Mark Simmet

Studio One Host

Senior Producer Mark Simmet began working at KUNI over 20 years ago.  In that time he has produced and hosted a long-running daily jazz program, as well as weekly blues and world music programs.  Mark also was a fill-in/substitute folk music host.  He has spent many years perfecting IPR's unique blend of musical styles as the host and producer of Studio One.  Mark also reviews all new submissions to IPR’s Studio One library, deciding on CD of The Week artists and maintaining reporting of music aired to record companies, promoters and trade publications.

Mark has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, and finds that his creative skills are very applicable to his work sculpting Studio One.

facebook.com/bettyelavette

Bob Dylan covers, even entire albums of other artists covering Dylan songs, are not uncommon.  What makes Bettye LaVette's new Things Have Changed special is her sterling reputation as a song interpreter.  Her talent as a performer, applied to the songs of arguably the greatest single songwriter of the past few decades, is definitely worth hearing.  Although LaVette picks a couple of Dylan's most well known songs from the '60s, she also draws from other decades, with some deep album cuts proving to be inspired choices for the vocalist.  Also inspired are many of the arrang

facebook.com/robertfinley

Perhaps not since Big Star titled their first album #1 Record has an artist been so upfront about their ambition for success:  Robert Finley calls his new record Goin' Platinum! (the exclamation point is part of the title).  The 64-year-old, Louisiana-born blues & soul singer has earned the right to grab some attention.  Finley has been performing off and on for decades, and finally released his debut studio album in 2016.  The new Goin' Platinum! ​was produced by Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville, and released on the producer's own label.

facebook.com/christhile

Chris Thile plays mandolin, writes songs, sings, and has made records both on his own and as part of the groups Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.   As of October, 2016, he has also been the host of a radio program on public radio.  That program is Live From Here - previously known as A Prairie Home Companion.  Although coming out of the bluegrass tradition, Thile is known for being inclusive and progressive in his approach to songwriting and performing.  As part of his Live From Here broadcasts, each time out he features a brand new song that he has written as a ki

IPR/MARK SIMMET

Chastity Brown was raised in Tennessee, and currently resides in Minneapolis.  She stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on July 18, 2017, singing songs from her Red House Records album Silhouette Of Sirens, and accompanying herself on guitar and piano.  Brown played and sang her introspective and soulful songs, and talked about her life and music.  

Enjoy Chastity Brown's Studio One set!

facebook.com/neilyoung

Neil Young maintains his Canadian citizenship (as he makes clear in the video below), but he lives and works in the United States and has opinions about our culture and politics.  In recent years, these opinions have fueled a lot of Young's songwriting and much of the passion of his playing as a musician.  In this he is supported for the second time on a studio album by the California-based band Promise Of The Real, led by Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson.  The albums Young has recorded with Promise Of The Real (including the 2016 live release, Earth) have their own particular fe

facebook.com/bjork

Bjork is that rare artist who has achieved popular success while still remaining seriously avant-garde.   The Icelandic vocalist and songwriter has been experimenting in sound and vision for a few decades now, and she still has a lot to say.  Drawing upon the mystique of her homeland, the unfolding events of her life, and of course her fertile imagination, Bjork has a new album titled Utopia.  She called it that because after the darkness of her last record, Bjork is feeling optimistic and hopeful about the future.  She collaborated closely with the Venezuelan electronic p

facebook.com/sufjan-stevens

Sufjan Steven's seventh studio album, Carrie & Lowell, was released in 2015.  It was a quiet, indie-folk album with very autobiographical lyrics written by Stevens as a way of dealing with the death of his mother, Carrie.  Lowell is Stevens' stepfather.  The writing and recording of songs dealing with memories of his mother, who suffered from mental illness and abandoned him when he was a year old, was a means of grieving for Stevens.  Not as cathartic as he expected, the project actually caused him to feel worse.  Now he has released a follow-up album consisting of outtakes, r

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Fuss returned to Iowa Public Radio for their third live performance of 2017, on Nov. 2.  The venue this time was The Basement venue of the Des Moines Social Club, for a Studio One Underground live broadcast.  The band was excited to play for their hometown fans, and the audience was pumped for both of their sets.  The Fuss played songs from their 2017 full-length album, plus selections both older and newer.

Enjoy these two sets from The Fuss! 

The Cedar Falls band Honeywise performed a live set of their music in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on June 5, 2017.  Guitarist Jason Surratt and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Sophia Landis played a heartfelt set, including songs from their full-length album The Grass Is Green.  Be listening for Sophia's Native American flute playing.

Here is the live set from Honeywise!

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines (with roots in the Cedar Valley) band Hazer returned to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on Nov. 8.  The band demonstrated their affinity for catchy guitar riffs and straight ahead rock music,  performing all of the songs from their new album There's No Going Back, in sequence.  To finish the set, Hazer played a brand new song.

You can hear the entire live set from Hazer, right here!  

IPR/Tony Dehner

After a year of Studio One Underground shows from the Des Moines Social Club, it's become an IPR tradition to finish up our year of live broadcasts there with A Conquered Christmas.  For the cause of good will and good cheer, Christopher The Conquered rounds up a stellar roster of Iowa talent to perform in The Basement venue of the DMSC, and Studio One has the honor of broadcasting it live!  This year's event on Dec. 7 featured Brother Trucker, David Zollo, Dustin Smith, Max Wellman, Adam Bruce, Adrien Logsdon and many more! 

facebook.com/theminus5

In 1993, Scott McCaughey had already been in the Seattle band The Young Fresh Fellows for several years, when he decided to begin a side project.  This was The Minus 5, formed originally with Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies.  In the ensuing years, many players have gone through the ranks of the group, and McCaughey himself became known as the "fifth member" of R.E.M..

Tony Dehner / Iowa Public Radio

Lots of new music was released in 2017; here at Iowa Public Radio, we received more than 2,000 albums. If wading through all of that sounds overwhelming, never fear. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Tony Dehner and Mark Simmet of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One about their favorite albums of the year. 

We've also had our most musically-minded staff curate their top five favorite albums of this year, including Morning Edition host Clay Masters. Check out our Spotify playlist and read album reviews below. 

facebook.com/dudeyorkamerica

Dude York come out of the Pacific Northwest- fertile ground for the pop-punk guitar rock this trio purveys.  The current lineup (Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums) has been together for about four years.  The Seattle label Hardly Art signed Dude York in 2016, and their first album for them came out earlier this year.  Halftime For The Holidays is the quick followup.  With the exception of a rocking yet respectful take of  "Silent Night," these are all new songs.  Well, "Takin' Care of Christmas" is a familiar classic ro

facebook.com/mavisstaples

Mavis Staples was in the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960's, singing and marching along with her siblings and her father Pops Staples.  In December of 2016, Mavis went to Washington to receive the Kennedy Center Honors from President Barack Obama, with whom she has had a long standing friendship.  She invited her friend Jeff Tweedy along for the weekend's festivities.  Mavis and the Wilco frontman spent a lot of time discussing current events, and the similarities between today's fight for equality and what went down in the 60's.  That became an inspiration for the new Mav

facebook.com/feverray

Fever Ray is the project of Karin Dreijer, and Plunge is the second album she has released under the Fever Ray moniker.  The album was recorded in her Stockholm studio in collaboration with six different producers.  Karin Dreijer is best known for her work in The Knife, the electronic duo she and her brother Olof Dreijer were in for fifteen years before calling it quits in late 2014.  For both The Knife and Fever Ray, Dreijer's art can best be summed up as edgy.  The power of her music comes from both her passion and her vulnerability.

facebook.com/sharonjonesandthedapkings

Sharon Jones paid her dues for years before she began to achieve success as a soul singer at the age of 40.  That success was mainly in the company of The Dap-Kings, the Brooklyn-based band she fronted for several years.  Their first full-length release together came out in 2002.  Last year's soundtrack of the film documentary Miss Sharon Jones! was their most recent album- until now.  Jones died in November of 2016, and the final recordings of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are contained in the new album Soul of A Woman.         

facebook.com/courtneybarnettmusic

Kurt Vile is the American (born in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania) and Courtney Barnett is the (Sydney born) Australian.  Vile has a few years on Barnett, both in terms of time on the planet and length of career; their new collaboration Lotta Sea Lice is Kurt's seventh album.  For Courtney, it's full-length number two.  However, balance is achieved by virtue of Barnett attracting a bit more music-world buzz the past couple of years.  Lotta Sea Lice is a set of songs from two unpretentious musicians who really work well together.

facebook.com/st.vincent

St. Vincent (born Annie Clark in Tulsa, Oklahoma) attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for three years, and then became a member of The Polyphonic Spree.  She also toured with Sufjan Stevens before releasing her debut album in 2007.  After a couple more full-lengths of her own, she collaborated with David Byrne for an album in 2012.  Byrne and St. Vincent also toured together.  You may have caught their impressive set (the choreography!) at 80/35 in the summer of 2013.  St.

facebook.com/beck

Beck (Beck Hansen if you wish to be formal) has been performing music since the mid 1980s when he was a teenager in his native Los Angeles.  It's been a long, creative road of stylistic experimentation ever since, with eager anticipation of his next move among fans.  Beck reached a milestone when his 2014 record Morning Phase won the Grammy for Album of the Year.  Now comes the followup, Colors, his thirteenth studio album.  Beck took his time, working on the record (off and on) for four years.  The songs were recorded at co-producer Greg Kurstin's L.A.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines band The Sleepover played a live set in IPR's Cedar Falls studios on Oct. 25.  The vocals-guitar/bass/drums trio's performance comprised all ten songs (including one instrumental) from their debut full-length album, No Sleep.  The Sleepover's sound draws upon hard rock, punk and classic rock influences.  Two of the selections on No Sleep are covers- one from The Who, and one from a well known metal band.

Enjoy this high energy set from The Sleepover!

facebook.com/wolfparademusic

Wolf Parade- a great set at 80/35 in 2016, and a fine new album titled Cry Cry Cry in 2017, their first in seven years.  In fact, the Canadian band had been on hiatus since 2010, with plenty of side projects to keep them busy (we're especially looking at you, Dan Boeckner- Handsome Furs, Divine Fits, Operators, etc.) during that time.  Wolf Parade reunited to resume live shows in 2016, and soon got down to the business of writing and recording album number four.  Their record label Sub Pop couldn't be happier to have them back, announcing that "the soaring choruses, rousing anthems

IPR/Chris Fenton

The Iowa City band Crystal City brought their Iowa-grown Heartland rock to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live Studio One Tracks broadcast on September 21.  The group were in fine form for this return visit to Tracks, and delivered a satisfying set of songs, with their new album Bartenderly the focus of their performance.

Enjoy this live set from Crystal City!   

facebook.com/cutcopy

It was a DJ who began Cut Copy in 2001.  Dan Whitford began playing around with keyboards and a sampler while he was attending college (and hosting a radio show) in Melbourne, Australia.  That eventually led to a demo tape submission and the gradual addition of band members.  Whitford came up with the band's name by randomly choosing words from the edit menu of his computer.  The Cut Copy (sometimes known as Cut/Copy) debut full-length album was released in 2004.  Haiku From Zero is album number five; it's highly danceable and harkens back to the early 1980's New Wave era.  

facebook.com/deertick

Deer Tick started out in 2004 (in Providence, Rhode Island) playing music that could pretty accurately be described as "punk-roots rock."  Through years of touring, recording, solo projects and just plain life, the band lands more squarely in simply the roots-rock camp for their latest project.  Songwriter and frontman John McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan actually have two new records out simultaneously- Deer Tick Vol. 1 is acoustic-leaning, and Deer Tick Vol.

facebook.com/alvvays/

Alvvays (spelled that way because a band named Always already existed, but still pronounced "always") formed in Toronto in 2011, and released their debut album in 2014.  Their new record, Antisocialites​, is the followup.   Songwriter and vocalist Molly Rankin occasionally plays fiddle as well, following in the footsteps of her father John Morris Rankin, who is a fiddler with the Celtic folk group The Rankin Family.  Alvvays doesn't play folk music, though.

facebook.com/thenationalofficial

The five members of The National all grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Four of those members are two sets of brothers.  Guitarist/keyboard player Aaron Dessner and his brother Bryce Dessner (also on guitar) are one set, and the other set is the rhythm section of Scott Devendorf (bass) and drummer Bryan Devendorf .  The frontman of The National is Matt Berninger, the singer with the unmistakable baritone voice.  Since forming in 1999 (and eventually relocating to Brooklyn, NY), the band has released a string of critically acclaimed albums.  The new record, Sleep Well Beast, is no except

facebook.com/lcdsoundsystem

In April of 2011, a couple of months after announcing they were calling it quits, LCD Soundsystem played their final show at Madison Square Garden in New York.  Frontman James Murphy had other projects to keep him busy, like running his label DFA Records, so this really seemed like the end of one of the most respected bands of the early 21st century.  However, in late 2015 a new LCD Soundsystem single appeared, and the reunited band started playing shows again in 2016.  A new album was also announced.

facebook.com/grizzlybear

Songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Ed Droste began Grizzly Bear in the early 2000s (in Brooklyn) as a solo project.  As often happens, the solo project grew into a full band by the time of the second Grizzly Bear full-length album in 2006.  The time between albums has increased; the new (fifth) record Painted Ruins arrives five years after the last one, Shields.  With rich, layered soundscapes and strong songwriting, most Grizzly Bear fans would say the wait was worthwhile.

facebook.com/thewarondrugs

The War on Drugs is a good example of a band with a solid reputation, and along with that, expectations of quality that increase with each new release.  The band began in Philadelphia in 2005, founded by Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile.  Vile left for a solo career after The War on Drugs' debut record in 2008.  A Deeper Understanding is the band's fourth album.  Granduciel and his bandmates create a sound that is vast, rich and expansive.  Something of a perfectionist, the frontman has called this the most focused "band record" to date from The War on Drugs.

Pages