The Ann Arbor-based World Animal Awareness Society recently completed a census of the stray dog population in the city of Detroit. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with WA2S Executive Director Tom McPhee about the effort.
Former Detroiter Bettye LaVette has always defied description and categorization. While many of her contemporaries followed the dictates of their record label or management, Bettye forged her own identity. There was always a dark edge to Bettye's voice - even in her early R&B sessions such as "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man", recorded when she was 16 years old.
Whether recording with a group or going solo, guitarist Charlie Hunter has long been a favorite of both WEMU listeners and hosts. His newest offering pairs the 7-string guitarist up with drummer Scott Amendola. Their depth of musical sound makes it hard to believe that there are just two musicians, but these two are so adept and so complementary that they fill all the musical spaces. They will also likely fill all the spaces when they appear at The Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale on Thursday, November 1st.
Supporting regional musicians with airplay remains a highest priority at WEMU. As you peruse the "Sweet 16" for October 15th through the 21st, take note of the many recordings on the list with regional connections including the topper, "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by Detroiter, soul siren Bettye LaVette.
Never let it be said that when a major artist comes to town, that WEMU doesn't get behind the show and share music with listeners to let them know about the music they'll hear. We got behind last week's Joe Jackson concert at The Michigan Theater featuring violinist Regina Carter in a real big way.
Perhaps it was because the lead track on Marcus Miller's new CD "Renaissance" was called "Detroit" that the disc resonated so soundly with WEMU listeners and staff. Whatever the reason, it has become a fast favorite of listeners and staff alike.
It was a bittersweet occasion when Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett's new CD "I Can Make That Happen" once again topped WEMU's "Sweet 16" of most-played CDs for the week. Just after the disc was released nationally, Johnnie passed away on August 4th due to cancer.
For the third week in a row, the local all-star Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo has topped WEMU's airplay list with "Casa Versailles". Their CD release concert will be this Saturday at Kerrytown Concert House. We have details about the show in the "events" and "datebook" section of this website. This group is just one example of the outstanding musicians who live and work in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the Detroit area. It is an honor to play their music on WEMU and support our fantastic music community.
Congratulations are in order once again for conga player Alberto Nacif, saxophonist/flutist Paul Vornhagen, trumpeter Bob Mojica, pianist Brian DiBlassio, percussionist Javier Barrios and bassist Patrick Prouty with special guest percussionist Pepe Espinosa for gaining the coveted top spot on WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" for the new CD "Casa Versailles" two weeks in a row. The members of Tumbao Bravo are based in communities all over Southeastern Michigan and record for bassist Paul Keller's PKO Records label, now operating in Saline, Michigan. Featuring their music dovetails perfectly with WE
Perhaps their "Top Of The Park" show for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on July 4th helped propel them to the number one spot in WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen", but they likely would have achieved the spot without the show.
We at WEMU love highlighting local artists, and this ensemble of musicians from Ann Arbor, Brighton and Detroit is simply one of the best. Every member is a leader in his own right.
We are especially proud of their conga player, Dr. Alberto Nacif, former host of "Cuban Fantasy" until Marc Taras took over for him.