Studio One

It has been said that the closest and most enchanting vocal harmonies are created by siblings.  This is certainly borne out in the case of the Swedish duo First Aid Kit.  Sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg are from Enskede, a suburb of Stockholm.  For Stay Gold, their third full-length album, producer Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes fame) is back at the helm, having helped to make the last First Aid Kit album a great success.  Mogis showcases the sisters' beautiful Swedish-accented harmonies with rich indie-folk instrumentation.

The band Scythian (pronounced SITH-ee-unn - they’re named after a nomadic Eurasian tribe) has an unlikely combination of influences.  Three of the members are siblings: fiddler Alexander, guitarist Danylo and cellist Larissa Fedoryka are from a family of Ukrainian immigrant, and were classically trained.  Bassist Josef Crosby, who also doubles on fiddle, was classically trained as well. Drummer Tim Hepburn started out in jazz, and banjo player Ben-David Warner grew up on a diet of Celtic music via NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock.

Mike Mangione & The Union

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Mike Mangione & The Union

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the band's album, Red-Winged Blackbird Man.

The Orwells

Our featured release this week on Studio One is the second full-length album from the young Chicago band, The Orwells.  Actually, they are from Elmhurst, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, making them that much closer to being a regional band!  Of course, their place of origin is not as important as the vital, tuneful garage rock that they play on the new Disgraceland​.  The five members of The Orwells have known each other for years, forming the band and getting signed to Autumn Tone Records for their first album while still in high school.

The Feralings

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with The Feralings.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the spunky Iowa roots band. 

The Feralings are Benj Upchurch, Nicole Upchurch, Patrick Bloom, and Stacy Webster, but the name is a bit of a misnomer, as the members of the band are far more likely to invite you to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea than they are to jump you and steal your beer money.

Jack White has enjoyed both critical and commercial success since the late 1990's when he and Meg White formed The White Stripes.  Since then he has made his mark as a musician, songwriter, record producer and more.  White was also a founding member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.  Most recently, he has been focusing on his solo career, releasing his album Blunderbuss in 2012.  The follow-up is Lazaretto​, lyrically inspired in part by stories, plays and poems White wrote when he was 19.

Christopher the Conquered

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Christopher the Conquered

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the band.

IPR/Scarlett Cerna

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast when they stopped by the Iowa Public Radio Meet 'N Greet tent, prior to their main stage performance at the 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines.  Enjoy this July 4 audio interview!

IPR's Studio One team is at 80/35 this weekend, July 4 & 5. We're chatting with local and national bands who are rocking the music festival in Des Moines, and we're recording some live unplugged sessions from the Meet & Greet area. 

Stop by and see us, or click here to watch the videos as we post them!

South Of Nowhere is the debut album from the trio Spanish Gold, formed last year by former Hacienda guitarist and vocalist Dante Schwebel.  Schwebel had originally wanted to work as a solo artist, but soon decided to make Spanish Gold a band project.  Former Grupo Fantasma guitarist Adrian Quesada and My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan completed the trio.  Their soul, rock and hip-hop influenced record was primarily recorded at Dan Auerbach's studio in Nashville, with additional recording in Austin, Texas.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Joe and Vicki Price.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the country duo. 

Joe and Vicki Price bring their energetic country blues back to the stage of The Java House to showcase Joe’s new release “Rain or Shine”.  Joe has been performing his rough and tumble blues for over 35 years.

Des Moines Register

The music festival season is well under way, and as the fourth of July weekend approaches there are several to choose from around the Midwest depending on what kind of music you enjoy, and how far you would like to travel. But even if you already have plans for this weekend there are several upcoming festivals that are taking place on various dates throughout the summer

Graham Gardner

The Des Moines-based band The River Monks formed in 2010 with founding members Ryan Stier, Nicholas Frampton and Joel Gettys.  Current members also include Drew Rauch, Mallory Heggen and Tommy Boynton.  Their second album, Home Is The House could aptly be summed up by a phrase they have used to describe their sound:  "wistful harmonious megafolk."  The River Monks combine beautiful vocal harmonies, intriguing songwriting and creative use of traditional folk instrumentation on the new album.  

IPR/Tony Dehner

Our IPR 80/35 Showcase series of live in-studio performances concluded on June 26, with two more fine sets.  Des Moines-based singer-songwriter Max Jury played keyboard and sang songs from his Something In The Air EP, as well as a haunting Neil Young cover.  Also from Des Moines, Dustin Smith and his new band The Maytags played a soulful set of new songs.  The Maytags EP, Nova, was recorded in Nashville and will be out this fall.  Enjoy these 80/35 Showcase performances here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

The IPR 80/35 Showcase series on Studio One continued on June 25 with two more bands performing live in our Cedar Falls studios.  The Des Moines/Davenport-based band Brother Trucker made a return visit, previewing their upcoming July 4 main stage appearance at 80/35.  Brother Trucker's solid Americana set included songs from their forthcoming fifth album.  Later, Des Moines' Cirrus Minor made their live Studio One debut, with their exciting progressive/alternative sound, including songs from the band's  latest album, The Division of Space.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Cornmeal. 

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the progressive bluegrass and Americana band out of Illinois. 


    Singer and Songwriter Jolie Holland has been making music since the 1990s. Her new album 'Wine Dark Sea' is this week's CD of the Week on IPR's Studio One. IPR's Clay Masters spoke with Holland soon after she finished recording the album.

Singer-songwriter Jolie Holland was born in Houston, Texas, and has also lived in San Francisco and Vancouver, where she was one of the founding members of The Be Good Tanyas.  In her solo work, she has drawn inspiration from different genres of roots music to create her own unique sound.  Holland's fifth studio album, Wine Dark Sea, blends elements of folk, blues, R&B, and vocal jazz to great effect.   

Gretchen Dehner

Our IPR 80/35 Showcase series continued on June 19, with two more live sets in our Cedar Falls studios.  Des Moines' Gloom Balloon (Patrick "Tape" Fleming and Chris Ford) played songs from their debut album You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/ Fix The Sunshine Pts 1-7 (An Ode To Bill Doss) and more, including some new material that they will be performing on the Main Stage at 80/35 on July 4.

Mark's 80/35 Picks

Jun 20, 2014
80/35 Facebook page

When I talk to record companies and music promoters, and the subject turns to the 80/35 Music Festival, it quickly becomes apparent that the annual Des Moines festival has come to be regarded as an example of “getting it right.”  Around the country, weekend music festivals do not always succeed, and as we excitedly anticipate the seventh year of 80/35, props to the Des Moines Music Coalition and project manager Amedeo Rossi and his staff! 

Stan Brewer

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Iowa natives, Bright Giant.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the band's unique blend of indie pop.

IPR/Tony Dehner

Our series of IPR 80/35 Showcase live sets began on June 16 with two Des Moines bands performing live on Studio One.  The River Monks were first out of the gate, playing songs from their new album Home Is The House, with a sound they have described as "wistful harmonious megafolk."  Holy White Hounds came on later in the evening, demonstrating that sonically, and also in terms of attitude, they are a rock 'n' roll band.  You can hear both great performances here!

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2012 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Dave Olson.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the Twin Cities-based artist.

The music of tUnE-yArDs is filled to the brim with interesting audio ideas and sounds, as befits a band that spells its name in such a quirky, stylistic fashion.  tUnE-yArDs is the project of New England native Merrill Garbus in collaboration with bassist and frequent co-writer Nate Brenner.  Garbus went to Haiti to study drumming, bringing some intricate polyrhythms to the band's third full-length album, Nikki Nack.  The new record is as creative and vibrant as past tUnE-yArDs releases have been, yet more accessible this time out.

Upside Down Mountain is the latest album from Omaha native Conor Oberst.  In addition to records released under his own name, he has been a member of several other bands, most notably Bright Eyes.  Oberst has a very distinctive voice; both the sound of it and his literary voice.  Commenting on the new album, he said: "For me, language is a huge part of why I make music.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Iowa City's own, Dan Dimonte and the Bad Assettes.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the making of their new fusion of inspired jazz.

Yael Ilan

Lily Henley’s “Words Like Yours” is the latest CD to arrive in my mailbox, seemingly out of nowhere, and knock my socks off.  It actually arrived from New York, by way of a promoter in Seattle, but its roots span continents. 

Studio One will be bringing you exclusive IPR recordings of live sets from the 2013 80/35 Festival during the week of June 9.  As we gear up for this year's festival, we'll revisit some great sets from bands that performed last year!  You can hear the live sets during the 7:00 hour of Studio One.  Here's the schedule:

Monday, June 9    Water Liars   (from Oxford, MS)

Tuesday, June 10   Escondido    (from Nashville, TN)

Wednesday, June 11   Strange Names  (from Minneapolis, MN)

Thursday, June 12     Prissy Clerks   (from Minneapolis, MN) 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa band The Host Country have expanded from the original duo of Ty Wistrand (guitar, vocals) and Diana Garles (keyboards, vocals), to a four-piece group with  bassist Tom Rue and drummer Ethan Weishaar.  On June 2, they brought their full band, folk rock sound and wonderful harmony vocals to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live broadcast on Studio One.  The Host Country played songs from their brand new full-length release, Walk Away.  Enjoy this podcast of their set!

Jake Michaels

Katy Goodman was the bassist in the Brooklyn-based punk trio Vivian Girls. That band called it quits earlier this year, making it possible for Goodman to devote all her attention to La Sera, the side project she had started in 2009.  A variety of different players have joined her for each La Sera album.  Hour of the Dawn is the third full-length release, showcasing Goodman's songwriting and very appealing indie garage-pop sound.