Jake Shimabukuro: Ukulele Five-O ("Musicians' Spotlight," March 5 and June 25, 2015:
After his YouTube performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral, ukulele virtuoso and composer Jake Shimabukuro’s career skyrocketed. Several recordings later, he has toured his “Uke Nations” show internationally, and continues to combine elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk and flamenco in his repertoire for this “under-the-radar” instrument.
Marc Cohn's Blue-Eyed Soul ("Musicians' Spotlight," February 26 and June 11, 2015)
In 1991, Marc Cohn took home the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In the two decades since, he has recorded a series of self-titled albums full of piano-based gospel-blues folk songs, and has performed around the world. In 2005, a harrowing near-death experience helped sharpen Cohn’s musical focus.
Indiana-based pianist and singer-songwriter Krista Detor's latest recording and accompanying book were inspired by a chance trip on Michigan's Lake Huron with good friends and even better red wine. Detor describes that experience, as well finding herself the only American writer featured in a recent BBC production honoring the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.
Lee Ritenour ("Musicians' Spotlight," January 29 and May 7, 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.
"Rock & Roll in the old sense of the word: blues, country, gospel and folk...sun-lit, dappled in shadows....poetry you can dance to and poetry you can play really loud." Birds of Chicago founders Alison Russell and JT Nero (along with their 9-month-old daughter, Ida) visit host John Floridis on the next Musician's Spotlight.
They're a group of Missoula guys who started a country and western band primarily so they could sing while wearing cowboy hats. In their songs,The Best Westerns "walk the line" between their appreciation for Western mythology, and their slice-of-life portrayals of modern life.
The Clumsy Lovers’ songwriter and lead vocalist Trevor Rogers visited host John Floridis to discuss his recent solo recording, Are You Happy Now? Rogers talked about balancing recording and touring with his full-time gig as a father and husband, as well as the impact on his songwriting from the years he spent living in Missoula.
Dolce Canto: Dessert For Lovers Of Choral Music ("Musicians' Spotlight," December 15, 2016, with Peter Park, Beth Mast, and Tom Bensen)
Dolce Canto began in 2001 with eight friends who missed the a cappella compositions they'd studied and performed together in high school and college. On a whim, they decided to gather and read through some works. One public concert led to another.
Nickel Creek singer and guitarist Sean Watkinsstopped by the MTPR studios during the group's 2014 Montana tour to play some tunes live and talk shop with host John Floridis. Sean describes both the new Nickel Creek album and his own new solo release.
John Floridis talks with Grammy and CMA Award-winner Shelby Lynne about her personal and frequently biographical songs. Her fan base spans a wide range of musical audiences, a testament to her broad appeal. The interview was recorded in Bigfork, Montana as part of the Crown of The Continent Guitar Festival.