WMM’s 50 Favorite MidCoastal Releases of 2020…So Far (Part 1) + Oh Dear Oh My

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, June 17, 2020

WMM’s 50 Favorite MidCoastal Releases of 2020…So Far
+ Oh Dear Oh My

1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
[WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]

Pedaljets

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

Katy Guillen

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

Ebony Tusks

4. Ebony Tusks – “HDF”
from: HDF – Single / High Dive Records / February 7, 2020
[Ebony Tusks is Daniel Smith on DJ & Production, Geese Giesecke on vocals & Production, and Marty Hillard on vocals & Production. A rattling subwoofer is a sonic aberration, a byproduct of high volume that often results in a speaker system’s long-term damage. It takes the listening experience from exclusively aural to physical, evoking a range of reactions from listeners. This experience is bonded inextricably with rap music for both its fans and dissenters, a familiar beacon for some and an unwelcome nuisance for others. Marty was a cashier at Burger King while in high school, spending every Saturday morning working the drive-thru window. One of his best friends pulled up to the menu and filled the speaker with sounds from his 1972 Volkswagen Beetle’s cassette adapter. Marty’s headset was filled with hot, white noise. He knew it was a rap song but it was mutated to scorched earth. It also happened to come through the main speaker right inside the drive-thru window. His manager was not at all pleased, rushing quickly to turn it off. Marty and his friend laughed it off at the time. EBONY TUSKS is a compilation of moments like these. Daniel, Geese, & Marty are 3 people from the Midwest who take pleasure in the mutations of sound available in the least expected places.]

Una Walkenhorst

5. Una Walkenhorst – “Pretty Face”
from: Woman of The Year / Una Walkenhorst / April 16, 2020
[2nd single. 25 year old Una Walkenhorst is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City. Una told KCUR FM that her father was one of the people who made her love music. But having a famous father can be challenging: “I knew that if I started my music career here I would have a lot of opportunities, but not all of them would be because of my music. They would be because I am someone’s daughter,” Walkenhorst says. Loading up her 97 Honda Civic, Una then spent a year traveling across North America promoting her music and connecting with listeners one-on-one. She ended up living in New Orleans. Una Walkenhorst is the youngest daughter of Bob Walkenhorst, a founding member of The Rainmakers, which had national and international hits in the 1980s and 90s, and continue to this day touring and recording new music. In January of 2018 Una Walkenhorst returned home to Kansas City from New Orleans. Over the past several years, Una and Bob had performed together at selected events, including Folk Alliance International. In 2018 the father and daughter duo decided to record an album together, where they split the difference, taking turns as songwriters for the album’s songs, written individually, and recorded together, with beautiful harmonies.]

Radkey

6. Radkey – “Ain’t No Sunshine”
from: “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Single / Radkey / April 7, 2020
[Written by Bill Withers. Isaiah, Dee, and Solomon Radke of the critically acclaimed rock trio Radkey joined us live in our 90.1 FM studios on September 5, 2018. Radkey was formed in 2010 in St. Joseph, where the brothers were raised. The family moved to Kansas City. The band has released two full-length recordings — “Dark Black Makeup” in 2015 and “Delicious Rock Noise” in 2016 — plus multiple EPs and singles, and were part of a MasterCard advertising campaign on digital billboards in NYC along with a national television commercial that aired during the 2018 Grammy Awards that brought the band to the attention of Jack White who asked the band to tour with him. In 2018 the band went back on the road with The Damned throughout the United States. In December they went back into the studio to record with producer Bill Stevenson of the California punk rock group Descendents. In early 2019 they played shows in Amsterdam and Stockholm. In 2018 the band released “Basement,” “St. Elwood,” “Rock & Roll Homeschool,” as well as several other singles. On February 22, 2019, Radkey released “No Strange Cats…P.A.W.” a 7-song EP is essentially a collection of the band’s most recent singles. It comes after the January 11, 2019 release of No Strange cats…Spiders – EP a 6 song EP of several new songs mixed with several singles from late 2018.]

Ivory Blue

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

Blackstarkids

8. BLACKSTARKIDS – “Sounds Like Fun”
from: SURF / Bedroom Records / February 28, 2020
[Second album from, BlackStarKids, a pop/R&B/hip-hop group based in Kansas City, Missouri. Members include: TheBabeGabe, Deiondre, and TyFaizon (of the Drop Dead XX collective). The group released its first album, Let’s Play Sports, in 2019. Blackstarkids,recently caught the attention of The 1975’s frontman Matty Healy and now they’re signed to The 1975’s management company, Dirty Hit Records and they were just featured in Clash Magazine,]

10:29 – Underwriting

9. Fullbloods – “Soft and Virtual Touch”
from: Soft and Virtual Touch / High Dive Records / April 3, 2020
[3rd full-length album from, Fullbloods, a Kansas City based band with: Ross Brown; Jared Tomasino; David Seume; & Bill Pollock. Follow up to their February 26, 2016 release, Mild West. All songs written, performed, recorded, and mixed by Ross Brown (℗© 2019 Bargain Hunt Music / ASCAP) in Kansas City, MO. Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Artwork created by Nika Winn. Kyle Rausch played drums on 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9, sang on 9. Bill Pollock played drums on 3 and 5. David Seume played bass on 5. Jerad Tomasino played synth on 9 and 10, sang on 9. Jenni Kornfeld played cello on 4. Leslie Butsch played sax on 10. More information at: http://www.fullbloods.com.]

10. Saint Sé – “In/Out (feat. Allison Gliesman)”
from: In/Out (feat. Allison Gliesman) – Single / Benjiman Lucas Music / May 22, 2020
[Debut Single from Saint Sé. Written by: Lucas Carpenter & Allison Gliesman. Vocals by: Allison Gliesman. Music Produced by: Lucas Carpenter. Additional Production by: Zach Thomas. Mixed/Mastered by: Mark Francis Buergler. Visualizer created by Andy Thies.]

Miss Boating

11. Miss Boating – “Junk Food”
from: The Vhargon Sidestep / Miss Boating / January 1, 2020
[From the ashes of their former band The Sleazebeats, Charles Colborne and Bill Belzer faced a difficult 2019 when combined with the death of Charlie’s own beloved mother, their friend and bassist Evan Vhargon died. The band wrote that they “were lost when Evan passed.” Through the tough times Bill and Charlie kept playing and wrote that they “were blown away when Phil Dickey wanted to jam with us… the jamming turned into something more and we were going again. We couldn’t be more thankful and humbled.” Phil is part of the bands Dragon Inn 3, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Miss Boating is: Charlie Colborne on keyboards, guitar, vocals; Bill Belzer: drums, vocals; Phil Dickey on bass; Aaron Jones on trombone; Tim Gillespie on saxophone. Ross Brown served as engineering, did all of the mixing for The Vhargon Sidestep and Mike Nolte handled all of the mastering.]

Quiet Takes

12. Quiet Takes – “Wanted (The Dirty Windshield Version)”
from: “Wanted (Dirty Windshield Version)” – Single / Sarah Magill / May 1, 2020
[“Wanted” lives in the ellipses between acknowledging you want something you can’t have…and letting that desire go. The plan was to put this stripped-down version out in the fall after releasing its more produced twin on an EP this summer, but then everything changed. Beyond the pandemic’s catastrophic casualties, we are all grappling with lesser losses: plans, jobs, dreams, relationships, routines, shows, savings, physical touch. It seemed right to put this version out now. Sometimes we only realize what we want when it’s absent. That’s the gift in the grief, but it stings, doesn’t it? Music & Lyrics by Sarah Magill. Produced by David Bennett. Vocals & keyboards by Sarah Magill, guitars, & bass by David Bennett. Additional key by Ian Thompson. Engineered & mixed by David Bennett at Aorist Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. Mastered by Zach Hanson Quiet Takes (formerly MYRY) is an on-going collaborative music project by Sarah Magill a writer and musician based in Kansas City, Missouri. She performs with a rotating cast of friends—although these stay-at-home days, she is playing solo. In Kansas City, she is known for hosting house shows and co-founding Rubix, a performance art collective. The first EP, MYRY’s AHEM. Was release in 2018.. Quiet Takes has new music coming in 2020.] [Sarah Magill was on WMM on May 13.]

Hermon Mehari

13. Hermon Mehari – “A Conversation With My Uncle”
from: A Change For The Dreamlike / Hermon Mehari / June 5, 2020
[Hermon writes: “I spent “le confinement” creating this album in a barn in the French countryside. Like many people during this period, I wasn’t able to think much about the future, only the present and the past. These songs are therefore personal journal entries, versions and visions of my wishes, fantasies and memories. Together they create a kind of modern mixtape of dreams, in every sense of the word, in which my trumpet, all alone in that barn, is a vulnerable presence, virtually and masterly supported by some of my closest musical collaborators around the world.” Follow up to his debut solo release Bleu, from 2017. Hermon Mehari grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, home of Lincoln University. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City Music Conservatory. In 2015 he finished first, at the prestigious Carmine Carusa International Jazz Trumpet Competition at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville Texas. Hermon was a semifinalist in the 2014 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2014 he released the CD “Our Journey” with Diverse, which was recorded in Paris featuring Logan Richardson on alto saxophone. Hermon was also the winner of the 2008 National Trumpet Competiton and placed second in the International Trumpet Guild competition in Sydney, Australia. He splits his time between touring and playing all over the world and creative projects in Kansas City. Hermon has collaborated with Cat Mahari on BAM! the Workshop, he is also a founding member of Diverse Jazz, Diverse Trio, and The Buhs. He has played with Peter Schlamb, Making Movies, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Mikal Shapiro, Krystle Warren. Hermon was featured on the world-renowned saxophonist Bobby Watson’s 2013 release, “Check Cashing Day”. More information at: http://www.hermonmehari.com ]

14. Miki P and The Swallowtails – “I”
from: I – Single / Miki P / February 13, 2020
[Rachel Lovelace on bassoon, Adee Dancy on cello & vocals, Cade Pool on drums, Robert Castillo on bass, and Miki P on guitar & lead Vocals. Each member is an integral part of the Kansas City music scene, writing, arranging, performing, and collaborating original music for their own groups and several other projects in the metro. “Introspective pop music with lyric-driven folk influences, mixed with collaborative energy & an odd pairing of instruments, Miki P locked in with the Swallowtails create a moment with music written and arranged from the heart.” Miki P started playing guitar in middle school. She taught herself to play the drums, while listening to Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr. As a teen she played drums for various groups including American Slim. She wrote songs for their full-length album Irreplaceable released in 2017, followed by a single “Queen of Hearts” released April 11, 2018. She also plays ukulele & piano, teaching herself how to play both the instruments, using them frequently in all projects she is involved in. She was a featured vocalist with The Band That Fell to Earth Bowie Tribute. She’s played Boulevardia, Middle of the Map Fest, Royal’s Kaufman Stadium, recordBar, Uptown Theater, Arrowhead Stadium, Nelson Atkins Museum, the Crossroads Music Festival and the SXSW Music Fest More info at: http://www.mikipmusic.com .]

Fritz Hutchison

15. Fritz Hutchison – “Stationary”
from: Wide Wild Acres / Center Cut Records / March 27, 2020
[Debut album of Fritz Hutchison. Wild Wild Acres was written & performed by Fritz Hutchison. Produced by Fritz Hutchison and Joel Nanos. Recorded and mixed in Kansas City by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studio. Mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago. Multi-instrumentalist Fritz Hutchison was born May 27, 1991. A life long resident of Kansas City. Since 2008 he’s been part of multiple bands playing drums with: She’s a Keeper, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, and Grand Marquis. As a guitarist he has played along side J Ashley Miller, Lauren Krum, Miki P and Calvin Arsenia. A decade of lending an ear and a hand to the likes of fellow shredders has left Fritz poised to launch his own solo career as a singer-songwriter.]

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

11:00 – Station ID

17. Oh Dear Oh My – “Marching”
from: ELECTRONERVES / Oh Dear Oh My / May 6, 2020
[Third release from Kansas City based dance rock duo made up of Rani & Curt. This is their follow up to ASHDLA’ released July 11, 2018. They’ve been playing locally for 5 years. Their album Ashdla’ was named for the Navajo word for Five. The EP had 5 tracks. Curt is himself Navajo. Oh Dear Oh My tend to lean towards the dark & dancy.]

OH DEAR OH MY

11:03 – Interview with Rani & Curt of Oh Dear Oh My

Oh Dear Oh My released their third EP – ELECTRONERVES on May 6, 2020. The Kansas City based dance-rock-duo is made up of Rani and Curt. They’ve been playing locally for over five years. This new release is the follow-up to their 2018 release, ASHDLA’ named for the Navajo word for five. The EP had 5 tracks and band member Curt is himself Navajo. Fueled by anxiety and excess energy, dynamic duo Oh Dear Oh My rocks! Curt pounds spicy, far-out beats on his drums, while Rani keeps pace with sweet 80’s synthesizer sounds. The end result is a little dark, a little dancey, and a little funny.

From Oh Dear Oh My were have Rani, thanks for being with us on WMM.

Curt and Rani met in Lawrence. Both had played on previous bands. A friend thought they had a lot in common, so he invited them to meet up.

The band was originally called Cupcake, but when the duo discovered that a band in St. Joe had this name Curt suggested they become Oh Dear Oh My.

Curt grew up in the Navajo community in Arizona. He came to Lawrence, Kansas originally to go to Haskell University.

Rani works at a hospital in health care and research.

Curt and Rani have been playing in Kansas City for five years,

Oh Dear Oh My released their third EP – ELECTRONERVES on May 6, 2020.

More information at http://www.OhDearOhMy.Bandcamp.com

11:15

18. Oh Dear Oh My – “Soak Your Head”
from: ELECTRONERVES / Oh Dear Oh My / May 6, 2020
[Third release from Kansas City based dance rock duo made up of Rani & Curt. This is their follow up to ASHDLA’ released July 11, 2018. They’ve been playing locally for 5 years. Their album Ashdla’ was named for the Navajo word for Five. The EP had 5 tracks. Curt is himself Navajo. Oh Dear Oh My tend to lean towards the dark & dancy.]

19. Sterling Witt – “Hag-Ridden”
from: Something’s Awry / Grand River Records Records / April 10, 2020
[All songs written by Sterling Witt. Copyright 2020 Disheartened Music (ASCAP). Produced by Sterling Witt. Recorded by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios, Kansas City Missouri. Sterling Witt on vocals & guitar, Kitten A. Boggs on bass & vocals, Evan Verploegh on drums. http://www.SterlingWitt.com ]

Nan Turner on the June 3, 2020 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley on KKFI 90.1 FM.

20. Nan & the One Nite Stands – “Desert Nites”
from: “Desert Nites” – Single / Nan Turner / May 22, 2020
[Written by Nan Turner. Recorded by Mark “Dragon” Ospovat @ SpeakerSonic Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Additional recording and mixing and production by Chase Horseman @ Winky World Studios in Kansas City, MO. Mastered by Ian Dobyns. Nan Turner on Vocals and beats – Nan Turner; Mark Ospovat ongGuitar; percussion; Chase Horseman on Wurlitzer, bass, & synthesizers; Dawn Yoder and Tracy Flowers on back up vocals. Nan writes: “I learned about existentialism at a young age. My Dad was a Philosophy Professor. Waiting for Godot and Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. were in my Ballet Bag for years. My mother + stepfather are libertarian folk that went to church, shot guns, and sold Amway. I’m not saying this song is about any of that. But it’s also NOT NOT about that. I started recording this song in 2017 with my good friend and collaborator Mark Ospovat in Brooklyn, NY. We laid down the foundation tracks of beat, guitar and vocals. Then I let the song lie…..because I didn’t know how to finish it or where it fit in my oeuvre. I almost wrote ovaries. That too. (You do know that songs are like babies, right?) Cut to March 2020, Kansas City. Chase Horseman and I unearthed the tracks right before the quarantine. He sat down at the Wurlitzer and played some notes and suddenly the song made sense to me. Of course it needed Wurlitzer! Through Chase’s arrangements of keys and other instrumentation, and Dawn and Tracy’s backup vocals (shoutout to KC one nite stand dancers extraordinaire)…I knew the song was finally there and it was time to release it into the world.Thanks so much to both Mark Ospovat and Chase Horseman for helping me realize the song’s potential and also for adding your own inventive arrangements. It was a One Nite Stands Magical Collaboration from NYC to Kansas City. BOOM. Nan Turner is one half of the critically acclaimed band Schwervon! Nan has been called the “Lucy Ricardo of Indie Rock. This is aa follow up to Nan’s solo EP Champs and Losers, Version 2 released July 12, 2019 Recorded, Mixed, and Co-Produced at Winky World in Kansas City, by Chase Horseman. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, New Windsor, NY. Ian Dobyns plays drums and Chase Horseman plays bass. More Info at: http://www.nanturner.bandcamp.com]

21. Oxford Remedy – “Again”
from: For Those Who Know, Tell Me What I’m Supposed To Do / Oxford Remedy / May 1, 2020
[Debut EP from Kansas City based band. Written and performed by: Kate Mckown on guitar, Grace Mckown on guitar, Sydney Aldridge on bass, and Brody Washam on drums. Mixed and mastered by Braxton Matlock. Cover art by Jesse Solomon.]

22. Brandon Phillips & The Condition – “Contrition”
from: “Contrition” – Single / Brandon Phillips & The Condition / June 16, 2020
[The first release of the band’s Summer Singles 2020 Series. Brandon Phillips , Adam Phillips , Brent Kastler , Mike Alexander , Julie Berndsen , Julia Haile , and Nathan Showalter. Recorded and Mastered at Element Recording and Mastering with Joel Nanos. Mixed by Brandon Phillips. Art by Jud Kite. Follow up to their April 13, 2019 Too Much Rock release, “Angel Say No” / “People Talk” 7” single release. The group is inspired by Elvis Costello and the “girl groups” of Motown Records. This is a project of Brandon Phillips (The Architects, The Gadjits, Other Americans) and features an ensemble cast along with other musicians from other bands.]

11:29 – Underwriting

Betse & Clarke

23. Betse & Clarke – “We Can Get Across”
from: Winter / Betse & Clarke / June 4, 2020
[A collection of songs and tunes, including original compositions, traditional songs and fiddle tunes, and modern songs re-envisioned. This recording was compiled during winter 2020, with a feeling of introspection. Songs under copyright were properly licensed for this digital release. Regular folks, exceptional music: This duo from the heartland (Kansas City, Missouri) has its roots in Ozark old time music, honoring traditional songs and tunes that resonate with human experience. New compositions add compelling elements to their musical tapestry. Follow up to the duo’s 2017 release, Tunes We Like released only in analog on cassette. Betse & Clarke are a traditional and future folk duo with Betse Ellis on fiddles, violins, viola & vocals and Clarke Wyatt on banjos, guitar, cello, multi-instruments. Betse & Clarke have played and toured around the world. Individually their musical roots go deep in the KC music scene. Clarke Wyatt is a founding member of Mr. Marco’s V7, and Betse Ellis is a founding member of The Wilders. Last year Betse & Clarke released ”River Still Rise,” originals and reworked traditional compositions presented “to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name.” http://www.betseandclarke.com]

24. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “Bottle of Rye” [Betse Ellis on lead vocals]
from: Kansas City Songs Vol. 3 / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / June 10, 2020
[More songs certified to have been written, performed, and recorded in Kansas City.-Howard Iceberg. All words and music by Howard Iceberg. Recorded and mixed by Brendan Moreland at Temple Sounds Studio; except “Natalie,” recorded and mixed by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios. Players: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals (except as noted), guitar; Chad Brothers on lead vocal (By Your Side), harmony vocal, guitar; Betse Ellis on lead vocal (Bottle of Rye), fiddle, harmony vox ; Clarke Wyatt on banjo, guitar, keyboards; Andrew Mojo Morris on lead vocal (Promises To Keep), harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo; Julie Bates-Motel on fiddle, harmony vocals; Chris DeVictor on bass; Phil Wade on dobro; Brendan Moreland on electric guitar; Brett Hodges on lead vocal and guitar (Natalie); Roger Eilts on guitar and harmony vocal (Natalie); Leo Eilts – bass and harmony vocal (Natalie); Erin Corriveau on harmony vocals. Follow up to Howard’s 2017/2018 release Netherland’s his Jazz infused album recorded with Rich Hill, Bryan Hicks , Doug Auwarter and others. Legendary Kansas City Singer Songwriter – Howard Eisberg records and performs under the name Howard iceberg. Heis one of the most prolific and poetic songwriters of the Kansas City music scene. He has written hundreds, possibly thousands of songs. Howard has done all of this while also leading a distinguished career as an immigration attorney, and he has donated much of his time and music to valuable projects that serve our community. Howard Iceberg began performing in coffeehouses in the late 1980s with fellow area independent songwriters Scott Hrabko and Iris DeMent. Over the past three decades he has released countless CDs, and recorded multiple collections of songs. In 2011, Howard Iceberg & The Titanics released a seven CD, box set, of 106 new songs, all instant classics. In 2014 he released a collection called Spring 2014, on his birthday May 9, 2015 he released, Smooth Sailing which included 13 new songs. In September 2016 Howard released a 2 CD set of 26 new tracks called, “Kansas City Songs.”]

25. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “A Jukebox in a Bar”
from: Kansas City Songs Vol. 3 / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / June 10, 2020
[More songs certified to have been written, performed, and recorded in Kansas City.-Howard Iceberg. All words and music by Howard Iceberg. Recorded and mixed by Brendan Moreland at Temple Sounds Studio; except “Natalie,” recorded and mixed by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios. Players: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals (except as noted), guitar; Chad Brothers on lead vocal (By Your Side), harmony vocal, guitar; Betse Ellis on lead vocal (Bottle of Rye), fiddle, harmony vox ; Clarke Wyatt on banjo, guitar, keyboards; Andrew Mojo Morris on lead vocal (Promises To Keep), harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo; Julie Bates-Motel on fiddle, harmony vocals; Chris DeVictor on bass; Phil Wade on dobro; Brendan Moreland on electric guitar; Brett Hodges on lead vocal and guitar (Natalie); Roger Eilts on guitar and harmony vocal (Natalie); Leo Eilts – bass and harmony vocal (Natalie); Erin Corriveau on harmony vocals.]

Sam Wells

26. Sam Wells – “Sugar”
from: “Sugar” – Single / Sam Wells / April 21, 2020
[Produced at the Lawrence Kansas Public Library recording studio. It was only a decade ago, Sam Wells sat in her bedroom learning the Corrine Bailey Ray classic “Put Your Records On”. This was all it took to ignite a lifetime love affair with music. Now based in Lawrence KS, the singer-songwriter brings her Folk-Americana sound to the greater Kansas City area. With her smooth and sultry voice and the warm tones of a baritone ukulele, she shares stories of love, loss and everything in between. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Sam Wells is now based in Lawrence, Kansas where she is bringing her music to the greater Kansas City area, in many venues, and now in live stream shows. Folk Americana singer and songwriter Sam Wells joins us to talk about her first two singles, “Lesson Learned” (her debut) and “Sugar” (her latest) that is “full of energy and funk.” These two tracks are leading up to the release of Sam’s first EP, “Not Too Broken,” be released in August, 2020. More info at: http://www.whoissamwells.com]

The Republic Tigers

27. The Republic Tigers – “Trust Fall”
from: Mind Over Matter / The Record Machine / June 5, 2020
[Hailing from Kansas City, MO, The Republic Tigers spike their lushly orchestrated indie rock with organic and synthetic elements. Founder Kenn Jankowski originally moved to Kansas City in 1999 and began playing guitar for The People, a band that later changed its name to The Golden Republic (Astralwerks Records). He also made fast friends with local musicians Ryan Pinkston and Adam McGill; and when The Golden Republic disbanded seven years later, he opted to launch his pop-based project with the other two multi-instrumentalists. Taking their name from Jankowski’s high school mascot, The Republic Tigers expanded their lineup with bassist Marc Pepperman and drummer Justin Tricomi. Electronic structures remained to play an important role in their music (via convenience/sensible creation-farming/forming), and the band issued a self-titled EP in late 2007 before putting the finishing touches on Keep Color, which arrived in 2008. Then there was a cool EP in 2011 titled “No Land’s Man” which featured the emo smash hit “The Infidel” and the extremely fun “Merrymake It With Me”. And then a second concept LP was concocted, “Mind Over Matter” – written from the year 2008 to the year 2011. Mixed and mastered in the year 2012. But then it was sadly shelved by the original labels. Which leads us to now, the year is 2020. Something new is going to happen. “Mind Over Matter” will be released on hometown indie label The Record Machine.]

28. The Freedom Affair – “Imagine”
from: “Imagine” – Single / Sunflower Soul Records / March 20, 2020
[Music & Lyrics by John Lennon. The Freedom Affair is a project of Chris Hazelton of Sunflower Soul Records and Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7. The Freedom Affair is: Misha Roberts on vocals, Seyko Groves on vocals, Paula Saunders on vocals, Cole Bales on guitar, Branden Moser on guitar, Chris Hazelton on bass, Dave Brick on drums, Pete Carroll on trumpet, and Brett Jackson on saxophone. Additional musicians include: Matt Bennett on violin, and Alyssa Bell in viola. Arranged, Produced, Recorded, & Mixed by Chris Hazelton. Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio. The Freedom Affair and their track “Rise Up” were selected to be part of Colemine Records 3xLP box set, “Soul Slabs Vol. 2” a Record Store Day Exclusive, released April 13, 2019. Colemine Records writes: “The Freedom Affair is a freight train of Kansas City soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!”]

29. The MGDs – “Tomorrow Comes Soon”
from: Midtown / The MGDs / March 26, 2020
[Midtown is the MGDs fourth full length release following, Somos Como Somos, from November 4, 2017. The band includes: Matt Davis on drums, percussion & vocals; Greg Bush on bass; Damon Parker on keyboards & vocals; Scott “Snoof” Middleton on guitar; Rudy Vasquez on saxophones; and Eric Martens on trumpet. This Kansas City based 6-piece band that mixes piano and brass with a dynamic rhythm section that adds a unique flavor to the iconic Kansas City music culture, blending of funk and blues with soulful stylings. In what started as a 3-piece between longtime friends Matt, Greg and Damon in 2008, the MGDs have evolved into a potent powerhouse, high-energy ensemble with regular monthly appearances at the Phoenix, and appearances at the Sunset Music Fest, the City Market Crawfish Fest, the 6th annual Phoenix Fest, Crossroads Music Fest, Middle of The Map Fest, Boulevardia, The Plaza Art Fair, Kauffman Stadium before two Kansas City Royals games. In 2016 the band released, “Wake Up” their 2nd full length studio album.]

30. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

11:58 – Arts Calendar

Next week on Wednesday, June 24 we present (part two) of WMM’s Favorite MidCoastal Releases of 2020…So Far. We’ll hear from The Sluts, Misha Roberts, City Pets, Ingrid Ingram, Broken Hearts Syndrome, Hi-Lux, Adam Scott York, Ivy Roots, The Roseline, Amy Marcus, Jake Wells, They Call Me Sauce featuring Mae C, Monta At Odds, R.I. Peter, Belle And The Vertigo Waves, Koney, The Guillotine Choir, Jo Mackenzie, Soultru, jordana, DeMaur, Stacy Busch, Nick Siegel, and Kadesh Flow. Plus we will talk with musician, composer, activist Stacy Busch.

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

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

Show #842

WMM Playlist from Jan. 2, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Wednesday MidDay Medley Celebrates Iris DeMent

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

2. Greg Brown – “Let The Mystery Be”
from: Freak Flag / Yep Roc / May 10, 2011
[Iris Dement’s song “Let The Mystery Be” from her debut Infamous Angel, from 1992. This song was covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos, and many others, it also became the theme song for the 2nd season of The Leftovers.While Greg Brown was recording this album, lighting hit the studio where Greg Brown he was recording songs for his 24th album: Freak Flag, the title track was all that remained of the lost original album. Greg wrote ten new songs, recording them at Memphis, Tennessee’s legendary Ardent Studios. Produced by Bo Ramsey, the album also includes a cover of Pieta Brown’s song ”Remember the Sun.”]

Thanks for tuning into WMM, here on 90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio, 
I’m Mark Manning. Today we celebrate the birthday of Iris DeMent, born January 5, 1961, in rural Paragould, Arkansas. She was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of 3, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music. During her teenage years, Iris was exposed to country, folk, & R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, & Joni Mitchell.

Iris moved to the midwest, and after a series of jobs as a waitress and typist she wrote her first song at the age of 25. She moved to Kansas City and played Harling’s Upstairs and open-mic nights alongside Scott Hrabko and Howard Iceberg. Iris met producer Jim Rooney in Nashville, in 1988, who helped her land a record contract.

Iris Dement made her recording debut in 1992, with her independently produced album, “Infamous Angel.” The record won critical acclaim and John Prine mentioned Iris in his list of favorite recordings of the year published in Rolling Stone. Despite a complete lack of support from country radio, the word of mouth praise for Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel” earned her a deal with Warner Bros Records, which reissued “Infamous Angel” in 1993. The album also included the song, “Let The Mystery Be” a composition that has also been covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Greg Brown, and it was the theme song for the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers.

Today we feature music from Iris DeMent’s six full length albums, her vast collaborative studio work with artists such as: Greg Brown, John Prine, Nancy Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Tom Russell, Steve Earle, and Kansas City’s own, Gary Kirkland.

And we’ll also feature music from Iris DeMent’s inspirations: Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan.

Please stay with us.

Full disclosure, I love Iris DeMent. I’ve seen her live in concert over 8 times. I met Iris DeMent when I was working at Kinkos at 39th & Rainbow in 1992. Iris came in to copy press clippings, she was in the process of releasing her debut album. I wasn’t familiar with her music until I saw her on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1995, where she performed her song, “My Life.” I was blown away. I had video-taped the show, and I would replay that song for everyone that came to visit. I wanted everyone to know about Iris DeMent.

I ran into Iris at Classic Cup in Westport. By this point I had become a big fan of her music and I was sort of star stuck, but she approached me and asked, “How do I know you?” Our friendship was able to continue because we shared a mutual friend named Anne Winter, who invited me to a holiday party in Iris Dement’s River Market condo where we sang old fashioned hymns, with members of The Wilders. Anne Winter had become a close friend of Iris and even went out “on the road” with her at one point. Because of Anne, I stage managed a show at the Uptown Theatre with Michael Moore, Iris deMent and the Wilders all performing. Anne Winter also helped arranged for Iris to play one of our Big Bang Buffet shows in 1999 at The Hobbs Building. In 2002 Iris agreed to do a benefit show for Friends of Community Radio. At this point she was living in Coleman Heights in Kansas City and invited Linda Wilson and I to a home cooked meal at her house, to talk aver the details of the show. In 2004 Iris and Greg Brown performed together in a show with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” to raise over $10,000.00 for KKFI. Iris never took a penny from any of these shows, and has always been such a generous supporter of 90.1 FM. She recognized as a singer songwriter how important community radio is for independent artists like herself, and she has always given back, to help keep this radio station alive. Because of Iris DeMent’s generosity, and in honor of our dear friend Anne Winter, who we lost in 2009, I vowed to pay tribute to Iris on her birthday, each year, with this radio show.

Influences of Iris DeMent

3. Loretta Lynn & Jack White – “Portland Oregon”
from: Van Lear Rose / Interscope / 2004 [produced by Jack White of The White Stripes and Racontuers. It was initially intended as a musical experiment, blending the styles of country singer-songwriter Lynn and producer White, who performs on the whole album as a musician. At the time, Lynn was 69 and White was 28. The title refers to Lynn’s origins as the daughter of a miner working the Van Lear coal mines. The album was the most successful crossover music album of Lynn’s 45-year career. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Lynn won: Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her duet with White.]

4. Johnny Cash & Joni Mitchell – “Girl From North Country”
from: The Best of The Johnny Cash TV Show / Columbia Legacy / 2007
[a TV music variety show that ran for 58-episodes from June 7, 1969 to March 31, 1971 on ABC. It featured many folk/country musicians of the time: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Merle Haggard, James Taylor and Tammy Wynette. It also featured other musicians such as jazz great, Louis Armstrong, who died 8 months after recording the show. Recorded at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, then home of the Grand Ole Opry. The first show featured Joni Mitchell, Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw, Fannie Flagg and Bob Dylan. The show included a “Country Gold” segment that featured legends never seen on network TV such as Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys. Cash refused to cut the word “stoned” from Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, he stood by his Christian faith “despite network anxieties”, and persisted in bringing on Pete Seeger whose anti-Vietnam song on another network had “caused a firestorm.” He premiered his Man in Black song on an episode filmed at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University’s campus. The show was dumped in 1971 as part of ABC’s so-called “rural purge,” which also claimed that network’s The Lawrence Welk Show.]

5. John Prine w/ Iris Dement – “We’re Not The Jet Set”
from: In Spite Of Ourselves / Oh Boy / 1999
[In 1968 country superstar George Jones witnessed a fight between Tammy Wynette and her husband Don Chapel. At Jones’s urging, Wynette and her daughters drove away with him. Wynette and Jones married Feb. 16, 1969, and Wynette’s 4th daughter, Georgette, was born in 1970. Jones and Wynette, were nicknamed the “President and First Lady” of country music, and they recorded a string of hit duets that seemed drawn directly from their volatile relationship, which resulted in their divorcing in 1975. Their classic recordings included “Two Story House,” “Golden Ring,” and the humorous “(We’re Not) The Jet Set.” ]

6. Loretta Lynn – “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man”
from: Legends of Country Music / Columbis Legacy / 1997
[Live performance for Austin City Limits taped in 1983. Loretta Webb was the second of 8 children; grew up in Butcher Holler, a section of Van Lear, a mining community in Kentucky. Growing up with such humble roots had a huge effect on Lynn’s life and heavily influenced her music as an adult. Her autobiography describes how, during her childhood, the community had no motor vehicles, paved roads, or flush toilets. She married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, known as “Doo,” on Jan. 10, 1948, at age 13. In an effort to break free of the coal mining industry, at 14, Lynn moved to the logging community Custer, Washington, with her husband. The Lynns had 4 children – Betty Sue, Jack Benny, Cissy and Ernest Ray – by the time Loretta was 18, and in her early 20s she then had twin girls, Peggy & Patsy. No stranger to controversy, Loretta Lynn possibly had more banned songs than any other country music artist, prior to The Dixie Chicks, including “Rated X,” about the double standards divorced women face, “Wings Upon Your Horns,” about the loss of teenage virginity, and “The Pill,” lyrics by T. D. Bayless, about a wife and mother becoming liberated via the birth control pill. Her song “Dear Uncle Sam,” released in 1966 during the Vietnam War, describes a wife’s anguish at the loss of a husband to war. It has been included in live performances during the US – Iraq War.]

7. Merle Haggard – “Workin’ Man Blues”
from: Oh Boy Classic Presents Merle Haggard / Oh Boy Records / 2000 [Originally released in 1969, a tribute to a core group of his fans: The American blue-collared working man. Backed by an electric guitar that typified Haggard’s signature Bakersfield Sound, he fills the role of one of those workers expressing pride in values of hard work and sacrifice, despite the resulting fatigue and the stress of raising a large family. Included on Haggard’s 1969 album “A Portrait of Merle Haggard.” Included in this collection on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records.]

10:25 – Underwriting

Influences of Iris DeMent

Iris DeMent represents that place in the road, where Country and Folk music merged with honest stories, of working class people, not afraid to tell the truth about the times they are living through. Iris DeMent grew up singing gospel music. During her teenage years she was first exposed to country, folk, and R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.

8. Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire”
from: 16 Biggest Hits / Columbia Legacy / 2007
[co-written by June Carter (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore. The song was recorded on March 25, 1963 and became the biggest hit of his career, staying at #1 on the charts for 7 weeks. “Ring of Fire” refers to falling in love – which is what June Carter was experiencing with Johnny Cash at the time. Some sources claim that June had seen the phrase, “Love is like a burning ring of fire,” underlined in one of her uncle A. P. Carter’s Elizabethan books of poetry. She worked with Kilgore on writing a song inspired by this phrase as she had seen her uncle do in the past. In the 2005 film, Walk the Line June is depicted as writing the song while agonizing over her feelings for Cash despite his drug addiction and alcoholism as she was driving home one evening. She had written: “There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns”. Cash claims he had a dream where he heard the song accompanied by “Mexican horns”. Four years after the song was released, Carter and Cash were married which Cash states helped to stop his alcohol and drug addictions. Cash’s daughter, Rosanne has stated, “The song is about the transformative power of love and that’s what it has always meant to me and that’s what it will always mean to the Cash children.]

9. Bob Dylan – “I Shall Be Released”
from: The Essential Bob Dylan / Columbia – Sony / 2000
[Originally recorded October, 1971. ]

10. Joni Mitchell – “For The Roses”
from: For The Roses / Asylumn / 1972
[Released between her 2 biggest commercial and critical successes – “Blue” and “Court & Spark”. In 2007 it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. The title song “For the Roses” was Mitchell’s farewell to the business; she took an extended break for a year after. The album was critically acclaimed with The New York Times saying “Each of Mitchell’s songs on For the Roses is a gem glistening with her elegant way with language, her pointed splashes of irony and her perfect shaping of images. Never does Mitchell voice a thought or feeling commonly. She’s a songwriter and singer of genius who can’t help but make us feel we are not alone.” A nude photograph of Joni Mitchell was included on the inside cover of the original LP and is included in the CD booklet. The photograph shows the singer from the rear and was taken from a considerable distance; she is shown standing on a rock and staring out at the ocean. This created some controversy at the time.]

Iris DeMent’s first three releases, all on Warner Brothers records, were critically acclaimed, and she received two Grammy nominations during this time, in the “Folk Music” category. Meanwhile country radio completely overlooked her original songs, and amazing voice that has been compared to Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. For her 1992 debut record, John Prine wrote the liner notes.

[Read the liner notes from John Prine]

“One night after receiving a copy of “Let the Mystery Be,” I was listening to the tape while frying a dozen or so pork chops in a skillet. Well Iris DeMent starts singing about “Mama’s Opry,” and being the sentimental fellow I am, I got a lump in my throat and a tear fell from my eyes into the hot oil. Well the oil popped out and burnt my arm as if the pork chops were trying to say, “Shut up, or I’ll really give you something to cry about.” Of course, pork chops can’t talk. But Iris DeMent’s songs can. They talk about isolated memories of life, love and living. And Iris has a voice I like a whole lot, like one you’ve heard before— but not really. So listen to this music, this Iris DeMent. It’s good for you. And if pork chops could talk, they’d probably learn how to sing one of her songs. Then we’d all have something to cry about.”

– John Prine, Songwriter, musician & president Oh Boy! Records

11. Iris DeMent – “Infamous Angel”
from: Infamous Angel / Warner Brothers / 1992 / 1993

Iris followed up her debut record with the autobiographical, “My Life,” released in 1994 and quickly followed with her third Warner Brother’s release, “The Way I Should,” released in 1996, which contains some of Iris DeMent’s most political songs.

12. Iris DeMent – “My Life”
from: My Life / Warner Brothers / 1994

13. Iris DeMent – “The Way I Should”
from: The Way I Should / Warner Brothers / 1996
[Produced by Randy Scruggs]

Collaborations

14. Nanci Griffith w/Iris & Emmylou – “Are You Tired of Me Darling”
from: Other Voices Other Rooms / Elektra / 1993
[High Harmony – Iris / Low Harmony – Emmylou Harris]
[Nanci Griffith’s 10th album. Here she pays homage to other songwriters who have influenced her own career.]

15. Gary Kirkland w/Iris – “Just For Me”
from: Shootin’ The Works on Love / Dark Horse / 2003

11:00 – Station I.D.

16. John Prine w/ Iris – “In Spite of Ourselves”
from: In Spite of Ourselves/ Oh Boy / 1999
[written by John Prine]

17. Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band w/Iris – “I’m Still In Love With You”
from: The Mountain / E – Squared / 1999
[Released February 23, 1999. Songs were written by Earle as a tribute to the founder of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, who had died in 1996.]

18. Tom Russell w/Iris – “Love Abides”
from: The Man From God Knows Where / Hightone / 1999

11:13 – Underwriting

Greg Brown

In the 2002 Iris DeMent did a benefit concert for The Friends of Community Radio at Unity Temple on The Plaza. I remember when Iris asked us if it was okay that she have a musician friend open the concert for her, we agreed because Iris was donating her talent to the cause of community radio. And then she told us that this musician friend was Greg Brown, who at this point was known all over the country, but had never before played KC.

Later that year, on November 21, 2002 Greg married Iris DeMent in a private ceremony in the office of Rev. Sam Mann of St. Mark Church in East KC.

Grammy Nominated Greg Brown is one of the most repected singer songwriters working in music today. He started singing professionally at the age of 18 organizing early folk concerts in New York City, Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In the 1980s, he worked and toured extensively as musical director for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program. He also founded his own record label, named Red House Records after a home in which he lived in Iowa.

Greg Brown has released over 30 recordings and has allowed much of his music to be used to raise funds and awareness for environmental and social causes. His songs have been performed by Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Iris DeMent and Joan Baez.

19. Greg Brown w/Iris -“Jacob’s Ladder”
from: Honey in The Lion’s Head / Trailer / 2003

20. Greg Brown – “Wippoorwill”
from: Evening Call / Red House / 2006
[The Washington Post writes, “The singer-songwriter from Iowa has a baritone as rough and chunky as Thanksgiving gravy with the turkey bits still in, and that’s just how his words drip out on his album, “The Evening Call.” on “Whippoorwill” he sing as sweetly as his lover down in Kansas City. That’s his wife, Iris DeMent, and on “Joy Tears,” he tells her, “When you start your singing, honey, the heavens open up with grace.”]

21. Greg Brown – “Bucket”
from: Evening Call / Red House / 2006

In 2004 Iris DeMent independently released her 4th album, and her first in 8 years. It was a collection of protestant gospel hymns that she grew up hearing her mother sing. The album is called “Lifeline” and includes one original song called, “He Reached Down,” a song inspired by a sermon delivered by Rev. Sam Mann at St Mark Church in Kansas City.]

22. Iris DeMent – “He Reached Down”
from: Lifeline / Flariella / November 2, 2004
[Lifeline is the fourth album released by singer-songwriter Iris DeMent, released in 2004, eight years since her previous recording The Way I Should. Lifeline contains many traditional Protestant gospel songs DeMent describes as finding comfort in playing and singing. In her liner notes, DeMent recounts how her mother sang these songs in times of stress looking straight at the sky, “as if she were talking to someone.” DeMent’s rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” accompanies the closing credits of the Coen brothers’ True Grit (2010). Thom Jurek of Allmusic writes: “… [DeMent] claims that for her, too, the music contained here became her lifeline through a season of hardship… While this is far from a full return to form for Dement, it is truly good to have her back.” Music critic Robert Christgau wrote “Her heart cherishes Jesus’ memory, but her mind, voice, and soul remain her own.”]

After Lifeline it would be 8 more years before Iris DeMent would release another album.

Iris gave audiences a taste of her new music during a sold out benefit concert at The Folly Theatre with Greg Brown on November 11, 2011. The benefit was organised by friend Rev. Sam Mann for the St. Mark Child and Family and Development Center. Iris and Greg helped Rev Mann raise over $50,000.00 for the center that serves children and families on the east side in Kansas City.

Iris DeMent’s 2012 album “Sing The Delta” received glowing reviews from the UK publication UNcut, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and was in many Top Ten Lists of KC music affictionados, including being #1 on our list of WMM’s The 112 Best Recordings of 2012.

23. Iris DeMent – “Livin’ On The Inside”
from: Sing The Delta / Flariella / October 2, 2012
[Her first full-length release of original songs since 1996. Iris was our special guest on our Oct 10, WMM.]

In 2015 Iris DeMent released her 6th album, with national acclaim, and a #5 spot on WMM’s 115 Best Recordings of 2015. The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems. Iris recorded the album with co-producer Richard Bennett in her living room over a five-day period. The project also fulfilled a long yearned-for desire to connect with her adopted daughter’s culture and history. Iris and her husband Greg Brown adopted their daughter from Siberia in 2005, when she was 6, and Iris says ”I’d never have made this record were it not for her.”

24. Iris DeMent – “Listening to Singing”
from: The Trackless Woods / FlariElla / August 7, 2015
[6th album from Grammy nominated Iris DeMent who NPR said was ”one of the great voices in contemporary popular music.” The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends & fellow writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with Akhmatova’s lightness and transcendence in the face of inhumanity. ”Anna’s gift of song is so strong, about alI I had to do was get really quiet and listen,” says Iris. After reading that first poem the melodies began pouring out of her, and before she even fully understood what was driving her, Iris was gathering musicians & friends, including co-producer Richard Bennett (Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle), to record ‘The Trackless Woods’ in her living room over a 5-days. The result is a pairing of piano and voice in Iris’ style with timeless melodies that are rooted in the American South.]

Like Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, Iris DeMent has never shied away from lending her voice to justice and social causes. On March 2, 2017 in response to the election and policies of current President Donald Trump, Iris released her latest song “We Won’t Keep Quiet” on You Tube. Written and performed by Iris DeMent with members of the Iowa City community who sang with her, and participated in the Lift the Ban Rally in Iowa City, the Women’s March in Des Moines, and the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. The song has not been released anywhere other than You Tube.

25. Iris DeMent – “We Wont Be Quiet”
from: We Wont Be Quiet – Single / Unreleased / March 2, 2017
[Recorded and mixed by Deb Talan and Steve Tannen. The video was made by Mei-Ling Shaw with DC footage by Jordan Sellergren. RESIST!]

In his review for WHYY’s Fresh Air, Entertainment Weekly Music Editor – Ken Tucker wrote: “Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the ’70s and ’80s and had more commercial ambition, she’d probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Instead, she’s lived a contemporary life, a somewhat private life. As she recently told an interviewer, “There’s a lot that goes into life besides songwriting.” And she’s taken her time in composing songs that fit into no genre easily.”

Happy Birthday Iris DeMent! Thank you for all of the great music and thank you for donating your talents to raise thousands of dollars for non-for-profit charities in Kansas City including 90.1 FM – KKFI. We love you Iris DeMent!

For Wednesday MidDay Medley I’m Mark Manning. Thanks for listening!

26. Iris DeMent – “That’s The Way Love Goes”
from: NPR Studio Cuts / NPR / 2000
[Written by Lefty Frizzell, recorded in NPR Studios Dec. 16, 1997. Iris DeMent learned to sing and play this song from a Merle Haggard record.]

27. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next Week on January 9, Wednesday MidDay Medley Celebrates David Bowie featuring short stories about David Bowie from nine of his biggest fans: Michelle Bacon, Barry Lee, Ben Grimes, Cody Wyoming, Krystle Warren, Jesse Bartmess, Marion Merritt, Ian Michael Flanagan Johnson, and Nico Gray. We’ll feature representative tracks from some of the 27 studio albums of Bowie’s career, including songs he wrote or produced for: Lou Reed, and Mott the Hoople, and Bowie songs performed by: Joan As Police Woman, Col. Chris Hadfield, Nile Rodgers and James Murphy and the KC bands: Soft Reeds, and The Band That Fell To Earth. ALSO, Michelle Bacon joins us to share details about The Band That Fell To Earth and the 4th annual tribute to David Bowie with TWO nights of music: Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19, at recordBar, 1520 Grand.

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

Show #767

Wednesday MidDay Medley Celebrates Iris DeMent

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Wednesday MidDay Medley Celebrates Iris DeMent

WMM presents our annual celebration of Iris DeMent, born January 5, 1961, in rural Paragould, Arkansas. She was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of 3, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music. During her teenage years, Iris was exposed to country, folk, & R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, & Joni Mitchell.

Iris moved to the midwest and after a series of jobs as a waitress and typist, she wrote her first song at the age of 25. She moved to Kansas City and played Harling’s Upstairs and open-mic nights alongside Scott Hrabko and Howard Iceberg. Iris met producer Jim Rooney in Nashville, in 1988, who helped her land a record contract.

Iris Dement made her recording debut in 1992, with her independently produced album, “Infamous Angel.” The record won critical acclaim and John Prine mentioned Iris in his list of favorite recordings of the year published in Rolling Stone. Despite a complete lack of support from country radio, the word of mouth praise for Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel” earned her a deal with Warner Bros Records, which reissued “Infamous Angel” in 1993. The album also included the song, “Let The Mystery Be” a composition that has also been covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Greg Brown, and it was the theme song for the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers.

We’ll feature music from Iris DeMent’s six full length albums, her contributions to film, her vast collaborative studio work with artists such as: Greg Brown, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Tom Russell, Steve Earle, and Kansas City’s own, Gary Kirkland.

We’ll also feature music from Iris DeMent’s inspirations: Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan.

On your local radio dial 90.1 FM or
STREAMING LIVE at: kkfi.org

Show #767