Studio One

Since 2007 The Uniphonics have established themselves as one of the premier bands in Iowa and Illinois. Playing on bills with internationally touring superstars like Victor Wooten, EOTO, Primus, The Roots, Matisyahu, Members of G-Unit, Rusted Root and Parliament Funkadelic have helped build an enthusiastic fan base.

Iowa City electronic/jazz/rock quartet Slip Silo celebrated the release of its first full length album, Monsoons, on April 14th, 2012, the follow-up to the group’s 2009 self-titled EP. Formed in the summer of 2008, Slip Silo is comprised of talented, thoughtful musicians who studied jazz and who have appeared in groups such as Koplant No, OSG, Big Funk Guarantee, The Critical Hour, New Beat Society, and many more. The band combines a variety of influences to create a unique sound that listeners find delightfully difficult to classify.

Bryce Janey is an outstanding blues/rock axe slinger from Marion, Iowa. He began his career at the age of 13, touring regionally and nationally from Chicago to Los Angeles with a blues-rock trio called the Janey's. Bryce began his solo career in 1995 and has received widespread praise and accolades ever since. His newest album, "Blues in My Soul," features "soul-powered, retro-70s bluesey heavy guitar six string mojo."

Crooked Still boasts their musical prowess as a non-traditional bluegrass quintet and celebrates the recent release of their fourth album, Some Strange County. Known for their high-intensity, unusual instrumentation and innovative acoustic style, this Boston based band says that Some Strange County is their most personal and visionary album yet. During its recording, they band worked with Grammy award winning producer and engineer Gary Paczos (Alison Krauss and Union Station, Dolly Parton).

An indie artist from Richmond, Virginia, and one of the producers for albums by artists such as The Counting Crows, Jason Molina and Magnolia Electric Company, David Lowery has recently decided it is time to debut a solo record. His new CD, The Palace Guards, comes alongside successful projects as a lead singer and guitarist with rockers Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. His debut solor project features thoughtful yet simplistic lyrical work and mellow electric guitar.

Thankful Dirt, the indie/Americana Des Moines-based duo of Darren & Molly Matthews, strums and sings while crafting an intimate look into the lives and pain of the everyman while finding a way to calm your soul. The beauty in Thankful Dirt’s music comes not only from Molly’s powerful, soul snatching vocals but also from the unique relationship the two share in the project. Together they ignite a sound both unique and universally appealing. Music lovers ‘dig’ Thankful Dirt.

Big Blue Sky started as a father-son duo in the mid-90s by Jon Stravers Sr and Jon-Jon Stravers. Their musical style includes the influence of folk, bluegrass, blues, and reggae. In their music they seek a closer connection to the planet, and indeed their musical writing comes from the inspiration of wild places and a celebration of our natural heritage and the natural rhythms of life.

Whitney Mann is an old soul with a child's glow. Her story is only beginning. It's the story of a poetic farm girl from Michigan who grew up to open for Loretta Lynn. It's the story of a young woman whose voice will break your heart but whose songs will bring you back for more. Her new package of country ballads and barn tales is called The Western Sky.

Averaging over 100 shows per year, Chad Elliott has been on the road for more than a decade performing a blend of roots, blues and folk music. He has played across the country and has been lauded as a modern-day troubadour.

The Awful Purdies are an eclectic quintet of female multi-instrumentalists who take turns stepping up as song writer and lead singer. The ensemble purdify's each song they meet, letting the song lead the way. One song might require channeling the Andrew's Sisters, while another song might reach out to a rock-a-billy or Motown sensibility.

The Candymakers of Davenport, Iowa offer a sound that is contemporary, yet keeps the essence of old-school groove bands of music past. Emulating the many talents of artists such as Ben Harper, Aretha Franklin and BB King, it’s important to the band to produce an original sound that keeps fans craving for more.

Songwriters Sam Knutson and Milk & Eggs (Jordan Sellergren) have recently collaborated for The Englert Theatre's Iowa City Song Project, recording their duet "Up the Street From You" as part of the Englert's centennial celebration.

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are giving a nod to American traditional music, while boldly taking their own songs in new directions. Distinct vocals, tight harmonies, instrumental expertise, and creative arrangements are all essential characteristics of their unique sound. The group focuses on the original tunes of Lindsay Lou Rilko, which include true-life tales of bank-robbing aunties, moonshinin' grandpas, and celebrations of love, life, and nature.

Caroline Smith and Jesse Schuster—of Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps—will play a special duo performance on November 2nd for IPR’s Java Blend. This past summer, Caroline and Jesse toured as a duo, appearing at a small handful of intimate shows hosted in people's houses and living rooms across the Midwest. 

Mike Mangione & The Union is a touring group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. The band’s debut album, Tenebrae, received favorable press from all corners of the country, including the honor of being an All Music Guide Album Pick, while Blurt refers to their “tearstained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.”

Vicki and Joe Price, a husband and wife blues duo, combine talents on this energetic crowd pleaser released on their own label, Blues Acres Productions. Fun and spunky guitar riffs that make you stomp your feet, bob your head, and smile explode right out of the gate and don’t quit until the album is done.

Vicki’s powerful bluesy voice evokes an image of a woman in a 1920’s speakeasy singing her heart out.

No secrets between friends, ignorance is bliss. Brooks Strause is a singer, songwriter and musician from Iowa. Since first crawling out of incapacitating melancholy to begin playing music in the late nineteen-nineties when he was in high school, Brooks has written hundreds of songs, played numerous shows in and around Iowa, and toured in the United States and Canada.

The Giving Tree Band's third full-length and most recent release, "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious," spent multiple weeks on various radio charts (peaking at #15 on the Roots Music Report and #39 on the Americana Airplay Chart).

A seasoned 4-piece band based in the Quad Cities, Jim the Mule blends the twang of country with the gritty rock & roll textures of the late 60’s and early 70’s in order to produce something best described as Midwestern Alt-Country.

With a successful presence at SXSW and Summerfest 2012, plus airplay on 140 college radio stations, The Future Laureates are celebrating with unabashed energy and triumph. Offering positive punk-rock energy with folk/pop musicianship, their sonic champagne is frothing and bubbling with the release of their third studio album, FORTRESS SESSIONS. It is seriously full of fun.

The release of Side 2 exposes a different view of Des Moines musician Tony Bohnenkamp. For nearly twenty years Tony has been active in the music industry, but Side 2 marks the life-long musician’s debut solo album. Tony has played just about every role — owner of a successful recording studio, well-known dueling pianist, drummer for The Nadas, singer for Lunchbox, not to mention producer/songwriter/composer — but now it’s time for Tony to showcase his own material. “Every project I’ve ever worked on has been for someone else.

Wisconsin based singer-songwriter Jeremiah Nelson is constantly creating and reinventing his music with an ever-evolving cast of characters. “Drugs to Make You Sober”, Jeremiah Nelson’s new solo record feels like a real labor of love. It’s made up of seemingly traditional rock arrangements adorned with beautiful atmospheric and dreamy sonic wanderings.There’s something lonely and heartbreaking hiding underneath Nelson’s sonic layerings.

The Feralings are Benj Upchurch (mandolin / vocals), Nicole Upchurch (clawhammer banjo / vocals), Patrick Bloom (upright bass / vocals), and Stacy Webster (acoustic guitar / vocals), but the name is a bit of a misnomer, as the members of the band are far more likely to invite you to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea than they are to jump you and steal your beer money.

Begun as a side project between singer/songwriter Jen McClung and her husband, poet/musician Jim Coppoc, the Gatehouse Saints cover great lyricists from Leonard Cohen to Trent Reznor to the Dixie Chicks, and use these influences to build their own original music.

With story songs that search for community and shared meaning, Jen Chapin creates a funk and soul inspired kind of urban folk that has been called “brilliant and soulfully poetic” by National Public Radio and “addictive” by the Boston Globe. With five albums to her name, Chapin’s most recent release, ReVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder debuted in 2009 and was praised as sophisticated and miraculous.

Nic Arp is a singer-songwriter. He writes songs, he sings them. Other people write songs, he sings them. You should write a song, and he'll sing it.

He often plays with the Magnificent Few--the outrageously talented and devilishly handsome Dave Rosazza on lead electric guitar and Jim Rossen on harmonica. And sometimes others, like James Goodrich on the bass, and maybe a drummer or something, who knows? He lives in Iowa City, Iowa, with his daughter and two yippy little dogs.

Originally started as a psychedelic recording project in 2004, Brass Bed describes their produced and performed sound with the words “sunshine, sarcastic and sullen.” With a light-hearted, indie rock sound, the band pulls influence from 60’s revivalist bands like Dukes of the Stratosphear and the Elephant 6 Collective mixing feel-good rhythms with vocal harmonies and foot-tapping keyboard and guitar solos.

With a cool, indie, calypso-timed, jazz sound, Bermuda Report features Abbie Sawyer, formerly of Iowa City’s funk band, The Diplomettes, on vocals. Little Village says the band creates a “vacation in the tropics” through bluesy lyrics accompanied by jazz reminiscent melodies. The band’s five-track EP features Paul Kresowik, drums; Billy Legrand, guitar; Nick Leo, keyboard and Jeremiah Murphy, bass.

Koplant No mixes jazz, electronic and rock stylings to create a mystic progressive sound influenced by Radiohead, Telefon, Garbage Factory and Happy Apple. Complete Life, the band’s debut album, was released in October of 2010 and is said to be one of the best jazz rock records released in years by Omaha’s KIOS 91.5 FM in Nebraska. The band’s unique jazz fusion sound features Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet, Drew Morton on bass, Rob Baner on drums and Joe Vanderheyden on saxophone.

Producing a brand of Americana-country they like to call “Genuine Cornfed Cosmic Iowa Roots Music,” Scott Cochran and Flannel join Java Blend for this week’s broadcast. Calling Eastern Iowa home, the group coins an alternative country sound playing mostly original songs with a few covers thrown in the mix.