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, March 9, 2022
New & MidCoastal Releases +
Ernest James & Julia Othmer & Midwest Innocence Project & Guest DJ Lesley Pories
- “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
[WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
- Kevin Morby – “This is a Photograph”
from: THIS IS A PHOTOGRAPH / Dead Oceans / May 13, 2022
[A single release from Kevin Morby’s upcoming 7th album. From http://www.rollingstone.com: “In January 2020, songwriter Kevin Morby witnessed his father collapse from a medical event while visiting his childhood home in Kansas. In a state of shock, the singer spent the evening looking at old family photos and fixated on an image of his father as a young man, looking, as Morby states, ‘full of confidence.’ The experience forced Morby to confront both the idea of mortality and the passage of time — and, after an extended sojourn in Tennessee, these reflections came together in the form of his upcoming album, This Is a Photograph. To mark the announcement, the singer released the record’s eponymous single, accompanied by a music video directed by Chantal Anderson. Produced by frequent Morby collaborator Sam Cohen, This Is a Photograph was primarily written in Memphis’ historic Peabody Hotel, where the singer-songwriter holed up in search of inspiration and self-realization amongst the city’s dark past.” Morby will also embark on a 65 City tour of Europe and North America through the majority of 2022, which starts May 20 in Madrid, Spain and wraps Nov. 12 in Vancouver, BC. On October 16, 2020 Kevin Morby released SUNDOWNER, ranked #20 on WMM’s 120 Best recordings of 2020 and was the 6th release from Kevin Robert Morby born April 2, 1988. SUNDOWNER was the 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.]
[Presale tickets become available tomorrow March 10 at 10:00 AM at http://www.knuckleheadskc.com and available on Friday, March 11 to the public, for Kevin Morby at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, KCMO, on Thursday, November 3 at 8:00 PM with Coco.]
- Lily B Moonflower – “Wild n Free”
from: Moonflower / Lost Cowgirl Records / February 12, 2021
[This was the second single, from her debut album, Moonflower. 23 year old Lawrence, Kansas / Kansas City, Missouri based singer songwriter Lily B Moonflower was originally from Desoto Kansas. MOONFLOWER was produced by Martin Farrell Jr. and features: Jake Keegan on dobro, Colby Allen Walter on mandolin, Michael Turnbo & Shannon O’Shea on fiddle, Miki P on drums, Jenna Rae on saxophone & back up vocals, and Martin Farrell Jr. on back up vocals, pedal steel, piano, telecaster guitar, tambourine, & bells. Songwriters & musicians that have heavily influenced Lily’s songwriting are Sturgill Simpson, Brent Cobb, The Wood Brothers, Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Grateful Dead, Samantha Fish, Willie Nelson, Led Zeppelin, The Band, Allman Brothers, Waylon, Nicki Bluhm & many many many more. Her entire life is dedicated to music. // Lily B is a ray of sunshine on and off the stage and her passion for roots music is apparent at her live shows and through her music. This debut album gives you a peek into the mind of a young songwriter who longs to be connected to people and nature, loves searching for crystals and arrowheads, has experienced love and heartbreak, and brings the party to every show. She has shared the stage with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Jim Lauderdale, The Hillbenders, and many more. Lily is on a lifelong journey of creating music and this debut release will be one of many more to come. // Lily B Moonflower’s album was reviewed by Max Paley of Americana Music Academy (http://www.americanamusicacademy.com/press): “Lily has some advantages over your average country singer. First, her musical heritage is not hurting anything. But, more importantly, she has surrounded herself with the right people, particularly her life partner Jake Keegan (of the nationally touring bluegrass act Grassfed) and the good people at Lost Cowgirl Records. The new album sounds straight out of Nashville in terms of quality. // This is due mostly to the musical mind of Martin Farrell, Jr. Farrell retains his heavyweight Kansas country producer belt that he acquired with 2018’s Cosmic Western Duos, defended with 2020’s Coffee & Laundry and more than holds on to with Moonflower. Farrell demands authenticity from his artists, performing very little post-production work on the album and absolutely no auto-tuning. This means that Lily is actually as good as she sounds on these recordings. // Moonflower makes for such an exciting listen because it solidifies both Lily B. Moonflower as a true Country singer-songwriter and and the Eastern Kansas Country scene as a legitimate one worth paying attention to. It is so refreshing to hear a woman telling her stories in such a digestible way and accompanied by an amazing slate of backing musicians. Plans are already in motion for a new duo album with Lily and Keegan and even a second solo album and we cannot wait!” More info at: http://www.lilybmoonflower.com and https://www.thelostcowgirl.com Lily B. Moonflower joined is LIVE on WMM on January 27, 2021.]
[Lily B. Moonflower plays Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, KCMO, on Thursday, March 10, at 8:00 PM with The Burney Sisters. More info at http://www.knuckleheadskc.com ]
- Monta At Odds – “The Perfect Kiss”
from: “The Perfect Kiss” / The Record Machine / March 18, 2022
[This cover of the New Order classic will eventually be part of a companion album called PEAKED that has remixes and alternative versions of Monta AT Odds’ 2021 album, PEAK OF ETERNAL LIGHT. On the track the band is: Dedric Moore on synths & programming, Mikal Shapiro on vocals, Matthew Heinrich on drums, Lucas Behrens on baritone guitar, Krysztof Nemeth on baritone guitar, and Kenn Jankowski on synths. // The Perfect Kiss” is a song by the English band New Order. It was recorded at Britannia Row Studios in London and released on May 13, 1985. It was included on a studio album, Low-Life. // The song’s themes include love “We believe in a land of love” and death “the perfect kiss is the kiss of death”. The overall meaning of the song is unclear to its writer today. In an interview with GQ magazine Bernard Sumner said “I haven’t a clue what this is about.” He agreed with the interviewer that his best known lyric is in the song: “Pretending not to see his gun/I said, ‘Let’s go out and have some fun'”. The lyrics, he added, came about after the band was visiting a man’s house in the United States who showed his guns under his bed before they went out for an enjoyable night. It had been quickly written, recorded and mixed without sleep before the band went on tour in Australia. // The song’s complex arrangement includes a number of instruments and methods not normally used by New Order. For example, a bridge features frogs croaking melodically. The band reportedly included them because Morris loved the effect and was looking for any excuse to use it. At the end of the track, the faint bleating of a (synthesized) sheep can be heard. Sheep samples would reappear in later New Order singles “Fine Time” and “Ruined in a Day”. //Despite being a fan favorite, the song was not performed live between 1993 and 2006 due to the complexity of converting the programs from the E-mu Emulator to the new Roland synthesizer. However, it returned to the live set at a performance in Athens on June 3, 2006. // Monta At Odds released their 7th album PEAK OF ETERNAL LIGHT on July 23, 2021. // Monta At Odds is a Kansas City combo led by the brothers Dedric and Delaney Moore. The two have played music together all their lives and have been exploring the Monta At Odds sound since the band’s debut in 2000. Dedric’s pulsing, melodic bass and Delaney’s artfully unhinged synthesizers frame the band’s central character, which is fleshed out by a talented cast of musicians and collaborators. The result is a heady sonic pool that has been inscrutably referred to as ‘Ummagumma meets Arthur Russell’s mutant disco at Vangelis’s house.’ // In 2020 the band added acclaimed vocalists, guitarists, and songwriters Mikal Shapiro and Teri Quinn to the lineup. With Mikal and Teri’s otherworldly vocal contributions, Monta At Odds continued to push their alternate reality into streamlined consciousness. With Lucas Behrens on guitar and synth and Matthew Heinrich on drums both rounds out the stellar lineup. The nad releaased a remix of their single “When I’m Gone” mixed by The Record Machine label mate Kenn Jankowski, lead singer, co-founder of The Republic Tigers. The remix featured Kenn’s voice singing with Teri’s voice. The collaboration led to Kenn joining Monta At Odds as a voclist and synth player. And when Kenn plays out as The Republic Tigers the members of Monta At Odds become The Republic Tigers. On December 18, 2020 Monta At Odds released A GREAT CONJUNCTION their 5-song EP released just in to coincide with the ‘double-planet’ convergence of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21 2020, which last occurred in 1226. These tunes form a soundtrack to the planetary event, five songs linked together by the vastness of space and as a meditation on our infinitesimal place in the universe. The EP featured Krystof Nemeth, Teri Quinn, Alexander Thomas, Dedric Moore and Matthew Heinrich. // In late 2020 Monta At Odds released the single “When Stars Grow Old.” // Monta At Odds released their 4-song EP Zen Diagram on May 1, 2020. The album was a more post-punk leaning follow-up to Argentum Dreams. Expect minimal rhythms set to maximum noise, shoegazed guitar signals, slo-mo psychedelic darkwave, endless dub echo, and extended-cut warped disco. Live musicians manipulating time and space via knob turning, cymbal cracking, and pedal pushing as they interlock into hypnotic moments of heavenly bliss that seem to hold forever, captivating the mind. // Monta At Odds released their 6th full length album Argentum Dreams on Oct 19, 2018. Dedric Moore and Teri Quinn joined us on WMM on August 18, 2021 where Teri announced she was leaving the band. More info at: http://www.facebook.com/montaatodds%5D
[Monta At Odds will play this song at the Treefort Fest in Boise, Idaho on March 18, 2022.]
[Monta At Odds will play the Brick 1727 Mcgee, KCMO. on Friday April 8, with Mensa Deathsquad as a small welcome home party.]
[Monta At Odds will play the official vinyl release party for Peak of Eternal Light on June 25 with The Philistines making a live return.]
[Members of Monta At Odds will join us on WMM on June 22, at 11:00 AM]
- JNabe – “Can’t Stop Me (Feat. Julia Reynolds)”
from: “Can’t Stop Me (Feat. Julia Reynolds)” – Single / JNabe / February 18, 2022
[Julia Reynolds plays n the Lawrence/Kansas City band. Lonnie Fisher and The Funeral. One of 5 singles JNabe has released so far this year. JNabe is Kansas City’s premiere Indie Asian Rapper. JNabe started rapping in 2020. He loves making music and strives to make songs that connect with people. // From jnabeofficial.com: “JNabe is a reputable Rapper who began their exciting musical voyage of artistic discovery in 2020. Since then, they’ve used constant collaboration and experimental sound exploration to shape the signature sound that echoes with their inspiration from the streets of Kansas City. In the music world, there’s no standing still. You must constantly learn about new techniques and continue honing your musical craft.” // JNabe released the single.”On a Mission (Feat. Brose Royce (The Real Tez)” on January 14, 2022. // JNabe released the single, “KC Throwdown (Feat. NuSince)” on February 11, 2022. // JNabe released the single.”Can’t Stop Me (Feat. Julia Reynolds)” on February 18, 2022. // JNabe released the single, “You Know Me” on February 25, 2022. JNabe released the single, “Quarantine Time” on March 4, 2022. More info at: http://www.jnabeofficial.com]
- Nina Simone – “Backlash Blues (Summer of Soul Soundtrack – Live at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival)”
from: Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] [Live at the Harlem Cultural Festival, 1969] / Sony / January 28, 2022
[The Roots’ drummer Questlove is nominated for Best Original Documentary for his debut film, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which captured the performances of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The documentary is also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. Questlove’s Summer of Soul won Best Documentary at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards and won the 2021 Sundance Grand Jury Prize. “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” will have a prime-time broadcast premiere on ABC. The network announced that the acclaimed film, documenting the six-week-long, star-studded 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, will air Feb 20 at 7:00 PM. Known as “Black Woodstock,” the festival featured stars of R&B, gospel, blues, Latin, jazz and soul, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The 5th Dimension, The Staple Singers, B.B. King and Sly and the Family Stone. Culled from tapes that were sitting on shelves for decades. It marks the first time an Oscar-nominated documentary to get a prime-time network premiere leading up to the big night. The 94th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC on March 27. // Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop. // The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree. // To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice. // Simone was born on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina. The sixth of eight children in a poor family, she began playing piano at the age of three or four; the first song she learned was “God Be With You, Till We Meet Again”. Demonstrating a talent with the piano, she performed at her local church. Her concert debut, a classical recital, was given when she was 12. Simone later said that during this performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. She said that she refused to play until her parents were moved back to the front, and that the incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement. Simone’s mother, Mary Kate Waymon (née Irvin, November 20, 1901 – April 30, 2001), was a Methodist minister and a housemaid. Her father, Rev. John Devan Waymon (June 24, 1898 – October 23, 1972), was a handyman who at one time owned a dry-cleaning business, but also suffered bouts of ill health. Simone’s music teacher helped establish a special fund to pay for her education. Subsequently, a local fund was set up to assist her continued education. With the help of this scholarship money, she was able to attend Allen High School for Girls in Asheville, North Carolina. // After her graduation, Simone spent the summer of 1950 at the Juilliard School as a student of Carl Friedberg, preparing for an audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her application, however, was denied. Only 3 of 72 applicants were accepted that year, but as her family had relocated to Philadelphia in the expectation of her entry to Curtis, the blow to her aspirations was particularly heavy. For the rest of her life, she suspected that her application had been denied because of racial prejudice, a charge the staff at Curtis have denied. Discouraged, she took private piano lessons with Vladimir Sokoloff, a professor at Curtis, but never could re-apply due to the fact that at the time the Curtis institute did not accept students over 21. She took a job as a photographer’s assistant, but also found work as an accompanist at Arlene Smith’s vocal studio and taught piano from her home in Philadelphia. // In order to fund her private lessons, Simone performed at the Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey, whose owner insisted that she sing as well as play the piano, which increased her income to $90 a week. In 1954, she adopted the stage name “Nina Simone”. “Nina”, derived from niña, was a nickname given to her by a boyfriend named Chico, and “Simone” was taken from the French actress Simone Signoret, whom she had seen in the 1952 movie Casque d’Or. Knowing her mother would not approve of playing “the Devil’s music”, she used her new stage name to remain undetected. Simone’s mixture of jazz, blues, and classical music in her performances at the bar earned her a small but loyal fan base. // In 1958, she befriended and married Don Ross, a beatnik who worked as a fairground barker, but quickly regretted their marriage. Playing in small clubs in the same year, she recorded George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” (from Porgy and Bess), which she learned from a Billie Holiday album and performed as a favor to a friend. It became her only Billboard top 20 success in the United States, and her debut album Little Girl Blue followed in February 1959 on Bethlehem Records. Because she had sold her rights outright for $3,000, Simone lost more than $1 million in royalties (notably for the 1980s re-release of her version of the jazz standard “My Baby Just Cares for Me”) and never benefited financially from the album’s sales. // After the success of Little Girl Blue, Simone signed a contract with Colpix Records and recorded a multitude of studio and live albums. Colpix relinquished all creative control to her, including the choice of material that would be recorded, in exchange for her signing the contract with them. After the release of her live album Nina Simone at Town Hall, Simone became a favorite performer in Greenwich Village. By this time, Simone performed pop music only to make money to continue her classical music studies, and was indifferent about having a recording contract. She kept this attitude toward the record industry for most of her career. // Simone married a New York police detective, Andrew Stroud, in December 1961. In a few years he became her manager and the father of her daughter Lisa, but later he abused Simone psychologically and physically. // In 1964, Simone changed record distributors from Colpix, an American company, to the Dutch Philips Records, which meant a change in the content of her recordings. She had always included songs in her repertoire that drew on her African-American heritage, such as “Brown Baby” by Oscar Brown and “Zungo” by Michael Olatunji on her album Nina at the Village Gate in 1962. On her debut album for Philips, Nina Simone in Concert (1964), for the first time she addressed racial inequality in the United States in the song “Mississippi Goddam”. This was her response to the June 12, 1963, murder of Medgar Evers and the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four young black girls and partly blinded a fifth. She said that the song was “like throwing ten bullets back at them”, becoming one of many other protest songs written by Simone. The song was released as a single, and it was boycotted in some[vague] southern states. Promotional copies were smashed by a Carolina radio station and returned to Philips. She later recalled how “Mississippi Goddam” was her “first civil rights song” and that the song came to her “in a rush of fury, hatred and determination”. The song challenged the belief that race relations could change gradually and called for more immediate developments: “me and my people are just about due”. It was a key moment in her path to Civil Rights activism. “Old Jim Crow”, on the same album, addressed the Jim Crow laws. After “Mississippi Goddam”, a civil rights message was the norm in Simone’s recordings and became part of her concerts. As her political activism rose, the rate of release of her music slowed. // Simone performed and spoke at civil rights meetings, such as at the Selma to Montgomery marches. Like Malcolm X, her neighbor in Mount Vernon, New York, she supported black nationalism and advocated violent revolution rather than Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent approach. She hoped that African Americans could use armed combat to form a separate state, though she wrote in her autobiography that she and her family regarded all races as equal. // In 1967, Simone moved from Philips to RCA Victor. She sang “Backlash Blues” written by her friend, Harlem Renaissance leader Langston Hughes, on her first RCA album, Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967). On Silk & Soul (1967), she recorded Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” and “Turning Point”. The album ‘Nuff Said! (1968) contained live recordings from the Westbury Music Fair of April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. She dedicated the performance to him and sang “Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)”, a song written by her bass player, Gene Taylor. In 1969, she performed at the Harlem Cultural Festival in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park, immortalized in Questlove’s 2021 documentary Summer of Soul. // Simone and Weldon Irvine turned the unfinished play To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry into a civil rights song of the same name. She credited her friend Hansberry with cultivating her social and political consciousness. She performed the song live on the album Black Gold (1970). A studio recording was released as a single, and renditions of the song have been recorded by Aretha Franklin (on her 1972 album Young, Gifted and Black) and Donny Hathaway. When reflecting on this period, she wrote in her autobiography, “I felt more alive then than I feel now because I was needed, and I could sing something to help my people”.]
- Flare Tha Rebel & Bob Pulliam – “Child’s Play (Radio) feat. Joe Miquelon”
from: The Revolution Will Not Be Hashtagged / Shafer / July 9, 2021
[The first single from The Revolution Will Not Be Hashtagged EP. “Child’s Play” takes a holistic approach in describing gun violence, which was ranked 4th by voters for 90.9 The Bridge’s Top 90 Songs of 2021. The song showcases the intersectionality between police brutality, mass shootings, violence within systemically oppressed communities, and the United States’ usage of guns. // Career and love brought hip-hop MC Flare Tha Rebel back to his hometown of Kansas City, MO, which created a second wind of new music. Noted by The Pitch, “As a member of hip-hop collective Anti-Crew, Flare Tha Rebel made quite an impact on the Kansas City hip-hop scene. After making the leap from KC to Chicago in the late ‘00s, he’s now back…” Known for a highly energetic live performance, Flare has shared the stage with artists such as Chance the Rapper, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Mac Lethal, Nappy Roots, and CES Cru. Although hip-hop at the core, Flare Tha Rebel’s versatility remains as he balances music with socially progressive themes that are still enjoyable enough to raise a glass to at a party. There’s also a duality to Flare’s approach. Many of his songs are connected to his Art to Empower initiative, raising awareness and funds for a variety of social justice causes and nonprofits. Flare Tha Rebel & Bob Pullian were guests on WMM, Aug. 11, 2021. The Revolution Will Not Be Hashtagged was #9 on WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2021. Info at: http://www.flaretharebel.com]
[Flare Tha Rebel plays recordBar, at 1520 Grand Blvd. on Thursday, March 31, with Ubi of CES Cru and a full live band, with opening acts: Oboi Kong, Aaron Alexander and The Belief Cycle. Hosted by Steddy P. in a fundraiser & awareness raiser for Change The Ref and a local nonprofit founded by Manuel & Patricia Oliver in memory of their son Joaquin Oliver, one of the 17 victims of the MSD High School shooting in Parkland, FL. The animated lyric video for “Child’s Play” can be watched at; FlareThaRebel.com]
10:28 – Underwriting
- Julia Othmer – “Frickin Awesome”
from: Sound / Frickin Awesome Records / April 12, 2019
[Julia Othmer’s second album took three years to complete and was produced with James Lundie, who married Julia in January of 2016, during the completion of the record. Julia Othmer, is a graduate of Park Hill High School and studied at Columbia University in New York City. She moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to record her first full-length album, “Oasis Motel.”]
10:34 – Interview with Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, & Julie Bennett Hume
Last year Julia Othmer released SEEDS VOLUME 2, her 4th album with live recordings and a followup to her 2020 release SEEDS VOLUME 1 both albums contained tracks from her 30-day “Songs of September Project”, where Julia covered songs of protest & hope, to inspire people to vote in 2020. Julia Othmer released “Sound,” on April 12, 2019, her second album, that took 3 years to complete, and was produced with James Lundie, who also married Julia in January of 2016, during the completion of the record. Julia moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to record her 1st album, OASIS MOTEL. In 2018 and 2019 Julia toured with The Alarm in U.S. and United Kingdom. In 2021 Julia and her husband James relocated to Kansas City. More info at: http://www.juliaothmer.com
Ernest James grew up in Oakland, California. His father was originally from Pineville, Louisiana. Like many Creoles and Cajuns, his father left Louisiana in the 50s and 60s and moved to California looking for work and a better life. Ernest James is Kansas City’s “Zydeco Man.” Ernest James swims deep in the musical waters of Southwest Louisiana: Zydeco, Cajun and Creole music. He is also the band leader of “Ernest James Zydeco,” and has released four studio albums. His albums have been up for Grammy consideration. An accordionist and slide guitar player, he is a passionate lover of roots music. Ernest James honors the giants that have come before him. He provides an hour of Zydeco and Cajun music each third Tuesday from 5 to 6pm on Beautician Blues with Luscious Lynn here on 90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio. His local radio show glorifies the great artists of Zydeco music.
Mikal Shapiro is founder of State City Films creating documentary and experimental filmmaking practices. Mikal studied Film History, Film, & Writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She received her MFA in Film/Video/New Media/Animation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. Artist, filmmaker, puppeteer, ring-leader, Mikal Shapiro is a KC songwriter whose musical influences span popular songs, psych rock, lounge, classic country and old time spirituals. She has toured extensively across the United States and has recorded 5 critically acclaimed albums Mikal also performs with Shapiro Brothers, and Monta At Odds. Mikal is also the host and producer of Siren Song, Saturdays at 11:00 AM on 90.1 FM KKFI KC Community Radio.
Julie Bennett Hume is a singer-songwriter from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has been playing folk music for over 35 years in the Lawrence/Kansas City area. She has played bass, guitar, banjo and performed as a vocalist in numerous folk ensembles such as The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, The Kansas City Cajun Band, The All Night Fiddlers, the Afro- Cuban ensemble Manos , The Euphoria String Band and Table for Three. She currently performs solo and with the duos The Stray Grays (with Leslie Giggler) aas well as the group Lost Cowgirl Revue, which recently toured Germany and the Netherlands. Julie also teaches German at a local high school and is the producer and host of the KKFI program “River City Chautauqua“. She is a board member of the “Heartland Song Network”. Her solo CD, Vinegar, was released in Nov of 2019. With Chris Hudson she perfoms as The Multiverse, who released Songs Of Latter Days on November 1, 2020.
Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, and Julie Bennett Hume, join us to share details on the Benefit for The Midwest Innocence Project, Friday, March 11, 2022, 6:00 to 10:00 pm, at The Brick Bar, 1727 Mcgee, KCMO. MIP assisted in the release of a life-sentence in prison of Kevin Strickland, a Black man wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in 1979 of killing three people in Kansas City. No physical evidence linked him to the scene and the only witness later recanted her testimony. In 2021, he garnered national attention after former prosecutors said he was very likely innocent and called for his release. MIP is a not-for-profit dedicated to the investigation, litigation & exoneration of wrongfully convicted people in the region of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, & Nebraska. The benefit will feature live music by singer/songwriter Julia Othmer and traditional Louisiana style band Ernest James Zydeco with accordionist Ernest James, Barry “Washboard” Barnes on percussion, Mike Stover on bass, and Aryana Nemati on saxophone. For more info: http://www.themip.org
Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, and Julie Bennett Hume, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
Congratulations to all of you for all the music you make, record and perform live.
Benefit for The Midwest Innocence Project – Featuring music by Ernest James Zydeco & singer-songwriter Julia Othmer Friday, March 11, 2022, 6-10pm at The Brick, 1727 Mcgee, Kansas City, MO 64108
Contacts: Julie Bennett-Hume, cell: (816) 223 – 9069 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org // Mikal Shapiro, cell: (816) 888 – 0668 / Email: email@example.com
The benefit will feature guest speaker Ricky Kidd who was entenced to life in prison for a 1996 double murder he didn’t commit, Ricky Kidd was exonerated in August of 2019. Kidd, works for the Midwest Innocence Project, wants to see legislative action to prevent others from going through what he’s experienced.
The benefit features a raffle, silent auction, and (currently running) online auction. For more informations you can visit: http://www.themip.org
Recently, the Midwest Innocence Project was in the news assisting in the release from prison of Kevin Strickland, an African-American man who was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in 1979 of killing three people in Kansas City, Missouri. No physical evidence linked him to the scene of the crime and the only alleged witness later recanted her testimony that Strickland was involved. Strickland was given a life sentence. In 2021, he garnered national attention after former prosecutors in his case said he was very likely innocent and called for his release.
The Midwest Innocence Project is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of wrongfully convicted people in the five-state region of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Your donation supports the mission to investigate, litigate and exonerate individuals convicted in the five-state area.
For more info: themip.org
The benefit will feature live music by traditional Louisiana style band Ernest James Zydeco. Members include accordionist Ernest James and Barry “Washboard” Barnes on percussion, Mike Stover on bass and Aryana Nemati on saxophone. With Jaisson Taylor.
For more info: ejzydeco.com
Julia Othmer is a “captivating” piano-playing singer/songwriter known for her energetic live performances. Passionate and engaging, Othmer creates intimate warmth with her audiences. Using music to connect to people and social issues inspires her.
For more info: juliaothmer.com/
- Ernest James Zydeco – “Automatic”
from: Automatic Harvester / Jam Rat Records / July 13, 2015
[From KCMO, the band lineup has been constant since 2008: Ernest James on accordion and vocals, Barry Barnes on washboard, Jaisson Taylor on drums, Mike Stover on bass guitar, and Tony LaCroix on guitar. Recorded and mixed in KC at Markosa Studios, with Mark Thies. The album was mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago. Ernest James and Jaisson Taylor co-wrote and co-produced the songs.]
10:49 – More Interview with Julia Othmer,Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, & Julie Bennett Hume
Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, and Julie Bennett Hume, join us to share details on the Benefit for The Midwest Innocence Project, Friday, March 11, 2022, 6:00 to 10:00 pm, at The Brick, 1727 Mcgee, KCMO. MIP is a not-for-profit dedicated to the investigation, litigation & exoneration of wrongfully convicted people in the region of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, & Nebraska. The benefit will feature live music by Julia Othmer and Ernest James Zydeco with accordionist Ernest James, Barry “Washboard” Barnes on percussion, Mike Stover on bass, and Aryana Nemati on saxophone and Jaisson Taylor. For more info: http://www.themip.org
Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, and Julie Bennett Hume, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
Julia, Since your album “Sound” all of your following releases SEEDS VOLUME 1 and SEEDS VOLUME 2 have been produced with your husband James Lundie.
Julia recently participated in Global Music Match that included 78 artists, from 17 countries who were divided into 14 groups. Julia covered a song from each artist in her team, and collaborated with Jessica Pearson and East Wind from Ottawa, Canada.
Ernest James Bio : Ernest James bought his first accordion in the dark recesses of a greasy Texas bar. “It’s a damn good accordion for German Polkas” the old man said, handing it over. Ernest instantly felt the accordion’s magnetic pull as he tried it on for the first time. “No Polkas for me” he replied. Determined to play his blues and rock and roll on the accordion, Ernest’s relationship with Zydeco music had just begun.
Ernest James’ innovative career of mixing traditional Louisiana-style Zydeco with unique production has created a sound that has a deep groove and bursts with new energy.
Ernest honors the giants that have come before him in the Zydeco world by clarifying the roots of the music—where it originated, the people who originated it, and the differences between Cajun and zydeco music—at each Ernest James Zydeco show. His local radio show glorifies the great artists of Zydeco music.
Ernest’s albums rely on a deep steady groove; though stylistically they do not fit neatly into the Zydeco mold. He embraces the Zydeco tradition and faces questions about his authenticity straight on, with honesty and clarity. Turning a song into a dub, or using the accordion for something other than a straight up two-step are testaments to his artistry and genre-bending genius. As a musician, he sees his place in a greater tradition born from his ancestry and the people who built this country.
“My daddy’s family comes from Pineville, Louisiana, where the dogwoods grow flowers out in the woods,” Ernest says. Like many Creoles and Cajuns, his father left Louisiana in the 50s and 60s and moved to California looking for work and a better life.
“I grew up in a Zydeco oasis in Oakland, California, but I have revisited my family’s ties with Louisiana throughout my life, trying to understand why my daddy left it long ago. In the process, I have found my music fits into the Zydeco tradition, bringing a strong past of blues to the accordion-based band. Now, Zydeco is just a part of who I am and how I express what I see in life.”
View photos, hear songs, and learn more about the band at http://www.EJZydeco.com
Contact the band at firstname.lastname@example.org. Purchase EJZ albums, at amazon.com or wherever you purchase your music.
Julia Othmer, Ernest James, Mikal Shapiro, and Julie Bennett Hume, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
The Benefit for The Midwest Innocence Project, Friday, March 11, 2022, 6:00 to 10:00 pm, at The Brick Bar, 1727 Mcgee, KCMO. MIP is a not-for-profit dedicated to the investigation, litigation & exoneration of wrongfully convicted people in the region of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, & Nebraska. The benefit will feature live music by singer/songwriter Julia Othmer and traditional Louisiana style band Ernest James Zydeco with accordionist Ernest James, Barry “Washboard” Barnes on percussion, Mike Stover on bass, and Aryana Nemati on saxophone. For more info: http://www.themip.org
- Julia Othmer – ” I Want To Be Free”
from: SEEDS, Volume 2 (LIVE) / Frickin’ Awesome Records / March 20, 2021
[This is Julia’s 4th full length and contains 10 live songs selected from her 30-day Songs of September Project, where Julia performed live covers of her favorite songs of protest and hope, broadcast through streaming social platforms to inspire people to vote on November 3. Julia’s fans democratically selected their favorite tracks to be included on SEEDS. Julia Othmer released “Sound,” on April 12, 2019, her second album, that took 3 years to complete, and was produced with James Lundie, who also married Julia in January of 2016, during the completion of the record. Julia Othmer, is a graduate of Park Hill High School. She moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to record her 1st full-length album, “Oasis Motel.” In 2018 to 2019 Julia Othmer toured with and opened for The Alarm in US show and shows in the United Kingdom. When Julia Othmer is in Kansas City she plays with Johnny Hamil on bass, Chris Tady on guitar, John Floyd Whitaker on drums. More info at http://www.juliaothmer.com. Julia Othmer was our guest on WMM on September 1, 2021]
11:00 – Station ID
11:00 – Guest DJ Lesley Pories
Lesley Pories our outgoing MidCoast Radio Project – Board President, oins us a “Guest DJ” to play some of her favorite music before she leaves Kansas City to move to Stockholm, Sweden for her new job. Lesley moved to Kansas City eight years ago and has been volunteering at 90.1 FM for most of that time. Lesley served on the Board of Directors for six years. A Washington DC native, Lesley has a Masters in Urban Planning from UNC Chapel Hill and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Lesley has lived and worked in Uzbekistan, India and Guinea. Lesley most recently served on the Board of BikeWalkKC and as Manager of Sector Strategy at water and sanitation non-profit, Water.org.
Lesley Pories, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley as guest DJ!
- Architecture In Helsinki – “Hold Music”
from: Places Like This / Architecture In Helsinki / July 28, 2007
[Architecture in Helsinki were an Australian indie pop band which consisted of Cameron Bird, Gus Franklin, Jamie Mildren, Sam Perry, and Kellie Sutherland. The band released five studio albums before going on hiatus: Fingers Crossed (2003), In Case We Die (2005), Places Like This (2007), Moment Bends (2011), and Now + 4eva (2014). The band has been inactive since 2018. // Places Like This is the third studio album by Architecture in Helsinki, which was released in Australia on July 27, 2007 at the launch of their Australian tour. It was also released in Japan on July 18, Europe on August 8, and in the United States on August 21. It debuted at No. 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and dropped to No. 49 in its second week. Architecture in Helsinki developed from a short-lived high school music experiment in Albury, New South Wales, by childhood friends Cameron Bird (lead singer), Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry. By 1999, the trio had moved to the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, where they used the name Architecture in Helsinki for Bird’s first collection of self-penned songs. Bird got the new band’s name after cutting up a newspaper and re-arranging words. They played a small number of gigs before going into hiatus. In 2000, while studying photography at art school, Bird met James Cecil, the two developed a musical connection and within months Cecil joined the band on drums. Around that time Bird took up guitar, he also met Kellie Sutherland at a party and invited her to play clarinet for the band. // The five-member group began to work on their debut album, Fingers Crossed, at Super Melody World, Cecil’s recording studio built in a church hall in a south-eastern suburb. Recording was halted when Bird left for an extended holiday in the US, leaving the album unfinished. Upon return from Portland, Oregon, Bird was inspired to write short, catchy pop songs, which marked a new direction for the band. At art school, Bird met members of The Rhinestone Horns, a brass ensemble, and he recruited Isobel Knowles, Tara Shackell and Gus Franklin – all three originally from Victoria’s Western District – to complete Architecture in Helsinki’s eight-member line-up. In 2002, the group signed with independent record label, Trifekta, which released their debut single, “Like a Call” in December. Nearly two years after starting work, Fingers Crossed was issued on February 9, 2003. Most of the group’s members play multiple instruments and their music makes use of a wide range of instruments, from analog synthesizers, samplers, the glockenspiel and handclaps; to concert band instruments like the trumpet, tuba, trombone, saxophone, clarinet and recorder; and the more standard guitars, bass guitar and drums.]
11:04 – Guest DJ Lesley Pories
Lesley grew up in Vienna, Virgina. She holds two Masters Degrees. She served in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan. She served with The Carter Center observing political elections in Guinea. She worked for Water.org – Kansas City for over 8 years.
Lesley Pories Thanks for being with us as guest DJ.
- M.I.A. – “Jimmy”
from: Kala / Maya Arulpragasam – Interscope / January 1, 2013
[Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam MBE (born 18 July 1975), known by her stage name M.I.A. (an acronym of “Missing in Acton”), is a British rapper, singer, record producer and activist. Her songs contain evocative political and social commentary regarding immigration, warfare and identity in a globalised world. Her music combines elements of alternative[disambiguation needed], dance, electronic, hip hop and world music with eclectic instruments and samples. // Born in London to Sri Lankan Tamil parents, M.I.A. and her family moved to Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka when she was six months old. As a child, she experienced displacement caused by the Sri Lankan Civil War, which made the family return to London as refugees when M.I.A. was 11 years old; the war had a defining influence on M.I.A.’s artistry. She started out as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer in 2000, and began her recording career in 2002. One of the first acts to come to public attention through the Internet, she saw early fame as an underground artist in early 2004 with her singles “Sunshowers” and “Galang”. // M.I.A.’s first two albums, Arular (2005) and Kala (2007), received widespread critical acclaim for their experimentation with hip hop and electronic fusion. The single “Paper Planes” from Kala reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sold over four million copies. Her third album Maya (2010) was preceded by the controversial single-short film “Born Free”. Maya was her best-charting effort, reaching the top 10 on several charts. Her fourth studio album, Matangi (2013), included the single “Bad Girls”, which won accolades at the MTV Video Music Awards. M.I.A. released her fifth studio album, AIM, in 2016. She scored her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single as a featured artist on Travis Scott’s “Franchise” (2020). // M.I.A.’s accolades include two American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards and two MTV Video Music Awards. She is the first person of South Asian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award and Grammy Award in the same year. She was named one of the defining artists of the 2000s decade by Rolling Stone, and one of the 100 most influential people of 2009 by Time. Esquire ranked M.I.A. on its list of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. According to Billboard, she was one of the “Top 50 Dance/Electronic Artists of the 2010s”. M.I.A. was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for her services to music.]
11:14 – Guest DJ Lesley Pories
Our outgoing MidCoast Radio Project – Board President, Lesley Pories joins us a “Guest DJ” to play some of her favorite music before she leaves Kansas City to move to Stockholm, Sweden for her new job.
- Ani DiFranco – “I’m No Heroine”
from: Imperfectly / Righteous Babe Records / June 19, 1992
[Imperfectly is the third studio album by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco. Angela Maria “Ani” DiFranco was born September 23, 1970. She is an American singer-songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums. DiFranco’s music has been classified as folk rock and alternative rock, although it has additional influences from punk, funk, hip hop and jazz. She has released all her albums on her own record label, Righteous Babe. DiFranco supports many social and political movements by performing benefit concerts, appearing on benefit albums and speaking at rallies. Through the Righteous Babe Foundation, DiFranco has backed grassroots cultural and political organizations supporting causes including abortion rights and LGBT visibility. She counts American folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger among her mentors. // DiFranco released a memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, on May 7, 2019, via Viking Books and made The New York Times Best Seller List. // DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, on September 23, 1970, the daughter of Elizabeth (Ross) and Dante Americo DiFranco, who had met while attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her father was of Italian descent, and her mother was from Montreal. DiFranco started playing Beatles covers at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher, Michael Meldrum, at the age of nine. By 14 she was writing her own songs. She played them at bars and coffee houses throughout her teens. DiFranco graduated from the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts high school at 16 and began attending classes at Buffalo State College. She was living by herself, having moved out of her mother’s apartment after she became an emancipated minor when she was 15. // DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Babe Records, in 1989 at age 19. She released her self-titled debut album in the winter of 1990, shortly after relocating to New York City. There, she took poetry classes at The New School, where she met poet Sekou Sundiata, who was to become a friend and mentor. She toured steadily for the next 15 years, pausing only to record albums. Appearances at Canadian folk festivals and increasingly larger venues in the U.S. reflected her increasing popularity on the North American folk and roots scene. Throughout the early and mid-1990s DiFranco toured solo and also as a duo with Canadian drummer Andy Stochansky. // In September 1995, DiFranco participated in a concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio, inaugurating the opening of the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York City. She later released a CD on Righteous Babe of the concert Til We Outnumber Em featuring artists such as DiFranco, Billy Bragg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Indigo Girls, Dave Pirner, Tim Robbins, and Bruce Springsteen with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum educational department. // In 1996, bassist Sara Lee joined the touring group, whose live rapport is showcased on the 1997 album Living in Clip. DiFranco would later release Lee’s solo album Make It Beautiful on Righteous Babe. In 1998, Stochansky left to pursue a solo career as a singer-songwriter. A new touring ensemble consisting of Jason Mercer on bass, Julie Wolf on keyboards, and Daren Hahn on drums, augmented at times by a horn section, accompanied DiFranco on tour between 1998 and 2002. // The 1990s were a period of heightened exposure for DiFranco, as she continued playing ever larger venues around the world and attracted international attention of the press, including cover stories in Spin, Ms., and Magnet, among others, as well as appearances on MTV and VH1. Her playfully ironic cover of the Bacharach/David song “Wishin’ and Hopin'” appeared under the opening titles of the film My Best Friend’s Wedding. She guest starred on a 1998 episode of the Fox sitcom King of the Hill, as the voice of Peggy’s feminist guitar teacher, Emily. Beginning in 1999, Righteous Babe Records began releasing albums by other artists including Sara Lee, Sekou Sundiata, Arto Lindsay, Bitch and Animal, That One Guy, Utah Phillips, Hamell on Trial, Andrew Bird, Kurt Swinghammer, Buddy Wakefield, Anaïs Mitchell and Nona Hendryx. // On September 11, 2001, DiFranco was in Manhattan and later penned the poem “Self Evident” about the experience. The poem was featured in the book It’s a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America After September 11. The poem’s title also became the name of DiFranco’s first book of poetry released exclusively in Italy by Minimum Fax. It was later also featured in Verses, a book of her poetry published in the U.S. by Seven Stories press. DiFranco has written and performed many spoken-word pieces throughout her career and was showcased as a poet on the HBO series Def Poetry in 2005. // Since her 2005 release Knuckle Down (co-produced by Joe Henry) DiFranco’s touring band and recordings have featured bass player Todd Sickafoose and in turns other musicians such as Allison Miller, Andy Borger, Herlin Riley, and Terence Higgins on drums and Mike Dillon on percussion and vibes. // On September 11, 2007, she released the first retrospective of her career, a two disc compilation entitled Canon and simultaneously a retrospective collection of poetry book Verses. On September 30, 2008, she released Red Letter Year. // In 2009, DiFranco appeared at Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden, debuting her revamped version of the 1930s labor anthem “Which Side Are You On?” in a duet with Bruce Cockburn and also duetting with Kris Kristofferson on the folk classic “There’s a Hole in the Bucket”. // DiFranco released an album on January 17, 2012, ¿Which Side Are You On?. It includes collaborations with Pete Seeger, Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville, Skerik, Adam Levy, Righteous Babe recording artist Anaïs Mitchell, CC Adcock, and a host of New Orleans-based horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic, Bonerama, and Rebirth Brass Band. // In 2014, she released her eighteenth album, Allergic to Water. In 2017, she released her nineteenth, Binary. // On May 7, 2019, DiFranco released a memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, via Viking Books. It is described as a “coming-of-age story”. // In 2021, DiFranco released the album Revolutionary Love which was largely inspired by Valarie Kaur’s book See No Stranger. // Ani DiFranco, RZA, and Steve Albini at The New Yorker festival in September 2005. // DiFranco came out as bisexual in her twenties, and has written songs about love and sex with women and men. She addressed the controversy about her sexuality in the song “In or Out” on the album Imperfectly (1992). In 1998, she married her sound engineer Andrew Gilchrist[ in a Unitarian Universalist service in Canada. DiFranco and Gilchrist divorced in 2003.]
11:20 – Guest DJ Lesley Pories
MidCoast Radio Project – Board President, Lesley Pories joins us a “Guest DJ” to play some of her favorite music before she leaves Kansas City to move to Stockholm, Sweden for her new job. Lesley most recently served on the Board of BikeWalkKC and as Manager of Sector Strategy at water and sanitation non-profit, Water.org.
- Ali Farka Touré – “Lasidan (with Ry Cooder)”
from: Talking Timbuktu (with Ry Cooder) / World Circuit Ltd – BMG / March 28, 1994
[Talking Timbuktu is the 1994 collaboration album between Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré and American guitarist/producer Ry Cooder. The guitar riff from the song “Diaraby” was selected for the Geo-quiz segment of The World PRI-BBC radio program and was retained by popular demand when put to a vote by the listeners. In 2009, the album was awarded a gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association which indicated sales of at least 100,000 copies throughout Europe. // Ali Ibrahim “Ali Farka” Touré was born October 31, 1939 and died March 6, 2006. He was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians. His music blends traditional Malian music and its derivative, North American blues and is considered a pioneer of African desert blues. Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and number 37 on Spin magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. // Touré was born in 1939 in the village of Kanau, on the banks of the Niger River in Gourma-Rharous Cercle in the northwestern Malian region of Tombouctou. His family belonged to the Arma community and moved to the nearby village of Niafunké when he was still an infant. His father died serving in the French Army in 1940. He was the tenth son of his mother but the only one to survive past infancy. “The name I was given was Ali Ibrahim, but it’s a custom in Africa to give a child a strange nickname if you have had other children who have died”, Touré was quoted as saying in a biography on his record label, World Circuit Records. His nickname, “Farka”, chosen by his parents, means “donkey”, an animal admired for its tenacity and stubbornness: “Let me make one thing clear. I’m the donkey that nobody climbs on!” Ethnically, he was part Songhai, part Fula. // In Malian society, musical performance was the duty of a lower caste known as the ‘Griot’. Since Touré was from the ‘Nobel’ caste he was forbidden to play any musical instruments. He disregarded this and secretly built a monochord from a tin can and played it with his friends. // Having worked various jobs as a young adult including as a chauffeur and an ambulance boatman, it was a performance by the national ballet of Guinea in 1956 that would influence Touré to pursue a career in music. It was the guitar playing during this performance that made Ali determined to learn the instrument. During the 1960s, Mali hosted and held national talent competitions aimed at bringing together the various diverse groups of people that lived within the newly independent nation such as the Bambara in the south, the nomadic Tuareg in the North and the Fula and Songhay in the Sahel. It was at these competitions that Touré soaked up the music of all these different cultures and learned to sing in seven languages. // Naturally Touré was a great success at these competitions and ended up heading to Bulgaria to represent Mali internationally. It was during this trip that he bought his first guitar, and it was also the first time that he heard the music that was being produced in the USA during the 1960s, of which Touré instantly became a fan. He was particularly fond of the music of John Lee Hooker and has stated that, “The first time I heard John Lee Hooker, I heard his music but I said ‘I don’t understand this, where did they come up with this culture? This is something that belongs to us.” // Although Touré has been described as ‘The African Bluesman’, he insists that his music is not blues having stated that “To me blues is a type of soap powder, my music is older than the blues”. // As the first African bluesman to achieve widespread popularity on his home continent, Touré was often known as “the African John Lee Hooker”. Musically, the many superpositions of guitars and rhythms in his music were similar to John Lee Hooker’s hypnotic blues style. He usually sang in one of several African languages, mostly Songhay, Fulfulde, Tamasheq or Bambara as on his breakthrough album, Ali Farka Touré, which established his reputation in the world music community. // Touré’s first job in the music industry was as a sound engineer at Radio Mali in Bamako. This job allowed him the opportunity to use the radio station’s recording studio, which at the time was the only recording studio in Mali. Touré sent tapes of his recordings to various record labels in France and eventually ended up releasing a series of albums simply titled ‘Ali Farka Touré’ in the late 70s and early 80s. in 1986 Touré captured the attention of the British market when tracks from one of his albums referred to as ‘the red album’ was played on British radio. // British DJ Andy Kershaw discovered ‘the red album’ whilst in Paris looking for albums that were difficult to find in the UK. He recalls how he purchased the album at random amongst a pile of others as the album cover had stood out to him. Upon listening to the album after he had returned home to North London he realised that he had found something special. Upon playing a few tracks on his segment on BBC Radio One it provoked an extraordinary reaction from his listeners. // It was this that grasped the attention of Anne Hunt of ‘World Circuit Records’. In the mid-1980s, Hunt travelled to Mali to track down Ali Farka Touré, she eventually found him by broadcasting a message on Radio Mali seeking information about his whereabouts. World Circuit records brought him to Britain for the first time in 1987 and Touré went on to record seven records with them. The first few of these albums included some interesting collaborations such as with Seán Keane and Kevin Conneff of The Chieftains on The River in 1990 and Nitin Sawhney and the American blues player Taj Mahal on The Source in 1992. Although, his most high-profile collaboration of the early 90s was 1994’s Talking Timbuktu with Ry Cooder. Cooder later recalled how Touré didn’t like recording the album in the Hollywood studio and described it as a place of ‘bad energy’ and The USA in general as a ‘spiritual car park’. // Touré’s first North American concert was in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. 1994’s Talking Timbuktu, a collaboration with Ry Cooder, sold promisingly well in Western markets, but was followed by a hiatus from releases in America and Europe. He reappeared in 1999 with the release of Niafunké, a more traditional album focusing on African rhythms and beats. Touré was the mentor and uncle of popular Malian musician Afel Bocoum. // Some of Touré’s songs and tunes have been used in different programmes, films and documentaries. For instance, his guitar riff on the song “Diaraby”, from the album Talking Timbuktu, was selected for the Geo-quiz segment of The World PRI-BBC program, and was retained by popular demand when put to a vote of the listeners. This song is likewise used in 1998 as a soundtrack for the film L’Assedio (Besieged) by the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. His songs Cinquante six, Goye Kur and Hawa Dolo from the album The Source are also used as a soundtrack in the French film Fin août, début septembre (Late August, Early September) directed in 1998 by Olivier Assayas. The song “Lasidan” was featured in the award winning documentary “Sharkwater” by Rob Stewart. // In 2002 Touré appeared with Black American blues and reggae performer Corey Harris, on an album called Mississippi to Mali (Rounder Records). Toure and Harris also appeared together in Martin Scorsese’s 2003 documentary film Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of blues back to its genesis in West Africa. The film was narrated by Harris and features Ali’s performances on guitar and njarka. // In September 2005, Touré released the album In the Heart of the Moon, a collaboration with Toumani Diabaté, for which he received a second Grammy award. His last album, Savane, was posthumously released in July 2006. It was received with wide acclaim by professionals and fans alike and has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Contemporary World Music Album”. The panel of experts from the World Music Chart Europe (WMCE), a chart voted by the leading World Music specialists around Europe, chose Savane as their Album of the Year 2006, with the album topping the chart for three consecutive months (September to November 2006). The album has also been listed as No. 1 in the influential Metacritic’s “Best Albums of 2006” poll, and No. 5 in its all-time best reviewed albums. Ali Farka Touré has also been nominated for the BBC Radio 3 awards 2007. // In February 2018 Idrissa Soumaoro’s song Bèrèbèrè, featuring Touré, was used in Black Panther. // In 2020, Touré featured in the book ‘Greenlights’ by Matthew McConaughey. In part five, McConaughey recalls how in 1999 he was inspired to visit the African continent by a dream that he had. He goes on to reveal that Ali Farka Touré was one of his favourite musicians and that it was listening to Touré’s music that inspired him to choose the country of Mali for his visit to the African continent. He spent four days travelling to Niafunké from Bamako and spend the day with Touré and his wife before continuing his journey along the Niger River. // In 2004 Touré became mayor of Niafunké and spent his own money grading the roads, putting in sewer canals and fuelling a generator that provided the impoverished town with electricity. // On March 6, 2006, the Ministry of Culture of Mali announced Touré’s death at age 66 in Bamako from bone cancer, which he had been battling for some time. His record label, World Circuit, said that he had recorded several tracks with his son, Vieux Farka Touré, for Vieux’s debut album which was released in late 2006
11:33 – Underwriting
11:35 – Guest DJ Lesley Pories
Our outgoing MidCoast Radio Project – Board President, Lesley Pories joins us a “Guest DJ” to play some of her favorite music before she leaves Kansas City to move to Stockholm, Sweden for her new job. Lesley moved to Kansas City eight years ago and has been volunteering at 90.1 FM for most of that time. Lesley served on the Board of Directors for six years. A Washington DC native, Lesley has a Masters in Urban Planning from UNC Chapel Hill and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Lesley has lived and worked in Uzbekistan, India and Guinea. Lesley most recently served on the Board of BikeWalkKC and as Manager of Sector Strategy at water and sanitation non-profit, Water.org.
- Kaÿn Lab – “You for Me (Live)”
from: Live at Fendika / Kaÿn Lab / March 30, 2020
[Kaÿn Lab is an experimental jazz fusion band focusing on Ethiopian rhythms & modes, hence the name. Kaÿn – The Long Awaited One; Lab – Laboratory. KAŸN LAB was formed out of a desire to have an outlet of creativity not normally found in other musical situations. Being a group of composers, we wanted to write music as well as play. Our focus is more on jazz with heavy Ethiopian influences. As we continue to experiment with new sounds and especially new applications of the modes and rhythms of Ethiopia, we just hope we can create something enjoyable for our audience as well as for us. Everything being experimental we expect to have some positive and negative reactions to the music. Our aim, however, is always to be innovative in the most positive way possible. We hope you will join us on our journey! More info at: https://kayenlab.wixsite.com/jazz%5D
Our MidCoast Radio Project – Board President, Lesley Pories joined us a “Guest DJ” to play some of her favorite music before she leaves Kansas City to move to Stockholm, Sweden for her new job. Lesley moved to Kansas City eight years ago and has been volunteering at 90.1 FM for most of that time. Lesley served on the Board of Directors for six years. A Washington DC native, Lesley has a Masters in Urban Planning from UNC Chapel Hill and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Lesley has lived and worked in Uzbekistan, India and Guinea. Lesley most recently served on the Board of BikeWalkKC and as Manager of Sector Strategy at water and sanitation non-profit, Water.org.
Lesley Pories, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley as guest DJ!
For WMM, I’m Mark Manning. Thanks for listening!
- Perpetual Groove – “Only Always”
from: Live Love Die / Treeleaf Music / March 6, 2007
[Perpetual Groove (or PGroove) is an American rock band that originated in 1997 in Savannah, Georgia. PGroove incorporated a mix of traditional Southern rock, funk, jazzy improvisation, indie rock and synth loops. The members continue to work on solo and side projects. // The band’s founding members include Brock Butler on guitar and lead vocals, Adam Perry on bass, Joe Stickney on drums and Brett Hinton on keyboards. The four met at Savannah College of Art and Design during their first year. After graduation, Stickney and Hinton both left the band.  In 2001, drummer Albert Suttle and keyboardist Matt McDonald, both then active-duty members of the US Army, met Butler and Perry at a Savannah open-mic night and soon joined Perpetual Groove. After moving out of Savannah, they settled in the musically dominated college-town of Athens, GA – home of R.E.M., Widespread Panic, B52’s and many more musical acts over the years. // The band first attracted attention at Jake’s Roadhouse in Atlanta and JJ Cagney’s on Savannah’s Bay Street, which eventually relocated to River Street and later became The Live Wire Music Hall. They played a very notable show at J. J. Cagney’s, which was a private party for the cast and crew of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with several other local bands, including The Eric Culberson Trio and a group called “Ciaxa” led by Joe and Eric Layden, who would later form the international jam/funk revue band “The Looters”. Actors Paul Hipp and Jack Thompson also performed with the bands. // As crowds grew, they played larger venues such as Loco’s, the [Lucas Theater] (New Year’s Eve 2003), SCAD’s [Trustees Theater], the Armstrong Center at Armstrong Atlantic State University and [The Roundhouse Railroad Museum]. In 2006, PGroove started playing hometown benefit concerts for the Jolly Foundation, in honor of Butler’s childhood friend Mary Ellen McKee. Also in 2006, PGroove relocated from Savannah to Athens, Georgia. The Georgia Theatre in Athens had become one of the band’s main venues prior to the move, prompting the idea for a new homebase. // PGroove’s first wider US tour was in 2003. They toured the country extensively, gaining a new legion of die-hard fans in New England and the Northeast, and a strong following on the West Coast, along with an ever-growing fan-base in the South. They also played in Japan, Amsterdam and aboard cruise ships at the Jam Cruise and Xingolati music festivals. Early on, PGroove began earning a reputation for their touring and hard work. // John Hruby replaced McDonald on keyboards in June 2008, making the line-up of Butler, Perry, Suttle and Hruby from 5/25/08 until 01/01/2012. McDonald played his final official show with the band their Amberland festival on May 25, 2008. He left on amicable terms to focus on his family. McDonald continued to compose and produce music independently under the name which bore his initials M.S.M. and stood for “My Subversive Media” and still occasionally played with Brock Butler and Perpetual Groove. McDonald also joined the indie-rock act SeepeopleS for a brief time and was featured on SeepeopleS’ fourth album, “Apocalypse Cow Vol. 2.” On June 16, 2008 the band announced that John Hruby, formerly of Ohio jam band “Guest”, was their new keyboard player. He is a long-time friend of the band and was part of an earlier side project, “The Ruins” with Butler, Perry, and drummer Travis Cline of Atlanta’s Captain Soularcat. Hruby had previously worked as a producer at Atlanta’s Zone Studios where worked on albums for hip-hop acts such as Ciara, Ludacris, David Banner and The Ying Yang Twins. // In November 2011, Perpetual Groove announced that John Hruby would be leaving the band, and Matt McDonald would be returning to playing full-time. The new, yet familiar lineup of Perpetual Groove was immediately dubbed as PG 2.012 by fans, referring to the reunion year and cementing the “definitive lineup” of the band.]
- Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]
Next week on Wednesday, March 16, Melissa and Matt Weinman of Dimension Bill Edwards join us live in our 90.1 FM Studios to talk about their new debut album, SUSTENENCE.
Also next week Oliver Hall comes to KC from Lawrence, Kansas to talk about his two CD album release, SONGS OF THE PLANETS a collection of digital recordings using special instruments designed by N.A.S.A. that record electromagnetic vibrations from the planets and moons and transfer them into sounds that can be heard by the human ear.
And also next week musician Jeremiah James Gonzales returns to the show to talk about the vinyl release of the latest album from the Kansas City band, Redder Moon.
Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org
Wednesday MidDay Medley is all over social media and on the web at: