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

Jordan Konkol got a summer job helping geologists explore for platinum in Alaska. He recalls a moment from that remote place, standing on a high ridge in summer daylight at 11:00 p.m., "...feeling silence extend in every direction. I recalled a line of Joseph Conrad: "this also has been one of the dark places of the earth.""

Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" describes the "darkness" in the Thames River, downstream from London:

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?

Forest Service Northern Region

Growing out of forest restoration efforts around Helena, Montana, in 2014, a cooperative stewardship agreement between the state of Montana and the U. S. Forest Service was developed, the first of its kind in the United States.

Lee Ritenour

Jan 29, 2015

Name a musician who has received one Grammy award and seventeen Grammy nominations, and who recorded 40 albums under his own name and over 3,000 recording sessions as a sideman, accompanying Pink Floyd, Dizzy Gillespie, Simon and Garfunkel, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, among others. Hint: he’s been made an honorary Montanan through his work with the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival. Guitarist and composer Lee Ritenour dropped in for a chat with host John Floridis at 2014 COC festival to talk about his illustrious career.

courtesy of the Lahey family

"You come to Butte, Montana direct from seven exhausting years in the city, seeking solace, expecting blight, and finding home."  Missoula native Regan deVictoria fell for Butte "as you do a man with a harelip despite deformities, and later, because of them." Poet Ed Lahey was born to a family of Butte miners in 1936. From his adopted home of Missoula, he looked back at The Mining City:

Clay Scott

As a child on the Crow Reservation in Montana, Peggy White Wellknown Buffalo was taken from her home and sent to Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools out of state, and forbidden from speaking her language. As an adult, she has dedicated her life to helping Crow children connect with their history, their culture and their place.

Michael Marsolek talks with pianist Margery McDuffie Whatley and University of Montana piano professors Steven Hesla and Christopher Hahn about Whatley's January 25 performance in the School of Music's "Celebrate Piano" series.  Whatley's program includes Beethoven's Tempest Sonata, and "all sorts of piano bonbons" -  short works by Chopin, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Liszt.

Greg Patent

Greg describes two baking workshops he attended recently, taught by pie baker Kate McDermott and pastry chef Mindy Segal. Greg learned that the fats he uses for pie crust - butter and rendered leaf lard - are also favored by McDermott, who keeps her mixing bowls, flour, and fats chilled till it's time to make pie dough.

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