August 13, 2013 - Live and Local

Jazz Vocalist Christy Bennett in Urbana and Springfield

Christy Bennett is a native of Springfield who traveled to Chicago for college and never left. Her classical training informs her jazz vocal technique, and she has recently branched out to form a band called Fumee Gypsy Project, who will play in Urbana Thursday night and in Springfield for two shows on Friday. I'll talk with Christy on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local."

August 12, 2013 - Live and Local

Gloria Roubal & Paul Sabuco in Rantoul and Champaign

Gloria Roubal and Paul Sabuco have each fronted various pop-rock bands in the 1980s and 1990s, branching out to take on various solo projects. Now performing as a duo, they gravitate to songs that feature two-part harmony, and they write an increasing number of originals. Gloria and Paul will play in Rantoul Tuesday night and in Champaign on Saturday. They'll join me live on the Monday edition of "Live and Local."

August 09, 2013 - Live and Local

Freud’s Last Session at The Station Theatre

I love the theater, though I confess I see plays only occasionally. At least two of my most memorable theatrical experiences involved actor Gary Ambler. In one, he was outrageously comic, in the other, heartbreakingly gentle and sincere. He’s currently in a two-man play, Freud’s Last Session, on an extended run in Urbana this weekend. I’ll welcome both actors and the director to the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”

August 08, 2013 - Live and Local

A Conversation with Mark Rubel: Part Two

On the Thursday edition of the show, I’ll welcome back recording engineer Mark Rubel for Part Two of a conversation about the art of recording live music. Mark is leaving Champaign’s Pogo Studio after more than thirty years to co-direct a recording academy in Nashville. We’ll hear more of the records Mark has made, and explore the issues involved in capturing the soul of a musician through a microphone.

August 07, 2013 - Live and Local

Pogo Studio’s Mark Rubel Is Moving to Nashville

Mark Rubel has made more than a thousand recordings at his Pogo Studio in Champaign. His clients have included Alison Krauss, Hum, Rascall Flatts, Luther Allison and many other national acts. More to the point, he has recorded countless musicians living and working locally, and when he moves to Nashville next week, he will be greatly missed. I’ll talk with Mark Rubel, and we’ll hear samples of his work, on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”

August 07, 2013 - Live and Local

Family-Friendly Musician Dan Zanes and Irish Accordionist David Munnelly in Urbana

“Sing it high and sing it low, sing out every song they know.” Those are a couple of lines from a song by Dan Zanes, but it could also be a motto for his work bringing music of all kinds to kids of all ages. He’ll play at the Ellnora Guitar Festival in Urbana this weekend, and he’ll join me on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll talk also with Irish accordionist David Munnelly about his gig with fiddle player Mick Conneely in Urbana Thursday night.

August 06, 2013 - Live and Local

Irish Band We Banjo 3 in Urbana

In America today, the most common banjo is the five-string variety. But at least several decades ago, emigrants returning to Ireland from the United States brought with them the four-string variety, and it stuck in traditional Irish music. The Irish band We Banjo 3--with, ironically, four members--features three players of the tenor banjo, and multiple other plucked instruments, in a vibrant mix of Irish, bluegrass and American old-time music. They'll play in Urbana Tuesday night, and I'll talk with leader Enda Scahill on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local."

August 05, 2013 - Live and Local

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama in Charleston

Charleston Alley Theatre was founded to produce plays that weren’t being done in other local venues, including classics and original works by local playwrights. Their current production is Paul Zindel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds—which apparently hasn’t been seen in our area for 40 years. We’ll have a live preview on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.”

August 02, 2013 - Live and Local

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” in Sullivan and Henhouse Prowlers Play Bluegrass in Monticello

The musical Monty Python’s Spamalot won three Tony awards—including Best Musical—and had fourteen nominations. If you enjoy irreverent musical parody of medieval legends, you’ll likely enjoy this show, and it’s playing in Sullivan. We’ll have a live preview on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll sample the forthcoming CD from the wonderful Chicago bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers, who play in Monticello Friday night.

August 01, 2013 - Live and Local

Singer-Songwriter Kristen Nelson in Decatur

The 28th annual Decatur Celebration street festival will run Thursday through Sunday, with the music acts to include multi-platinum-selling bands, Grammy award winners and an American Idol finalist. Among the lesser-known performers will be Decatur-based singer-songwriter Kristen Nelson, who released her first recorded collection last year. She’ll sing and play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”

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