: Twist The Lens / Electric Moth Records / February 14, 2020
[Twist The Lens was recorded in three main sessions, produced by the Pedaljets alongside their former lead guitarist Paul Malinowski (Shiner, Season To Risk). Though the Pedaljets core trio of Mike Allmayer, bassist Matt Kesler, and drummer Rob Morrow has remained a constant throughout their tenure as a band, they’ve worked with multiple lead guitarists throughout the years, with Twist The Lens being the first record to showcase their newest addition, Cody Wyoming. Bringing in Wyoming, and working alongside Malinowski, allowed the new songs to benefit from a fresh and outside perspective, while still keeping the album within the Pedaljets family. It also lent itself to a more utilitarian process where, as Allmayer describes, “We would constantly listen back and ask ourselves, ‘Are you hearing something this song needs?’ We were really focused on pushing ourselves to make the best music we can and being extra critical.” To round out the team, the band brought in veteran producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile) to mix the record and reunited with Archer Prewitt (The Sea and Cake) whose artwork has adorned the last three Pedaljets album covers. Matt Kesler, Mike Allmayer, and Cody Wyoming were our guests on WMM on Feb. 12, 2020.]

26. (#6) Ebony Tusks – “Bloodletting”
from: Heal Thyself / High Dive Records / November 6, 2020
[All songs written and performed by Ebony Tusks unless otherwise noted. // All Songs engineered and mixed by George Henry Valyer IV at Rundown Studios in Topeka, Kansas and MalaMUTE Studios in East Lawrence, Kansas. Assistance provided by Nico Williams and Claire Kuner. // Conny Franko’s vocals on “You Runner” engineered by Keith Rodger and Rick Carson at Make Believe Studios in Omaha, Nebraska. // IK’s vocals on “Gang Signs” engineered by Derek Montgomery. // Stik Figa’s vocals on “Hell Above Or Here Below” engineered by Sean Patrick at Twelves Studios in Forth Worth, Texas. // Cello on “Heir Apparent” written and performed by Brail Watson. Rhodes and Moog on “Heir Apparent” written and performed by Daniel Bowersox. // All Songs mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering in Portland, Oregon. // Album cover art by Justin Bergin. Album cover photography by Rachel Lock. Album layout by Martinez Hillard. // Album insert photography by Ailecia Ruscin and LeRoy Pristach. // Ebony Tusks is Daniel Smith on DJ & Production, Geese Giesecke on vocals & Production, and Marty Hillard on vocals & Production. Martinez Hillard told Vivid Seats: “ I began EBONY TUSKS in 2009 after a difficult period that summer. I was living in the student ghetto near the University of Kansas in Lawrence. It was an eerily calm Friday night and I didn’t have any plans after work so I crashed. I woke up shortly after 9:00 pm because my door was being kicked in. I was beaten and robbed at gunpoint. Thankfully, two of my neighbors were close friends and called the police immediately. I had nightmares for years afterward that included many symbols I’ve come to associate with various religious practices. I also began writing raps for the first time in over a decade. I was working with a couple producers and we had our first show at a house venue called Pizza Power in October 2010. Both Daniel and Geese came into the fold within a couple years of that show.” Daniel Smith lives in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born in Berkeley California. He moved to Lawrence when he was a child. Hs father is a Professor at The University of Kansas. Daniel works the United Way of Douglass County. He helps to provide after school job-training programs for under-served youth. Nathan “Geese” Giesecke grew up in Olathe but now lives and works in Kansas City, MO. He was friends with Calvin Arsenia in High School. Geese works as a producer as GEESACE. He makes beats and you can find his music at http://soundcloud.com/geesace Nathan is also a lighting designer who jumped on stage to do back up vocals for Marty and ended up being in the band. Martinez Hillard is the main vocalist and lyricist for EBONY TUSKS. He raps under the moniker Bodye, (pronounced “body”). He also produces beats. Martinez lives in the Old Town neighborhood in downtown Topeka with wife and 5 year old daughter. Martinez was part of the super group Cowboy Indian Bear. Martinez was recently elected to serve as a board member for Friends of the Library for Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. As Marty told Johnson County Library, in a piece published April 27, 2018: “ It was a project I started with other producers back in 2010. I asked Daniel to DJ for me sometime in 2011-2012 and Geese joined not too far behind him. Daniel and I had become fast friends when I lived in Lawrence and he was the nicest, most easygoing DJ of the handful I knew. He made our shows a lot less stressful. Geese was and is a lighting technician for a number of our friends’ projects and that was how I made acquaintance with him, seeing him work for a band and asking if he’d do lights for an EBONY TUSKS concert. He eventually asked if he could be hypeman for us and he brought an new intensity.” EBONY TUSKS have been a band for over 11 years making hip hop in the Lawrence scene that includes Approach, Stik Figa, Heartfelt Anarchy, and Archetype are just a small fraction. With that said, the three of us are always having conversations about how other genres influence us personally. Post-rock, post-hardcore, industrial, indie rock, and electronic all factor in. Our tastes evolve naturally and we follow accordingly. Since the three members of EBONY TUSKS live in three separate cities: Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka early on, they created a Dropbox folder to share demos with one another. And as they told Vivid Seat: “It also gave us a bit of language to use in building sounds independent of one another.” More info at: http://www.highdiverecords.com Members of Ebony Tusks joined us LIVE on WMM on February 19, and October 7, 2020.]

  1. (#5.) Una Walkenhorst – “Pretty Face”
    from: Woman of the Year / Una Walkenhorst / April 16, 2020
    [2nd single from Una’s “Woman of the Year”. 25 year old Una Walkenhorst is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City. Una told KCUR FM that her father was one of the people who made her love music. But having a famous father can be challenging: “I knew that if I started my music career here I would have a lot of opportunities, but not all of them would be because of my music. They would be because I am someone’s daughter,” Walkenhorst says. Loading up her 97 Honda Civic, Una then spent a year traveling across North America promoting her music and connecting with listeners one-on-one. She ended up living in New Orleans. Una Walkenhorst is the youngest daughter of Bob Walkenhorst, a founding member of The Rainmakers, which had national and international hits in the 1980s and 90s, and continue to this day touring and recording new music. In January of 2018 Una Walkenhorst returned home to Kansas City from New Orleans. Over the past several years, Una and Bob had performed together at selected events, including Folk Alliance International. In 2018 the father and daughter duo decided to record an album together, where they split the difference, taking turns as songwriters for the album’s songs, written individually, and recorded together, with beautiful harmonies. Una was our guest on WMM on March 18, 2020.]
  1. (#4.) We The People – “Misunderstood”
    from: Misunderstood / Eddie Moore Music / September 25, 2020
    [Eddie Moore on piano, Rhodes, synth, keyboards, & bass; Jason Emmond – on bass; Zach Morrow on drums; Andrew Baile on guitar; Keith Rodgers; Angle Gibson on vocals “Enough”; Rane Raps- “The Truth”; Lucero on vocals “The Truth”; Andrew McGhie on tenor sax “Round Up”. “Worst Nights” Produced by Jason Emmond/ Eddie Moore. Recorded at Make Believe Studios by Keith Rodgers. Mix & Mastered by Rick Carson. Executive Producers: Eddie Moore and Amilcar “PRO” Welton. Album Art by Adrian Truth. This is for all the times we are misunderstood and mean the best for people. This is for times pain and fear were swallowed and a unique beauty emerged. The times that struggle became a culture, a new identity for the land of the free. The idea of Freedom and the celebration of individuality. Eddie Moore is the recipient of the 2016 Charlotte Street Generative Performance Award for his genre bending collaborations. Raised in Houston Texas, he began his musical journey at Texas Southern University where he later earned a Bachelors in Arts and immersed himself in the Houston music scene. Eddie relocated to Kansas City to study under Bobby Watson at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he received a M.A in Jazz Studies. 2017’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art “Artist in Residence” in collaboration with Rashid Johnson. In 2018 his work with The Outer Circle was nominated for an Indie Music Award for “007”. His music has also been featured commercially for Sprint, Netflix’s “Queer Eye”, and Morgan Cooper’s short film “Room Tone”. Moore’ has shared the stage and record with distinctive artist such as Bobby Watson, Pam, Watson, Logan Richardson, Maurice Brown, Boys II Men, Brian Blade and the Fellowship, John Baptiste, Erykah Badu, Mosdef, Bilal, Ledisi, Chantae Cann, Krystal Warren, Matt Otto, Brandon Draper, Andre Hayward, Tivon Pennicott, Various Blonde, Dominique Sanders, 77 Jefferson, and the Marcus Lewis Big Band. We the People is a genre-defying quartet comprised of keyboardist Eddie Moore, bassist/producer Jason Emmond, drummer Zach Morrow, and turntablist/producer Kethro. . Eddie Moore joined us live on WMM on September 23, 2020.]
  1. (#3.) Shy Boys – “View From The Sky”
    from: Talk Loud / Polyvinyl Record Co. / September 25, 2020
    [3rd album from Shy Boys. Shy Boys are brothers Collin Rausch & Kyle Rausch, Konnor Ervin, Kyle Little and Ross Brown. Collin & Kyle come from a family of musicians. Their cousin is Kasey Rausch, their father Kent Rausch is a jazz musician and was the music teacher and band director at their High School. Their mother was a choir director. Their father was from a family of 7 brothers (Greg, Terry, Brad), many who are musicians and recording artists, including their Grandfather Dean Rausch. Kyle Rausch and Konnor Ervin were band mates in The ACBs. Collin had been playing for years in the KC area including The Abracadabras, and The I’ms with Kyle. The three shared a love for 1960s era pop rock and soon started writing their own music. In 2014 they released the self-titled Shy Boys on High Dive Records. In June 2014, the band recorded and released two more singles and one of them, “Life Is Peachy,” was featured on Stereogum. Musician Kyle Little and Ross Brown (of Fullbloods) joined Shy Boys to make the band a 5-piece. On April 4th, 2018, it was announced that Shy Boys had signed to Polyvinyl Recording Co. an independent record label based in Champaign, Illinois and home to the band STRFKR, Xiu Xiu, The Get Up Kids, of Montreal, and others. Shy Boys released their Polyvinyl debut album, the autobiographical, Bell House, on August. 3, 2018. They immediately went out on an extended national tour. On February 15, 2019, Shy Boys released their singles, “Dim The Light” and “Brick By Brick” signaling new sounds from the band. Collin Rausch, Kyle Rausch and Ross Brown joined us live on WMM on November 11, 2020.]
  1. (#2.) BLACKSTARKIDS – “Sounds Like Fun!”
    from: SURF / Bedroom Records / February 28, 2020
    [Blackstarkids are phenomenon who came out of Kansas City in 2020 became the soundtrack for the summer. Blackstarkids are a pop/R&B/hip-hop trio based in Kansas City, Missouri. Members include: TheBabeGabe, Deiondre, and TyFaizon (of the Drop Dead XX collective). The members have known each other since high school in Raytown, Missouri. Members met at Raytown South High School and formed the band in 2019. The group released its first album, Let’s Play Sports, on August 1, 2019. Blackstarkids then released their second album SURF through their own label Bedroom Records on February 28, 2020. Blackstarkids caught the attention of The 1975’s frontman Matty Healy and were then signed to The 1975’s management company and UK-based label Dirty Hit Records. They were featured in Clash Magazine. Blackstarkids then released, Surf Basement Demos on Dirty Hit Records on March 5, 2020. On October 29, 2020, Blackstarkids released Whatever, Man on Dirty Hit Records, their third album release of 2020. Gabe, of Blackstarkids recently described the KC Music community to an interviewer, “The music scene here is really nice. There are a lot of bands who are super talented and do all types of genres. The jazz music here is really great as well. Kansas City is honestly a hidden gem when it comes to music. I feel like you can meet an artist anywhere and anyplace in this city.” Deiondre added, “The music scene here is getting cool now, there’s a lot of jazz musicians that go to school for music here too but you can find people from different scenes all over if around the city.” Ty wrote, “The Kansas City scene is great, the community here is so supportive and genuine. This is a really prideful city here and I think they’re finally getting the musicians they deserve.”]
  1. (#1.) The Freedom Affair – “Give A Little Love”
    from: Freedom is Love / Sunflower Soul Records / September 25, 2020
    [“Freedom Is Love” is the debut album from Kansas City’s newest soul juggernaut, The Freedom Affair. The album explores themes of love, heartache, empowerment, and togetherness through a varying landscape of hard-hitting funk, luscious soul, and everything in between. The Freedom Affair is a unique collective featuring 3 powerhouse female vocalists in front of a dynamic 6-piece band. On “Freedom Is Love”, each of the ladies get their time to shine individually, but the magic is on full display when all 3 come together in unison and harmony, symbolically embodying the messages that they sing about. The album was recorded and produced by Chris Hazelton, utilizing the best of vintage and new recording technologies to create an authentic experience, befitting of a soul record that would have been relevant 50 years ago as much as it will be 50 years from now. The Freedom Affair is: Misha Roberts on vocals; Paula Saunders on vocals; Seyko Groves on vocals; Cole Bales on guitar, sitar (Track 3); Branden Moser on guitar; Chris Hazelton on bass guitar, organ (Tracks 1, 2, 9, & 10), Tambourine (Track 1), Glockenspiel (Track 3), & Chimes (Track 4); Dave Brick on drums; Pete Carroll on trumpet; Brett Jackson on tenor sax, baritone sax (Tracks 1 & 5), & tambourine (Tracks 5, 6, & 8). Additional Musicians: Pat Conway on Congas (Tracks 1, 3, & 6), Alyssa Bell on viola (Tracks 3, 4, & 7), Elizabeth Codd on violin (Tracks 3 & 4), Matt Bennett on violin (Tracks 3 & 7), John Wickersham on timpani (Track 4), Pamela Baskin-Watson on piano (Track 10), Nick Howell on tambourine (Track 10), The Freedom Family Choir (Track 10): Misha Roberts, Erica Hazelton, Seyko Groves, Paula Saunders, Jordyn Saunders, Cole Bales, and Chris Hazelton. All Horn & String Arrangements by Chris Hazelton except: “Heartaches Don’t Come Easy” and “Give A Little Love” by Pete Carroll & Brett Jackson, “Don’t Shoot” by Chris Hazelton & Allyssa Bell. Produced, Recorded, & Mixed by Chris Hazelton. Assistant Produced by Dave Brick. Rhythm Section on Track 10 recorded by Chad Meise. Mastered by JJ Golden. Cover Artwork by Matthew “Mo” Manley. Front cover photograph of civil rights protesters in Kansas City, MO (April 9th, 1968). The Freedom Affair and their track “Rise Up” were selected to be part of Colemine Records 3xLP box set, “Soul Slabs Vol. 2” a Record Store Day Exclusive, released April 13, 2019. Colemine writes: “The Freedom Affair is a freight train of KC soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!” Chris Hazelton was our guest on WMM on September 16, 2020.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week, on January 6, 2021, we ring in the new year with our annual Birthday Tribute Shows to celebrating rock icon David Bowie and singer songwriter Iris Dement.

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:

Black Lives Matter

Show #870