Studio One

IPR/Phil Maass

Based out of Seattle, Washington, The Blackberry Bushes Stringband mix equal parts tradition and innovation, with the twang and instrumental chops of bluegrass and 21st-century sensibility to their original songs. Fiddler Jakob Breitbach (a Dubuque native) and singer-songwriter and guitarist Jes Raymond form the core of the band, with Daniel Ullom on mandolin, Forrest Marowitz on bass, and newest member Alex Genova on banjo. They paid a visit to IPR’s Cedar Falls studios during The Folk Tree on Sunday, Oct.

On this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with Iowa blues-rockers Wooden Nickel Lottery. 

Lend an ear to hear the group's blistering guitar work, powerful vocals and solid bottom from their debut record, "On My Way." 

IPR/Tony Dehner

Famed alt-country musician/vocalist, songwriter and producer Gurf Morlix is currently touring the country in support of his new album Eatin' At Me.  He stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios for an afternoon session on Oct. 20, playing a generous selection of songs, not all of which are on the new album.  Morlix and I also talked about his storied career and his views on a variety of subjects.  Have a listen to the songs and conversation right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

Iowa native Julie Christensen has traveled far in her musical career since leaving her home state.  She returned to Iowa for some live dates that include her participation in this year's Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference in Iowa City (farmfolk.org).  Christensen and guitarist Chris Tench from her band Stone Cupid stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Oct. 19  for a live set that included many songs from Stone Cupid's upcoming new album, The Cardinal.  She also talked about her days with the band Divine Horsemen, singing with Leonard Cohen and much more.

facebook.com/beirutmusic

As you can see in this photo, Beirut is a band.  As is often the case these days, Beirut began as a solo project, with teenage songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon recording in his bedroom in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  When he was 17, Condon traveled to Europe with his older brother.  European music (from the Balkans and France, for example) and "world music" influences are characteristic of Beirut's particular brand of indie rock.  Beirut expanded to a band, with their first live performances in New York around the time of their debut album in 2006.

facebook.com/juliechristensenmusic

If you've listened to songs from the great Leonard Cohen album The Future, you've heard Iowa native Julie Christensen's wonderful vocal contributions on that record.  She also toured with Cohen, and can be heard on live Leonard Cohen recordings of that era.  Or maybe you recall Divine Horsemen, the post-punk/Americana-leaning rock band that Christensen co-fronted (with Chris D.) in the 1980's.  Perhaps you've heard Christensen's solo albums or her current band Stone Cupid.  Join me on Studio One Tracks on Monday, Oct.

On this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer chats with Iowa City folk group The Awful Purdies. 

Listen in to hear stories and songs from their new album, "All Recipes are Home." 

facebook.com/lowmusic

Slow, deliberate tempos and minimalist arrangements.  Mystery, atmosphere and perhaps even  trance-inducement.  That's the music of Low.  Founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals) began Low in Duluth, MN/Superior, WI in 1993.  Their debut album was released the following year, and with the new Ones and Sixes, Low is now up to their eleventh full-length studio release. The record was recorded at Justin Vernon's studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Sparhawk and Parker are married with two children, and still live in Duluth.    

On this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with legendary Iowa City songwriter Dave Moore. 

Listen in below to hear what Moore's been up to lately. 

Beverly and the Accordion

The Friends of KUNI are presenting an evening of live music on Thursday, October 22nd at Gingers on the Hill in Cedar Falls, with music from Peas and Carrot and Beverly and the Accordion. Denny McCabe of the Friends of KUNI says this is a listener appreciation event that's "in celebration of local radio, local music, local beer and local spirits."

IPR/Mark Simmet

The Little Rock, Arkansas band Amasa Hines, a hit at the 80/35 Festival this past July, returned to Iowa Oct. 1 for a performance broadcast on Studio One Tracks.  They played two sets on the Kum & Go Theatre stage of the Des Moines Social Club.  Fusing their diverse influences into a musical blend they call "Psychedelic Afro-Futurism," Amasa Hines demonstrated their musical approach to a rapt audience in the theatre.  Their sets included songs from the band's debut album All The World There Is, with musical exploration a key component in their sound.

thearcs.com

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are The Black Keys, a band that continues to grow in popularity.  Meanwhile, Auerbach and Carney each find time to get involved in producing other artists, record solo albums and start up side projects.  For the latter, check out Blakroc, Drummer and The Rentals (not a start up, but an existing band Carney joined last year).  The latest side project is The Arcs.  The debut album Yours, Dreamily began as another Auerbach solo record.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with prominent Iowa blues artists Joe and Vicki Price on the RAGBRAI trail on a hot day in July. 

Tune in to hear tunes from the Prices' newest release, "Night Owls." 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer learns what Iowa singer-songwriter Chad Elliott has been up to lately. 

Lend an ear below to hear tracks from Elliott's brand new album, "Wreck and Ruin." 

facebook.com/TheRealYLT

Stuff Like That There is the 14th full-length album from Yo La Tengo, the pride of Hoboken, New Jersey!  Yo La Tengo easily fit into the indie rock category of "critical favorites/cult band."  Guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist Ira Kaplan and his wife Georgia Hubley (drums, keyboards, vocals) formed the band in 1984.  James McNew has been Yo La Tengo's bassist since 1992.  Guitarist Dave Schramm recently rejoined the band in time to participate in this new album.

facebook.com/AmasaHines

The next Studio One Tracks live broadcast from the Des Moines Social Club is coming up this Thursday, Oct. 1, beginning at 7:00 pm.  We will be featuring a live performance from Amasa Hines, a six-piece band from Little Rock that has been creating a buzz not only in their home state of Arkansas, but nationwide.  You may have caught their excellent set at the 80/35 Festival this past July.  Amasa Hines will be back in Des Moines to play the Kum & Go Theatre at the Des Moines Social Club for this ticketed event.  

facebook.com/beachhouse

Beach House are purveyors of dream pop- defined as moody and atmospheric music, with the focus on sonic textures, breathy vocals and introspective/existential lyrics.  The Baltimore band decided to simplify the arrangements of their songs for their fifth full-length record, Depression Cherry, getting back to the feel of their first two studio albums.  Beach House began in 2004 when Vassar College grad (and French-born) songwriter, vocalist and keyboard player Victoria Legrand met songwriter/guitarist Alex Scally in his native Baltimore.

IPR/Mark Simmet

Singer-songwriter Kate Kennedy performed for a receptive audience at the First United Methodist Church in Ames (her home base) on Sept. 12.  She was opening for The Mountain Goats at the Maximum Ames Music Festival event.  Kennedy has been writing songs for about eight years, and released her debut album in 2006.  She also released an album as Pennyhawk in 2009.  You can listen right here to Kate Kennedy live on Studio One Tracks!

IPR/Mark Simmet

Studio One Tracks featured a live performance from The Mountain Goats on Sept. 12.  It was the final show of a brief solo tour from Mountain Goats songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/pianist John Darnielle.  The Maximum Ames Music Festival headlining performance was very well received by an enthusiastic full house at the First United Methodist Church in Ames.  Many in the audience had come long distances to catch this intimate live set from The Mountain Goats.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer hangs out with acoustic country songwriter Mike Himebaugh.

Listen in below for his "Chicago twang" sound that's bound to draw a smile.

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Singer-songwriter Dan Bejar formed his band Destroyer in the mid-1990s in Vancouver, British Columbia.  He may or may not be amused by the fact that there are several other musical groups with the name "Destroyer." However, those are heavy metal and KISS tribute bands, so musically there can be no confusion with Bejar's indie rock sensibilities.  He is also known for his work with Vancouver's New Pornographers, which he joined after fronting Destroyer for a few years.  Bejar has continued writing, singing and playing with both bands.

IPR/Tony Dehner

On Sept. 3, the Waterloo-based power pop band TWINS played two energetic sets at the Kum & Go Theatre venue of the Des Moines Social Club.  Their sets included a generous selection of songs from their forthcoming third album, plus TWINS favorites and a great cover of a Nick Lowe song.  A good time was had by all, as they say, and you can hear what I mean when you listen to this podcast! 

facebook.com/pages/the-Mountain-Goats

As I've been preparing for our Studio One Tracks live broadcast of The Mountain Goats this Saturday night (Sept. 12, beginning at 7:00 pm with opening act Kate Kennedy), I've come across many surprisingly varied ways that other writers have described John Darnielle's voice.  One of my favorites is from a Paste magazine scribe who wrote that The Mountain Goats' songs are "steadfastly proclaimed in (Darnielle's) geek who-lived-to-tell wail."  The writer liked  the singer's  voice, and so do I.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer talks with unique Moline, Illinois rock ensemble Minus Six.

Listen to and download the podcast below to find out how the group has successfully omitted guitar.

themynabirds.com

Lovers Know is the third full-length album from The Mynabirds, the band founded by singer-songwriter and keyboard player Laura Burhenn in 2009.  She had previously been one half of the Washington, D.C. duo Georgie James.  Burhenn signed to Saddle Creek Records and relocated to Omaha, Saddle Creek's home base.

In this special encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Coralville native bluesman Kevin B.F. Burt chats with host Ben Kieffer.

Listen to Burt's powerful blues performances below.

Des Moines Social Club/Mickey Davis

After a summer break, the Studio One team is heading back to the Des Moines Social Club on Thursday, September 3rd! IPR's Mark Simmet will be spinning your daily soundtrack live from the Kum & Go Theater at the Social Club, and he'll be joined by the Waterloo band TWINS, who will be bringing their brand of high-energy rock and roll and performing songs from their upcoming third album! 

Gabriella Porter/thebirdandthebee.com

Inara George is the daughter of the late Lowell George of the band Little Feat.  She had already performed and recorded on her own before forming the Los Angeles-based duo The Bird And The Bee with musician/producer Greg Kurstin in 2006.  The two share an appreciation for jazz standards, sophisticated dance music, and well-constructed pop songs.  In fact, their previous full-length release was an album of Hall & Oates covers.  The new Recreational Love follows five years later, with ten new ear-pleasing indie pop songs.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer catches up with Quad Cities-based group EmJay.

Lend an ear below to some of EmJay's female-fronted neo soul/groove music.

facebook.com/liannelahavas

Blood is the second full-length album from Lianne La Havas.  La Havas was born in London to a Greek father and Jamaican mother and began singing at age seven.  Her father taught her piano and guitar basics, and she started writing songs at a young age.  La Havas signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2010, but took her time developing her skills before releasing any music.  Her debut album came out in 2012.  With the new follow-up record Blood, Lianne La Havas continues to write, sing and play smart, sophisticated songs in a jazzy neo-soul style.

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