Musicians' Spotlight

Thursday 7:30 -8:00 PM

Today's most talented and compelling musicians visit Musicians' Spotlight to "talk shop" and give you a deeper insight into their music. Host and producer John Floridis brings his own musical expertise  along with over a decade and a half of experience conducting interviews.

Guests on the show have included legendary musicians like B.B King; Alison Krauss; Lyle Lovett; Wilco; Brandi Carlile; Daryl Jones of the Rolling Stones; The Cowboy Junkies; Richard Thompson; Mary Chapin Carpenter; Bruce Cockburn; Shawn Colvin; and Chris Hillman of the Byrds; along with talented Montana artists like Jeni Flemming, Tom Catmull, Martha Scanlan, John Dunnigan, Jenn Adams, Jack Gladstone and Eden Atwood.

Ways To Connect

Shelby Lynne

Sep 9, 2014

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.

(Broadcast: Musicians' Spotlight, 9/9/14)

In our clip of the week, Eric Funk, a Bozeman composer, jazz musician and host of the MontanaPBS television series, "11th and Grant" talks about his creative process.

Eric says most of his compositions start not in front of a piano, but off the beaten path in the solitude of Montana's forests.

"Dismiss labels. Forget trying to fit into a scene. Be true and play your songs." It’s an accurate self-description by the Grammy-nominated bluegrass expansionists, The Infamous Stringdusters. Comfortable as they are in their own collective skin, the title of the group's new album, "Let It Go," works equally well as their slogan.

(Broadcast: Musician's Spotlight, 6/3/14 &  9/2/14)

Sean Watkins

Aug 26, 2014

Nickel Creek singer and guitarist Sean Watkins stopped 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.

(Broadcast: Musicians' Spotlight, 8/26/14)

Le Vent Du Nord

Aug 12, 2014

Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a cosmopolitan breath of fresh air. Accordion, foot-tapping, hurdy gurdy and jaw harp characterize the sound of this engaging French-Canadian band.

(Broadcast: Musicians' Spotlight, 5/6/14 & 8/12/14)

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.

Eric Funk

Jul 29, 2014

Bozeman composer and jazz pianist Eric Funk’s work has been featured on the syndicated public radio programs Morning Edition and Performance Today. Funk also hosts the Montana PBS television series, 11th and Grant.

(Broadcast: Musicians' Spotlight, 4/29/14 & 7/29/14)

Courtesy Photo

For the past decade, the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops have been highlighting the African-American place in American stringband music. Singer Rhiannon Giddens and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins reflect on the band’s ascending career and how it fits into the history of the genre.

(Broadcast: Musicians' Spotlight, 7/22/14)

Chris Botti

Jul 15, 2014

4/15/14 and 7/15/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Grammy award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti tells John Floridis about his intensive jazz training, and how it led him to collaborations with Paul Simon, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Steven Tyler, Gladys Night and Yo-Yo Ma, among others. 

Clip Of The Week: Like Asking For A Date

Jul 10, 2014
IMG Artists

Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn  commissioned 26 composers from around the world to write short-form works, suitable for use by violinists as performance encores for her latest recording "In 27 Pieces".

In our Clip Of The Week, Hilary tells John Floridis that cold-calling composers was like asking for a date.

Cyril Neville

Jul 8, 2014

3/25/14 and 7/8/14: This week on "Musicians' Spotlight:" The youngest of the Neville brothers and a member of the influential group The Meters, percussionist and singer Cyril Neville makes his first visit to Musician's Spotlight.

Hilary Hahn

Jul 1, 2014
IMG Artists

7/1/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn discusses her most recent recording, "In 27 Pieces," which is the culmination of a multi-year project.

The Hooligans

Jun 24, 2014

3/18/14 & 6/24/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Longtime Montana favorites, The Hooligans, waited for over twenty years to release their first recording, "Beggars and Thieves.” Along the way, they picked up an album producer and  part-time band member, Little Feat's Bill Payne. Just as they're hitting their stride, the veteran band is entering a new, exciting phase.

Mike Dawes

Jun 17, 2014
Az Samad

3/4/14 & 6/17/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" English guitarist Mike Dawes took a look at Gotye’s hit song, "Somebody That I Used To Know,” and turned it into a finger-style guitar masterpiece. Two million YouTube hits later, the world is finding out more about this disciple of the two-handed, fret-tapping, percussive style of acoustic guitar.

Little Hurricane

Jun 10, 2014
Dan Chusid - San Diego Troubadour

2/25/14 & 6/10/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Girls can't play drums? Soft spoken Californians can't sing the blues? Think again. Front man Anthony "Tone" Catalano and drummer Celeste "C.C." Spina found each other on Craigslist and formed the "dirty blues" band Little Hurricane. Within a year they’ve found a home at major festivals and on nationwide tours.

6/3/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" "Dismiss labels. Forget trying to fit into a scene. Be true and play your songs." It’s an accurate self-description by the Grammy-nominated bluegrass expansionists, The Infamous Stringdusters. Comfortable as they are in their own collective skin, the title of the group's new album, "Let It Go," works equally well as their slogan.

Spencer Myer

May 27, 2014

2/18/14 and 5/27/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:"  Gold Medalist of the 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition, Spencer Myer is garnering audience and critical acclaim from around the world. His stellar playing is rapidly establishing him as a leading concert pianist of his generation.

Liam Ó Maonlaí

May 20, 2014

5/20/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:"  U2's Bono calls Hothouse Flowers singer Liam Ó Maonlaí "the best white soul singer in the world." As the rock and soul group approaches its fourth decade of trailblazing, Ó Maonlaí’s grounding in Irish language and traditional Irish music allows him to move with ease between the worlds of pop and traditional music.

John Butler

May 13, 2014

5/13/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" On the heels of the release of "Flesh and Blood," John Butler returns to "Musician's Spotlight," updating listeners on the state of his "garden,” a metaphor for balancing time with family and friends, his responsibilities as a business owner, and his passion for music.

Le Vent du Nord

May 6, 2014

5/6/14: This week on "Musicians' Spotlight:" Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a cosmopolitan breath of fresh air. Accordion, foot-tapping, hurdy gurdy and jaw harp characterize the sound of this engaging French-Canadian band.

Eric Funk

Apr 29, 2014

4/29/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Bozeman composer and jazz pianist Eric Funk’s work has been featured on the syndicated public radio programs Morning Edition and Performance Today. Funk also hosts the Montana PBS television series, 11th and Grant.

Ryan Bundy

Apr 21, 2014
Ryan Bundy

4/22/14: Musician's Spotlight, January 21st & April 22nd, 2014:Missoula recording artist Ryan Bundy returns to the show with his most adventurous project to date: Crow’s Share. Folk instruments, electronic effects and subtle noises combine with Bundy's dark, husky voice in these ballads of lost love, restlessness and "left over morsels of childhood optimism."

Chris Botti

Apr 14, 2014

4/15/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Grammy award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti tells John Floridis about the intensity of his jazz training, and how it led to his collaborations with a diverse roster of musicians, including Paul Simon, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Steven Tyler, Gladys Night and Yo-Yo Ma.

4/8/14: Join host John Floridis as he welcomes a flock of Montana musicians into the studio this afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm for a special Public Radio Week edition of "Musicians' Spotlight." Luke Dowler, Kristi Neumann and The Lil' Trio (members of the Lil' Smokies, with John Dunnigan) will perform, with help on-mic from Jenn Adams and Tom Catmull. Call 243-6400 or (800) 325-1656 or pledge online at mtpr.org.

 

Robben Ford

Mar 30, 2014

4/1/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:"  Blues and jazz singer, songwriter- interpreter-guitarist extraordinaire, Robben Ford, makes his first appearance on Musician's Spotlight. Robben reflects on the choices he's made during his thirty-plus year career and how they have led to the acclaim and respect he enjoys today.

Cyril Neville

Mar 25, 2014

3/25/14: This week on "Musicians' Spotlight:" The youngest of the Neville brothers and a member of the influential group The Meters, percussionist and singer Cyril Neville makes his first visit to Musician's Spotlight.

The Hooligans

Mar 18, 2014

3/18/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Longtime Montana favorites, The Hooligans, waited for over twenty years to release their first recording, "Beggars and Thieves.” Along the way, they picked up an album producer and  part-time band member, Little Feat's Bill Payne. Just as they're hitting their stride, the veteran band is entering a new, exciting phase.

Tom Catmull

Mar 10, 2014

3/11/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Missoula singer-songwriter Tom Catmull returns to Musician's Spotlight to discuss his most recent solo recording, "Words and Malady." Joe Nickell wrote in 2006 for The Missoulian: "Tom Catmull straddles genres like a bow-legged cowboy on a mountain bike.

Mike Dawes

Feb 28, 2014
Az Samad

3/4/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" English guitarist Mike Dawes took a look at Gotye’s hit song, "Somebody That I Used To Know,” and turned it into a finger-style guitar masterpiece. Two million YouTube hits later, the world is finding out more about this disciple of the two-handed, fret-tapping, percussive style of acoustic guitar.

Little Hurricane

Feb 25, 2014
Dan Chusid - San Diego Troubadour

2/25/14: This week on "Musician's Spotlight:" Girls can't play drums? Soft spoken Californians can't sing the blues? Think again. Front man Anthony "Tone" Catalano and drummer Celeste "C.C." Spina found each other on Craigslist and formed the "dirty blues" band Little Hurricane. Within a year they’ve found a home at major festivals and on nationwide tours.

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