Music

Music News from WEMU

Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Before their December 15th performance at The Ark, Orpheum Bell stopped by the 89.1 WEMU studios to talk to us on the The Roots Music Project for a live interview and performance.

Listen to the full performance and interview here:


Happy Holidays from WEMU-FM!

Dec 5, 2013

Happy Holidays from the staff of 89.1 WEMU and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year.

http://bobbywatson.com/

 Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson believes that music is a tool for greater good.  His new CD, Check Cashing Day is a stirring jazz tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech and to the greater good it inspires.  Linda Yohn will feature

 This morning on 89.1 Jazz.  Music starts at 9am streaming at on wemu.org and on 89.1, WEMU.

Thanksgiving is one of America’s greatest days of celebration - and great food! WEMU gets you in the mood with our annual Food Song Festival! Today we're celebrating the cooks, the diners and the delicacies from soup, salad and savory main courses to dessert and drinks. And – we have fun!

Courtesy photo / Electro-Fi

While Chicago may be America’s blues mecca, Detroiters are making a significant international impact in blues today, especially Seward Shah, better known as "Harmonica Shah”.  Now on the illustrious Electro-Fi label from Toronto, Detroiter Harmonica Shah has not changed his gritty, earthy, raw and rocking urban blues style one iota.  His songs reflect the deep heartbreak of living in present day Detroit while his classic harmonica licks reflects the birth of urban blues by Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Otis Spann.  If you were ever tempted to think that real blues is a thing of the past, Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me by Harmonica Shah will banish that thought.

MORE: Enter to Win this Electro-Fi CD set from WEMU-FM

Harrison Kennedy’s new Electro-Fi CD, Soulscape is another masterpiece of basic blues with Detroit connections.  Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Harrison Kennedy gained national fame as a member of the Detroit R&B group, The Chairmen Of The Board. They recorded for the Holland-Dozier-Holland Invictus label with hits such as Give Me Just A Little More Time and Skin I’m In. Edward Holland gave Kennedy 75 dollars to buy a guitar which he used to write many hits for the group.  

Harrison Kennedy is still a prolific songwriter but has added a variety of acoustic instruments to his blues arsenal.  On Soulscape you will hear his proficiency on banjo, mandolin, harmonica, spoons, fife, percussion and bread pan!  But, what will really touch you is his pliant voice and the poetry of his heartfelt lyrics.  His songs examine the eternal human condition and our modern miseries.  As with Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me, by Harmonica Shah, Soulscape by Harrison Kennedy will satisfy your soul’s craving for serious blues and roots music.

Courtesy photo

Piano-bass-drums.  How often have you heard a WEMU host repeat that instrumental combination?  More than you can count.  Yet, this trio format remains a source of endless variation and fascination.  A prime example of the possibilities is the new CD The Endless Mysteries by pianist George Colligan. 

 You have heard WEMU hosts repeat Colligan’s name for twenty years.   We discovered him in 1993 as the pianist for saxophonist Ron Holloway.  His debut recording as a leader, Activism followed in 1996 on Steeplechase Records.  Since then Colligan has created a body of work for solo piano and ensemble that deserves consideration for his compositions and technique.  

Jeff Haas of the New Jazz Archive stops by the WEMU studios ahead of the 100th anniversary of  his father, broadcasting legend,  Karl Haas' birth.  And to talk about a few new programs spearheaded by Jeff to advance the legacy of jazz to new generations. 

Listen to the full interview here: 

  

Late last month I witnessed the most creative music festival I know, and I'm back with some astonishing new music discoveries. The first annual Mountain Oasis festival took place in a number of venues in Asheville, N.C. the weekend before Halloween. Asheville's a city that, much like Austin, Texas or Portland, Ore., lives up to that often-used slogan "Keep (insert city name here) Weird." As music pours into the streets, you'll see people dressed up as gnomes in illuminated hats, traveling in packs along with jellyfish, various monsters or even giant butterflies.

Lead in text: 

With over a century of rich and colorful history (so far!), American jazz has no shortage of marquee and impactful eras worthy of study. It is possible, however, that preceding and formative jazz evolutions expressed their culmination during the final year of the decade of the 1950s. The special sound of 1959 brought us genre-defining recordings from some of the most important artists of jazz history. Even more remarkable is the fact that these standout recordings came from both the new faces in modern jazz (Dave Brubeck, Omette Coleman) and the veterans of early jazz (Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald). Join us here to enjoy the unique musical experience of 1959 – the transcendent year that bridged the post-bop, modern, and avant-garde jazz movements, and set a lofty standard for the second half of the 20th century.

Ahead of his new CD release, Dave Sharp sits down with Linda Yohn in the WEMU studio to talk about about  his upcoming 5:01 Jazz performance, the release of his new album Worldslife as a musician, and more on this Halloween morning. 

Listen to the full-length interview from 89.1 WEMU:

A Preview of the 37th Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Oct 29, 2013
The Ark

One of the biggest music weekends in Ann Arbor is just around the corners. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the 37th annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival is just three months away. 

See below for a selection of musicians from the festival lineup:

Lead in text: 

2014 marks the 37th year of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a two-night celebration of roots music, a fundraiser for The Ark, Ann Arbor’s non-profit home for folk, roots, and ethnic music. The 37th Ann Arbor Folk Festival is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund.

David Sharp
http://www.davesharp.com/

Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven plays @ Rush Street, Friday, November 1st - 5:01 pm to 7 pm.

89.1 WEMU-FM and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman.
 Join us for a  5:01 celebration of Dave’s new cd, Worlds

Humans 1, Robots 0

Oct 16, 2013
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Computers seem to be replacing humans across many industries, and we're all getting very nervous. But if you want some reason for optimism, visit your local supermarket. See that self-checkout machine? It doesn't hold a candle to the humans—and its deficiencies neatly illustrate the limits of computers' abilities to mimic human skills.

Mingus Speaks

Oct 14, 2013

Charles Mingus did not do small.

He was a big man, with big appetites, big ambitions, big grievances, big passions, big skills, and above all, a big vision.

We've got a triple shot of classic soul to say thanks for your support: “Otis Redding: The Complete Stax/Volt Label Singles” can be yours for a contribution of $400 dollars.

From “Pain in my Heart” to “Try a little tenderness,” “Respect” to “I can’t turn you loose,” they’re all here. Some of the greatest soul music ever made!

You can make your gift online or call us to make a pledge at 888-299-8910

Thank you!

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Oscar Castro-Neves, a Brazil-born guitarist who helped to create the cool, sensuous rhythms of bossa nova and orchestrated music for movies including “L.A. Story" and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," has died. He was 73.

Pianos ‘Round Town

Sep 30, 2013
Lead in text: 

Pianos will be out in full force on the sidewalks of Ypsilanti starting September 20 thru October 8 in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town, downtown area on Michigan Avenue, and Tower Inn Cafe at 701 W. Cross Street. The pianos will be placed on the sidewalks at various locations and be available for all to play during business hours.

Before headlining this year's Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival, singer/songwriters Peter Case and Paul Burch visited The Roots Music Project for a live interview and performance. 

 

Listen to the full performance and interview here:

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

There's an element of Gregory Porter's singing that feels like a welcome throwback, though he doesn't spell it out precisely. It's in the way he leans heavily into and erupts "Hey!" without fear of coming up short. It's in his coat-and-tie handling of an audience, well-mannered but without quaint mannerisms. It's in one of his better-known songs, where he asks "1960 what? 1960 who?" without a distinct answer — just a suggestion of the decade's historic events, alert black community and cathartic swing.

Last week, Sony Corporation announced a new line of high-end audio components that promise to deliver a better online audio experience. The announcement comes amid growing evidence that music fans are tired of the crappy sound they hear on their portable music players. Case in point is the success of Cookie Marenco's business of selling super high-definition music downloads.

Stay tuned for more photos and updates from the Detroit Jazz Festival from WEMU.

 

[View the story "Highlights from the 2013 Detroit Jazz Festival" on Storify]

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a fanatically large following in the U.K. Though he might not be filling large halls in the States quite yet, his American fans are just as dedicated and engaged.

Brad McNett

Linda Yohn sits down with Robert Hurst in the WEMU studio to talk about about  his upcoming Detroit Jazz Festival performance, his new album BoB a Palindrome, life as a musician, and more on this morning's 89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn


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