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February 25, 2010 by

Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté perform "Kala Djula" off Ali and Toumani, their second and last album pairing, recorded in London in 2005. Ali and Toumani has just come out even though Ali Farka Touré passed away in 2006.  Enjoy the video for 'Kala Djula'.

Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate \'Kala Djula\'

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February 25, 2010 by

'Sugarcoating' is the new release due out April 6th from soulful singer-songwriter Martin Sexton.  Martin's been busy in the studio and video blogging during the live recording experience for his upcoming release. There are samples of a few of his new songs on his website

February 20, 2010 by

29 acts. Five days. Ports of call in Belize and Mexico.

During the last week of February, Mr. Barb and I embark on our 3rd journey through song. The chartered cruise is on the same ship as last year.

The returning headliners: Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile are joined by Steve Earle .

Other returning singer-songwriters on-board will be: Katie Herzig, Edwin McCain, Buddy Miller, Shawn Mullins, Darrell Scott, and Vienna Teng & Alex Wong.

New to the line-up: Chuck Cannon, Edie Carey, Luke Doucet, Hoots and Hellmouth, Gregory Alan Isakov, Robert Earl Keen (solo), Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, Lissie, Melissa McClelland, Scott Munns, Larkin Poe (formerly the Lovell Sisters), Samantha Crain, Scythian, Ben Taylor, Francisco Vidal, Sara Watkins, Works Progress Administration, and Rachael Yamagata.

Again this year, the organizers of the event sent us a 2-CD set of 24 songs from the artists scheduled to be on the 2010 cruise.

It’s always great to see the returning artists; and we know we will discover some new artists too. In addition, there are some events I’m really looking forward to: A Songwriting Workshop hosted by Shawn Mullins and Chuck Cannon; Songwriters in the Round with Katie Herzig, Luke Doucet and his wife Melissa McClelland, Gregory Alan Isakov and Vienna Teng; plus on the last day a Session that will include Shawn Mullins, Glen Phillips, Rebecca Lovell, Chuck Cannon, and Edie Carey who will discuss their writing process and perform some of their collaborative songs.  In addition, as third-time alumni we will have the chance to sit in on one of the special interviews with artists, hosted by David Dye of NPR's World Cafe.

We chose the earliest headliner show time of 6:00 PM this year. In previous years I’ve been known to (ahem) take a nap during the headliner shows, so I can be rested for the late night shows. The schedule this year is mercifully more friendly to those of us who are “morning people” and don’t necessarily want to try to stay awake until 12:30 AM to see a performer. Although I must admit some of my favorite memories are from the post Midnight shows, as you never know what you’re going to get. Our first headliner act on the day we sail is Mr. Lyle Lovett.

We expect plenty of sunshine, happy smiling faces, unexpected impromptu collaborations, and to add to our CD collection. Besides some stories for the WYEP Music Blog; I plan to bring back some sun and warmth in my suitcase for a winter weary Burgh.

Barb S.- Sunday Mix Host

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February 19, 2010 by

Local News
Okay! I know the month is almost over, but I had to shovel out this blog (#SnOMGPgh!) and it took longer than I anticipated. Soooooo here's the featured local artists of the month airing on The Local News (Mon-Thurs @ 9 PM or on the podcast) for my birthday month.... xoxo Cindy

Paul Luc- "Aftermath" (A Revival. A Roadsong. A Rearview Mirror.)
This is Paul's second release. He's working with the same band- who make up a large part of The Paul Luc sound. This is not a singer-songwriter-folk album. This is a roots-rock anthem-filled rock-rocky album. This song serves as a great opening to the record.

Bill Toms & Hard Rain- "Sweat Stained Shirts" (Live At Moondog's)

Solid live album from one of Pittburgh's finest Blue-Collared Soul/Blues musicians. This tracks shows Bill's pride in his Pittsburgh roots through the town's steel mill history. Someone get this song to Bruce Springsteen ASAP.

Nicole Reynolds- "Crazy as You" (A Fine Set of Fools)
Nicole's delicate, yet effective, dynamic is ever-present on this sonically diverse album. This song is a fun upbeat sweet indie rock number which features smart witty lyrics. Sounds great!

Beware Fashionable Women- "Rock Bottom" (Beware Fashionable Women)
BFW's sound captures that ironic alt-rock we all love from the 90's. They remind me of bands like Weezer, Blink 182 and They Might Be Giants in certain ways. They also have some sweet Beach Boys-esque harmonies on this song.

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February 10, 2010 by

The 9th Annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival lineup was announced yesterday.  Some of the artists scheduled to appear this year the festival include; The Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Weezer, Flaming Lips performing Dark Side Of The Moon, The Dead Weather, Phoenix, John Fogerty, Jimmy Cliff, Avett Brothers, Norah Jones, LCD Soundsystem, Tori Amos, The National, Jeff Beck, Michael Franti, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Baaba Maal, and the Thievery Corporation.

The complete list of artists appearing at one of the country's largest music festivals can be found at

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February 9, 2010 by

Congratulations is the new release from MGMT. It's the follow up to their debut Oracular Spectacular, which garnered them critical acclaim, a large fan base, shows at many festivals, and being tagged as a 'visionary force in pop music '.

Congratulations is Produced by MGMT and Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, E.A.R., Spectrum), Congratulations was recorded throughout 2009 in upstate New York, Malibu, and Brooklyn and features Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, MGMT's core duo, performing with Matt Asti (bass, backing vocals), Will Berman (drums, backing vocals), and James Richardson (guitar, backing vocals), the band's live line-up.

The new release is due out April 13th.

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February 3, 2010 by

A singer–songwriter is a musician who writes, composes and sings their own material including lyrics and melodies. Recently I had the chance to see a couple of sets of singer-songwriters; from the local and national level.

The quarterly local songwriters spotlight hosted by Joe Grushecky and Rick Witkowski featured guests Billy Price, Carol Lee Espy and Bob Corbin. All five songwriters took turns performing three of their signature songs, old and new. There were stories and laughter and a good camaraderie and mutual admiration and respect. I would watch the other singer-songwriters sing and play along almost spontaneously being caught up in the moment. Grushecky did some older songs “Fingerprints”, and “Pumping Iron” and something new, the title track of his latest release “East Carson Street”. Witkowski started with “Soul Control”, then did a personal song about “Love & Food & Rachel” for the daughter they never had and B.E. Taylor Groups “Vitamin L” became a sing-a-long (taking us back to the MTV video days and a #1 hit in Pittsburgh). In between the guests took their turns in the spotlight. Billy Price offered “Who You’re Workin’ For,” “Eldorado Cafe” and a new song he co-wrote with someone from France “Under the Influence”. Carol Lee Espy kept commenting how hard it was to follow Price’s energetic performances with her laid back country tunes. Espy sang what she called her signature song “My Name is Mary” along with “Cross the River” (written from a farmer’s point of view; she had to think like a man) and “The Allegheny Song”, about the river. Bob Corbin began with a new going away tune “I’ll Be There”, then did “Scooter, Michael, Danny and Me” and one the six songs which he wrote that reached #1, Alabama’s “Fire in the Night”.

The most interesting part of the evening was when each of the songwriters performed a song that they wish they had penned. “You Better Move On”, by a relative unknown (except to the Beatles and Rolling Stones) Arthur Alexander was the choice by Grushecky. Price chose an Al Green song “Love and Happiness”. Espy likes the 3-chord songs by John Prine and sang “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”, a song about the dissolution of a relationship. Another John; Hiatt, was the choice for Bob Corbin, at the piano he sang “Have a Little Faith in Me”. Witkowski went with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

After a standing ovation, the songwriters came back on stage to sing a song from The Band, “The Weight”. Does anyone really know all the lyrics to the song or even the words to the chorus? A sheet was passed around to each performer as they took a verse and the audience joined in on the chorus. It was an wonderful two hours of music and a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

Just a few days later Pittsburgh was the first stop on a brief tour for a trio of singer-songwriters. Ben Sollee and Carrie Rodriguez have been joined by Erin McKeown. All three came on stage to start the show, then Rodriguez did a solo set. She used two different guitars and really knows how to play the fiddle. The half-dozen songs included a couple of tracks from her 2008 release “She Ain’t Me”: “Infinite Night” and “Absence”. Her new CD is going to be a covers CD, including the Townes Van Zandt song “Rex’s Blues” (appropriate tune for the venue, The Rex Theater) and a song that her dad e-mailed to her “When I Heard Gypsy Davey Sing”. Ben Sollee’s set was filled with long, lavish instrumental introductions on the cello, proving that songwriters can also compose beautiful music without lyrics. At the end of his set, Sollee was joined by Rodriquez and McKeown and really “electrified” the stage. After a short break, it was McKeown’s turn. Despite jet lag (returning from a European tour), she took center stage. She treated the audience to three tracks from her most recent release “Hundreds of Lions”, by introducing each song as “Track 1”, “Track 2” and “Track 3”. For the encore, the trio played Cat Stevens “Wild World” and rounded out the two hour show with a rousing instrumental. Despite little rehearsal, these singer-songwriters really came together and treated the “school night” crowd to a warm, enjoyable evening of music.

Barb S. – Sunday Mix Host

January 20, 2010 by

Willie Nile will be opening our next WYEP Free member show with Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers on Tuesday, February 2nd at the New Hazlett Theater. Here's a recent video from a benefit concert in Asbury Park in which Joe Grushecky & Bruce Springsteen joined Willie Nile on stage for a rocking version of Willie's song 'Heaven Help The Lonely'.

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January 13, 2010 by

WayneToday marks the 49th birthday of Wayne Coyne (lead singer of The Flaming Lips). I mentioned it on the Morning Mix today and got this great listener email from Paul in Pittsburgh:

"You were mentioning that it was Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips’ birthday and he was born in Pittsburgh.  His parents were from the Troy Hill section of the North Side (the little plateau above the Heinz plant).  My older sister was a very good friend of his aunt and used to see them play at their restaurant/bar on Mt Royal Blvd in Shaler, around 20 years ago, when they were still up and coming.  When they played the East Coast they would swing through and play there.  My sister also said Wayne is a very kind and generous fellow."

Nice!!! Take some time to listen to a fellow Pittsburgher today on his birthday :)

--- Cindy

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January 11, 2010 by

This week we're are featuring the new Vampire Weekend cd Contra as our featured cd of the week.

The review is here

Enjoy the new Video for "Cousins"

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January 8, 2010 by

A singer–songwriter is a musician who writes, composes and sings their own material including lyrics and melodies.  They often provide the sole accompaniment to an entire composition or song, typically using an acoustic guitar or piano.  Their lyrics are often personal.  The song is more important than the performance.  The sound can be sparse, direct and reflective, again placing the emphasis on the song itself.  Singer-songwriters came into popularity in the early 1970’s and are still sharing their stories with us as we embark on a new decade.

Join me January 10th on The Sunday Mix as we explore the best of... singer-songwriters.  From the 1940’s until the present, artists from all around the world.  Sunday, January 10, 2010 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Barb S. – Sunday Mix Host

January 7, 2010 by

local news

Happy New Year!
New local music for January!! You can find these on The Local News Podcast or Mon-Thurs at 9 pm on 91.3 fm. Let me know what you think- A lot of familiar names this month with great sounding albums.
Thanks :)

Chalk Dinosaur- "Rosedale" (Chalk Dinosaur)
New band made of mostly students (CMU, Robert Morris and CCAC). Fun indie-pop sound- similar to locals Good Night, States. They cite Death Cab, Weezer, The Beach Boys and My Morning Jacket as influences (among others). This is their debut.

Bill Deasy- "No One Try and Talk Me Down" (Being Normal)
Bill's kind of rocking out on this release. He's brought in some electric guitars and has found his "rock star voice". Another great collection from one of Pittsburgh's finest singers.

The Boogie Hustlers- "Find A Way" (The Boogie Hustlers)
Third release from the local funk/soul band. This time they found a new singer, dropped the horns and made an album that sounds more like The Boogie Hustlers than their two previous albums.
*** An addendum ***  It is the same lead singer as the other two records. From Ryan Meals of The Boogie Hustlers:

"Wanted to let you know that all 3 of our albums have the same lead singers, no new one for this album.  What happened is right after "True Colors" (2nd album) was released, Vince left the band, only to return a year or so later.  On this album, we did add a 3rd voice to the vocals, Scott Jamison, whose voice adds depth to the vocal harmonies in addition to his aux. percussion playing." 

Good Brother Earl- "When I Come Around" (Fiction)
Also a third release from the local roots-rock quartet. This song sounds very tight- this band has hit their stride with a strong new release. PS: it is NOT a Green Day cover.

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January 6, 2010 by

Check out RJD2's new video for "There Will Be Horns" which prominently features the programming offices at WYEP. Did you see the pledge peeps? Or how about Brian's Joey Ramone bobble head?

RJD2, based in Philly, is a prominent DJ, producer and musician. He began his career DJ-ing in Colombus, OH. He's released several groundbreaking albums and is known for creating the theme song to AMC's TV show Mad Men. "There Will Be Horns" is from RJD2's latest release The Colossus which is due out on January 19th.

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January 5, 2010 by

Widely considered one of the best break up albums of all time, Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks officially turns 35 on Janaury 17th.  Join us on Monday, January 18th as we roll out and feature many of tracks from this seminal album throughout the day on WYEP.  We'll feature covers from national artists, highlight the record with a Discumentary spotlight at 3pm,  and air some exclusive covers recorded recently from Pittsburgh area musicians. We'll air songs, national and local covers throughout the day and also feature a special edition of the Local News at 9pm spotlighting the local covers.


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December 29, 2009 by

Pittsburgh's own Meeting of Important People's rowdy instrumental "Pretzel Rod Blues" will be featured on MTV's The Real World: Washington DC's season premiere. The show airs tomorrow (Wed, Dec. 30th) at 10 pm on MTV. When asked, lead singer Josh Verbanets proclaimed "We don't know how it will be used... it could be inaudible, but its definitely in there". Hopefully "Pretzel Rod Blues" will be sweeping the nation... more on MOIP (WYEP's #1 Local Act of the Year) is here:

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