Beth Anne Austein

Host and Producer

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.

Ways To Connect

Never one to hold back his opinion - musically, politically or otherwise -  James McMurtry ("America's fiercest singer-songwriter" - CNN) returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight.”

Jamey Guy

On July 24, Monroe Crossing, the bluegrass quintet based in Minnesota, unpacked their instruments in KUFM's Studio B, grouped around a single microphone, and recorded a short set, chatting between songs with "What I Like About Jazz" host John Arvish about gigs - including the collaborative bluegrass mass that won the group several performances at Carnegie Hall.

It seems fitting that every year, the second weekend of July transforms the "Richest Hill on Earth" into a collection of gems - not precious metals or glittering stones, but vibrant music, art, dance, and craftwork.

Martha Scanlan and John Neufeld stopped by to play live on "The Folk Show" on May 19, 2015. Martha is no stranger to MTPR, where she's played live on-air many times, first as a member of The Reeltime Travelers, and more recently as a solo artist.

Join host Marguerite Munsche Sunday evening, May 10, 2015 for our fourth and final broadcast from the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's  60th season. Darko Butorac is the orchestra's music director and conductor.

Anne Hosler

Seven musicians from the University of Montana's School of Music joined Professor Steven Hesla and MTPR on-air staff on Wednesday, April 15 for a live on-air chamber performance from KUFM's Studio B.

Edgar 181

Jon discusses the sugar alcohol, erythritol, which is virtually calorie-free and doesn't cause as large a blood sugar spike as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

Join host Marguerite Munsche Sunday evening, March 15, 2015, for our third broadcast from the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's  60th season. Darko Butorac is the orchestra's music director and conductor; Dean Peterson directs the chorale.

Flickr user, Jewel 'o the Desert

Jon recalls driving through Castroville, CA ("Artichoke Center of the World") one spring, when he encountered the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. "The artichoke, for such an unlikely-looking food item, is widespread and adapted among so many cultures and cuisines around the world, it's startling," he observes.

Brian Kahn talks with Gen. Gene Prendergast, retired adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, founder, and Jan Rouse, Executive Director of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon, MT.

Michael Marsolek talks with Dean Peterson, Director of the Missoula Mendelssohn Club, and John Patterson, a tenor with the group for the past 31 years. Sunday, March 15 marks the group's seventieth annual spring concert, at 7:00 p.m.

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the American invasion of Iwo Jima, one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific during World War II. Producer Danielle Thomsen recently spoke with a survivor of that battle, 88 year old Paul Milam.  Milam recalls his impressions of Iwo Jima as an inexperienced 19-year-old from Bozeman, Montana.

courtesy of Linda Gryczan

Linda Gryczan served as lead plaintiff in a 1993 legal challenge to Montana's deviate sexual conduct statute, which made gay sex between consenting adults a crime.

Flickr user, Tim Pierce

"I realize that many people do not like insects. The fourth graders are almost always exuberant, though, and when it comes to nature, there are no "ewwww"s in my class! Still, I do like to give a nod to the fact that bugs are not always appreciated. There are excellent reasons for this, reasons the kids can usually figure out: mosquitoes bite; wasps sting; beetles can eat corn, fruit and potatoes; bark beetles can kill many trees and destroy forests; insects sometimes carry diseases, which can infect people and livestock; termites can eat our homes.

Clay Scott

Last week on Mountain West Voices, Haywood Big Day told the story of his name. This week he shares his thoughts on history and language, on being American, and being Crow.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 2/23/15. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

"Death and the Maiden" is the title of the February 22, 2015 performance by the String Orchestra of the Rockies. Featured violinist Maria Larionoff and double bassist Barry Lieberman founded the American String Project, a fifteen-member conductorless string orchestra that bears some resemblance to Montana's SOR.


Brian Kahn talks with faculty members Sam Koenen and Beth Stohlmann, and junior Nathan Mayville, of Petra Academy of Bozeman, MT. Petra is an accredited member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.

Flickr user, Miss Anna Lynn Martino

Greg gives instructions for his adaptation of an old Nantucket cranberry pecan muffin recipe. Thaw the butter, get some heavy cream and buttermilk, and hunt down your ice cream scoop.

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 2/22/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Flickr user, Sid Mosdell

When it comes to surviving winter, insects in temperate regions like Montana can be divided into two groups: freeze-tolerant insects that can survive if their body fluids freeze, and freeze-avoiding ones that can't.

Certain flies, wasps, beetles and moth and butterfly larvae and pupae produce chemicals that control the rate and size of ice crystal formation in their bodies, so that freezing doesn't damage their cells. The pupae of one species of swallowtail butterfly has survived laboratory temperatures of -385 degrees F.

Clay Scott

Central Montana rancher and farmer Judy Tureck talks about her connection to the land that surrounds her, and about the tribulations and rewards of rural life.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 2/9/15. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

Clay Scott

Haywood Big Day of Montana's Crow Indian Reservation shares the story of his name.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 2/16/15. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

All About Leeches

Feb 15, 2015
Flickr user, Michael Jefferies

"Some people seem surprised that I don't keep fish in the large aquarium in my home. Instead I have mud and debris, plants, insect larvae, beetles, hydras, scuds, crawdads...and leeches. I collected all these goodies from ponds and sloughs in the area. This fall, I noticed that one of the leeches, a good-sized sucker, was clinging to the side of the aquarium, out of the water. I wondered if it was trying to escape to find a winter home in less soggy mud. To find out, I went to the library and came back with a three-volume set of books all about leeches.

Flickr user, Julia Rubinic

Greg and Jon discuss a 2013 New York Times article by Kenneth Chang titled "More Helpful Fatty Acids Found in Organic Milk." Chang writes: "Whole milk from organic dairies contains far more of some of the fatty acids that contribute to a healthy heart than conventional milk."  Greg distinguishes between omega-6 fatty acids, which abound in the typical American diet, and o

Steve Hillebrand, USFWS

"While some animals get off comparatively easily in the winter by hibernating, or by gorging and then fasting, the short-tailed weasel has to hunt every day to keep its blast-furnace metabolism stoked. With a heart rate of several hundred beats a minute and little in the way of fat reserves on its long and slender body, the animal must consume half its body weight daily.

Flickr user, Anna Lynn Martino

Beef stew with rice, onions, bacon, tomatoes and cheese: that's the basis for Julia Child's recipe for "Boeuf À La Catalane," or Catalan Beef Stew. It became the jumping-off point for an adaptation by Greg one night as he improvised on this "hearty dish from the Spanish Mediterranean corner of France," with "a green salad, French bread, and a strong, young red wine" the recommended accompaniment.

Brian Kahn talks with writer Richard Manning, co-author with Harvard Medical School professor and M.D. John J. Ratey of the book "Go Wild." (2014 Little, Brown).

From the book's introduction:

Kenton Rowe

Cory Caswell has worked as a hired hand on Wyoming and Montana ranches since he came west as a teenager, not staying in any one place longer than a few months. He talks about his hard, unpredictable but satisfying life as itinerant ranch hand.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 2/2/15. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

Flickr user, Mike Licht

Jon and Greg speculate that widespread under-appreciation of parsnips is due to their resemblance to "an anemic carrot."  Jon recalls the sweet and flavorful parsnips kept buried in a box of soil in the root cellar by his gardener father, the taste of which approached the mythic sweetness of mature parsnips left in the ground all winter. Greg suggests roasting them, puréeing with potatoes, deep-frying them as chips, or including them in a recipe for root-vegetable custard.

Flickr user, Alexey Kljatov

"It almost makes you dizzy to look straight up into falling snow. People love watching things fall through the air: autumn leaves, fireworks, even skydivers wafting to the ground on their parachutes. On this winter day, I begin to wonder if the grammar school adage is true. Are all snowflakes unique?