Studio One

Alexandra Valenti,

The Black Angels are a neo-psychedelic band from Austin, TX, re-creating a heavy, reverb-laden 1960's inspired brand of psychedelia.  After all, Austin was the home of Roky Erickson and his band The 13th Floor Elevators back in the original heyday of this music.  The Black Angels have been very consistent in their sound on their records, but they also continue to refine their approach on their fourth full-length release, Indigo Meadow.


The River Monks

This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by The River Monks  on "Java Blend."

Live music is important to us here at IPR.  Because of that, we regularly travel to festivals and music venues to record musicians in live performance.  Then we bring the recordings back and share them with you on the radio.

On Sunday, April 21, The Folk Tree presents a live recording of Iowa legends Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey, from the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines, in the 2:00 hour.  Then listen during the 3:00 hour for neo-traditionalist string band Crooked Still, recorded at the 2011 Iowa Arts Festival in Iowa City.

Christopher The Conquered

Christopher The Conquered has always been the primary outlet for the musical explorations of Iowa songwriter Chris Ford, but The Fate Of A Good Man marks an important moment in the evolution of the project, as it is the first album to feature a full band, with Ford staying seated at the piano.  He's backed by The Black Gold Brass Band, with songs arranged to rise and fall with the energy of the five-piece horn section.  Joining them is a rhythm section of bass, drums, guitar and Ford's keys.  The full band performed live in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on June 27, 2012.  Tune in for a

Wavves is the project of San Diego's Nathan Williams.  From the beginning, Williams made the most of D.I.Y. bedroom recording methods and accidental recording techniques.  Wavves has become more polished on the fourth full-length record, Afraid Of Heights.  Williams created the record with Stephen Pope and producer John Hill, drawing on 1990's grunge, pop-punk and alternative rock influences.

On Sunday, April 14, The Folk Tree takes you to one of the hippest venues in Iowa, CSPS in Cedar Rapids.  In the 2:00 hour, we'll hear upstate New York singer-songwriter and percussionist Karen Savoca, accompanied by guitarist Pete Heitzman, from a concert recorded in October 2011.  Then in the 3:00 hour, we offer the first taste of a recording made just this past January: seasoned folksinger Tom Paxton.

We'll also have some live guests stopping by for an interview.  Red Horse is a trio consisting of three great singer-songwriters: Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, and Lucy Kaplansky

Devendra Banhart was born in Houston, Texas, raised by his mother in Venezuela, and later moved to California as a teenager.He studied visual art at the San Francisco Art Institute, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Banhart released his debut album in 2002.  On his latest record, Mala, he explores different genres, his musical experiments unified by his always interesting songwriting. 

Live music is important to us here at IPR.  Because of that, we regularly travel to festivals and music venues to record musicians in live performance.  Then we bring the recordings back and share them with you on the radio.  On Sunday, April 7, The Folk Tree presents two live recordings from the 2010 Iowa Arts Festival in Iowa City. 

During the 2:00 hour, it's indie-roots duo The Pines.  David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey are both Iowa natives, but they first met and began playing together in Arizona, and they're now based out of the Twin Cities.

Bonne Finken's remarkably versatile voice allows her to transcend genres effortlessly.  One moment, the Iowan is melting your heart with a classic soul-inspired ballad.  The next, she's making your heart race with a take-no-prisoners approach to a slice of driving, R&B-tinged pop.  Join us for a live set from Bonne Finken and The Collective, recorded in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on November 15, 2011.  Tune in Thursday, April 11 in the 7:00 pm hour of Studio One.

Hailing from a horse farm along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Iowa singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore has developed an intense love and spiritual understanding of the land, which he conveys through all of his records.  Whitmore stopped by the IPR Cedar Falls studios on July 11, 2012, playing and singing for a very appreciative audience.  We'll feature a set from that performance in the first hour of the Thursday, April 4 edition of Studio One.

Ben Cook-Feltz
Corby Ortmann

The best way to describe Ben Cook-Feltz's music may be, “Paul Simon singing piano ballads about broken hearts, and pants, to thunderous percussion.” A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Cook-Feltz has spent the past seven years living in Minneapolis, performing throughout the state and metro area with a variety of backing ensembles, large and small, sure and unsure.

This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll re-broadcast his percussive "Java Blend" performance from October of 2011.

CD of The Week from Low

Mar 31, 2013

The Invisible Way is the tenth album from the Duluth, MN trio Low.  Low's guitarist and vocalist Alan Sparhawk tells the story of how the new record came together:  "While driving through Chicago, on tour, we stopped finally to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft....It's a great place- a sea of instruments in a relaxed, open working environment."  Wilco's Jeff Tweedy agreed to produce the new Low album.  "He spoke a language we understood, but then took us effortlessly into the mystery," according to Sparhawk.

This is not your average piano girl. Singer-songwriter Tiff Jimber holds nothing back when she plays, smashing out rhythms and dancing on her toes. Consistently compared to Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds, this lady showcases her diverse jazz and classical training in catchy pop songs conjured up by her influences, Billy Joel, John Mayer, Nina Simone, and Adele.

Richard Thompson is an accomplished songwriter and interpreter of other artist's songs.  He's also a fine vocalist and guitarist, concentrating on the acoustic guitar in recent years.  For his new record, Thompson has returned to the electric guitar, underlining that fact by titled the album Electric.  He does play acoustic guitar as well on the new release, but even on the quieter tracks a certain energy comes through.  Buddy Miller, acting as producer, and recording Thompson in his Nashville home studio, has a lot to do with that.  Electric features eleven tracks, all o

Seconds marks the fourth studio record for Rebecca Rego since 2006. Derek Beres of "Mindful Metropolis" says "There is no doubt that Rebecca Rego is a poetess, given the strength of these ten fine songs. The focus is certainly her voice, by way of her lyrical nature, itself in no way ambiguous."

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, our show includes two segments from a 2012 concert by the Irish group Danu, in the 2:00 and 3:00 hours, plus lots of other great folk music, both Irish and non-Irish.

Mutts are a keyboard-centric, mercurial band often described as a unique blend of Tom Waits and Nirvana. Although keyboards drive their sound, Mutts draw comparisons to bluesy rockers likes Queens of the Stone Age and The Black Keys for music that is alternately danceable, psychedelic, and heavy.

They have opened for artists such as Maps & Atlases and Psychic Twin and recently performed at the Do Division Fest in Chicago. Their latest album Separation Anxiety was on the CMJ Top 200 for six consecutive weeks.

Mark Simmet hosts, with more from our CD of The Week, Holy Fire by the UK band Foals.  Also, new music from Richard Thompson, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and David Bowie.

Mark Simmet hosts, with new music from David Bowie, Devendra Banhart, Johnny Marr, Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) and Low.  Also, more from our CD of The Week, Holy Fire by Foals.

New blues from Kelly Richey, 4 Jacks, and Big Papa & The TCB. Exclusive IPR recordings of Iowa City boogie-woogie piano player Chase Garrett at the 2012 Des Moines Arts Festival. And hopefully your pledges of support for this locally produced weekly blues bus ride down Blue Avenue. Pledge: 800-971-8815 or

"Help!" "Money" "Can't Buy Me Love" but it can get you great radio shows on Iowa Public Radio! It's a fundraising edition of the medley. Fab Four Fans we need to hear from you, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Pledge: 800-971-8815 or

It's a LIVE fundraising edition of the show! Music segments include spotlights on "50s Girls", "Duets in Rock'n'Roll History", some "Hippie 60s On Vinyl" and some listener picks that have come in via email in recent weeks. Hopefully IPR's Music Director Al Schares and I will be reading your name and thanking you on-air for your financial pledge in support of this locally produced rock'n'roll history show. Pledge at 800-971-8815 or

The Nadas have carved a thriving career out of what was once their college pastime, consistently filling clubs and colleges across the country selling more than 125,000 albums through their own Authentic Records label.

This year, the group is preparing to release a new album, to be titled Lovejoy Sessions. Originally formed some 15 years ago in Ames, Iowa, their catchy, driving tunes feature great lyrics, a solid beat, and tight vocals.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of John McCutcheon and Beppe Gambetta, plus music by Brother Sun, Hey Mavis, Jane Voss, and The Chieftains.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of Ruth King and the Boone County Snake Chasers, plus music by Peter Mayer, Pharis and Jason Romero, Annalivia, and Seamus Egan.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of Mr. Baber's Neighbors and Darrell Scott, plus music by Kathy Kallick, Nickel Creek, Lucy Kaplansky, and the Tannahill Weavers.

After two months of listening to BMA nominees, we're back to spotlighting new blues releases, including the latest efforts by Big Bill Morganfield, Otis Taylor and James Hunter. Plus a reprise of the half-hour conversation/spotlight on singer Shaun Murphy that you might have missed when it originally aired on Super Bowl Sunday!

An unusual at random playlist with the 3rd song on each successive album comprising the 10 song medley

Mark Simmet hosts, with new music from Foxygen, Robyn Hitchcock, Son Volt and The Waterboys. Also, more from our CD of The Week, Hummingbird by Local Natives.

Mark Simmet hosts, with new music from Robyn Hitchcock, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Harper Simon and Iceage. Also, more from our CD of The Week, Hummingbird by Local Natives. Plus, the Canadian band Rah Rah recorded by IPR in our Cedar Falls studios.