Audio Specials

Date

Stephen Stills 70th Birthday Tribute

For Stephen Still's 70th birthday, Cindy Howes and Mike Sauter discuss Stills' career and play a couple of profound tracks from his illustrious career.  

WYEP's 2014 Year in Review Countdown

WYEP’S 2014 Year in Review Countdown showcases the best music of the past year. We highlight each of the station’s top 50 albums with a song and commentary, and hear from musicians who visited WYEP in 2014.  Hosted by Rosemary Welsch

WYEP's Local Music Year in Review Show

Cindy Howes guides you on a two-hour journey through the best of Pittsburgh music in 2014. Including WYEP's Top 5 Local artists.

2014's Departures

WYEP's Annual tribute show.  Remembering many from the music world who died in 2014.Including: Gerry Goffin, Pete Seeger, Phil Everly, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith, Johnny Winter, Johnny Ray Allen, Joe Cocker, Jesse Winchester, Jack Bruce, Dick Wagner, Joe Sample, Idris Muhammad, Jimmy Scott, Charlie Haden, Manny Roth, Tom Skeeter, Cosimo Matassa, Larry Smith, Big Bank Hank, Bobby Womack, Dave Brockie, Scott Asheton, Tommy Ramone, Bobby Keys, Ian McLagan, Mark Bell, Frankie Knuckles, Frannie Beecher, Jerry Corbitt, Paul Revere, The Mighty Hannibal, Frances Nero, James Alan Shelton, George Shuffler, Jimmy Ruffin, Casey Kasem, Porky Chedwick and many more.Hosted by Brian Siewiorek

Best of 2014: Cindy Howes

Cindy Howes shares her favorites in music for 2014. 1. Ben Howard - "I Forget Where We Were" from I Forget Where We WereI(Favorite album)2. Brandi Carlile - "Have You Ever" from The Story(Favorite show: The Pindrop Tour @ The Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oct 10.2014)3. Future Islands - "Seasons (Waiting On You)" from Singles(Favorite song)

Best of 2014: Joey Spehar

Joey Spehar from The Morning Mix shares some of his favorite musical moments of 2014 with Cindy Howes.Best Album: Strand of Oaks HEALBest Concert: David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet at Club Cafe on November 2, 2014Best WYEP Live & Direct Session:  The Hold Steady on February 4, 2014 

Best of 2014; Rosemary Welsch

Rosemary Welsch, WYEP's Afternoon Mix host, shares her favorites from 2014. 1. Rosanne Cash - "Etta's Tune"2. Sean Rowe - "Shine My Diamond Ring"3. Damon Albarn - "Everyday Robots"

Best of 2014: Kyle Smith

As 2014 comes to an end, we're taking some time to remember our favorites from this year.  Midday Mix host Kyle Smith joins Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to discuss what inspired him in 2014.Kyle's Guest DJ Set:Alt-J - Every Other FreckleLucius - Turn It AroundHozier - Jackie & Wilson

Tom Waits: The “Lost” WYEP Interview

Originally recorded and broadcast in 1976, the interview was a project undertaken by WYEP co-founder Jeff Smith, together with then-DJs Mal Reding and Bill Askin. The original interview, recorded on a cassette, was sent to WYEP by Smith, noting that the interview had taken place in a Howard Johnson’s restaurant in York, PA, during a promo tour for Waits' third album, Nighthawks at the Diner, on the heels of a concert at the University of Pittsburgh.  The Pitt concerts took place March 12 & 13, 1976 with poet Charles Bukowski as the opening act.  Waits begins the WYEP interview talking about these concerts and the influence Bukowski has had on his career.  The interview continues on to topics like Waits' writing process, touring with Frank Zappa, performing live and Waits' own inspirations and influences. Tom Waits' love of wordplay and sense of humor are prominent in this interview. As are the sounds of a 24-hour restaurant; coffee is poured and sipped, cigarettes are lit and smoked and other late-night revelry can be heard in the background.This rebroadcast of this interview was part of WYEP's 40th anniversary audio archival project, and was restored, edited and hosted by Brian Siewiorek.

Pajama Program Guest DJ

Pajama Program founder Genevieve Piturro joins Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to play Guest DJ.WYEP's Holiday Hootenanny benefits The Pajama Program in 2014.Genevieve Piturro's Guest DJ Set:Pharell Williams - HappyClem Snide - BeautifulPhillip Phillips - Home 

Remembering Leadbelly

On the 65th anniversary of his passing, Joey Spehar and Wrett Weatherspoon remember the folk and blues icon known as Leadbelly.

Streetcar Named Desire Guest DJ Set

Patrick Jordan gives us a Guest DJ set of "desire" songs based on Barebones Production's Streetcar Named Desire. Jordan had a tough time assembling songs about desire to just three choices realizing that desire just happens to be a popular theme in song writing, “there are more songs about desire than I could have possibly imagined so narrowing this down to 3 was almost impossible”. However Jordan was able to pick 3 amazing songs beginning with Etta James “I Just Want to Make Love to You”. “I always loved Etta James voice” says Jordan “I’ve heard a lot of people cover this song but the way she does it is just perfect it hits a perfect cord I think”. For his second choice Jordan picked “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen. I’m a huge Springsteen fan always have been that song hits a cord always has with me” Jordan explains, “I know it says desire in the song but you can kind of feel that throughout the whole thing”.Jordan and Cindy move on to discuss Streetcar Named Desire which Jordan says is reflected well in the songs he is choosing, as well describes the music involved in the production which will include live performances with Joe Grushecky and John Gresh playing with the scene transitions, “it’s very relevant to today we are not treating it like a fossil it’s very real and visceral” Jordan states, as he leads into his third pick as guest DJ, Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You”.“I think the play is extraordinarily relevant and real if we do it right, and I think we have” says Jordan, Explaining that this is only the second time Barebones Productions has done a show that was not a local premiere, as well that this show has not been professional produced in almost twenty years. “I don’t want another generation of Pittsburgh theater goers to miss out on this story… the audiences so far has been surprised by how much depth the show actually has and how relevant is really is”.  Streetcar Named Desire Runs through December 6th at the New Hazlett Theater.

Artie Lange Guest DJ

Legendary comedian Artie Lange plays Guest DJ with Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix.Artie Lange, being a Jersey guy, is a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen.  Artie begins his Guest DJ set with his favorite song from Born To Run - "Backstreets". “I love the fact that it tells the story of a guy falling in love with a chick on a beach and that reminds me of when I was in high school on the Jersey shore” says Lange, “It’s just a real romantic song to me and in the end Springsteen starts howling because he has a broken heart. It’s a really cool rock and roll song”. “Im a big Ramones fan they kept it simple and they were the epitome of punk rock” says Lange about his second pick as Guest DJ, “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. “I sat next to Joey Ramone at a Yankee game once that was a blast,” continues Lange, “All the original ones are gone so I thought I’d pay a little tribute to them”. Artie says that he relates to this song especially due to his life on the road. Lange is celebrating releasing a new book and his newest comedy special has just aired. “It’s a lot about the last few years of my life…it's honest stuff…it’s something that I think my fans will like”. Lange will also be performing this weekend in Pittsburgh, a city that he loves. Artie says of The Burgh, "It’s been one of my favorite markets. I love sports towns that are passionate and blue collar.”For his final pick as Guest DJ, Artie chooses one of his favorite songs to take the stage to - The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”.  “A classic classic” quips Lange, “Whenever there is some big benefit concert at The Garden, this band steals the show with one of their anthems”. 

Isabella Rossellini on the Afternoon Mix

Rosemary Welsch talks with Isabella Rossellini in this November 2014 interview.  Rossellini discusses the inspiration behing her "Green Porno" series, the challenges of bringing it to the stage and her love of animals.

Janis Ian Guest DJ Set

Janis Ian plays Guest DJ with Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix.Iconic folk singer Janis Ian kicked off her Guest DJ set with what she calls "a perfect record" - Bob Dylan's "Corrina Corrina".  Ian says of the song, “His phrasing is amazing on it…there’s certain singers and certain cuts that you go to when your own singing needs to be refreshed, I usually go to Billie Holiday and I go to this cut by Dylan”.  After hearing Ian’s second song as Guest DJ - Nina Simone’s “Pirate Jenny” - she describes Simone, who she knew personally as "a friend of mine and an acquaintance depending on her mood she was a difficult person…I can’t have an concept of what it was like to be what I would call a genius and an incredible pianist an incredible band leader and singer and be black growing up in the 50s in American I can’t begin to imagine that”. “An unbelievably great song” Ian describes “Pirate Jenny, “Nina’s was the first version I heard and it opened up a whole other world of arranging and songwriting for me, she stopped she started she slows down she speeds up, she doesn’t worry about anything but the song and staying true to the song…something I really struggle with and admire in others”. Ian's last selection is a song she herself had recently recorded on a tribute record to Jean Ritchie. “I just think it’s an amazing song” says Ian of “Morning Come, Maria's Gone”. “You don’t really know what happened this person wakes up one morning and Maria is gone and basically I can’t cope… there’s a sense of desolation that you only get from American music.Ian was recently nominated for a Voice Arts Award for her reading of the autobiography of Miriam Therese Winter. “She’s a fascinating writer and human being,” says Ian. “I think it’s a great role model to see someone in their late 70s still active…and I love the idea of a gay Jew reading the life of a Catholic nun”.  Janis Ian's Guest DJ Set:Bob Dylan - Corrina CorrinaNina Simone - Pirate JennyJean Ritchie - Morning Come, Maria's Gone

Robyn Hitchcock Guest DJ

Robyn Hitchcock joins Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to play Guest DJ.Hitchcock performs this weekend at club Café and he is ready to go with his guest DJ selections starting out immediately with “Miss Ohio” by Gillian Welch. “This particular track I love, this record Soldier is one where they break that taboo and have other musicians on a Gillian Welch record. Hitchcock’s second guest DJ pick is “Slow Dog” from Belly. The song has a lot of imagery for Hitchcock and he explains why he loves the track so much, “I love that record…there’s a lot of sort of spooky stuff being channeled I think of the sort of older woman channeling pre-adolescent hormones you know the way that adolescent girls are supposed to cause poltergeist and make light bulbs explode or at least create moods where you think they’re going to but mostly it’s just the eerie over sensitized feeling you can get at certain stages in life... I don’t suppose they’re about any of that at all it’s just what I get out of it”With one song remaining to Pick as guest DJ Hitchcock selects one that is nearly 30 years old but has never lost any of its glimmer to him.  This like many songs that appeal to Hitchcock carry a certain feeling that is hard to describe and is even often not what might by lyrically written into the song. “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs. “I think all three of these songs have kind of a mood…sometimes it takes a whole album to carry a mood and sometimes you just get one song off it and it will immediately plunge you into that…to me their instant little worlds”.Hitchcock’s latest album The Man upstairs released in the summer and his career is moving along quite literally, specifically by train. In an upcoming tour he will be riding a train from LA to Seattle and back playing concerts. “I have always wanted to play on a train and it never happened so I get to realize that ambition after 40 years”.

The Smiths Hatful of Hollow Turns 30

On the 30th anniversary of The Smiths' Hatful of Hollow, WYEP on-air host Neil Bucher shares some of his favorite tracks and extensive Smiths insight with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix. Bucher first began listening to the smiths well after they had actually disbanded. Luckily however through his college roommate who was part of the universities CD club he gained accessed to The Queen is Dead and became a tremendous fan. Hatful of Hollow is often regarded as the album that should have been the Smiths debut album explains Bucher, “the debut The Smiths was kind of a disappointment production wise it was a little bit soft a little bit muddled and some of the tracks that showed up and some that were excluded were interesting choices…Hatful of Hollow a compilation album actually ends up being the album that many fans and critics think should have been the debut”. Bucher has prepared several songs to represent the album and starts with “Back to the Old House”.   It’s a gentle song says Bucher and a great representation of early Smiths, “it’s just Johnny Marr finger picking on an acoustic guitar and Morrisey singing”.Bucher’s second pick from Hatful of Hollow is “Handsome Devil”  which he says were a great representation of what the Smiths were like despite not being a live recording, “you can really hear the rhythm section here… it really showcases the band and kind of the frenetic nature of the band”. This song also carried with it a small of controversy regarding its content, “the tabloids who were looking for controversy picked up on the lines about mammary glands and conjugal beds and whips there seemed to be a teacher student relationship there as well Morrissey was quoted later on as saying that it had nothing to do with children”. Hatful of Hollow cannot be mentioned without mentioning “How soon is Now” Bucher says “if they have a rock anthem this is their rock anthem…even non Smiths fans know” this song gets played live still by Morrissey and Marr as well as being heavily covered since its release.Bucher and Cindy also discuss the future of The Smiths which is not looking bright due to a series of lawsuits between band members there is likely to never be any type of reunion, “absolutely not Morrissey has made that completely clear”. However fans are still able to listen to the various members of The Smiths in their solo careers and enjoy Hateful of Hollow especially now that it is celebrating 30 years.

Jamestown Revival Guest DJ Set

Jonathan Clay of Jamestown Revival shares a few of his favorite songs on The Morning Mix.Clay joins Cindy Howes via the phone as he is driving the tour van as well as describing his first pick as guest DJ. “Pretty Good” by John Prine is, Clay feels, a prime example of Prime’s best work. “Taking a brutally honest observation and making it poignant it’s kind of talking about the monotony that we go through with our day to day and just how we kind of go through it mindlessly, it makes you think of how that make affect people."  Clay’s second pick “Let Him Roll” by Guy Clark is a song that tells a story that has stuck with him since he first heard it. “For some reason it gets to me every time I hear it no matter how many times I hear it… when you listen to that song talking about this woman who maybe everyone else looked at as a throwaway but she was to him heaven she was the ultimate…it’s a pretty cool story”.Clay’s final song is a classic song by a classic artist, Willie Nelson singing “I’d Have to be Crazy” is a classic love song by a man who is himself a legend. Clay says the songs resonates well with his personal relationships, “I have a wonderful wife who waits ever so passionately for me back home, it’s a classic love song and nobody can do it quite like Willie Nelson”.

Tom Petty's Wildflowers turns 20

Tom Petty's Wildflowers album turns 20 this week, local musician Bill Deasy shares a couple of his favorites from that release on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes.

Everyone Is Gay Guest DJ

Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid, founders of EveryoneIsGay.com and authors of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, play Guest DJ on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Having run an advice blog for LGTBQ youth and touring campuses across the country since 2010 Russo and Reid are happy to see that their book has already received positive feedback from readers, “So far the responses that we have gotten have been incredible even on the simplest level of young people telling us that they’re so excited to be able to give something like this to their parents…I think that that’s what people need the most is just a tool with which to open up the conversation”. Russo and Reid often use humor and music in their blog…Howes asks how they incorporate music into their work, “At the beginning and end of every video we lip sync, which is one of our greatest talents, to either a song that somehow relates to what the question is or just a song that we like”. Russo and Reid’s exceptional taste in music helps them choose their first pick of this guest DJ set “Redshift” by Darwin Deez.The second pick of Russon and Reid as guest DJ is Ingrid Michaelson’s “After Life” which is a personal favorite of the duo. “That song is about conquering fears and I know it’s an important song to her and it’s also a really important song in relation to our work because I think that so much of what we do is related to overcoming fears weather it’s the fear of coming out to parents or the fear of speaking up about who we are or the fear of the world around us…sometimes it’s hard to remember that we have the courage to do the things that we need to do the most”.  The last guest DJ pick is “Team” by Lorde. “When I heard this song I had this vision of me and Danielle lip syncing but then it kind of went across the world and everyone is singing we are on each other’s team”Howes asks about the new book This is a Book for the Parents of Gay Kids, begging the question could the book of come out 10 years ago and have the same effect? “I think that we could have and it would have done the things that it will do now I think that the difference being that right now because there is so much in the media and so much going on in our country that is on the positive side of things like same sex marriage and gender equality that more people are willing to talk about it than maybe would have been ten years ago”.Kristin Russo and Danielle Owens-Reid’s Guest DJ Set List:Darwin Deez - “RedshiftIngrid Michaelson – “Afterlife”Lorde – “Team”

Rosemary Welsch Halloween Show Preview

Afternoon Mix host, Rosemary Welsch, gives a preview of her annual Halloween show on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Despite stern warnings and rising blood pressure Howes and Welsch begin discussing the scariest holiday of them all, Halloween. Welsch has a soft spot for Halloween not only for the parties (which she rarely attends) or the children coming to her door for candy (which she loves) but for her annual Halloween show where she features Spooky songs stories and memories. Welsch first features a song by John Fogerty called “Wicked Old Which”. Welsch and Howes note that Fogerty both as a solo artist and as part of CCR were quite adept at writing Halloween appropriate songs, “Bab moon rising and born in the bayou has kind of the creep sound to it that darkness”.Part of the Halloween show is recounting Halloween stories and songs from the past, many that will be featured are sweet childhood memories, college experiences, as well as strange oddities that seem to have no real rhyme or reason to them. Including the second song in this preview called “Teenage creature” by Lord Luther. The song plays as a classic Halloween song and is also greatly represents the attitude towards teenagers of the 1950’s.Rosemary Welsch’s Halloween show can be heard on WYEP this Halloween afternoon from 2-6 PM.

David Bazan on The Morning Mix

David Bazan joins Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to discuss his music and current tour.David Bazan has recently embarked on a new tour with the Passenger String Quartet that has helped himreimagine some of his catalogue with interesting new takes on his songs. Bazan says that he originally contacted Andrew Joslyn of Passenger String Quartet to ask about arranging strings a for a couple of songs and it snowballed from there, “long story short I went ahead and called him and the arrangements that he sent back were very good they were arrangements that ended up on the record and we just sort of talked about doing more”. Bazan plays many shows in a year and keeping things fun for both his audience and himself is a constant pursuit. Having Passenger String Quartet with him on tour has been a great opportunity to rediscover some of his own work, “I’m constantly digging back through my catalogue and trying to reconnect with older tunes and just find new ways of playing stuff or songs I have haven’t played in a while….this process of playing with these guys certainly was been an extension of that, it just brought out a lot of the beauty that I had maybe forgotten”.Bazan’s music has always been emotionally charged and full of intimate lyrics. He notes that his lyrics come from both a pure storytelling source and an autobiographical source. “Where I’m most happy writing is kind of a blend between the two…but for me because of the way my songs feel and sound I think that people often assume it’s autobiography even if it’s fiction”.  He also adds that this had led to some concern from his fans, “people can get pretty worried about me because some of the characters do some pretty dangerous or dastardly or really unhealthy things”.Spehar points out that Bazan’s music does a great job of pointing out the trials and tribulations of truly being a grown up to which Bazan is definitely aware of as a writer. “It was fueled by looking at these current events and trying to make sense of politics and economic policy and even my personal relationship with commerce as a grown up…what does it mean to be a grown up how do we wrestle with these things as a grown up?”Bazan has been experimenting with releasing his music in different ways than the traditional full record release. What has resulted is a monthly release of two songs called the “Monthly series” Bazan says this new format is the result of trying balance his life as a family man as well as kick start his creative mind. “it’s dawning on me recently that I need to stay home more…so I needed to figure out a way to work as hard at home as I do on the road and to be able to monetize my work at home the big conclusion I came to was that I just need to write more songs”.David Bazan is performing Sunday November 2nd at Club Café in Pittsburgh. 

Inside The Warhol's "Exposed" project

(Photo: Eleanor Friedberger in the "Exposed" rehearsals performing in front of an Edie Sedgwick color screen test)  In the late 60’s, Andy Warhol would frequently ask artists like the Velvet Underground to perform live as he projected his films. The practice nearly died with the artist but is being resurrected in Pittsburgh this week. Musicians will perform live scores on Friday for 15 Warhol films that experts are calling “unseen.” “Warhol shot a lot of film and he probably looked at it, put it away,” said the Curator of Film and Video for the Andy Warhol Museum, Geralyn Huxley. “Certainly they were never publicly screened that we know of.”   Even when Warhol did show his films in the 1960’s they were usually projected in small art houses with mostly invited guests. The effort is not unique in the 21st century.  In 2008, the Warhol Museum partnered with the husband and wife music duo, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips to present a show titled, “13 Most Beautiful, Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.”  The Warhol Museum’s Curator of Performing Arts, Ben Harrison spearheaded the project that was extremely successful, eventually touring nearly constantly for much of the last six years.   When the Museum decided to further the concept last year, Harrison reached out to Dean Wareham again, but this time to be music director of the new project. Wareham tapped four other musicians; Eleanor Friedberger formerly of the brother-sister duo The Fiery Furnaces, Bradford Cox of the groups Atlas Sound and Deerhunter, Tom Verlaine from the New York post-punk group Television, and Martin Rev from the early electronic band Suicide. “I like the idea very much it, interested me for sure,” Rev said.  “I expect it will be even more interesting once we start doing it.” Each musician was asked to score three of the 15 films chosen for the project.  Each artist has taken a different approach to the work. Friedberger will be one of two acts with a full band on stage. “I’m not an improvisational soloist, I knew who else had been asked, and I thought ‘Well how can I stand out a little bit from these guys,’ and I thought just doing some straight forward rock and roll songs would be the way to go,” Friedberger said.   The musicians have been in rehearsal this week and Harrison believes projects like these reflect the mission of the museum to inspire audiences and create an understanding of Warhol’s life and work.     “It allows us to reimagine and recontextualize Warhol’s work in ways that resonate in contemporary culture,” Harrison said. “Exposed: Music for Unseen Warhol Films” premieres Friday at the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland. From here it moves on to Los Angeles and New York City.

Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense Turns 30

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Talking Heads' live concert film and album, Stop Making Sense, Mike Sauter shares some of it's best songs on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes.When looking back on The Talking Heads release of Stop Making Sense  album, Sauter notes that while the album was well received, it confused some critics, “why another live album? Because they had just put out another live album not even two years before, but of course it was attached to the movie directed by Jonathan Demme and it was such an amazing experience to witness that you had to have a live album to go along with it”. Because Stop Making sense was created so closely to Speaking in Tongues it featured largely songs from this album. Sauter’s first choice is “Burning Down the House” which showcases the greatest hit from Speaking in Tongues. The film Stop Making Sense is notable for its unique take on the concert film. It shows almost no audience reaction shots, there is no pyrotechnics, and almost nothing that person might expect to be in a typical rock and roll film as Sauter explains. “It’s almost entirely just focused on the band and there is a lot of absence of the usual rock star trickery or stage production, no explosions and no flashy things happening”. However the film is visually striking in a way the reflects The Talking Heads style, “it’s in a typical Talking heads low key style, there’s no colored lights they didn’t use any of the colored lights that are traditionally associated with rock concerts…but they use all different kinds of light, moving light, lights from below, lights from the sides”.  This unique staging was seen in Sauter’s second pick “Heaven” in which David Byrne is joined on stage for the first time during the show by Tina Weymouth.Sauter’s third pick to highlight the 30th anniversary of Stop Making Sense is the song “Girlfriend is Better” the lyrics of which contain the title to the live album and film. “Girlfriend is Better” is also noted for featuring the most memorable visual in Stop Making Sense, “the big suit” which David Byrne wears, “a lot of people were asking him about the big suit, why the big suit?...he actually wanted to have a smaller head which of course you can’t physically do but you can make the body bigger making the head look smaller”. Sauter notes that this really reflects the physicality of the film and The Talking Heads, “I’ve seen the movie twice in the theaters, in both instances I was amazed at how the entire theater audience would applaud after each song….people just have this energy when watching the film and it has got to come out somehow” 

Stray Birds on The Morning Mix

Maya De Vitry of Stray Birds talks about the band's new album Best Medicine with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix. The Stray Birds came together through the music scene in Lancaster PA, when asked what it was that drew that band together De Vitry recalls the need she had for someone like band mate Oliver Craven. “When I met him he was a fiddle player first, who started to write songs play the guitar and other instruments second…he was really encouraging helping me arrange those songs back me up on guitar or mandolin and just be someone who was a couple steps ahead”. Oliver was previously in a band with Charlie Muench a former high school class mate of De Vitry and through the tight knit music scene in Lancaster the three forged their sound. Stray birds has been touring and the bond the band has developed over their tour has developed the trio as a group and defined how they recorded their new album, “there are certain things we crossed the threshold or got over the hump of within the band and those are all those simple things like telling someone you like this instead of that and being able to trust each other to record the album live… we started recording in different rooms and we realized that all the touring had honed our sound towards playing within a couple feet of each other”.The title track “Best Medicine” is influenced by Kurt a record store owner in Schenectady New York who left an impression on De Vitry who she says represents an archetype of the characters she always meets when visiting Schenectady. “Parts of the town are abandoned and parts of it are still bustling…it has this feeling of the passing of something like the biggest part of the story has passed…I was struck by the place and the people we always meet the most intense characters when we’re there, this guy Kurt has had some hard times in his life and is managing to keep this record shop open, being kind of staple for these characters”. Kurt was informed that the song was for him and De Vitry has been told that he is very happy about it. Best Medicine has several songs that tackle social issues; De Vitry cites an acute sense of frustration that motivates her writing on these subjects. “Being frustrated at certain policies, being frustrated at people being left behind…I try to get out of the bubble that is the four walls of the house I try to experience things and listen to people, I’m trying to raise questions but mostly just to communicate”. De Vitry says that while politics are not the only thing they write about, it is very important to them and they all try to stay educated and that that part of their lives makes it into their music.The Stray Birds album Best Medicine arrives on October 21st and on that same date they will be performing at Club Café in Pittsburgh.

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