Audio Specials


Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got Turns 25

Sinead O'Connor's  I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got turns 25, local musician, Morgan Erina talks to Cindy Howes about this very influential record on The Morning Mix. Listen to the conversation and music below and check out Erina performing Sinead O'Connor's "Black Boys on Mopeds" live in studio at WYEP. Cindy and Morgan listened to a couple songs on the landmark album that Morgan says was a very important album for her earlier in life, as it helped her learn a lot about both lyricism and musical structure.The first song they listened to was "Three Babies", the album's third track that tackles themes of motherhood.  Morgan thinks the tune is very relatable.  "It's very warm," Morgan says, "It always made me feel comfortable."  The second song that the pair took a look at was the album's fifth track, "Black Boys on Mopeds".  Morgan chose the song because it addresses quite controversial themes, particularly for the time in which it was recorded.  "I've always loved that," Morgan says.Morgan describes a moment in which she actually met Sinead O'Connor, "It was very awkward...I usually don't get star-struck about people [being from New York City]...when I came up to her, I could not talk."

Third Thursday Spotlight: David Wilson

Local musician David Wilson talks to Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix. 

St. Patrick's Day Guest DJ with Brian O'Donovan

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Brian O'Donovan, host of A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH in Boston, shares a few Irish tunes on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Brian's selections:1. Sliabh Notes - "John Collins’ Fancy/Eileen’s Polka/Ned Kelly’s Polka"2. Solas - "A Sailor's Life"3. The Decemberists - "Rox In The Box"

Dave Alvin Guest DJ set

Dave Alvin – former member of such American roots bands as The Blasters, X, and The Knitters – came on the Morning Mix for a guest DJ set to share some of his favorite music.  Alvin is playing a sold out show at Club Café on the night of March 12th with his brother Phil.  The duo has a new album out on Yep Roc Records, Common Ground: Dave and Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy.For his first selection, Dave chose JD McPherson’s rendition of “I Wish You Would”, an oft-covered tune with a personal connection to Dave and his brother.  He considers McPherson to be “very talented” and “the overall package” for an Americana performer.  “He reminds me in some way of my brother’s band The Blasters,” Alvin says, “We were trying to bring roots music to a new audience, and I think he’s capable of doing that.”The second song Alvin went with was “Marie Marie” by Buckwheat Zydeco.  Originally a Blasters song written by Alvin, Buckwheat Zydeco’s cover has since become somewhat of a zydeco staple among smaller bands in the South.  Alvin is a huge fan of the interpretation and thinks it suits the genre perfectly.  He explains, “When I wrote the song, I was thinking it would be a combination of Chuck Berry and a little bit of Cajun music.”The final song Alvin played was “I’m In, I’m Out, I’m Gone” by Charlie Musselwhite with Ben Harper.  Alvin and his brother are close friends of Musselwhite, who he considers to be an inspiration to continue playing music.  Both Musselwhite and the Alvin brothers were nominated for Grammys the past year for their respective albums – neither won, but Alvin admits that he “wouldn’t have liked winning if Charlie lost”. Dave's selections:- JD McPherson, "I Wish You Would"- Buckwheat Zydeco, "Marie, Marie"- Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper, "I'm In, I'm Out, I'm Gone"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Deja Vu turns 45

In honor of CSNY's Deja Vu turning 45, Mike McCormick of the Pittsburgh band City Dwelling Nature Seekers talks to Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix about a couple of essential tracks from the classic record. 

Gary Louris 60th Birthday Tribute on The Morning Mix

On Gary Louris's 60th birthday local musician Jared Fretz (The Deceptions) shares some of his favorite Louris tracks on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes.  Jared's selections1. "Listen Joe" - Golden Smog2. "Blue" - Jayhawks

Guest DJ: Matt Costa

Matt Costa plays Guest DJ on The Morning Mix with Joey Spehar.Matt Costa's Guest DJ Set:Buffalo Springfield - Expecting To FlyLeslie Gore - You Don't Own MeBobbie Gentry - Fancy

Ellis Paul Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Ellis Paul Guest DJs on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes.  Ellis Paul's song selections:1. "City of New Orleans" Arlo Guthrie2. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" The Band  3. "Cats in the Cradle" Harry Chapin 

Jorma Kaukonen interview

Jorma Kaukonen's latest solo release is Ain't in No Hurry on Red House Records. WYEP's Mike Sauter spoke with the legendary guitarist, known for his work with the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, about the 11-track album. Produced by Larry Campbell, the album features a song with a writing credit bringing together Kaukonen, Campbell, and Woody Guthrie ("Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me"). Also discussed in the interview is the stunning remake of the 1975 Hot Tuna song "Bar Room Crystal Ball" (with Kaukonen's partner in Hot Tuna, Jack Casady, on bass).December 2015 is the 50th anniversary of the first show Bill Graham booked at the Fillmore, the iconic San Francisco performance venue. Kaukonen was there at that show, performing with Jefferson Airplane, along with The Great Society (featuring Grace Slick), and the Grateful Dead. Kaukonen talks about the Fillmore and about the San Francisco music scene in the mid-'60s.Finally, Kaukonen discusses the Fur Peace Ranch -- 125 acres in southeastern Ohio where Kaukonen has created a music school, performance space, and art gallery.  photo: Barry Berenson

Morning Mix: Cellist, Dave Eggar

Grammy nominated Cellist and string arranger, Dave Eggar has recorded with artists as diverse as NAS, Coldplay Esperanza Spaulding and Patti Smith. Based in New York, Eggar is the Music Director for Pittsburgh dance company Attack Theatre. He joins WYEP's Brian Siewiorek to talk about recording sessions with Rosanne Cash, Patti Smith, Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett. Plus, he also talks about his own work, including his most recent project with Sibylle and Robert Redford.

Interview with Watsky

George Watsky, known better as simply “Watsky”, stopped by the WYEP studios to talk with Kyle Smith about his poetry, his music, and his most recent album All You Can Do.At only 28 years old, Watsky is well versed in the arts – he appeared on the final season of HBO’s Def Poetry program and used that as a springboard to begin touring college campuses as a spoken word and slam poet.  Watsky says that he was about 15 or 16 years old when he seriously got into poetry.  Watsky defended the art form as a vehicle of expression, saying, “I really, really love it and believe in it.  It’s a niche art form – it’s not for everybody.  Some people recoil from spoken word because they find it to be cloying and preachy and over the top.”  For Watsky, it’s also important to be as versatile of an artist as he can.  He claims, “If you’re a good artist who’s trying not to be a hack, you want to be able to be good at lots of different things and be able to pull those out of your toolbelt when you need them.”His most recent release, 2014’s All You Can Do, was inspired a lot by his parents and the hopes of a previous generation.  A member of that previous generation, Stephen Stills, was featured on “Cannonball”, the album’s final track.  “It happened through good fortune,” Watsky remarks, “We have a touring photographer named Eleanor Stills who is amazing…put the dots together – that’s his daughter.” 

Morning Mix: Bob Dylan's Musical Influences

Mike Sauter joined host Joey Spehar on the Morning Mix to discuss some of Bob Dylan’s recent public appearances.  The normally-cryptic artist recently opened up to a couple sources – an exclusive interview with the AARP Magazine and in a Musicares Person of the Year acceptance speech – and shared some insight into many of his musical influences and inspirations.  Mike and Joey took a listen to and talked about some of those influences on the 73-year-old singer-songwriter.The 1959 Johnny Cash tune “How High is the Water, Mama?” (also known as “Five Feet High and Rising”) obviously struck a chord with a teenage Bob Dylan, as he cited it as being on his mind while writing “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”.  Dylan says of Cash, “He was a hero of mine. I heard many of his songs growing up.  I know them better than I know my own.”“Red Hot” by Billy Lee Riley is another song Dylan considers to have an impact on his work.  Dylan remarks that the song is one that he “never grows tired of listening to”.  Riley, the song’s author, was considered by most to be a one-hit-wonder, but eventually became a close friend of Dylan’s after seeing each other at various music festivals.The Staples Singers’ “Uncloudy Day” is another track that Dylan noted as striking him at a young age. “And it was the most mysterious thing I’d ever heard. It was like the fog rolling in. What was that? How do you make that? It just went through me.”Dylan always considered Chuck Berry to be an underrated lyricist, and Berry’s 1956 ballad “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” sounds to be an almost obvious effect on the young artist.  “He was a great poet,” Dylan claims, “…only later did I realize how hard it is to write those kinds of lyrics.”Dylan’s latest album, Shadows in the Night, is a selection of Frank Sinatra songs that Dylan performs with a five-piece band.  Joey and Mike take a listen to Sinatra’s 1951 hit and opening track on Shadows in the Night, “I’m a Fool to Want You”.  “[Frank] is the mountain,” Dylan says, “Frank sang to you — not at you. I never wanted to be a singer that sings at somebody. I’ve always wanted to sing to somebody.”

Interview with LoFi Delphi

Pittsburgh music troupers LoFi Delphi are playing WYEP’s Third Thursday this month, and a couple of members from the band dropped by the Morning Mix to chat with host Joey Spehar about their latest album, Victor.Andrew Belsick and Mike Stancil talked about how LoFi Delphi was, in many ways, an assembly of musicians from various other Pittsburgh groups (The Lost Sea, Bridgely Moore, Sirens and Songbirds).  “We’ve all been kind of toiling around for a while,” Belsick says, “but we’re all pretty proud of this band.  I think it pulls on a lot of the stuff we grew up on.”  They say about their songwriting process, “We all kind of do our own thing.  We all write lyrics, we all write the songs – it’s cool.  Collaboration is a cool thing.”Joey asks them about the musical environment in Pittsburgh, to which Belsick and Stancil respond with some praise about the city.  Belsick says, “I don’t think people understand how many people play music in this city…such a wide array of genres, and the genres don’t matter.”  Stancil adds, “There’s a lot of venues in Pittsburgh that dedicate themselves – in a large percentage of their shows – to just local bands, and that really gives an opportunity.  We’ve got a really strong music scene here that’s really starting to grow and support each other.”

Peter Gabriel 65th Birthday Tribute

In celebration of Peter Gabriel's 65th birthday, David Bernabo of the Pittsburgh band Host Skull shares some favorite Gabriel tracks and insight with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix.After proclaiming his love for the band Genesis, Bernabo talked for a bit about Gabriel's solo work.  "Going into his career," Bernabo says, "you have this really idiosynchratic type of music that really doesn't exist in a lot of other people who were making music at that time."The first track Bernabo discussed was "Kiss of Life"; featured on Gabriel's fourth album, Security.  Bernabo says that the song is a great example of some of Gabriel's more upbeat and hopeful work.  "Kiss of Life" incorporates synths, heavy percussion, and elements of worldbeat to form a song with rich, layered rhthym that Bernabo calls a transition from Gabriel's earlier work to his "hopeful period" beginning in full with 1986's So.Bernabo's second Peter Gabriel pick is a song from the 1980 release Melt.  Phil Collins, Gabriel's ex-bandmate from Genesis, provides backing vocals and plays drums on the album, which is commonly cited as the first use of Collins' famous "gated drum" sound.  Bernabo calls the tune "political without being preachy" while accurately embodying the dark angst of Gabriel's earlier solo work.

Carl Newman of The New Pornographers Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Canadian indie-rockers The New Pornographers are playing this Friday night at Mr. Smalls, and band member Carl Newman took the time to chat with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix.  He played some current indie rock selections as part of a guest DJ set and talked a little bit about his own band.Carl started off with something by Woods, a band out of Brooklyn which has been around for the better part of the last ten years.  This song in particular, “Moving to the Left”, is from their most recent release, With Light and with Love.  To Newman, the song has the feel of a modern classic.  “It’s got a great melody, great singing.  Bands don’t have to re-invent the wheel – at least for me.  They just have to be good.”Newman followed that up with “Don’t Wanna Lose” by Ex-Hex, a newly-formed power pop group led by Mary Timony.  Their debut, Rips, was one of Newman’s favorite records of last year.  He would consider himself an admirer of Timony’s work, saying that “Everything she’s done over the last twenty years has always been interesting and different and cool.”Newman finished with “Archie Marry Me” by Alvvays, a fellow Canadian band, from their 2014 self-titled album.  Newman jests, “You’ve gotta have some Canadian content.”The lineup for The New Pornographers’ current tour is full, with the exception of Neko Case.  They will be performing at Mr. Smalls in Millvale on Friday, February 13th.  Their new album, Brill Bruisers, is out now on Matador records.

Barnstar! on The Morning Mix

Zach Hickman already has quite the stellar resume – he has served as the bassist for songsmith Josh Ritter and the musical director for Ray Lamontagne.  His attention currently lies with his band Barnstar! following the recent release of their new album, Sit Down!  Get Up!  Get Out!.  That album is the second to come from the Boston-based bluegrass outfit, which Hickman says started as a “generic name for whatever mischief I was doing in Boston”.  Barnstar! proved to be a way for Hickman to “blow off some steam” in between tours with Josh Ritter.Composed of five artists who not only all possess solo careers of their own, but also work as sidemen for other artists; Barnstar! can probably be considered a “supergroup” of roots performers from the New England area.  Hickman claims that the collective experience of the members of Barnstar! has helped them become quite the well-oiled machine.  He jokes, “You put five side-men in a band, I can assure you we’re never late to soundcheck.”  Hickman talks with Cindy about some of these “side-men” – Mark Erelli, Jake Armerding, Taylor Armerding – and what elements they bring to the band.  Hickman gives some high praise to Erelli, calling him “literally the best singer” he’s ever heard.  Taylor and Jake Armerding, a father and son duo, contribute a special kind of energy to Barnstar!.  Taylor Armerding is old-school Boston bluegrass royalty.  His son, Jake, is a more than capable fiddler who was brought up in the world of roots music.  “Those guys are incredibly talented,” Hickman says, “…and they’re totally stone-cold weirdoes.”One of Hickman’s favorite tracks on the new album is a cover of an old Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam tune “Trouble”, a selection from the soundtrack to the 1971 film Harold and Maude.  The elder Armerding sings vocals on that particular song, which Hickman thinks is a really special moment on the record.The record in question, Sit Down!  Get Up!  Get Out!, was released earlier this month on Signature Sounds.

Guest DJ: Willie Nile

In his three and a half decades as a recording artist, Willie Nile has earned a reputation as both a fiercely committed rock ’n’ roller and a singularly insightful songwriter.  Willie Nile played Guest DJ with Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix before a recent concert in Pittsburgh.Willie Nile's Guest DJ Set:Lou Reed - I Love You, SuzanneThe Who - SubstituteThe Clash - Police On My Back 

Antibalas Guest DJ Set

Martin Perna, one of the founding members of the Brooklyn-based orchestral Afrobeat group Antibalas, dropped by The Morning Mix for a guest DJ set.  Perna shared with host Cindy Howes some examples of what he considers to be some “essential” world music tracks.The first song Perna played was “Mi Ni Non Kpo” from one of his favorite groups, Orchestra Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.  Much like his own band, Poly-Rythmo – who were contemporaries of Fela Kuti – incorporated elements of jazz, funk, and salsa into their music.Up next was “El Divorcio”, an Afro-Cuban salsa piece by Arsenio Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was blinded in an accident as a young child, but came to become what Perna calls the “father or godfather of salsa music”.Perna wrapped up his set with “El Negro Bembon” by Ismael Rivera, a Puerto Rican artist.  About the track, Perna notes, “It’s a good example of how dance music can carry messages of social criticism. [Those songs] are more relevant today than they’ve ever been.”Antibalas released their last album, the self-titled Antibalas, in 2012 on Daptone records.  They will perform the night of Wednesday, February 4th at the Byham Theater with Afro-pop artist Zap Mama.

Field Report Guest DJ

Christopher Portfield of Field Report plays Guest DJ on The Morning Mix with Kyle Smith. 

Tom Brosseau Guest DJs

Tom Brosseau, a solo singer/songwriter and member of John C. Reilly & Friends, guest DJs on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Tom picks some of his favorite tradional folk songs. His selections:1). "Sitting In The Window Of My Room" as done by Allison Krauss2). "Old Paint" as done by Loudon Wainwright III3). "Barushka" as done by Howard Armstrong and Ted Bogan

Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks Turns 40

Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks turned 40 on January 20. 2015, singer Mark Dignam talks to Cindy Howes about the record and its history. 

Guest DJ: Lohio & Meeting of Important People

Greg Dutton (Lohio) and Josh Verbanets (Meeting of Important People and formerly Lohio) talk to Cindy Howes about the Lohio reunion show. 

Guest DJ: Dan Funk

A new year can symbolize a new start for many people.  US Army veteran Dan Funk joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to play some songs to workout to.Dan Funk's Guest DJ Set:The xx - IntroPink Floyd - Run Like HellThe Band - The Weight

How We Listen to Music in 2015 Pt 1

Cindy Howes asks local reocording engineer, Don Maue, to explore how we listen to music in 2015. 

Jesse Novak's Fitness Guest DJ Set

A new year is a  new start for many people.  If you've resolved to get in shape in 2015, Roots & Rhythm Mix host Jesse Novak has some songs to help you out.  Jesse's Guest DJ Set:T. Rex - Telegram SamPrince - When You Were MineA Tribe Called Quest - I Left My Wallet In El Segundo