Michael Byars

Morning Announcer

Michael started volunteering for the membership drives back in 1997 and has also helped at other KCUR events such as the Great Record Sale I and II, the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, and both live broadcasts of "A Prairie Home Companion" from Starlight Theatre. His on-air career began in December, 2000, as a part-time announcer during classical music. He later became our Saturday afternoon announcer before moving on up to full-time Morning Edition host in November 2002. Occasionally, you might hear his voice on "The Fish Fry", where he serves as a fill-in for Chuck when he's away; he also engineers interview segments and edits the show's archived broadcasts. In his spare time (and yes, he does have some), Michael loves being an uncle to his niece and nephews (Abigail, Hayden, and Nathan, Uncle Mike loves you!) and enjoys ethnic restaurants, listening to live music and sleeping.

Up to Date
5:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Local Listen: Scruffy And The Janitors

Scruffy and the Janitors play the Middle of the Map festival Saturday, April 5, on the back patio of the Riot Room at 6:15 p.m.
Credit Middle of the Map Fest

 

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival began Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at  locations in and around Westport.

Our “Local Listen” segment focuses on musicians from the Kansas City area that will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  

Today, we travel up I-29 a bit and give a listen to one of the newest bands to come out of St. Joseph: Scruffy and the Janitors. Here is “Shake it Off.”

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Up To Date
2:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Local Listen: Middle Twin

Middle Twin performs at this year's Middle of the Map music festival running April 3-5 in Westport.
Credit www.middletwin.com

The lineup has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3 to April 5, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport in Kansas City.

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Up To Date
2:05 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Local Listen: Monta At Odds

Monta At Odd's newest EP is titled "Android Dream."
Credit www.facebook.com/montaatodds

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival, which takes place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport.

For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

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Up To Date
5:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Local Listen: Schwervon

The duo Schwervon is featured in this week's 'Local Listen.'
Credit schwervon.bandcamp.com

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival will take place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport. For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

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Up To Date
4:16 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Local Listen: Rev Gusto

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3rd - 5th, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport. 

Rev Gusto is one band from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  This week we hear the summery garage-band sounds of Rev Gusto in the track “Click-Click” from their self-titled EP.

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Up To Date
3:09 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Local Listen: Me Like Bees

In this week's local listen, we hear from "Me Like Bees."

The past few weeks have been pretty memorable for the Joplin band Me Like Bees: they won The Deli Magazine – Kansas City’s “Emerging Artist of 2013” readers’ poll, and they also won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, ensuring them a spot on this summer’s Warped Tour.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear “Brand New Fail” from their most recent album, “The Ides."

You can get a buzz from the sounds of Me Like Bees when they visit The Riot Room in Kansas City on February 28th.

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Up To Date
1:27 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Local Listen: Drew Black And Dirty Electric

Drew Black And Dirty Electric perform this weekend in Kansas City.

Drew Black and Dirty Electric is a Kansas City four-piece that takes glam rock to a very dark and edgy place - and yet it’s a sound that’s loaded with hooks and easy to dance to as well.

In this week’s Local Listen, we hear Curio Doll from the group's debut album “Dead Kings and Queens.”

Hear More:

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Up To Date
12:42 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Local Listen: Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit.
Credit Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit. Their combined backgrounds in delta blues and Americana make for a very raw sound that has become a hot ticket in local clubs.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Day Without the Devil” from their self-titled debut

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Up To Date
3:07 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Local Listen: Phantoms Of The Opry

The band Phantoms of the Opry consider themselves “born 60 years too late,” and when you hear their musical blend of traditional country and Western swing, you’ll understand the meaning behind that statement.

In this week’s Local Listen we hear "My Cattle Call" from their self-titled release.

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Up to Date
4:52 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Local Listen: Sundiver

In December, Kansas City band Sundiver released their debut full-length effort, “The Pull.”

The group's sound combines space-rock arrangements with edgy, heavy guitar tones, and as our music coordinator Michael Byars will tell you, it sounds great in headphones.

In this week's “Local Listen,” we hear the opening track from “The Pull” titled “Lover’s Comfort.”

Learn more about the group on their Facebook page and on Bandcamp.

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Up To Date
5:03 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Local Listen: Victor And Penny

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo "Victor and Penny."
Credit VictorAndPenny.com

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo Victor and Penny, who have been touring all across America with a sound that they like to call “antique pop.”

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Stomp, Stomp" from the duo's album Side By Side.

Victor and Penny will be back in Kansas City to host “Eve 2013”, Dec. 31 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Up To Date
8:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Local Listen: Akkilles

Akkilles new album is titled "Something You'd Say."
Credit akkilles.bandcamp.com/

With the Kansas City area getting a dose of winter weather over the past couple days, perhaps it's time for some music that has a summertime feel.  

The band Akkilles offers a sound that conjures up an afternoon on the beach, toes dug into the sand, and waves gently crashing along the shore.

In Friday's "Local Listen" we hear "Your Only One" from the group's album Something You’d Say.

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Up to Date
12:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Local Listen: The Latenight Callers

The Latenight Callers perform this weekend in at the Record Bar's "Saturday Brunch."

Band The Latenight Callers describe their sultry, film-noir sound as that of “the house band at a David Lynch pool party.” Their latest album is called Songs for Stolen Moments.

In Friday's Local Listen, we hear “Red Bricks, White Ghosts.”

The Latenight Callers will be paying a midday call to The Record Bar for their first-ever Saturday Brunch, November 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at 1020 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo.

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Up To Date
3:11 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Local Listen: The Jorge Arana Trio

The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows. 

In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."

You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.

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The Fish Fry
10:33 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Yank Rachell, Knocky Parker

Yank Rachell

 James "Yank" Rachell (March 16, 1910 – April 9, 1997) was an American country blues musician, dubbed an "elder statesman of the blues." - Wikipedia

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Up to Date
5:30 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Best Music Of 2012 (So Far)

Cepro.com

Pretend #lastfm asked you to tweet your top three songs so far in 2012, what would you select?  Something straight from Billboard, or maybe a tune playing under the radar?

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Jazz/Blues
8:36 am
Fri May 22, 2009

A Conversation with "Cowtown Ballroom" Filmmakers

There's a brick building at 31st and Gillham, which has stood for more than eight decades. Most of the time it's been known as the El Torreon, but for three years in the early '70s, it was transformed into the Cowtown Ballroom.

Kansas City, MO – Listen to the extended interview in the Fish Fry archives

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Jazz/Blues
9:35 am
Mon February 19, 2007

Marva Whitney: It's Her Thing

KCUR's Chuck Haddix welcomed funk singer Marva Whitney to The Fish Fry, where she talked about her start in Kansas City Kansas and working with the late great James Brown.

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Jazz/Blues
8:04 am
Tue June 7, 2005

A Conversation with Chuck Haddix on Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop

Back in the 1920s and 30s, Kansas City was a lively mix of political wheeling-and-dealing, organized crime, and the hot sounds of jazz.

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