#920 – December 15, 2021 Playlists

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 15, 2021

The 120 Best Recordings of 2021
(Part 2 of 4)

Wednesday MidDay Medley presents part 2 of our 4-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2021. Based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length albums and EP recordings of 2021. 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 2021 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 216 National Releases, and 373 MidCoastal Releases. 90 of the representative tracks in our “Best of” list are from MidCoastal Releases. We conducted over 138 interviews with 160 special guests. 59 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

Tune into Wednesday MidDay Medley throughout December for our 4-week series: The 120 Best Recordings of 2021, on December 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. This is our celebration of the year when we were able to survey over 600 area musical releases.

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s theme]
  1. (#90.) Laura Mvula – “Got Me”
    from: Sharecropper’s Son / Easy Eye Sound / May 21, 2021
    [Laura Mvula (née Douglas; born April 23, 1986) is a British recording artist, songwriter and composer. A native of Birmingham, Mvula has gained experience as a young member or leader of a cappella, jazz/neo-soul, and gospel groups and choirs. She was classically trained. In 2012, she signed with RCA Records and released extended play, She, to critical acclaim. // Mvula released her debut studio album, Sing to the Moon (2013), to favorable reviews, earning two MOBO awards and a Mercury Prize nomination. In 2014, orchestral re-recording with the Metropole Orkest was released. Her second album, The Dreaming Room (2016), was received to critical acclaim, won the Ivor Novello award and garnered a Mercury Prize nomination as well. Mvula then wrote the music for 2017 theatre production of Antony & Cleopatra by the Royal Shakespeare Company. While working on her third album, she released the 1/f EP in February 2021. // In 2018, Mvula received an honorary doctorate of music from her alma mater, Birmingham City University. // Laura Mvula grew up in the Birmingham suburbs of Selly Park and Kings Heath with two younger siblings. Her mother is a humanities professor and is from Saint Kitts. Her father is from Jamaica and is a youth legal protection educator. She took up piano and violin at primary school and later attended Swanshurst School for girls. In her teens, she sang with Black Voices, an a cappella group set up by her aunt Carol Pemberton; in 2005 they toured Italy and other countries. In 2008, Mvula formed a jazz/neo-soul group called Judyshouse, singing lead vocals and writing material for the band. She was Director of the Lichfield Community Gospel Choir, founded by Black Voices and Lichfield Festival in 2009. She has also previously directed the Alvechurch Community Choir in Alvechurch. // In 2008 Mvula graduated from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. She worked as a supply music teacher, and later as a receptionist for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, when she began to write songs. Her sketches caught the attention of composer Steve Brown, and his manager, Kwame Kwaten, who also became Mvula’s manager. In a 2013 podcast for The Daily Telegraph, she admitted to suffering from “crippling stage fright”. // In May 2012, after several showcases, Laura Mvula was signed by Colin Barlow to Sony subsidiary RCA. She released her debut extended play, She, on November 16, 2012. The title track is the first song she ever wrote. On December 6, she was shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards. On December 9, she was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll and later finished in fourth position. On February 1, 2013, she gave her first live TV performance on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One, singing “Green Garden”. // Her debut studio album, Sing to the Moon, was released on March 4, 2013. She worked on the album with producer Steve Brown and mix engineer Tom Elmhirst. It was preceded by the single “Green Garden”, an elegy to her home in Kings Heath. Paul Lester from The Guardian described her music as “gospeldelia”, calling it a new musical genre. The album was met with a largely positive reception, receiving a perfect score from The Independent, and 3.5/5 from Rolling Stone. It reached number 9 on the UK Albums Chart and within the top 100 in seven other countries, and reached 173 on the US Billboard 200. // Mvula won awards for Best Female Act and Best R&B or Soul Artist at the 2013 MOBO awards, which took place in October. She was also nominated for two Brit awards, Sing to the Moon was shortlisted for a Mercury Prize, and during 2013–14, she garnered over a dozen award-nominations in different categories altogether. The same year, she recorded a cover of the popular 1935’s song “Little Girl Blue”, which ended up being part of original soundtrack for the 2013 acclaimed film 12 Years A Slave. The track was produced by Troy Miller as their first collaboration. // In March 2014, the artist re-recorded an orchestral version of her debut album in collaboration with the Metropole Orkest and conducted by Jules Buckley. This was released on June 23 as a high quality download via Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound and on CD on 11 August. On August 19, she performed with the Metropole Orkest at the Albert Hall as a part of the 2014 BBC Proms Season, supported by Esperanza Spalding and ElectricVocals. // In July 2015, Mvula performed with fifty musicians of the Metropole Orkest at the North Sea Jazz Festival, one of the biggest indoor jazz festivals in the world. The same year, she recorded a track “You Work For Me”; director Guy Ritchie chose it as a part of soundtrack for his 2015 film The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the song’s clip was also used in the US trailer of the movie. // In January 2016, Mvula released “Overcome”, a collaboration with Nile Rodgers, and the lead single from her forthcoming second studio album, The Dreaming Room. She recorded “Sing to the Moon” with Snarky Puppy for their jazz fusion album Family Dinner – Volume 2, which was released on February 12. She began promotion for The Dreaming Room by performing “Overcome” on The Graham Norton Show on 29 January and on The Andrew Marr Show on February 14. On March 19, Mvula played the first live show of the album at the Jazz Maastricht Festival. On 22 March, she previewed the entire album at the Islington Assembly Hall. On 7 April, the singer released “People” from the album, a collaboration with Wretch 32. On April 19, she released the second single from The Dreaming Room, “Phenomenal Woman”. The third single, “Show Me Love”, was released on 27 May. // The Dreaming Room was released on June 17, 2016, and received universal acclaim from music critics. Writing for Exclaim!, Ryan B. Patrick gave the album a rave review, calling it “a subconscious succession of visuals, emotions and ideas – sometimes abstract, sometimes allegorical, but always dredging up something for the conscious mind to ponder. The Dreaming Room is this and more.”. This album is more political than her first; the sound, the orchestration and the rhythms more explicitly refer to her Jamaican and Caribbean influences. The song “Phenomenal Woman” is a happy feminist hymn, inspired by the book of poems of the same title by African-American writer and activist Maya Angelou. The Dreaming Room was produced with Troy Miller and the instrumental crew of The London Symphony Orchestra. In the same June, the singer performed on the Glastonbury Pyramid stage for a second time. In July, she performed with Tom Odell in the first UK event for “Global Citizen” and “Chime For Change”, at The View from The Shard in London. The evening followed the launch of #SheWill campaign, aimed at breaking down the barriers that prevent millions of girls worldwide from attending school. On October 30, she appeared on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing singing her fourth single “Ready or Not”, the cover of The Delfonics’ song, which was released on 4 November. The song was used in 2016 Christmas campaign of House of Fraser. // The album was shortlisted for the 2016 Mercury Prize among others, and in May 2017, won the Ivor Novello award. Mvula was also nominated for four MOBO awards. In January 2017, the artist revealed that she had been dropped by Sony. She composed the music for the 2017 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Antony and Cleopatra, which opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon in March and later transferred to the Barbican Centre in November. In April, she presented a Woman’s Hour documentary discussing anxiety. // In April 2018, she performed “I Put a Spell on You” as part of BBC One’s The Queen’s Birthday Party from the Royal Albert Hall in London. The same year, Mvula and Buika were invited by Carlos Santana to collaborate on his band’s album Africa Speaks. // Mvula’s “Sing to the Moon” was performed at the 2019 BBC Last Night of The Proms. In that year, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by her alma mater, Birmingham City University, for her services to music. // In February 2021, Laura Mvula announced the pending release of new music and a livestream concert on February 24, 2021, titled “Under a Pink Moon”. During the live stream, she premiered four new songs taken from her forthcoming album due to be released by Atlantic Records in 2021. The new songs were “Safe Passage”, “Conditional”, “What Matters” featuring Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, and “Church Girl”. New versions of the songs “Green Garden”, “Show Me Love” and “Sing to the Moon” were also performed, which are included on the 1/f EP released the next day. Both Elisa Bray of iNews and Sylvia Unerman of The Upcoming gave the concert five stars 5/5. // The EP released on February 25 includes also a cover of Diana Ross’ 1971 hit “I’m Still Waiting”. As wrote Nick Levine of BBC America, this mini-album is a “heartening musical comeback” and “showcases an intriguing new direction: Mvula’s music is still soulful, but now has balmy ’80s beats underpinning her lush melodies. […] it’s a mouthwatering start to her second chapter”. Pitchfork’s Jessica Kariisa pointed out “daring musicianship”. // March 3, Mvula released the single “Safe Passage” alongside a video. The second single, “Church Girl”, was released on 17 March with details about Mvula’s third album, Pink Noise, which was released on 2 July. “Got Me”, the third single, was released on May 12. // When Mvula was a (very) young girl, her great desire was to be a member of the R&B girl group Eternal. In 2013, she said: “I think that is when I really started to pay attention to singing in a different way to the way we did in church”. Together with her siblings and encouraged by parents, who personally favoured jazz and traditional gospel, she performed using their garage as a dance studio. // She stated her influences include Nina Simone, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Des’ree, Omar, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, and Diana Ross.]
  1. (#89) The Rugged Nuggets – “Rugged Walk”
    from: Odds & Ends / Colemine Records / September 24, 2021
    [“Cinematic soul” ensemble formed by Judson McDaniel, comprised of members of Orgone and Jungle Fire: David Moyer, Jake Najor, Joey Reina, Judson McDaniel, Michael Duffy, Patrick Bailey, Sam Halterma. Group For Fans of Menahan Street Band, El Michels Affair, Khruangbin, BadBadNotGood. Recorded in the San Fernando Valley just a stones throw away from the infamous Van Nuys Blvd. cruising scene, it’s no wonder from the debut long player from The Rugged Nuggets hits hard and demands to be turned up loud with the windows rolled down. Delivering west-coast cool at it’s finest. With swooning strings, breezy guitars and tough as nails drums, Odds & Ends epitomizes a mellow vibe, but is undeniably cool.]
  1. (#88.) Whim Grace – “Light Leaks”
    from: My Dear Sweet Dystopia EP / Whim Grace / July 4, 2021
    [Now recently based in KCK. Since 2013 Whim Grace has released two albums, two EPs, one live EP, and six singles. She has 41 published songs. Whim Grace is an award winning multi instrumentalist who is best known for her sultry soulful voice and unique sound. Born in the Philippines, Whim has been wandering the world ever since, seeking sound and connection. She is always hoping someone will understand and answer her siren’s call. // About My Dear Sweet Dystopia Whim writes, “This EP means alot to me. The culmination of so much time and effort. Three songs with all the sound of space, time, earth, and hope I could possibly jam into them. Sean Berahmand and I made every single sound you hear. We re-created the Apollo moon landing in the studio to avoid any possible copyright issues. Every beat, static, or melody, we made. I wrote every musical line of this EP, I guess to prove I could, but also to better communicate the world I hear with others. Sharing that impossible fantasy place with you.” // Whim continues: “I often spend alot of time out of my body, somewhere else… Maybe it’s disassociation from years of trauma, maybe it’s meditation, or time travel, or astral projection, or death, but this allows me often to see the world, and even my life, from above, a wonderous, bewildering colorful thing. This view of life gives me peace. Everything is so beautiful from above. Earth and us, and all the chaos. Let’s not forget the miracle of our time here. The miracle of each other.” // Whim says, “That’s what sound gives me. The reminder of the connection to all places things people. Let’s try to remember how beautiful the earth is. Protect and honor her, and all the pieces of existence. I feel like that’s our only true purpose floating in space on this small blue imperfect thing. Take care and honor what we have been given. // Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Sean Berahmand. Sound by Whim Grace. Album Art designed by Rachel Rosenkoetter. Photos by Tom Boehme. More info at http://www.whimgrace.bandcamp.com Whim Grace was a guest on WMM on September 1, 2021.]
  1. (#87.) Bachelor – “Stay in the Car”
    from: Doomin’ Sun / Polyvinyl recording Company / May 28, 2021
    [Album Notes from http://www.bachelortheband.bandcamp.com: Bachelor, the new project from Melina Duterte (Jay Som) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound), is not a band, it’s a friendship. // You could say the friendship began in 2017 when Duterte and Kempner first met in a Sacramento green room and experienced love at first sight. Having been mutual fans of each other for years at that point, putting each other’s songs on playlists and scouring YouTube for live videos, they both remember starting that night as nervous wrecks intent on making a good impression. That proved extremely easy, and their anxious facades quickly faded into geeky fandom as they unabashedly yell-sang lyrics from the crowd during each other’s sets. // A year later, Kempner visited Duterte’s home studio in Los Angeles to mess around and record for fun. They hadn’t really hung out much since the two shows they did in 2017, but they kept in touch by hesitantly texting and replying to Instagram posts. Now together in LA, the jitters Kempner and Duterte fought the first time they met were back, but this time they weren’t born of insecurity, but of excitement. The two spent a few hours writing and recording their first song together, “Sand Angel,” a seductive slow-burner that unfurls like a lucid dream. Kempner’s arid lead vocals are punctuated by Duterte’s spry harmonies, lending the track a rare dynamism that could only mean one thing: they had to write an album together. // In January of 2020, the duo packed the entirety of Duterte’s recording equipment into two cars and headed to a rental house in Topanga, CA where over the course of two weeks, they wrote and recorded their debut album Doomin’ Sun. The house had a living room with a baby grand piano in it which they turned into a live room by pushing all the furniture against the walls and setting up drums and amps. The ad hoc studio set up offered the comfort required for ideas to flow freely, uninhibited by any preordained schedule. // In this space, Kempner and Duterte hybridized their individual songwriting talents, producing a collection that slips between moods with ease and showcases their lyrical prowess. On the bass-heavy rock song “Stay in the Car,” the duo paint a yearning portrait of a woman in a supermarket parking lot, a barely-contained desire oozing out of cotidian descriptions like: “She burns out of the market/ Plastic bags digging into wrists/ Blood stuck in her fingertips.” The heavy bass makes another appearance on “Anything At All,” a track with a chorus so playful it could be a schoolyard taunt, defying the darker lyrical themes heard on the verses. // A typical day at the house in Topanga consisted of the two late-sleepers slumping down to the kitchen at around 11AM to drink canned ice teas and make lunch before they started messing around with instruments, crafting pitch riffs and chord progressions. After Kempner and Duterte sussed the form of the song and tracked the basics, they’d spend a couple of hours apart. During that time, Kempner wrote lyrics in the backyard treehouse while Duterte worked her producer magic, or Duterte wrote lyrics on the back patio while Kempner came up with guitar parts. When they regrouped, the duo shared what they’d worked on, made dinner, and watched an unreasonable amount of TV for the rest of the night. //About halfway through their stay in Topanga, Buck Meek and James Krivchenia of Big Thief came by the house. Meek brought guitar pedals and a beautiful old Martin acoustic to generously lend to the project, and Krivchenia elevated a few of the songs by tracking drums while Duterte’s partner Annie Truscott (Chastity Belt) recorded strings to accentuate moments on the album. Aside from those contributions, Kempner and Duterte spent most of their time in isolation, a fitting precursor to the remainder of the year, but the songs on Doomin’ Sun are anything but isolating. These songs tell stories that will surely be recognizable to listeners, especially when they offer up interpretations of modern life. “Drivin’ on to the next town/ Keeping the rubber side down/ But the danger is in my phone/ And the drug of an endless scroll,” Kempner sings on the downcast, country-inflected “Sick of Spiraling.” // Kempner and Duterte had arrived in Topanga with no songs written and no solid plan, but after two short weeks, they had finished the 10 songs that make up Doomin’ Sun. That much work in so little time may sound exhausting, but it wasn’t, it was blissful and freeing. On the album’s powerful opener, “Back of My Hand,” it’s possible to hear echoes of Bachelor’s foundation in the opening verse, “I’m your biggest fan/ Got your song in my head/ And your poster’s above my bed,” but the song soon hits a more sinister register as it goes on, “You date the beauty queens/ I see their bodies in magazines/ Sharp jaw size 0 jeans/ I skip a meal/ I drink some tea.” // There was a lot of pain that went into the record, especially around themes of queerness and climate change inspired by the red skies and wildfires subsuming Australia at the time. However, when the duo did shed tears during the creative process, they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of laughter. When Kempner and Duterte look back on those weeks, what they remember first is shortness of breath and the inability to track vocal takes without falling to the floor howling. They couldn’t remember a time they’d ever been so delirious with creativity, so overwhelmed with joy.]
  1. (#86.) R.I.Peter – “Green House”
    from: Soft Serve/ Manor Records / March 19,, 2021
    [1st single form R. I.Peter’s12-track solo album release, SOFT SERVE, from Manor Records. Earlier this year R.I. Peter released the single, “In Your Eyes” on February 26, 2021. On April 10, 2020 R.I.Peter released the singles: “Cruis’n” and “Rising Sun” through Manor Records. Kansas City based musician and songwriter Peter Beatty also plays in the band Momma’s Boy, and before that was in Rev Gusto that was formed with Jerry Frederick, Sam Frederick, Shaun Crowley; and Quinn Hernandez on drums while they were in high school at Saint James Academy. Peter studied at University of Kansas. Peter released the debut EP solo project R.I.Peter on July 5, 2019. Manor Records described R.I.Peter’s music saying, “It’s like if you took video game music and mashed it with Fleet Foxes or something. electronic pop ambient america folk mystic Both of the songs were written by Peter Beatty. More info t http://www.manorrecords.com Peter Beatty was out guest on WMM on March 17, 2021.]
  1. (#85.) Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – “Reach Out”
    from: A Beginner’s Mind / Asthmatic Kitty / September 24, 2021
    [A Beginner’s Mind is a collaborative album by American musicians Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine. After being teased by Asthmatic Kitty for several days, the album was formally announced on July 7, 2021, along with its track listing and two singles, “Reach Out” and “Olympus”. Daniel Anum Jasper created the album’s cover artwork. The album was met with widespread acclaim from music critics. A Beginner’s Mind was created in a cabin in upstate New York. There, Stevens and Augustine watched movies every day for inspiration. // Angelo De Augustine is an American musician residing in Thousand Oaks, California. De Augustine has collaborated with and opened for musician Sufjan Stevens. His parents were both close to music. When he was 5 years old, his father left home. Angelo wanted to be a professional soccer player in his teens years, but after an accident, he wasn’t able to continue his dream, but replaced the soccer for the music later, becoming his biggest passion. Angelo De Augustine self-released his first album in 2014, titled Spirals of Silence. In 2017, Angelo De Augustine released his second full-length album and first with Asthmatic Kitty Records, titled Swim Inside The Moon. In a 2018 review of the artist’s “Carcassonne,” National Public Radio (NPR) said that De Augustine wrote it for people who dream of visiting small villages and towns in France. NPR characterized the album’s mood as being “like waves rushing onto the shore.” In 2019, Angelo De Augustine released his third full-length album and second with Asthmatic Kitty Records titled Tomb. The Irish Times described the artist’s Tomb album as “his first bona fide studio album” that followed “a series of low-key releases recorded in a bathtub on a reel-to-reel tape machine and a single microphone.” The artist’s “Time” single was performed as a duo with musician Sufjan Stevens.// Sufjan Stevens (/ˈsuːfjɑːn/ SOOF-yahn; was born July 1, 1975. He is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He has released nine solo studio albums and multiple collaborative albums with other artists. Stevens has received Grammy and Academy Award nominations. His debut album, A Sun Came, was released in 2000 on the Asthmatic Kitty label, which he co-founded with his stepfather. He received wide recognition for his 2005 album Illinois, which hit number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the single “Chicago” from that album. Stevens later contributed to the soundtrack of the 2017 film Call Me by Your Name. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media for the soundtrack’s lead single, “Mystery of Love”. Stevens has released albums of varying styles, from the electronica of Enjoy Your Rabbit and the lo-fi folk of Seven Swans to the symphonic instrumentation of Illinois and Christmas-themed Songs for Christmas. He employs various instruments, often playing many of them himself on the same recording. Stevens’ music is also known for exploring various themes, particularly religion and spirituality. Stevens’ ninth and latest studio album, Convocations, was released in 2021.]
  1. (#84.) MellowPhobia – “Hide”
    from: IS THIS SEAT TAKEN? / Jackal And Hide Records / June 23, 2021
    [Music and Lyrics by Tillie Alexandra Hall, Producer Tillie Alexandra Hall. Recording Engineering by Justin Mantooth. Mastering by Pete Maher. Adam McKee on drums MellowPhobia were formed out of the indie alt-rock scene of Pittsburgh, PA. Now residing in their home city of Kansas City, producing a highly original sound that they describe as “landlocked surf rock”. Socially conscious lyrics, and hook laden tunes keeps the crowd jumping. The band revolves around songwriter and guitarist Til who provides the distinctive vocals to all MellowPhobia tracks. In July 2018 MelloPhobia released the 3-song EP LISTEN. More info: http://www.mellowphobia.com Tillie Alexandra Hall of MelloPhobia was our guest on WMM on Oct. 20, 2021.]

10:30 – Underwriting

  1. (#83) Shawn M. Stewart – “Annie Oakley”
    from: POP / Shawn M. Stewart / October 8, 2021
    [Shawn M. Stewart has already written and recorded POP in spring of 2021 but held off for an October 2021 release. Shawn M. Stewart released his album 2020: THE MUSICAL in November 2020. From that album the single “Cameras” was voted the #4 favorite song of the year, by Bridge 90.9 listeners and has received over 20,495 streams on Spotify and 1,500,000 streams on Soundcloud. The songs were written after an exercise in which Shawn only listened to brand new music for 12 months, mostly top 40. After that immersive experience, Shawn found the ideas that were coming to him sounded more like “Basic Ass Bro” than 2020’s “Poppies and Puppies.” shawn wrote most of the songs (8 of 10) last December in a Pop-flurry. On TikTok Shawn calls himself, “A Wes Anderson character, socially unhinged.” On Soundcloud Shawn describes his sound as Psych-Americana-Alternative-Country-Rap. On Spotify Shawn wrote that he just got a website in January 2021. And that he never took promotion seriously prior, but with help from a friend, they are going at 2021 with a vengeance and averaging nearly 700,000 weekly combined streams. On Facebook Shawn identifies as a songwriter with published TV/Film material, a Top % finish in “Song of The Year” and that you play live…very infrequently. Shawn has previously been known as “Johnny Super Colossal” but he has decided to go forward with his real name. More info at: http://www.ShawnMStewart.com // Shawn M. Stewart played a POP Album Release Show, Friday, October 8, 2021, at 7:00 PM at Lemonade Park, 1628 Wyoming, West Bottoms, KCMO, with Miki P, and Timbers. Shawn Stewart was a guest on WMM on October 6, 2021.]
  1. (#82.) Alisa Jefferson – “Million Ways”
    from: Tell Me / Alisa Jefferson / June 1, 2020
    [10-song solo debut album, TELL ME, on June 1, 2021. All lyrics, instrumentation, vocals, melodies, song content for TELL ME was written and created by Alisa Jefferson. TELL ME was also recorded by Alisa Jefferson. Mixed and produced by Alisa Jefferson and Andy Oxman of SoundWorks Recording Studio, Blue Springs, Mo. And mastered by Matt Elliott of Black Sky Studios, Buckner, MO. Alisa Jefferson grew up in KC. She played viola in her school orchestra and received her first acoustic guitar at age 13. Alisa established her rock trio, Morning Fix, in 1994, singing & playing bass. In December, 2014, Alisa established, fronted, and played bass in the rock trio, Radial Red. In 2019 Alisa performed on the side stage with Joan Jett and Heart at Starlight Theatre with KC band, Mad Libby. More info at: http://www.alisajeffersonmusic.com Alisa Jefferson was out guest on WMM on June 2, 2021 and February 10, 2021.]
  1. (#81.) Joy Zimmerman – “Mosaic”
    from: The Canvas Before Us / Cultivate Joy Records / August 2, 2021
    [The Canvas Before Us was produced, recorded and mastered by Gary Gordon of Inside-Out Studio, Sparta, IL. Additional vocal mixing was done by David Travers-Smith of Found Sound, Toronto, Canada. Along with vocals, Joy played guitar, fiddle, ukulele and typewriter on the album. The stellar contributing musicians are Robert Bowlin, Ryan Dugan, Polly Lanuay, Ross Sermons, Gary Gordon, Monty Jackson, and Roberta Gordon. Joy Zimmerman’s songwriting has been recognized nationally with an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and ten Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins. “We’ll Hold the Light”, Joy’s single honoring health care workers during the pandemic, was a Top 20 Song of the Month on the Folk DJ Chart. Joy Zimmerman was our guest on WMM on September 22, 2021.]
  1. (#80.) Rhiannon Giddens – “Avalon (with Francesco Turrisi)”
    from: They’re Calling Me Home (with Francesco Turrisi) / Nonesuch Records / April 9, 2021
    [Rhiannon Giddens (born February 21, 1977) is an American musician. She is a founding member of the country, blues and old-time music band Carolina Chocolate Drops, where she is the lead singer, fiddle player, and banjo player. // Giddens is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, an alumna of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and a 2000 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory at Oberlin College, where she studied opera. // In addition to her work with the Grammy-winning Chocolate Drops, Giddens has released two solo albums: Tomorrow Is My Turn (2015) and Freedom Highway (2017). Her 2019 album, There Is No Other, is a collaboration with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Her latest album, They’re Calling Me Home (2021) continues her collaboration with Francesco Turrisi. She appears in the Smithsonian Folkways collection documenting Mike Seeger’s final trip through Appalachia in 2009, Just Around The Bend: Survival and Revival in Southern Banjo Styles – Mike Seeger’s Last Documentary (2019). In 2014, she participated in the T Bone Burnett-produced project titled The New Basement Tapes along with several other musicians, which set a series of recently discovered Bob Dylan lyrics to newly composed music. The resulting album, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, was a top-40 Billboard album. // In 2005, Giddens, who at that time was spending time competing in Scottish music competitions (specializing in the Gaelic lilting tradition, also known as mouth music), attended the Black Banjo Then and Now Gathering, in Boone, North Carolina. There she met Dom Flemons and Sule Greg Wilson. The three started playing together professionally as a “postmodern string band”, Sankofa Strings. During that same time period, Giddens was also a regular caller at local contra dances and featured in a Celtic music band called Gaelwynd. Later in 2005, after both Gaelwynd and Sankofa Strings had released CD albums, Giddens and Flemons teamed up with other musicians and expanded the Sankofa Strings sound into what was to become the Grammy winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. // In 2007, Giddens contributed fiddle, banjo, “flat-footin'” dancing and additional vocals to Talitha MacKenzie’s album Indian Summer. // Performing as a soprano, Giddens and mezzo-soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis formed a duo called Eleganza to release a CD in 2009. Because I Knew You… consists of classical, religious, theater, and movie music. Giddens and Lewis were middle school classmates who reconnected after college while working in the same office. The friends started singing together in 2003, but did not begin recording until 2008. // As of November 12, 2013, Giddens became the only original member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. // In 2013, Giddens began pushing further into her solo career. Giddens participated in “Another Day, Another Time”, a concert inspired by the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. Many critics have stated that Giddens had the best performance at what was called “the concert of the year”. Late in 2013, Giddens contributed the standout a cappella track “We Rise” to the LP We Are Not For Sale: Songs of Protest by the NC Music Love Army – a collective of activist musicians from North Carolina founded by Jon Lindsay and Caitlin Cary. Giddens’ protest song joins contributions from many other Carolina musical luminaries on the Lindsay-produced compilation (11/26/13 via Redeye Distribution), which was created to support the NC NAACP and the Moral Monday movement. // In early 2014 Giddens recorded for Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes alongside Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith & Jim James. The album was produced by T-Bone Burnett and is a compilation of partial, unreleased lyrics written by Bob Dylan. // In February 2015, Giddens released her debut solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, on Nonesuch Records. Also produced by Burnett, the album includes songs made famous by Patsy Cline, Odetta, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone, among others. The Wall Street Journal said the album “confirms the arrival of a significant talent whose voice and distinctive approach communicate the simmering emotion at the core of the songs.” Additionally, the Los Angeles Times called the album “a collection that should solidify her status as one of the bright new lights in pop music.” // In July 2015, she had a big stage at world music folk and dance festival at TFF Rudolstadt in Germany. Her performance was also broadcast live by the German national public radio Deutschlandfunk. Rhiannon appears on Jon Lindsay’s single “Ballad of Lennon Lacy” (Redeye Distribution, August 21). The song tackles the mysterious hanging death of Lennon Lacy, a black teen from rural Bladenboro, North Carolina. The case is currently under investigation by the FBI, and widely suspected to be a lynching. // On November 27, 2015, to coincide with the Black Friday Record Store Day event, Giddens released Factory Girl (EP) on Nonesuch Records, which contained music culled from the same T Bone Burnett–produced sessions that yielded Tomorrow Is My Turn. A digital version of Factory Girl was made available December 11, 2015. The sessions for the album and EP took place in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players assembled by Burnett. Musicians on Factory Girl include Burnett; fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown’s renowned Funk Brothers; drummer Jay Bellerose; guitarist Colin Linden; veteran Nashville session bassist Dennis Crouch; and Giddens’s Carolina Chocolate Drops touring band-mates, multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and beat-boxer Adam Matta. // Rhiannon appeared on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny on December 31, 2015, shown on BBC Two. She performed songs from her 2015 album Tomorrow Is My Turn, including “Waterboy” and a cover of “St James Infirmary Blues” with Tom Jones. // She was selected to take part in Transatlantic Sessions in January 2016. This collaboration between American and Celtic musicians is a coveted honor. The ensemble performed as part of Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and a short UK/Irish tour. Her performances on the tour included the stirring tribute to David Bowie “It Ain’t Easy”. Later in the year, Giddens became the first American to be honoured as Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Later in the year, it was also announced that she would be receiving the prestigious Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Winning this award makes Giddens both the only woman and the only person of color to receive the prize in its six-year history. In 2016, it was also announced that Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops would be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. // In 2017, Giddens became only the fourth musician to perform at both the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Later that year, she delivered the keynote address at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference 2017. According to Bluegrass Today, “Giddens shattered long-held stereotypes…By the time she was done, she had systematically dismantled the myth of a homogenous Appalachia.” In June 2017, Giddens appeared in the multi award-winning documentary The American Epic Sessions, directed by Bernard MacMahon, where she recorded “One Hour Mama” and English folk ballad “Pretty Saro”, on the restored first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s. Both performances were released on Music from The American Epic Sessions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Upon hearing the playback of these direct-to-disc recordings, she exclaimed “you feel like your soul is coming out of the speaker.” // In October 2017, Giddens was named one of the 2017 class of MacArthur “Genius” Fellows. The organization noted, “Giddens’s drive to understand and convey the nuances, complexities, and interrelationships between musical traditions is enhancing our musical present with a wealth of sounds and textures from the past.” Rhiannon further demonstrated the broad range of her musical interests with several subsequent projects. In early November, she performed as a soprano with the Louisville Orchestra in Teddy Abrams’ multimedia tribute to Muhammad Ali, The Greatest. A week later, she sang with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for their live recording of American Originals: 1918, which explored the early development of jazz during the post WWI era. In January 2018, Giddens co-produced (with Dirk Powell) Songs of Our Native Daughters for Smithsonian Folkways. Written and recorded with fellow artists Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell, “The album confronts the ways we are culturally conditioned to avoid talking about America’s history of slavery, racism, and misogyny.” Also in early 2018, the Nashville Ballet announced that Rhiannon Giddens has been commissioned to write the music for Lucy Negro, Redux, a new dance choreographed by artistic director, Paul Vasterling. Based on the book by Caroline Randall Williams, its premise is that Shakespeare’s Dark Lady was of African descent. The ballet premiered in February 2019. Then in March 2018, Giddens fulfilled a previously announced engagement as guest curator for the Cambridge Folk Festival by inviting Peggy Seeger, Kaia Kater, Birds of Chicago, Amythyst Kiah, and Yola Carter to perform at the event. // Giddens recorded vocals for Silo Songs, an audio installation created by composer Brad Wells for Hancock Shaker Village. She contributed a song, “Mountain Hymn”, to the popular video game Red Dead Redemption 2 which was released in October 2018. The song was written with Daniel Lanois. Beginning in December 2018, she is hosting a podcast called Aria Code with Rhiannon Giddens produced by the Metropolitan Opera and WQXR-FM. The program examines why individual arias have a lasting impact on audiences and how singers prepare to perform them. In 2019, Giddens released two studio albums: Songs of Our Native Daughters with Allison Russell, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah, and There Is No Other with Italian musician Francesco Turrisi. // For the 2020 Spoleto Festival USA, Giddens was commissioned to create an opera based on the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim-African man who was brought to Charleston, South Carolina in 1807. Giddens wrote the libretto and served as lead composer with help from co-composer Michael Abels. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world premiere of Omar was postponed until 2021. In July 2020, Giddens was named Artistic Director of the cross-cultural music organization Silkroad (arts organization). The position had been vacant since 2017 when Silkroad’s founder, Yo-Yo Ma, stepped down. // On August 17, 2020, Giddens guest-hosted the BBC Radio 2 Blues Show whilst its regular host Cerys Matthews was on her holidays. // Giddens earned an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for her lasting impact on the UNCG community and work in music. She sang “Calling me Home” by Alice Gerrard at a virtual commencement after accepting the degree in December 2020.]
  1. (#79.) Nature Boys– “Another Wizard”
    from: IV / Dead Broke Rekerds / September 24, 2021
    [Nature Boys started playing together in Kansas City, Missouri September of 2009. We had our first show in November or December at the Troost House, and then our second show at Dave’s Stagecoach Inn.
    We left for our first tour in January of 2010. The band includes: Danny Fischer on guitar & vocals, Suzanne Hogan on bass & vocals. evan malone on drums Kansas City, Missouri punk rock & rollers that have been kickin’ up dust all across the country since 2009! Their fourth album and first on Dead Broke after self-releasing a slew of their previous efforts. Imagine if Dead Moon was a buch of punk rockers from the south, then you might be getting close to what Nature Boys scrappy & energetic punk rock is all about. Limited to 300 copies. (200 Black, 100 Clear Pink) Comes w/download code..] [Nature Boys play a Special Halloween Benefit for Confluence & KC Tenants on Saturday, October 30, at 8:00 PM, at Blip Roasters 1301 Woodswether Rd, WEST BOTTOMS, KCMO with Pink Phase, DJ Dan Cool, Killus.]
  1. (#78.) Jake Wells – “Hallelujah After Dark (feat. J. Taylor)”
    from: Goodbyes – EP/ Jake Wells Music / October 15, 2020
    [Co-written with brother Jordan Wells.More info at https://jakewellsmusic.com. All of the new songs on this EP (Plus the stand alone single “Salt and Water”) came from a the “custom song writing project” that Jake and brother Jordan Thompson embarked upon to support themselves financially during the pandemic. More information at: https://www.thepitchkc.com/one-musicians-custom-songwriting-brought-joy-and-tears-to-an-empty-year/ This Jake released the single “The Wrong Side (feat. J. Taylor)” on September 3, 2021, and Jake Wells and The Dirty Musicians single, “Holy Woman” released on August 6, 2021, and Jake’s single “Time After Time” released May 6, 2021, and “Salt and Water” was released on October 3, 2021. Jake Wells released his EP, SUNDAY MORNING released February 29, 2020. Kansas City based indie folk singer songwriter. Jake Wells was born in Florida grew up in Colorado. Jake studied Music Composition at University of Northern Colorado. “Jake’s sound evokes an emotionality and maturity much deeper than his age of 22 would imply.” He was named one of Spotify’s top 20. He has performed on stages since he was a teenager. His single releases are currently gaining radio play in the Midwest on several FM stations. In 2018 he was featured on the nationally televised NBC reality – competition program The Voice.]
  1. (#77.) Unfit Wives – “Mama’s Kitchen”
    from: LIVE & UNFIT / Lost Cowgirl Records / September 17, 2021
    [Unfit Wives bring their hard-driving bluegrass originals to Kansas City and surrounding areas with hot licks, lyrics, and feisty four-part harmonies. Unfit Wives are: Jenna Rae on guitar & vocals, Shannon O’Shea on fiddle & vocals, Monica Greenwood on mandolin & vocals, and Kahlen Mitchell on upright bass & vocals.
    Unfit Wives who played a Parking Lot Show with Ryan Manuel, and Tyler Gregory, Saturday, October 10, at 7:00 PM, at Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive, Lawrence Kansas, presented by I Heart Local Music and Theatre Lawrence for a socially distanced drive-in concert at the Theatre Lawrence parking lot. More info at http://www.unfitwives.com and http://www.thelostcowgirl.com]
  1. (#76.) Valerie June —“Home Inside”
    from: The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers / June Tunes-Concord Records / March 12, 2021
    [5th full length album co-produced by Jack Splash and Valerie June. Valerie June Hockett was born January 10, 1982), known as Valerie June, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass. She is signed to Concord Music Group worldwide. // Born in Jackson, Tennessee on January 10, 1982, June is the oldest of five children. As a child growing up in Humboldt, June was exposed to gospel music at her local church and R&B and soul music via her father, Emerson Hockett. As a teenager, her first job was with her father, owner of Hockett Construction in West Tennessee, and a part-time promoter for gospel singers and Prince, K-Ci & JoJo, and Bobby Womack. She helped by hanging posters in town. Her father died in late 2016. // June relocated to Memphis in 2000 and began recording and performing at the age of 19, initially with her then-husband Michael Joyner, in the duo Bella Sun. After her marriage ended, she began working as a solo artist, combining blues, gospel and Appalachian folk in a style that she describes as “organic moonshine roots music”, and learning guitar, banjo, and lap-steel guitar. She became associated with the Memphis-based Broken String Collective. // In 2009 she was a featured artist on MTV’s online series $5 Cover (following the lives of Memphis musicians attempting to make ends meet), and in 2010 she recorded the EP Valerie June and the Tennessee Express, a collaboration with Old Crow Medicine Show. // In 2011 she was honored by the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission at the Emissaries of Memphis Music event. She raised funds to record an album with producer Craig Street via Kickstarter.com, raising $15,000 in 60 days. Later that year she relocated from Memphis to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Shortly after, record producer Kevin Augunas introduced June to Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, which led to the recording of June’s album Pushin’ Against a Stone in July 2011, which was co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach and Kevin Augunas. // In 2012, June performed with producer John Forté on a collaboration called Water Suites (on the hip-hop-blues song “Give Me Water”), and with Meshell Ndegeocello on the song “Be My Husband”. She contributed The Wandering’s 2012 album Go on Now, You Can’t Stay Here: Mississippi Folk Music Volume III. In 2012 she performed in the UK for the first time, playing at Bestival and appearing on Later… with Jools Holland. // She has received substantial radio play in Europe on BBC Radio 6, including a feature on Cerys on 6 with Cerys Matthews. Mary Anne Hobbs of XFM has said of June: “This woman has already touched my heart, she really, really has.” // In February 2013, June was invited to support Jake Bugg on the UK leg of his tour. In March 2013, June performed two nights at South By Southwest. The first performance was on March 14 as part of the Heartbreaker Banquet. On March 16, June performed again, this time as part of The Revival Tour. Rolling Stone June’s second album, The Order of Time one of the 50 Best Albums of 2017, citing “her handsomely idiosyncratic brand of Americana, steeped deep in electric blues and old-time folk, gilded in country twang and gospel yearning….a blend of spacey hippie soul, blues and folk with June’s pinched, modern-Appalachian voice at the center”. In a 2017 interview, Bob Dylan was asked what artists he listened to and respected; June was among the artists he mentioned in reply.More info at: http://www.valeriejune.com]

11:00 – Station ID

  1. (#75.) Martin Farrell Jr. – “Take Care”
    from: Coffee and Laundry / Lost Cowgirl Records / December 18, 2020
    [“Coffee and Laundry” has an original sound steeped heavily in traditional American roots music. Martin uses his personal experiences and midwestern upbringing for songwriting inspiration but transforms this perspective by adopting the role of characters throughout history. The record identifies most easily with Alt-Country and Americana genres with elements of folk, bluegrass, rock, western and blues. Similar to his first album, he wrote the songs, self produced the album and played all of the parts on the recordings.Martin recently served as producer of Lily B Moonflower’s new album MOONFLOWER to be released on February 12, 2021, on Lost Cowgirl Records where he played pedal steel, piano, telecaster guitar, tambourine, bells, & back up vocals. Minnesota-born songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Martin is intent on discovering new ways of playing old musical styles. After moving to Lawrence, KS in 2005 he began playing banjo, bass, piano and guitar in local bluegrass and rock groups. After meeting KC based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jenna Rae, the two began writing music and performing as a “cosmic western duo.” In 2017, they founded Lost Cowgirl Records with the mission to support female songwriters within the category of Americana and Roots music. More info at: http://www.jennamartinduo.com and http://www.thelostcowgirl.com Martin Farrell Jr. was our guest on WMM on February 3, 2021.]
  1. (#74.) Passerine Dream – “Hometown”
    from: Passerine Dream / DistroKid / May 3, 2021
    [Sidelined from touring in 2020 like everybody else, KC based musician Dave Tanner began demoing new songs and spent the first few months of the hiatus contributing bass and vocals to other people’s recordings. By fall, a routine of tracking and writing evolved into making a solo album, of sorts. As songs were coming together from new and existing material, a few friends offered, or were asked, to lend a hand in their respective areas of expertise. Nine heartfelt songs and a handful of special guests later, the Passerine Dream album was completed in April 2021. “As we went along and tracks came together, we couldn’t help but notice that a theme was emerging,” Tanner said. “This is an album about hope.” // Appearing on certain tracks are power-pop artist Erik Voeks; Marty Scott of Liverpool Legends; John Perrin of NRBQ; Albert Bickley of The Depth and The Whisper; Steve Davis of Liverpool: A Tribute to The Beatles; and John Countryman of Million Dollar Quartet. // Digital release on May 3, 2021 also kicks off an advance-order campaign for CD and vinyl via bandcamp and at passerinedream.com. // All songs written by Dave Tanner. Additional performing credits are listed in individual track information on bandcamp. // Passerine Dream was mixed by Paul Malinowski at Massive Sound Studios and mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Dave Tanner of Passerine Dream joined us LIVE on May 26, 2021.]
  1. (#73.) Sunshine Lombre – “Affection”
    from: Fading Away / Sunshine Lombre / July 1, 2021
    [Debut album is available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud and all other major music streaming platforms. Though Sunshine Lombre was not Kansas City raised, she was born here, and has a lot of family here. Sunshine has been based in Kansas City for the majority of the pandemic. This track includes contributions from Kansas City artists: Deandre Manning, Kadesh Flow, and Eddie Moore. More info at: http://www.sunshinelombre.com]
  1. (#72.) Sara Morgan – “Another Nail”
    from: Another Nail / River Delta Records / June 4, 2021
    [Sara Morgan released her album AVERAGE JANE on January 26, 2018, on River Delta Records it was part of WMM’s 118 Best Recordings of 2018. KC based Singer/Songwriter, originally from McGehee, Arkansas. Sara Morgan plays saxophone, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and piano. Sara has opened for BJ Thomas, John Michael Montgomery, John Corbett, Sean Rowe, Chuck Mead, Ben Taylor, and was the pre-show before Loretta Lynn at The Uptown, November 2014. Ms. Lynn hosted Sara on her tour bus after Sara’s set and prior to Ms. Lynn’s performance. Sara Morgan played the 17th Annual Crossroads Music Fest, Saturday, September 11, at 9:00 PM on the Kissick Construction Stage at Stockyards Brewing Company Parking lot, 1600 Wyoming, one of FOUR OUTDOOR STAGES in the East Crossroads & West Bottoms w/ over 30 Bands.]
  1. (#71.) Ivy Roots – “Truth about each other”
    from: LOVE ART GROWTH 2 / Ivy Roots / December 16, 2020
    [Ivy Roots released the single “Home” on April 22, 2020. KC native singer songwriter, who plays piano & guitar, and produces beats. Her style ranges from R & B, Neo Soul, Hip Hop, Acoustic, & Pop. The acoustic guitar strumming songstress draws from her inspirations; Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Deangelo, and India Arie. Ivy Roots studied audio engineering at Kansas City, Kansas Community College. She toured in a 5-piece reggae band, played regional festivals, Los Angeles, and collaborated with film & performance. She also sang in a vocal jazz group at a performing arts jazz festival at Lincoln Center in NYC, before releasing her first album “Bad Intuition” and beginning her solo career. In 2019 Ivy Roots released her EP Love Art Growth on June 5, 2019 where she collaborated with Eddie Moore. Ivy Roots released her debut album Bad Intuition on April 14, 2016. Written & produced by Ivy.]
  1. (#70.) Helado Negro – “Purple Tones”
    from: Far In / 4AD Records / October 22, 2021
    [6th album from Roberto Carlos Lange, better known by his stage name Helado Negro, is an American musician. He was formerly signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records from 2009 to 2016. Helado is now currently signed to and released his latest album through RVNG Intl., a Brooklyn-based music institution. Helado grew up in Miami, Florida where he spent his teenage years searching for his identity in the cultural melting pot of south Florida. He immersed himself in the hip-hop and electronic music scenes, where he learned to be an artist by playing out shows to small audiences. Helado released his 6th albumTHIS IS HOW YOU SMILE on March 8, 2019. Helado released his first full-length album in 2009 titled Awe Owe. In 2010, Helado released an EP titled Pasajero. Helado released his second full-length album in 2011 titled Canta Lechuza. In 2012, Helado released the first of a three part EP, titled Island Universe Story – One. Helado released his third full-length album in 2013 titled Invisible Life. Helado released the second Island Universe Story EP in 2013. In 2014, Helado released his fourth full-length album titled Double Youth. The third EP in Helado’s three-part Island Universe Story series was released in 2014. In 2015, Helado released the single “Young, Latin and Proud” along with an animated-visual and lyric video. Lange describes the song as “It was as if I was singing my 6-year-old self a lullaby… It’s about feeling a sense of pride and self-confidence, understanding that you’re born into something and it’s alright to feel good about it. Stereotypes and contradictions are built into identity and I think those are a strong current in both Latino and black identity in the U.S. today.” In 2016, Helado released his fifth full-length album titled Private Energy.]
  1. (#69) The Fey – “Wolf Of The Wild”
    from: Palm Tree Shade / The Record Machine / June 4, 2021
    [We last played The Fey’s February 12, 2021 single, “Wolf of The Wild” on March 3. That single followed their single, “Tear It off” released August 7, 2020. The Fey released “Lost In My Head” on August 2, 2019, that followed the band’s July 13, 2018 EP, Strawberry Lemonade. The Fey is a Rock/Soul sextet based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The band has created 3 EP’s under the alias “AZP”, but have recently made a name change to, The Fey. Charles Hull, Founder and Managing Director, Silver Street Records writes, The Fey is: Zach Watkins on lead/backup vocals, keys, percussion; Ishma Valenti on rap vocals; Trey Shotkoske on drums; Michael Rogers on guitars; John Fucinaro on bass, and Ludwing Siebenhor. Additional Backup vocals by Jasmin Ondap and Aly Millanes. Engineered and mixed by James Fleege at Silver Street. Mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering. Produced by Zach Watkins and James Fleege at Silver Street. Album art by Zach Watkins. More info at wwwtherecordmachine.co The Fey played Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming (NW corner of Wyoming & 17th St.), on Friday, June 25, at 7:00 AM with Lesser Pleasures, and The Royal Chief.]
  1. (#68.) Scores – “Talk Flood”
    from: Vol. 1 / Oread Records / July 9, 2021
    [Scores is CJ Calhoun, Austin Ward, Alex Ward. All music written & performed by Scores. Saxophone on “Talk Flood” by Damien Rose. Trombone on “Keep Yr Eyes Clsed” by Joshua Landau. Saxophone on “Alligators” by Dan Barth. Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 9: Engineered & Mixed by Joel Martin + additional programming, keys, and percussion. Recorded at Coop Studio in Lawrence, Kansas. Tracks 2, 3, 7, 8: Engineered & Mixed by Greg Panciera + additional programming and keys. Recorded at Ward’s Cabin in Fort Scott, Kansas. Mastering: Guy Davie at Electric Mastering London http://www.electricmastering.com More info at: http://www.scores.bandcamp.com ]

10:28 – Underwriting

  1. (#67.) Kian Bryne – “Morning Glow”
    from: Morning Glow / Kian Byrne Music / December 4, 2020
    [12-song album from Kian Byrne who released the single. “All The Love” on February 7, 2020. Kian Byrne is a Kansas City based multi-instrumentalist. He plays drums in The Elders, and drums for Hi-Lüx, and bass for The New Riddim, and for YUM. This is a follow-up to Kian Byrne’s solo EP “Up & Down” released July 11, 2018, part of WMM’s 118 Best Recordings of 2018. Kian Byrne released the single, “Your Love” April 9, 2021. Kian Byrne released the single, “It’s Yours ‘Til The End” May 1, 2021. Kian Byrne is releasing his new single, “You + Me,” with a video, June 16, 2021. Info at: http://www.kianbyrnemusic.com]
  1. (#66.) Baby and the Brain – “PT Cruiser”
    from: BrainBaby / Baby and the Brain / September 3, 2021
    [Baby and the Brain is comprised of 18 year old Jo Mackenzie (producer and songwriter) and 19 year old Dia Jane (singer/songwriter), who met at an open mic in Kansas City, Missouri, when Jo was in 8th grade and Dia was in 10th grade. Three years later, the two reconnected to started a musical project together that eventually turned into Baby and the Brain, a self-produced indie-pop band. Baby and the Brain also released the 8-track, BrainBaby with BONUS TRACKS on September 5, 2021. In 2020 Kansas City based singer songwriter, Jo MacKenzie released this year now collected together in a 5 -song EP, written, performed and produced by Jo MacKenzie. Mixed by Harper James. Jo MacKenzie released her Debut EP Proud on November 17, 2018. Along with Proud, Jo Mackenzie released the single “Just Like Rain” on August 18, 2018; “I Should Come with a Warning Sign” on September 28, 2019; and “Alaska” on November 23, 2019 and the single “Suicide Season” on February 1, 2020, and the single “Lose My Face” on April 24, 2020. More info at http://www.jomackenzie.com or Info at: http://www.babybrainband.bandcamp.com]
  1. (#65.) Rachel Cion – “Gunpowder Baby”
    from: WANTED! – EP / Rachel Cion / May 4, 2021
    [Rachel Cion is Rachel Cionetti an Olathe, Kansas based singer-songwriter who has posted multiple songs on her SoundCloud page. We last played her single, “One More Time 35mm” on November 14, 2018 five days after it was released. Rachel Cion’s EP, Wanted!, contains 3 beautifully crafted takes on the ideas of contemporary folk, heavy rock, and dystopian pop. The EP’s first track, “Gunpowder Baby”, is perpetually propelled by a heavy bassline that is reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “One Of These Days”, Tame Impala’s “Elephant” and Talking Heads “Psycho Killer”. Cion also pays homage to the former in her verse, making sure to let us know to not touch her “Gunpowder Baby” because she’s “a real live wire”. This is perhaps the poppiest moment of the EP, reminding me of St. Vincent’s “Los Ageless”. // The second song on Cion’s EP, “What You’ve Done”, immediately struck me as familiar. It sounded like a tune that I’d heard by another artist but just couldn’t place my finger on. While dissecting, I thought about the artists that had done this type of fingerpicking guitar work, because that’s what registered with me in terms of familiarity. I finally decided, after about 50 listens, that the best comparison to this song was the album abysskiss by Adrianne Lenker, doused in a kerosene of wicked folk-blues, and set alight by the same power that shut up the big-talker that Cion exposes in this tune of declaration. No, you cannot take her home you big mouthed son of a gun! Back to the guitar itself, the fingerpicking Cion uses in this song leaves the impression that every note is just as important as every full chord, and every vocalistic moment. It’s as if the whole song is a burning question, with a thousand different components, asking “What have you done?”. // The final song of the EP, “Heist”, is a searing blues nugget that builds off of the same idea that “Gunpowder Baby” does. This is for sure the heaviest hitting track on the Wanted! EP, rocking you fast and forcefully until the fadeout. These two tracks are very complementary to one another, with “Heist” being a grungy blues sludgefest to complement that dark, dystopian pop of “Gunpowder Baby”. The two tracks act as counterweights on this EP, balancing either end of the EP with different notes of the same idea of reclamation. With “Gunpowder Baby”, Cion claims her gunpowder baby, and in “Heist”, she wants your body, love, power, and control. More info at: http://www.facebook.com/rachel.cheeto%5D
  1. (#64.) Fred Wickham Caravan – “Town Without Soul”
    from: Town Without Soul / Black Site Records / October 29, 2021
    [The first single released August 27, 2020, from the Fred Wickham Caravan’s debut LP tells of a place we all know, that city where something just ain’t right Fred Wickham on vocals & guitar, Marco Pascolini on pedal steel, Bart Colliver on piano & accordion & vocals, Richard Burgess on upright bass & vocals, Fred Wickham, Jr. on mandolin, Matt Brahl on drums & percussion. Music and lyrics by Fred Wickham. Produced by Fred Wickham Caravan. Recorded at The Nutthouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Engineered by Jimmy Nutt. Mastered by Chad Meise at Massive Sound Studios in KCMO. Fred Wickham is best known for his work with Hadacol, the Kansas City based quartet that released two critically acclaimed records and gained a national reputation for ferocious live shows across the country. The Caravan, formed to support the solo album, Mariosa Delta, blends country, soul and rock & roll into a sound that can only be called pure Americana. Info at: http://www.fredwickhamband.com Fred Wickham Caravan played and Album Release show with The Roseline is Friday, October 29, 2021, at 6:30 pm,at The Ship, 1221 Union Ave, Kansas City, MO 64101. Fred Wickham joined us LIVE on WMM on October 20, 2021.]
  1. (#63.) In The Pines – “Sinner”
    from: Interlude / Arctic Rodeo Recordings / August 20, 2021
    [In The Pines are back with their 2nd album, INTERLUDE, 13 years after the release the self titled debut. Both albums are on Arctic Rodeo Records. More info at: http://www.arcticrodeorecordings.com . KC based six-piece band with Brad Hodgson on guitar & vocals, Darren Welch on bass, Laurel Morgan on violin & vocals, Matt Wolber on guitar, and Mike Myers on drums. Made up of two guitars, a bass, a violin, a viola, a pump organ, drums, and five vocals, their music is serene at times, other times brooding. From: https://arcticrodeorecordings.com: When In the Pines released their self-titled debut in 2008, their sound resonated profoundly within and beyond the Kansas City music community. // Founded as a sextet that included a two-piece string section, the band deftly mixed music from disparate genres and eras into a sound that was fresh but familiar—nostalgic, even: a blend of old-time folk, classical music and experimental folk-rock. It cast a spell that transported listeners forward into new terrains and back into long-lost times, a sound with a sepia-toned Dorthea Lange/Dust Bowl vibe embellished with contemporary attributes that quashed any notions of revivalism or retroism. // “In The Pines” impressed listeners far beyond the band’s hometown, It was released in Kansas City by Second Nature Recordings, which led to some regional touring, and by the German label Arctic Rodeo, which led to a tour of Germany. The future looked bright. Then life got in the way. // In 2010, lead singer Brad Hodgson moved to Austin, Texas. Then live shows became more infrequent; the lineup changed; the band took a hiatus; and the recording process was delayed, interminably, it seemed to fans awaiting new music. // In June 2020, the band released “Bones,” the first song from the impending, long-awaited second full-length. The lineup still includes five original members: Hodgson, Darren Welch (bass, vocals), Laurel Morgan Parks (violin, vocals), Matt Wolber (guitar) and Mike Myers (drums). // Despite the song’s title, there was nothing skeletal about “Bones.” It’s a lush and orchestral, midtempo, folk-ish rock ballad awash in strings, embroidered with violin and guitar filigrees and bathed in dreamy vocals and supernal harmonies – five minutes of deep reverie. // And now, a year after the release “Bones,” In the Pines is set to release on Arctic Records its 11-track, full-length second album, “Interlude.” The song, it turns out, revealed in many ways what the rest of the album would sound like. // It signified a departure from the Pines’ initial sound yet replete with all its trademark traits: melodic, meditative and built on clever turns and changes. Over the course of 45-plus minutes, the band transports listeners on a mesmeric ride, one filled with hypnotic grooves and dusky terrains. // The opening track is aptly titled “The Sun Is Going Down.” It’s a twilit ballad with shifting time signatures and spell-binding vocals that don’t appear until halfway through. “Ghosts” sways gently to a hearty, angelic, orchestral-folk vibe. The instrumental closer, “Moving On,” arrives and departs in 2 minutes and change, depositing its own unique spirit along the way, one garbed in piano, strings and horns. As the album’s swan song, it casts a fitting mood, one of optimism and melancholy. // Upon the release of the “Bones” single, Hodgson called the process of making “Interlude” a “long haul with lots of obstacles” but one with a deeply satisfying payoff: “The thing that stands out is how much I love working with and creating with the band. We’ve been together so long, no matter the distance or time apart, it still feels like family.” // The rewards of that long haul and hard work are about to be distributed beyond the band family. Loyal fans at home and abroad will soon discover that the decade-plus wait for “Interlude” was well-worth all the patience spent More info at: http://www.arcticrodeorecordings.bandcamp.com Members of In The Pines joined us LIVE on WMM on August 25, 2021.]
  1. (#62.) Andra Day – “Tigress & Tweed”
    from: The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Music from the Motion Picture) / Warner Records / Feb. 19, 2021
    [Cassandra Monique Batie was born Dec. 30, 1984, known by her stage name Andra Day, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. From San Diego, California, her debut album, Cheers to the Fall, was released in 2015 and peaked at number 48 on the US Billboard 200 chart. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best R&B Album and the album’s main single, “Rise Up”, was nominated for Best R&B Performance. Day also appeared alongside Stevie Wonder, who is partially credited for her discovery, in an ad for Apple TV in late 2015. Her Cheers to the Fall Tour began in November 2016. // In 2021, she portrayed Billie Holiday in the biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and was also nominated for Best Original Song. Her stage name was inspired by Holiday, whose nickname was “Lady Day”. // Day was born on December 30, 1984, in Edmonds, Washington. She moved to Southern California at age three, and grew up in and around San Diego, California, with her family. She began singing at a young age at the First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista, California. Day also began taking dance lessons at age 5 (a discipline she continued into her 20s). She attended Valencia Park Elementary School which she credits with fostering her interest in performing arts. At age 12, Day was introduced to the sounds of jazz vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington, all of whom she counts as early influences on her sound. Day attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in Paradise Hills where she graduated in 2003]
  1. (#61.) Reach – “xMerica”
    from: Life’s One Valid Expression / Reach / October 29, 2021
    [Produced by d’Jawnz. Featuring trumpeter Hermon Mehari, vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, vocalists JaySol (Kansas City) and Kayla Starks (Dallas), and longtime partner-in-rhyme Les Izmore. The project covers a lot of conceptual ground with topics such as love, loss, the American project, gentrification and race relations. The writing may well comprise the most revolutionary tone of Reach’s long career. The musical backdrop mines the best of the Boom Bap era filtered through a contemporary aesthetic. Over the past several years, Reach’s focus has been musical production and his maturation is evident on Life’s One Valid Expression. The musical wheelhouse for Reach the producer – credited on the album as d’Jawnz – is a confluence of Jazz, Traditional Soul and Contemporary R&B. It’s a fitting palette for an album with such mature content. More information at http://www.reach.bandcamp.com]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Please tune into Wednesday MidDay Medley throughout December as we present our 4-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2021 on December 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

NEXT WEEK, On Dec. 22, we will bring you part 3 of our 4-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2021. We’ll count down # 60 through #31 with tracks from: Julia Othmer, Stik Figa, Miki P., Hipshot Killer, Sam Wells, Chalis O’Neal, Redder Moon, Slim Hansen & The Poor Choices, Lily B Moonflower, Christena Graves, Alyssa Murray, Khrystal., Pure XTC, Silicone Prairie, Other Americans, Mensa Deathsquad, Nan + The One Nite Stands, Dan Jones and the Squids, Kat King, Alien Hellbop, Rob Rice, Jass, Efterklang, Deerhoof. St. Vincent, Jon Batiste, Mdou Moctar, Sons of Kemet, Robert Finley, and Amythyst Kiah.

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 #920