live music

From the singular twang of a flat-picked guitar to the tight harmonies of a bluegrass band, folk music is more than a sound — it’s an essence. Local labels Mud Stomp Records and Little Class Records work not only to preserve that essence, but to show the rest of the world what Heartland artists have to offer. 

Guests:

Local Listen: Organized Crimes

Feb 3, 2016
highdivekc.com

The band name selected by the members of Organized Crimes may recall the nefarious activities that transpired in Kansas City in the first half of the last century, but the group’s music is based on the dreamy alternative rock sound associated with London in the 1980s. Local Listen features “Bel Ray Flats,” the A-side of Organized Crimes’ new seven-inch single.

Local Listen: Your Friend

Jan 27, 2016
yourfriendtaryn.com

Indie-rock fans around the world will soon be able to purchase a piece of Lawrence, Kansas. “Gumption,” the debut full-length album by the Lawrence-based indie rock act, Your Friend, will be released internationally on Friday, January 29.

Local Listen features the cascading melodies of Your Friend’s “Come Back From It.”

Kansas City music legend Jay McShann was born 100 years ago this week, and the city is celebrating his birth. On this edition of Up to Date, we examine the life of this international jazz star.

Guests:

Kansas City’s music scene has long been associated with earthy jazz, down-home blues and abrasive guitar-based rock. Yes You Are intends to alter that perception. Local Listen features “Echo,” a glimmering slice of polished pop by the Kansas City quintet.

Yes You Are performs at the Riot Room on Sunday, Jan. 10.

Wikipedia -- CC

In this encore edition of Central Standard, we hear about the infamous 1974 Ozark Music Festival.

It drew as many as 350,000 people to the small, family-oriented town of Sedalia.

Traffic ground to a halt. Temperatures were in the triple-digits. Nudity ran rampant and the cost of ice skyrocketed.

Residents came home to festival-goers camped out on their lawns, using garden hoses for "baths." People sent their children out of town for safety. Hungry, drug-addled music fans stole a cow. And it only gets crazier from there.

Guest:

Scott Hrabko

In his review of Scott Hrabko’s “Biscuits & Gravity,” KCUR music writer David Cantwell praised the Kansas City singer-songwriter's "sly and warm vocals" and the "slinky rhythms and brooding arrangements" documented on the new album. This week's Local Listen features Hrabko’s wistful reverie “I Dreamed I Quit My Job.”

Scott Hrabko & the Rabbits perform at the Westport Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR 89.3

He’s played with the likes of Kansas City-great Count Basie, though he’s best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was hosting. 

Doc Severinsen is back in Kansas City for a holiday performance with the Kansas City Symphony and chorus this weekend.

He spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date earlier this week, where they talked about his early career and his time with The Tonight Show

But Severinsen wasn’t quite finished at the end of the interview. 

After his appearance on Up To Date, Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. 

Doc Severinsen is best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was host. In this conversation with Steve Kraske, Severinsen recalls starting under the tutelage of his father then moving on to the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman before landing the gig he would play for thirty years.

After his appearance on Up To Date, former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. Hear him rave about our music scene, our sports teams and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

The Breakthrough Moment

Nov 12, 2015

Enrique Chi of the band Making Movies stopped by the studio to tell the story of his band's breakthrough moment. Which included a broken van, a crowded bus and a car engulfed in flames. This story kicks off a Generation Listen KC storytelling event at Knuckleheads with the theme Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Sam Baker calls himself “the worst guitarist who ever stood on a public stage.” Yet, the combination of the singer-songwriter's raspy voice and simple guitar melodies "just works," according to Up to Date host Steve Kraske. Baker reflects on his personal journey and performs live at KCUR studios.

 Howard Iceberg leads an unusual double life. He’s an immigration attorney by day …. and one of Kansas City’s most respected troubadours by night. Local Listen features “You and Your Hazel Eyes,” a song from the singer-songwriter’s new album…. “Smooth Sailing.”

Iceberg and his band the Titanics perform an early show at the RecordBar on Saturday.

A founding member of the Grammy-winning, old-time string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens is out with her first solo album, "Tomorrow Is My Turn." She discusses her resistance to being called a "star" and how she's handled her sudden rise in fame. 

Cyprus Avenue Live at The Folly presents Rhiannon Giddens at 7 p.m Sunday, October 11 at the Folly Theater. For more information go to www.follytheater.org.

School Of Rock

Oct 5, 2015
Hannah Copeland / KCUR

Bassist Johnny Hamil started out playing what he calls "sleaze-rock." Now, he performs and teaches in many musical languages, and he's trying to teach classically trained young musicians to shred with all-string arrangements of songs by AC/DC and the Ramones. 

Guest:

Mark Lowrey is best known as a jazz pianist but he frequently performs in rock, folk and hip-hop settings.

This week's Local Listen features “Milonga For YJ’s,” an Argentinian-inspired track from his album “Tangos For 18th Street.”

Lowrey appears at The Majestic on Thursday, October 1, and at Broadway Kansas City on Friday, October 2.

For hundreds of classic movies in danger of being forgotten, the Film Noir Foundation is here to save the day. The organization is dedicated to preserving and restoring 35 millimeter films for future generations, as well as maintaining noir culture. 

Katy Guillen & The Girls are a hard-driving, blues-drenched trio with deep Kansas City roots. Steve Kraske asks the band how they got together and developed their signature sound.

Katy Guillen and the Girls will perform at 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 at KKFI's Crossroads Music Fest. They'll play at  the Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival in St. Joseph, Missouri on September 12

 Karrin Allyson is one of the premier jazz vocalists in the world. On her latest album, "Many A New Day," she revamps Rogers and Hammerstein classics with jazz-world superstars Kenny Barron and John Patitucci.

Karrin Allyson performs tonight at The Blue Room in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Growing up, Amanda Fish used to lock herself in her room to sing. So, her younger sister Samantha Fish would lock herself in her room and play guitar.

"We were independent experiencers," Amanda says.

"She calls it a loner thing, I call it a leader thing," Samantha adds.

Fast-forward through the days of wailing with Tom Waits and rocking out to Nine-Inch Nails, and these two musicians are, sure enough, leading their own blues bands around Kansas City and across the country.

Jeremy Thompson / Flickr-CC

One local music venue is in a narrow storefront and it doesn’t have a stage. The other is in the East Bottoms.

You’d think these locations wouldn’t work, but the Green Lady Lounge and Knuckleheads Saloon have succeeded in carving out a niche in Kansas City’s music scene — even to the point where Knuckleheads has opened the Garage, a mid-sized venue, next door.

Wikipedia--CC

The 1974 Ozark Music Festival lives on in infamy.

It drew as many as 350,000 people to the small, family-oriented town of Sedalia.

Traffic ground to a halt. Temperatures were in the triple-digits. Nudity ran rampant and the cost of ice skyrocketed.

Residents came home to festival-goers camped out on their lawns, using garden hoses for "baths." People sent their children out of town for safety. Hungry, drug-addled music fans stole a cow. And it only gets crazier from there.

Guest:

Legendary singer Patti LaBelle has been hailed as the "Godmother of Soul." On this edition of Up to Date, LaBelle tells Steve Kraske about her shy nature and her love of the kitchen. 

Patti LaBelle performs Friday, July 17  at 7:30 in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets and information are available at kauffmancenter.com.

Rocker Melissa Etheridge answers five questions from Steve Kraske, from her long musical career to her Leavenworth, Kansas roots. 

Melissa Etheridge plays a solo show at the Uptown Theater on Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m. For information and tickets, visit www.uptowntheater.com.

He’s won half a dozen Grammy’s and been nominated for more than 20 Academy Awards. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske asks musician and composer Randy Newman five questions from his biggest influences to how he really feels about short people.

Grateful

May 15, 2015

In a season of Grateful Dead reunion shows, followers of the band reminisce about the community they once formed, and discuss its revival in 2015. 

kcrockhistory.com

For Mike McGonigle, it's a sticker on his car that gives him away as a Grateful Dead enthusiast.

"There are Deadheads amongst us everywhere," he says. "I constantly get people waving at me, I see other Deadhead stickers, and it's kind of a community of people that when you recognize it, you have a connection with those people."

In the 1970s and 1980s especially, there was a vibrant community of Grateful Dead followers here in Kansas City. They used to follow the band's tour route: going to shows, trading sandwiches for back-rubs, sleeping in cars and otherwise living the hippie dream.

Most of them have settled into mainstream society since those days, but this summer's 50th anniversary reunion shows have brought members of that community out of the woodwork — and back into contact with each other. 

Local Listen: La Guerre

Apr 24, 2015
La Guerre / Facebook

More than 120 acts are performing Ink’s Middle of the Map Festival this week, and La Guerre is one of them. The solo project of Lawrence-based Katlyn Conroy, La Guerre specializes in intimate indie-rock.

This week’s edition of Local Listen features La Guerre’s muted “Lover’s Sway.” La Guerre will appear at the Record Bar at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

The Hot Sardines

Combine a bawdy brass line-up, Fats Waller style piano, a female lead with a voice from another era, and a tap dancer as percussion...and you have New York-based jazz band The Hot Sardines.  Band leaders Elizabeth Bougerol and Evan Palazzo join Steve Kraske from their tour bus to chat about their fairytale beginning and their unique style. 

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