Music News

The Host Country

We're kicking off our third season of Studio One Underground on March 8th! We'll be joined by  the Des Moines band The Host Country, founded by singer-songwriters Ty Wistrand and Diana Weishaar. Over the years, The Host Country has expanded to a five-piece band and become well-known for their honest, heartfelt lyrics, strong melodies and powerful vocals.

The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was founded in 1997 in Arnold’s Park, Iowa. Just over 10 years old, the hall has named a number of prominent Iowa musicians, music lovers and promoters to be a part of its legacy. Every year, there is a vote to induct people who have made a significant contribution to music in Iowa.

The new album from long-time Iowa favorites The Nadas is just out. "One Louder" is the 11th studio album for a band now marking their 25th year in the business. The Nadas will help IPR kick off the 2018 Studio One Underground series from the Basement venue of the Des Moines Social Club January 4th at 7 PM. Tony Dehner will host the show which is free and open to the public. The band will be playing some of their older favorites and plenty of new material from "One Louder." 

Courtesy of Bob Dorr

Rock and roll babies, here's your best of list for 2017, according to Bob Dorr! He talked about his favorite releases and re-releases of the year with Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe. 

Elvin Bishop - Big Fun Trio

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio combines Elvin's signature good humor song writing and guitar playing with Bob Welsh, the keys player in Elvin's regular band and Willy Jordan on Cajon, a South American percussion instrument. That disc came out in early 2017, I expect it to win some major awards.

Tony Dehner / Iowa Public Radio

Lots of new music was released in 2017; here at Iowa Public Radio, we received more than 2,000 albums. If wading through all of that sounds overwhelming, never fear. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Tony Dehner and Mark Simmet of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One about their favorite albums of the year. 

We've also had our most musically-minded staff curate their top five favorite albums of this year, including Morning Edition host Clay Masters. Check out our Spotify playlist and read album reviews below. 

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode – cropping and lighting changes made
Peter Shanks

As you ponder what to give as gifts for the music-lovers in your life, consider the expertise of some Iowa Public Radio music hosts. In this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hears about the notable releases and recordings of 2017 from the host of IPR's The Folk Tree Karen Impola, as well as classical music host Barney Sherman.

Karen Impola's top folk music picks for 2017

1. Catfish Keith – "Shake Sugaree" – Mississippi River Blues

2. Al Murphy – "Steamboat Quickstep" – Hogs in the Cornfield

Lisa-Maria Mazzucco courtesy www.chiaraquartet.net

Tune in at 7PM tonight (Oct. 4th) for IPR's first live broadcast from the beautiful new Voxman Music Building in Iowa City.  You'll hear the renowned Chiara String Quartet, known for such innovations as performing masterpieces from memory. They'll be going their separate ways next September, so now's the time to catch them at their peak!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Wow! Everything anyone has said about siblings singing together is true! Check out the amazing harmony of Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms. They dropped by IPR’s Studio One for a short performance and some conversation with IPR’s Mark Simmet. The harmonies are really striking and are, of course, reminiscent of a couple of Iowa’s favorite sons The Everly Brothers, but these Minneapolis brothers are top-notch writers and arrangers too! All four of these tunes are from their album “You’re Dreaming” and the final tune you may recognize from the TV series Twin Peaks.

You may have noticed during this pledge drive that we had some new music beds that we used as we were taking a minute to talk about how wonderful it feels to support Iowa Public Radio financially. If you heard any of those and thought, "huh, I like that, wonder what song it is," we've got your back. 

Peter Seymour at http://www.projecttrio.com/press-photo-gallery

Join us Wednesday, Sept. 6, at noon - in person, on air, or with video on Facebook Live - for a performance by the uniquely innovative Project Trio. Be part of the studio audience, OR listen on-air, OR watch online at IPR's Facebook page! Gramophone wrote that Project Trio is "willing and able to touch on the gamut of musical bases ranging from Baroque to nu-Metal," and the New York Times called flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does.” Intrigued?

Jamie Arrigo, 2017

Tune in for tonight's LA Philharmonic broadcast to hear Brahms, Ravel - and James Matheson. Born in Des Moines in 1970, Matheson has become one of America's most honored and widely performed composers. From 2009-2015 he also served as director of the LA Philharmonic's Composer Fellowship Program, and tonight at 7 that orchestra plays the premiere of his latest tone poem, Unchained. Also on the program is Helene Grimaud playing the epic Piano Concerto no. 2 of Brahms, a composer this French pianist is especially identified with.

Chris Wahlberg, courtesy San Francisco Symphony

When the San Francisco Symphony appointed the American conductor, composer, and pianist Michael Tilson Thomas as its music director, the chemistry was perfect from the start. The orchestra and "MTT" inspired each other creatively, and conveyed the artistic excitement to listeners. That was in 1995, and since then the orchestra has gained even more international renown than it already had, winning the most prestigious international prizes, including the Gramophone Award, France's Grand Prix du Disque, Japan's Record Academy, and no fewer than 11 Grammy Awards.

Tim Schoon, University of Iowa

School is back, and so is IPR's monthly classical request show! The next edition goes live this Friday, August 25th from 2 PM - 4 PM. What pieces would you like to share with other IPR listeners? Send your requests to classical-request@iowapublicradio.org by Thursday, August 24th. Please ask for two pieces, in case one of your choices has been broadcast recently.

Iowa songwriting power-duo Society of Broken Souls— comprised of multi-instrumentalists Lauryn Shapter and Dennis James— shares vivid stories against lush musical backdrops on this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend." 

Download the free podcast above to hear the group's raw, fearless songs, as well as the story of their difficult-but-necessary decision to leave their day jobs behind and pursue music full time. IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer hosts. 

Iowa City native Bridget Kearney, most known for her work as bassist for the band Lake Street Dive, is out with her debut solo album “Won’t Let You Down.” During this Talk of Iowa interview, she talks with host Charity Nebbe about her approach to songwriting, and the new music videos she created for this album. 

"Whenever I had time off from Lake Street Dive, I was really excited to be in the studio," she says. "It was a great way to keep engaging that side of my brain and to stay excited about music and songs." 

Iowa City singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen has it all: a killer voice, deft guitar chops, and catchy songs. In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," the soul-folk crooner showcases all three with host Ben Kieffer. 

Download the free podcast below to hear Moen's performance, as well as some wildly entertaining stories from her recent European tour and details from her upcoming full-length album. 

Barney Sherman

A number of you have asked about the Spring Silent Drive spot featuring some of IPR's youngest supporters:

EUYO YEC 2015 (c) Peter Adamik.jpg at wikimedia.com

Join Barney from 2-4pm today (Friday) for the inaugural spin of IPR Classical's monthly request show. Your requests filled up the two-hour playlist quickly, with welcome favorites and neglected delights. Tune in to hear what you and other listeners chose!

Ben Kieffer

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Des Moines singer-songwriter Ryne Doughty joins host Ben Kieffer for an hour of authentic Midwest folk music played by some of Iowa's best musicians. 

Download the podcast below to hear Doughty— joined by Iowa blues legend Pat Hazell on harmonica and Des Moines percussionist Will Locker— play a set full of catchy, feel good tunes that won't leave your head for days. 

Peter Adamik By Euyo editor - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46860288

Is there a classical piece you'd love to share on Iowa's airwaves? Now you can. IPR's monthly classical request feature will debut on Barney's show on Friday, March 31st, from 2-4 PM, and it's easy to participate. Here's how:

 1.) Send your request by email to classical-request@iowapublicradio.org by midnight, Thursday, March 30th.

facebook.com/listentopieta

We have some great live sets coming up on Studio One Tracks in the next couple of months, both in IPR's Cedar Falls studios and at the Basement venue of the Des Moines Social Club!  

Most record labels find artists who already have an audience and then use their talent and following to make money. What if the business model worked a little different, and the label had the time to invest in helping an artist to develop their art and grow as a professional businessperson at the same time? That’s the same question Tobi Parks with Station 1 Records, which operates as a non-profit in Des Moines, had. During this hour, she talks with host Charity Nebbe about the label.

Quinn Johnston/Courtesy of the Cerney Brothers

Live music enthusiasts of Iowa, rejoice. Your options are expanding. There's a new start up in Des Moines that intends to match people who want to host house concerts with musicians. It's called HomeDitty. 

During this segment, host Charity Nebbe talks with Katie Byers, founder and CEO of a matchmaking service of sorts called HomeDitty, meant to connect artists with people who want to host concerts. 

Monika Rittershaus / per OTRS - Pressestelle der Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker

At 4 PM Sunday or 7 PM Monday, tune in for a Carnegie Hall concert of Beethoven's 4th and 6th ("Pastoral") Symphonies by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. After 16 years as principal conductor in Berlin, Rattle is heading home next year to the UK for a new post with the London Symphony Orchestra. But first he and the Berlin wanted to do the Beethoven cycle, and here's a chance to hear part of it in concert!

Lou Brutus at Wikipedia

Just how much is classical music about classics? According to the 2016 Mega-Meta-List, about 80%. Yes, I'm joking when I answer a complex, subjective question with a number (trust me, it was funny in Douglas Adams), but quantifying the unmeasurable is sort of what the meta-list project does.

Courtesy of Asher Brown

 Iowa based singer-songwriter Asher Brown describes himself as a self-made man. His new album "Pitchforks" is an autobiographical album about the realization that he is transgender and his transition to life as a man. During this Talk of Iowa interview, he talks with host Charity Nebbe. 

Brown says one of his biggest concerns about transitioning was about his singing voice. 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Celtic folk artist Keith Reins and renowned Celtic violinist Tara McGovern take listeners through the anatomy of various folk songs of the British Isles. 

The fascinating performance comes as part of Keith Rein's multi-platform project, "Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School," which combines thoughtful essays, thorough research and, of course, performance.  

Listen to the podcast below for an engaging hour of folk songs, history, and chat with Java Blend host Ben Kieffer. 

Hang out with Des Moines indie-psych-rock band The Fuss in this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend." 

Listen to the podcast below to hear about the up and coming band's origins, its subsequent rise through the burgeoning Des Moines DIY scene, and its sonically adventurous tunes. 

city_of_dis, Wikimedia Commons

For this year's classical mega-meta-list, I found 70 "best classical of the year" lists from 27 countries,  entered them into a spreadsheet, and hit "sort." A few albums soared to the top, and in Part 1 I celebrated tho

dustinsmith.bandcamp.com

We've had some great live shows in recent months on Studio One Underground, live from The Basement venue of the Des Moines Social Club.  The Surf Zombies in January, The Max Wellman Quintet in February, and coming up this Thursday, March 2- Dustin Smith!  He's currently working on a full length Dustin Smith album with Logan Christian at Midday Studios for release later this year.  On Thursday night, Dustin and his band will treat us to all new material from this upcoming record.

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