The B-Side

Welcome to The B-Side - your source for all things music! We'll discuss, play, and share music, talk about what's interesting us in the industry, and give you our inside scoop on what's happening in the Iowa - and national - music scene.

Iowa City folk rock group The Recliners channels recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan from The Java House stage in downtown Iowa City on this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend." Join the group in reminiscing on their favorite Dylan stories, moments, and most importantly, songs, by downloading the free podcast below.

In this episode of Iowa Public Radio Studio One's "Java Blend," Iowa blues icon Kevin B.F. Burt stops by The Java House in downtown Iowa City to croon and belt his legendary tunes. Lend an ear to the podcast below to hear some of Burt's new works, as well as some searing covers of B.B. King, Bob Dylan, and more.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Des Moines powerhouse Bonne Finken trades laid back acoustic arrangements for grand, sprawling electronic tunes. Download the podcast below to hear host Ben Kieffer chat with Finken on her decision to go electronic.

Dubuque trio Cranes and Vultures brings its eclectic take on folk and alt-country to The Java House in downtown Iowa City in this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend." Download and listen to the podcast below to hear the band chat with "Java Blend" host Ben Kieffer and play some of their intriguing, highly original tunes.

In this boot-stompin' episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Iowa's old-time jazz group The Dandelion Stompers stopped by The Java House in downtown Iowa City- and the toes were tapping. Lend an ear to the downloadable podcast below for some jazz standards steeped in New Orleans tradition.

Iowa City's favorite bluesman, Kevin B.F. Burt, will take up a familiar role on the Java Blend stage for another electrifying performance of his award-winning roots and blues. Stop by The Java House in downtown Iowa City at 2 P.M. this Friday, November 4th, to hear the booming voice and distinct guitar playing that has cemented Burt as legend in blues music.

Twin Cities jam band Frogleg crammed all seven of its members onto a tiny Java House stage for this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," so it's no wonder why their music sounds so tight. Join Java Blend host Ben Kieffer and listen in to the free podcast below to hear the group's stellar musicianship, infectious grooves, and dazzling chemistry.

IPR/Tony Dehner

Brother Trucker played two live sets for Studio One Tracks as part of our live broadcast from the Des Moines Social Club on Oct. 27. The band is celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2017, with a new album expected early next year. Brother Trucker played songs from that forthcoming release, plus old favorites and some well-chosen covers. Those covers included versions of songs by some of their fellow Iowa musicians. You can hear both live sets right here!

IPR/Tony Dehner

It's a little later in the month than usual, but the Studio One team is heading back to the Des Moines Social Club this Thursday, and we'll be joined for the live broadcast by some old friends: the long-running Des Moines band Brother Trucker. Brother Trucker have been around long enough that they can be safely considered an Iowa institution, and their relationship with Iowa Public Radio is a long one. They have performed live on IPR's Studio One Tracks and on IPR's Java Blend, and were one...

The Midwest-based duo The Matchsellers bring their "vaudevillian" form of bluegrass to the Java House stage in this goofy episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" with host Ben Kieffer. Download and listen to the free podcast below to hear about the group's German adventures, quirky songs, superb musicianship, and even some hamboning.

Photo by Henryk Kotowski / Wikimedia

Iowa Public Radio’s staff has no idea whether Bob Dylan will show up to collect his Nobel Prize in Literature . (We realize he's been to Stockholm before - the photo is from a gig there in 1996 - and that he's accepted major awards, like this one in 2012 , but this time? Who knows.) Yet IPR staff from many departments and age groups do have Dylan memories or tracks to share. Scroll down to read some - then please share YOUR Dylan picks on our Facebook page or by email. Here's our list so far,...

Frank Kovalchek / Wikimedia Commons

Just about a decade ago, Roger Miller, along with some fellow steel guitar players, started to worry about the future of the instrument. There weren't a lot of young players. So they did something about it and founded the Jump Start Academy, which pairs seasoned steel petal guitar musicians with young people who want to learn. "We'll give you a steel guitar to play on and pair you with a mentor for a year," explains Miller. "We've got teachers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa, so...

Folk duo Famous October is half Iowan, half Swiss, and all talent. In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," hear host Ben Kieffer chat with the couple on how they first met, how they became musical partners, and hear tunes off their newly released record, " One Day Baby. " Check out the free downloadable podcast below.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

The long-running public radio program A Prairie Home Companion will sound much different beginning this Saturday, as new host Chris Thile takes the reins on a permanent basis. Chris Thile is a familiar name among music fans . He's a founding member of the bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers and has also worked with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer. In 2009, he debuted his mandolin concerto, Ad astra per alas porci, which he performed with the wcfsymphony in 2011. In 2013 released his mandolin-based...

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines-based singer-songwriter made Dan Tedesco stopped by our Cedar Falls studios recently for a live performance and interview. Dan has appeared on Studio One twice before: this was his second appearance on Studio One Tracks , and he's also performed on the IPR program Java Blend. In addition to performing songs from his double album, Dan talked about the recording and songwriting processes, and also cited one of his biggest musical influences. Dan will be debuting a full backing...

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," Iowa City bluegrass troop Slewgrass shows its tight harmonies and dazzling stringwork. Download the free podcast below to hear Java Blend host Ben Kieffer chat with the group about their many other projects, as well as some high-energy original songs.

IPR/Al Schares

The eclectic quintet of female multi-instrumentalists known as Awful Purdies are celebrating their tenth anniversary as a band this year. Group members take turns stepping up as songwriter and lead singer when they perform. The Iowa City band played a live set at the Kum & Go Theatre venue of the Des Moines Social Club on Oct. 7, opening for Gaelynn Lea. The show was broadcast live on IPR's Studio One Tracks. You can listen to their wonderful set right here!

IPR/Mark Simmet

Duluth, Minnesota native Gaelynn Lea is attracting notice as the winner of NPR's second annual Tiny Desk Contest, traveling around the U.S and abroad treating listeners to her songs and her unique style of playing the violin. The singer-songwriter's video of "Someday We'll Linger In The Sun" emerged as the winner from the 6,100 entries in the contest. She played that song during her performance at the Kum & Go Theatre venue of the Des Moines Social Club on Oct. 7. Gaelynn Lea's set was...

Des Moines Metro Opera

"An ideal introduction to the art form.... the most cogent [ Manon ] in memory" - that's what Opera News said about Des Moines Metro Opera's "meticulously crafted" Massenet. Hear it Saturday at 8PM or Sunday at 3PM on IPR's "Operas in October" series, hosted and produced by Jacqueline Halbloom. The Des Moines Register wrote, "If you’re looking for high theatrical glamor and exceptionally fine singing , you can hardly do better." Opera News agreed: "Sydney Mancasola was an enchanting Manon,...

Chelsey Hager

This Friday, October 7th, Twin Cities jamband Frogleg will pack their many members onto the stage in the Java House in downtown Iowa City. Join Java Blend host Ben Kieffer at 2 p.m. to hear about Frogleg's inception in 2012 and listen to their improvisational style.

Back in August, we previewed several albums that would be headed our way in the coming months that we were especially looking forward to. Of course, it's impossible to list everything, and something always comes along that wasn't on our radar immediately, but catches our ears in a big way. This happened several times last month, and nothing makes us happier! Here's a few of our favorite albums from September. Angel Olsen - My Woman Angel Olsen has collaborated in the past with Bonnie "Prince"...

(c) Marco Borggreve / Juilliard School

Has classical music become a worldwide music culture in which non-Europeans are equal, full members and no nation has special privileges? And does Japan scramble cultural storylines and stereotypes more than most countries? I make both cases in contemplating a giant of current Bach interpretation, the keyboardist / conductor Masaaki Suzuki. I’m looking forward to this afternoon, when from 1-3 I’ll be on the air with Suzanne Bona, whose Sunday Baroque really should be part of your weekend...

Luther College Archives / Flickr

Last weekend, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors with these words from President Obama. "As Americans, we rightfully passed on the tales of the giants that built this country, who led armies into battle, who waged seminal debates in the halls of Congress and the corridors of power. But too often, we ignored or forgot the stories of millions upon millions of others, who built this nation just as surely." Featured in one of the exhibits is Iowa's own...

Courtesy of Gaelynn Lea

In March a singer, songwriter, and fiddler from Duluth, Minnesota won NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest. Now, Gaelynn Lea is embarking on her first solo tour and bringing her music to Iowa. Lea’s history with performing started before she could read when she memorized a monologue for a play. Then in the fifth grade, after acing a music listening test, the orchestra teacher worked with her to find a way to play an instrument with her disability. Born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known...

When you think of the state of Iowa, you might not initially find yourself thinking about its music scene or rich musical culture. But there is a growing diversity of sound in the state and a “special sauce” that makes the music that’s made here unique. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Dave Zollo, Iowa City based artist and founder of Trailer Records; Luke Tweedy, owner of Flat Black Studios and Tim Hankewich of Orchestra Iowa about music in Iowa. From roots...

Margaret Glaspy/ATO Records

On Sunday, Sept. 11, Margaret Glaspy is making a stop in Cedar Falls at Octopus College Hill, and we’ll be broadcasting the show live on Studio One Tracks. Margaret Glaspy is a 27-year-old indie folk-rock singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York. Her debut critically-acclaimed album, Emotions and Math, was just released in early June after previously releasing a few EPs, and since she has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and in magazines like The New Yorker . She is best...

IPR/Tony Dehner

IPR's Studio One team returns to the Des Moines Social Club on September 1st to resume our series of live broadcasts. We've got a great slate of artists scheduled to perform over the next several months, beginning in September with Elizabeth Moen ! Based in Iowa City, Elizabeth Moen has joined us before at the Social Club, performing with Annalibera during IPR's collaboration with the Iowa Music Project. Her music has also been heard on both Studio One Tracks and Gas Money, Studio One's local...

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

After more than 10 years, Sean Moeller is leaving Daytrotter . He says it seems like the right time, and he’s ready for a new project. During this Talk of Iowa interview, he talks with host Charity Nebbe about why he’s moving on, what he’s built, and how Daytrotter began. “I was out on a run one day, and I was searching a little bit. I was in a place a little similar to where I am now. I was kind of thinking, ‘What do I want to do and what’s next?’ And I thought, 'I want to have a record...

IPR/Tony Dehner

We add new music to our library at Studio One almost every week, and we're getting ready to enter one of the busiest times of year for new releases. Here are 12 albums coming in the next two months from some high-profile artists that we're especially excited about, and that you can pretty much count on hearing on Studio One Tracks. (Some of the songs included below include language that some listeners may find objectionable.) Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree - September 9th...

Song of the Day

Jul 27, 2016

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