MTPR

John Floridis

Host and Producer

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time from household names like B.B. King, Alison Krauss and Lyle Lovett, to Montana musicians such as Eden Atwood, Darko Butarac and Tom Catmull. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.

Ways to Connect

Portland, Oregon-based Blind Pilot has landed among the top indie-pop-folk bands in the country with television appearances on Ellen and The Late Show With David Letterman, and performances at Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival. The band’s lead singer and primary songwriter Israel Nebeker visited with host John Floridis backstage at the Wilma Theater in Missoula to talk about the process of recording their most recent album, “And Then Like Lions."

One of the most dynamic singer-songwriters of any generation, Martin Sexton returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight,” recording three songs in the studio (with harmony help from the Brothers McCann) and chatting retrospectively about his career.

From the “Musicians’ Spotlight” archives, 2000: One of the most respected and celebrated musicians of her generation, fiddler and vocalist extraordinaire Alison Krauss visited with program host John Floridis backstage at the University Theater in Missoula in 2000.

2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the quintessential Irish-American band, Solas. That year was also marked by the release of the recording, “All These Years,” which features combinations of all the musicians who have been a part of the group over the last two decades.

From the “Musicians’ Spotlight” archives, 2010: He’s known worldwide as the lead singer for the multi-platinum selling pop-rock band, Men At Work, but Colin Hay has been performing for more than two decades as a solo artist. His music was featured on the television show, “Scrubs” and in the feature film, “Garden State,” and now Hay is witnessing a revival of interest in his work as a singer-songwriter.

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, singer, fiddle player and founding member of the Irish traditional music group Altan, talks with John Floridis about the group's thirty-year career, including their past performances in Montana.

Jake Koelzer, formerly of Bozeman, Montana, brings his blend of jazz-inspired blue-eyed soul to Musicians’ Spotlight. Koelzer writes texturally rich songs that are "beautiful, thoughtful, complicated, and yet completely approachable, with lyrics are smart, compelling, and meaningful."

After a decade of making music together, Paper Bird shifted their lineup, welcoming Carleigh Aikins, who joined Sarah Anderson and Genevieve Patterson as one of band's lead singers. In late 2016, the Denver band released their first recording of its songs, which often remind listeners of territory between Fleet Foxes and Fleetwood Mac. The album benefited from the production expertise of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Oates.

Montanan Izaak Opatz, a recent guest on the program as a member of the band, The Best Westerns, returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight" with solo project in hand: Mariachi Static. The album was recorded in Los Angeles, and was inspired by all sorts of things: Mojave desert camping excursions; life on a Glacier National Park trail crew; late night ping-pong tournaments - and, of course, unrequited love.

Bruce Anfinson, "Montana's Musical Ambassador."
Courtesy bruceanfinson.com

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle calls Bruce Anfinson "Montana's Musical Ambassador." Bruce's ballads and tales of ranching life, draft horses and wildfires reflect his native Montana roots. He's the guest on this episode of "Musican's Spotlight."

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