Friday, October 2, 2015

Change is in the Air(waves) at WUMB Radio!

WUMB 91.9 FM, UMass Boston’s full-format folk, roots and world music radio station
is very pleased to announce some changes in its Fall programming line-up.  There will be a new voice on air, and a familiar voice at a new time.

The familiar voice belongs to Brendan Hogan, who is the new host of The Morning Show, Monday through Friday from 6:00 – 10:00 AM.  Hogan has been a fixture on the Boston radio scene since 1999 and at WUMB since 2012, where he created the popular Dark Was the Night blues/roots music program and held the 7:00 – 10:00 PM time slot. Brendan has eagerly embraced his new role: “WUMB has always been my favorite station for music, and having worked the evening show for the past few years has been a dream. Moving to mornings for drive time is even more exciting! I don’t know if there’s a station playing more local music every day than us. Same with blues and old gospel, R&B, country, and folk, in addition to the new music and core roots artists we play. It's something I'm really proud to be a part of.”

The new voice, beginning November 9 from 7-10 PM  Monday through Friday is Jess Phaneuf, who comes to WUMB after seven years at MVYRadio on Martha’s Vineyard. In her own words, “I'm thrilled to be returning to Boston to join the team at WUMB, where I'll have the chance to immerse myself in the city's music scene and bring my enthusiasm to the airwaves. Not only do I love the diverse and independent mix of music on UMB, I appreciate their support of local artists in the greater Boston area. It's so evident that WUMB's listeners are appreciative of the deep cuts, the unknown artists, and the intelligent and eclectic programming -- I can't wait to connect with them!

WUMB Director of Programming Jay Moberg is very much looking forward to this new line-up: “I’m really excited about both Brendan and Jess.  Brendan’s Morning Show is truly unique and I think a breath of fresh air in Morning Drive.  You’ll hear musicians from Woody Guthrie to Ray Charles and everything in between.  Brendan does an amazing job of not only selecting great music but also giving you important information about each song or artist.”

“Jess is someone who’s been on my radar for a while now coming to us from MVY, a station I truly respect and admire.  Jess is not only an extremely hard worker who’s built up a very good reputation around the industry but she’s also wired into the Local Music scene in Boston which is incredibly important to WUMB.”

Tune in to WUMB Radio at 91.9 FM or listen online at for Brendan Hogan and beginning November 9, Jess Phaneuf bringing you the very best of modern and traditional folk, roots and world music!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dawes at The Royale, 9/22/2015

On Tuesday, September 22nd, Dawes played The Royale in Boston for the second time in their career. It sold well the first time, but the second time it sold out. We had the opportunity to meet with Taylor Goldsmith, guitarist and lead vocalist for the band, on his tour bus prior to the show.

Dawes are touring to support their 4th album, All Your Favorite Bands, which was released on June 2nd of this year.  Goldsmith said that on previous tours he would often be approached after shows and given the comment of, "I didn't know you could play guitar like that, or I didn't know Griffin [Goldsmith] could play drums like that" which he took as a compliment but still had to think "obviously we aren't doing this right". A unique, passionate live show is a necessity for the band, "no one wants to talk about a band and say 'oh the show was great, but you've really gotta go home and listen to the CD you bought for ten bucks'". So he and drummer (and brother) Griffin got an acoustic guitar and headed down to Nashville to meet with David Rawlings with the hopes of making an album that captured the feel of their live shows.

After the writing of All Your Favorite Bands was complete Dawes took the tracks on a mini-tour of California as a means of pre-production. They played to tiny rooms with Rawlings standing in the back serving as their coach, reading the way the audience reacted and relaying the information to the guys at the end of the night. In the studio Rawlings encouraged the guys not to listen back to tracks for the first three or for takes. He would then edit the songs and it would be the edits that the band heard.Goldsmith said, "We were a tool for him the way he was for us. We were there for performances and we were fresh ears for him when he played us his edits."

A typical Dawes audience tends to have a wide age range from late teenagers to the compatriots of their parents. The crowd at The Royale was no different, and meshed seamlessly, all affected by the music in the same way. Tay Strathairn, keyboardist, was unfortunately absent from the stage as his appendix burst a little over a week ago. (We'll give him a free pass for that one.) And Duane Betts, who recently joined up as an official member of the touring band proved yet again that he is an invaluable addition to the lineup complementing Goldmsith on guitar rather than competing. The set included two thirds of All Your Favorite Bands--only "Waiting For Your Call", "Don't Send Me Away" and "To Be Completely Honest" were left out--among older favorites such as "When My Time Comes", "If I Wanted Someone", "A Little Bit of Everything", "Time Spent In Los Angeles" and more. The show was billed as "An Evening With Dawes", forgoing an opener in favor of an eighteen-song career-spanning set. A quarter of the way through, Goldsmith even commented that had they had an opener they would only be getting started at that point. Similarly, when it was time to call it a night, they chose to stay on stage rather than exiting and returning for an encore. And, of course, they closed out the set with "All Your Favorite Bands".

-Kendall Stewart

WUMB Q+A: Shemekia Copeland

Spinnin' The Blues host, Holly Harris, recently chatted with Shemekia Copeland about her new record, Outskirts of Love: 

HH: Hello Shemekia, It’s great to be sitting down with you again. How are you doing? I last caught up with you here, playing Cambrdige, MA last year. It was winter and we were all wrapped up. First of all I just want to say how much I love the album. It’s really wonderful. The songs have such variety and freshness. I’m excited to talk about it in a second, but I know you’re on the road. Where you now and how’s the tour going?  When do you plan to be back in Chicago?

SC: Doin' great. Workin' hard. Good to be with you. I'm touring my new CD, Outskirts of Love, almost non-stop for the next two months. I'm in Kansas now. Won't be back in Chicago until October 2. But I'm having a ball!

HH: I’m excited to talk with you about your latest Alligator release. What can you tell me about the title, “Outskirts of Love’? I’m sure a lot of thought went into that?

SC: It's a CD that I think is relevant to the times we live in. Most of the people are living on the outskirts. They're marginalized. Some are homeless. Another is a victim of date rape. There's even a country song about a woman on the run in a desperate situation.

HH:  First of all, what is different for you about this particular album; musically, collaboratively, and where you are vocally these days?

SC: What's different is I think it's my most complete album from a conceptional point of view. Everything just seems to fit in together theme-wise from one song to the next. It just flows. I'm back working with Oliver Wood who just seems to know how to get the most out of me. And he and John Hahn have written some of my best songs yet. 

HH:  Let’s talk about the cd, ‘Outskirts of Love, dropping right now. There are 12 wonderfully,
carefully selected tunes on here. Your work is so present and relevant. I just want to say, I think you
sound amazing and I’m not alone; better than ever. You are able to transcend styles, and make each
tune your own as, ‘pure Shemeika’.You also have an amazing array of talent on here with you.
Who’s in your core band? I love your choice of guest artists too- Billy F. Gibbons, Alvin Youngblood
Hart, and Robert Randolph, whom I recently saw and spoke with. He’s great. Plus you have some
special other musicians adding to the mix.  Recording engineer Mike Poole and his crew really did a
great job. There are a lot of good products coming out of Nashville.

SC: Oliver put together a great core band then added fantastic local guys in Nashville like Will Kimborough, Pete Finney, and Guthrie Trapp. Plus I had friends like Billy Gibbons who I just love, Robert Randolph who I've worked with before on a Slide Brothers CD, and Alvin Youngblood Hart who really nailed it on Cardboard Box. Nashville's just incredible to record in. The level of musicianship is so high. And all the people are great. Plus when the session is over you can go out to a club and catch somebody like Vince Gill. I had an awesome time.

HH: How did the collaboration with your guitarist Oliver Wood and manager/producer, John Hahn come about?  
SC: John saw Oliver in New York and they just hit it off. John's been writing great songs for me on every CD but I think he's done his best ones with Oliver. He and I talk every day about everything and somehow he's able to translate that into songs I can really relate to on a very personal level. .  

HH: Boy, ‘Crossbone Beach’ in an intense tune if you listen to the lyrics. The songs you sing are so
sincere as you talk about love and life and the human experience, including your own. I know that is
a message your dad passed down to you that, ‘We’re all connected”. It’s really very timely right now
especially in light of what’s going on in the world. Another example is ,‘The Battle is Over, But the
War Goes On’.

SC: I'm trying to make music, Blues in particular, that is relevant to the times. So "Crossbone" is right out of today's headlines about date rape. And "The Battle Is Over" anti-war message is as well. The world doesn't really need more blues songs that only say, "My main left me, ain't that sad". 

HH: I love that you selected, ‘Devil’s Hand’; a tune of your father’s on here, the great, Johnny Clyde Copeland. I hope you do one every cd! You know he would be proud of all that you have accomplished. Im sure both your parents are.

SC: I'm very luck that I had great parents. I love them both so much. Both were always so supportive of whatever I wanted to do. 

HH: The songs are all very sepcial; ‘Albert King’s, ‘Wrapped up in Love Again’, John
Fogerty’s...‘Long as I Can See the Light’ , and the final cut is so poignant, ‘Lord Help the Needy’.
Commentary on social justice is important to you.

SC: I'm very blessed that I have this opportunity to use my voice and people actually listen to it. So I like to take advantage of that to do more than just sing simple songs. Social justice is important to all of us.So I try to sing about thing but in an entertaining way.I'd never want to come across as lecturing anyone. 

HH: Are there a few tunes you that could like talk about specifically or that you would like to touch on so folks can be aware their messages?

SC: I think "Cardboard Box", about homeless people, is an important one. Everyday we all just walk past these poor people living out in the street.  We ignore them. It's like we treat them and act they're not even people anymore. We just walk on by. It's incredibly sad and it's not right. 

HH: Can you just mention on some of your greatest influences that have help put you on the path?

SC: Koko Taylor and Ruth Brown were huge influences. Otis Redding and O.V. Wright. The Stones and Led Zep.  My daddy, Johnny Clyde. Dr. John. Steve Cropper. Too many other people to name. I've been very fortunate. 

HH:  Thank you, Shemekia for sitting down with me today. I’m always so excited to see what you are
up to. All the best on, ‘Outskirts of Love’. It’s going places. Our buddy Ed Burke was also happy to
hear the new cd on ‘Spinning the Blues’. He’s like a proud uncle out there. I look forward to hearing
the band again soon. Let’s check in again in the future. Safe travels...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

In-Studio Performance: Catie Curtis

Boston mainstay and resident "folk-rock goddess", as the New Yorker calls her, Catie Curtis paid a visit to the WUMB air studio on September 10th for a performance and interview with Dave Palmater in preparation for her shows at Club Passim on Saturday, September 19th.

Curtis, who is coming off of a divorce--the end of a seventeen-year marriage to be exact--and has a yet unnamed record dealing with the topic, chose to start the session with "Troubled Mind" from her 1996 album Truth and Lies. As an artist who has based most of her material off of her own life Curtis says that she is in a tricky spot with a lot of the material on her forthcoming album. Many of her earlier records were about her married life and parenting her young children. Not all of the songs are based fact for fact on her  own experiences. One song that fits this description is "My Betraying Heart",cowritten with Maia Sharp, which tells the story of overlapping relationships. She never wants to put a disclaimer out on song saying that they did or did not happen in her life. With twenty plus years of touring under her belt fans are always coming up to her and telling her how her songs relate to their own lives. What matters is that relatability, "what is important is that it could have happened" to her. She also played a song that was formerly named after her Unitarian minister who's name appeared in the song. The lyrics include asking "is it real life yet" and questioning whether the person leaving a long-term relationship is in fact doing the right thing. The song is currently untitled because she chose to remove the minister's name from the lyrics.

The next few months are going to be busy for Curtis. In addition to writing and performing she runs a series of songwriting retreats. Applications are still being accepted for a session running Columbus Day weekend. She also produces the Voices United Concerts to raise awareness for Americans United For Separation of Church and State. The next next installation features Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem on October 30th at the First Unitarian Society in Newton. Curtis is also looking for a venue to host her annual holiday show.

You can catch Catie Curtis at Club Passim on Saturday, September 19th, at 5 PM and 8 PM. More information can be found on her website

Monday, August 31, 2015

WUMB Member Concert with Eliza Gilkyson

If you are a WUMB Member you know that you can go to free WUMB Member Concerts. We have a Member Concert with Eliza Gilkyson, Rebecca Loebe, Betty Soo, and Bianca De Leon at 7 PM on Thursday, September 24th at David Friend Recital Hall at Berklee College of Music. The event is hosted by Berklee's Professional Education Division, Austin to Boston: Cutting Through The Noise.

Each of the featured artists are based out of Austin, Texas and are visiting Berklee to teach master classes, chat with students, and to perform. Eliza Gilkyson comes from a musical family. Her father is Terry Gilkyson the folk musician, and her brother Tony is a guitarist. Gilkyson has been releasing music since 1969. Rebecca Loebe competed on Adam Levine's team during the first season of NBC's The Voice and has toured with the likes of Ellis Paul and Raina Rose. Betty Soo has won awards from the Sisters Folk Festival, the Wildflower! Festival, Mountain Stage and more. Bianca De Leon is an internationally renowned folk singer who has had her music featured on film soundtracks and in video games.

You must be a WUMB member to attend Member Concerts. Become one here.

-Kendall Stewart

Friday, August 28, 2015

WUMB Member Concert with Joan Shelley

One of the perks of being a WUMB Member is that you are able to attend free WUMB Member Concerts. Our next Member Concert is with Joan Shelley at 12 PM on Saturday, September 12th at Club Passim. 

Joan Shelley is a singer/songwriter based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her influences range from 1960's folk music to classic country tunes. Shelley frequently collaborates with other musicians serving as a member of the trio Maiden Radio and even releasing entire records with them including Joe Manning for Outside Stay Outside  and Daniel Martin Moore for Farthest Field. Over and Even his her third solo record, out September 4th. 

You must be a WUMB Member to attend Member Concerts. Become one here

-Kendall Stewart

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In-Studio Performance: Warren Haynes

On Tuesday, August 11th, WUMB had the pleasure of hosting the legendary Warren Haynes. Perhaps you know Haynes best as the guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, maybe you know him as a founding member of Gov't Mule, or you may know him for his solo work. To call his career expansive would be an understatement. Most recently he has teamed of with Railroad Earth to release Ashes & Dust, a record compiled of brand new songs and songs that he wrote twenty years ago but had yet to record.

Regardless of when they were written, each of the songs is deeply personal about real people and real relationships. Hey performed "Spots of Time", Is It Me Or You", "Wanderlust" and "Company Man", all from the new album and their emotional intensity permeated the studio.  "Is It Me Or You" had been kicking around for thirty years and "Wanderlust" is actually about Gram Parsons. They are cathartic for Haynes who believes that "Songwriting is a way to get you out of your own dumps".

Haynes teamed up with Railroad Earth after collaborating with them on stage for years, but they are not the only collaborators on the album. Mickey Raphael, the harmonica player from Willie Nelson's band, plays on the album, along with additions from Shawn Colvin and Grace Potter. Haynes refers to the guest performers as "the icing on the cake" because of the inspiration their fresh energy and perspective brought to the process.

He will can next be seen on Thursday at the Peach Music Festival (founded by the Allman Brothers) in Scranton, PA along with Greg Allman, Santana, Bob Weir with Billy and The Kids, Willie Nelson and Family and more. Then on Saturday, August 15th,  he will be in Lowell as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series. More information on Warren Haynes can be found here.

-Kendall Stewart

Friday, August 7, 2015

New WUMB Music: Bobby Long and Langhorne Slim

Every Friday morning at 7:30 Brendan Hogan highlights brand new music on WUMB. This week he featured new tracks from Bobby Long and Langhorne Slim & The Law.

Bobby Long, "Hideaway", Ode To Thinking
Twenty-nine year old British-born, New York-based singer songwriter Bobby Long released his third record Ode To Thinking, today. The album is named for its finger-picked opening track and is comprised of songs to which Long devoted the last year of his life, even playing them as part of his live sets. He says, "With some songs you have to play them out before you record them because they're not quite there yet". Ode To Thinking was produced by Mark Hallman--who also plays organ, bass, piano and drums on the album--and recorded in Hallman's Congress House Studios in Austin, TX and made possible by a PledgeMusic campaign comprised of over 750 pledgers.

Langhorne Slim & The Law, "Put It Together", The Spirit Moves 
Sean Scolnick is better known by his stage name Langhorne Slim taken from his hometown of Langhorne Pennsylvania. The Spirit Moves is his sixth album over all but second along with his band The Law. It is an important record for him, being his first written and recorded while sober, as well as his first written and recorded while single. Of the album he says, "I'm a strong believer that sensitivity and vulnerability are not weaknesses. They're some of the greatest strengths of man and woman kind, and that's what a lot of this record is about." The album was recorded with engineer Andrija Tokic at Tokic's The Bomb Shelter recording studio in East Nashville, TN.

-Kendall Stewart