Name: Clay Masters
Job: Morning Edition is weekdays from 5 to 9 on the Iowa Public Radio News Channel. I'm also a reporter spending a lot of time covering the Iowa Caucuses.
What was the very last thing you listened to today? Be honest!
I've been listening to My Morning Jacket's new record, "The Waterfall", on my 4 a.m. commute to work. I saw them play at The Ranch Bowl in Omaha 12 years ago and I've been hooked ever since. Every album they've put out has taken some getting used to...this one is finally sinking in.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version only referred to The Ranch Bowl as a bowling alley.
What album have you been listening to a lot lately?
Simon Joyner's new album, called "Grass, Branch & Bone". He's one of my favorite living writers and is an incredibly underrated songwriter. It's easy to get lost in his stories.
What is your favorite song today?
Low just released a song off its upcoming September release called "No Comprende" and I can't get enough of it.
Favorite new release from the last 30 days?
The Milk Carton Kids' new album, called "Monterey", is pretty stunning. They're a duo out of California that often get compared to Simon and Garfunkel. I'm impressed how their sound has evolved within the parameters of just harmonies and two acoustic guitars.
Name an album that has been meaningful to you at some point in your life.
I have fond memories of my dad introducing me to "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" on vinyl when I was in grade school.
Last concert you attended?
I went to Shovels & Rope at The Englert in Iowa City back in April. Their "Swimmin' Time" was my favorite record from 2014.
Favorite concert you've ever attended?
Tom Waits at the Civic Theater in Akron, Ohio on his "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards" Tour in 2006.
First concert you went to?
Not sure. I'd put money on Chris LeDeoux at the Nebraska State Fair with my parents and brother when I was a kid.
Do you remember the first album you ever owned?
John Cougar's "American Fool" on cassette tape.
Who is an artist you know you're supposed to like, but you just don't?
I understand and appreciate his place in music history but I'm not a Paul McCartney fan.
Where is your favorite location to listen to music?
On the road.
Do you play any instruments? Are you in a band?
I've played guitar for 15 years and was in bands in high school and college. Now it seems I only play for my kids. I also played trombone in high school jazz and marching band.
If you could be any musician for a day, who would it be?
Townes Van Zandt in 1973 during the recording of "Live at the Old Quarter", it's the best live album out there. It really captured the room and I'd like to see the faces of those in the audience from the stage. RIP, Townes.
What is the weirdest way you ever discovered an artist/song?
I've found a lot of great stuff from the segue music between stories on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered".
Do you have a fond music-related memory you can share with us?
Around the holidays last year I interviewed Iowa musicians Pieta Brown and her father, Greg Brown, about their musical relationship over the years for an NPR piece. As Pieta was walking out of the studio she told me they'd never had a conversation quite like it before.