WYEP’s Live & Direct: Volume 11

WYEP's Community Broadcast Center was conceived, in part, as a space where music lovers would converge to experience live performances. Since January 2006 WYEP has hosted dozens of live music events. Third Thursdays, a monthly local music happy hour, has featured Joe Grushecky, Donora, Ben Hardt, Bill Deasy, Lohio, Paul Luc, The Newlanders, The Harlan Twins, Una de Luna, New Invisible Joy, and Nicole Reynolds, among others.

The WYEP Community Center has also hosted dozens of in-studio performances as part of our daily programming. Many WYEP listeners have been lucky enough to part of the studio audience. WYEP: Live & Direct, Volume 11 features 19 songs recorded over the past year.

Having Michael Franti and Spearhead perform live on air was an exciting prospect but we knew it would be even better with an audience. Franti is the kind of performer who makes a very personal connection with his fans and it shows on his rendition of “Little Bit of Riddum.” The Drive By Truckers electrified the midday audience with their unique brand of southern fried rock and a passionate performance of “Two Daughters And a Beautiful Wife” If you’re looking for great songwriting, check out Kathleen Edward’s moving version of “Asking for Flowers.” Rhett Miller and Murray Hammond of The Old 97’s brought a frivolity to the middle of the day when they played before a roomful of adoring fans. And how cool was it to have Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips perform songs from their show based on Andy Warhol's screen tests?

As a programmer it’s great fun watching an emerging audience winning converts thanks to a live performance. That was certainly the case with Jennifer O’Connor who arrived with band in tow and several great songs from a new album. For many listeners their introduction to the band Devotchka came when Nick Urata, the band’s songwriter and singer, performed solo before a rapt audience. Stripped of the bigger sound of his band, Urata was able to display his unique songwriting and his romantic vocal styling as on the track “Undone.” When legendary Chicago bluesman Eddie Clearwater played it was a chance to see one of the genre’s all-time greats.

Several of the performances on Volume 11 were recorded in a small studio with just a DJ and engineer as eyewitness. Alejandro Escovedo and Dan Wilson offered insights into their personalities with introspective performances and Bell X1’s Dave Geraghty and Paul Noonan proved mesmerizing.

These are just some of the artists you’ll hear on this disc and as you listen perhaps you’ll relive the moment you heard the song on air or in person. Consider visiting us in 2009 for an in-studio performance.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix Host)