Studio One

Name: Mark Simmet

What's your job?

I'm a Studio One Host (Tuesday/Thursday/Friday) and I also manage the music we play. I determine what gets added to the library and I book bands to play in the studio. 

What was the very last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

Alabama Shakes' new album "Sound & Color". My first thought when listening to it was that Brittany Howard is an incredibly soulful singer. It blows you away at how soulful she is. 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Wisconsin-based folk duo, The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.

Download the podcast to listen to a full hour of their unique blend of vaudeville, country, and folk.

William Elliott Whitmore lives in Lee County, between the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers, in the very southeastern corner of Iowa.  He lives and works on his family's land, finding inspiration there for the songs he writes and the music he makes.  Radium Death is his third album for the Anti- label, and his seventh overall.  Whitmore recorded the record in Iowa City over a two year period, with Luke Tweedy producing.  About a third of the new songs are performed solo, and the rest feature a variety of musicians. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

On April 16, the Eastern Iowa band Wooden Nickel Lottery played songs from their just-released debut album On Our Way, for Studio One listeners both in IPR's Cedar Falls studios and those tuning in for the live broadcast.  It was a set of tasty guitar licks and solid songwriting from the Cedar Rapids-based blues/rock band.  Check out the Wooden Nickel Lottery sound right here! 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City band Soul Phlegm stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on April 13 to play a set of what they call "soulgrass outlaw funk."  Whatever you call it, you can hear those elements plus a strong undercurrent of the blues in their high-energy performance.  Soul Phlegm played songs from their new Phlourish EP and more. New songs that are perhaps a preview of the full-length album expected later this year.  Enjoy this live set!

Image Provided By Artist

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2013 host, Ben Kieffer chats with local Iowa City group, The Beggarmen.

Download the podcast to listen to a full hour of Celtic roots and Irish music.

The Melbourne, Australia singer/guitarist/songwriter Courtney Barnett first attracted attention in America with her 2013 release The Double EP:  A Sea Of Split Peas.  It was lengthy, but was in fact two separate EPs put together.  Her actual debut full-length is the new release Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.   Barnett is known for her confessional and sometimes rambling lyrics, delivered in her conversational singing style. Throughout the new album, her distinct voice is supported by her compelling guitar work.

Live from The Basement venue of The Des Moines Social Club

Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" from 2013 host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Des Moines-based folk rockers, Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos.

Download the podcast to listen to tracks off their latest album, Northerner

Strangers To Ourselves is the first album in eight years from Modest Mouse.  Vocalist and guitarist Isaac Brock and drummer Jeremiah Green remain in the band as founding members.  Original bassist Eric Judy left Modest Mouse in 2012.  After their hiatus, Modest Mouse is back with an album that is not about experimentation, but rather serves to remind us of their signature sound.   

Brude Nells Social Club

The 10th Annual Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City kicks off today with a variety of events ranging from literary readings to cultural food tastings. The festival runs until Sunday, April 5 and you can hear Studio One's live broadcast of several music events throughout the weekend. You can even join us in person while we broadcast live from The IPR Lounge at The Java House in Iowa City.  

From The Basement at The Des Moines Social Club 

Name: Tony Dehner

Job: Production Assistant/Studio One Host (Sundays & Mondays)

What is the last thing you listened to today? Be honest!

I listened to a CD that The Michael Reed Band dropped off after their live performance in Studio One last Thursday. 

What album have you been listening to lately?

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" join host Ben Kieffer as he chats with Des Moines-based pop artist, Damon Dotson. 

Damon Dotson is a singer/songwriter based out of Des Moines, IA and originally from Northwest Iowa.

The Canadian electronic music duo Purity Ring are originally from Edmonton, Alberta, and formed in 2010.  Megan James is the vocalist, and Corin Roddick the main instrumentalist in the band.  Another Eternity is the followup to their 2012 debut album.  While still ethereal and atmospheric in its sound, the new full-length finds the duo stretching in a more pop direction.  Both members write the band's songs, with James basing many of the band's lyrics on writing she had done in the past.   

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Waterloo-based Michael Reed Band stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 26, playing a set consisting  of various shades of Rock and Americana for an appreciative audience.  The band, led by singer-songwriter Michael Reed, played songs from their new release Running Wild and more.  Have a listen to their set!

What do you hear when you think Americana?

Red Rock Hill's music is exactly what you want to hear out of good Americana with a local perspective. 

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" join host Ben Kieffer while he chats with the group about their latest album, Fine Line.

Second full-length album from indie "supergroup"

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are in the midst of a Midwestern tour that will include stops in Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Morris (MN) and more.  The four-piece group stopped by IPR's Cedar Falls studios on March 9, bringing their folk rock/Americana songs and talking about their new album The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  It was a rousing set, with instrumentation consisting of guitars, banjo, trumpet and drums.  Have a listen! 

In this episod of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" host, Ben Kieffer chats with The Delta Routine about their latest album, You and Your Lion.

Malin Johansson via

The family of Jose Gonzalez (his parents and sister) fled Argentina in 1976.  They settled in Gothenburg, Sweden where Jose was born two years later.  He played guitar and bass in a variety of bands, and eventually released his first album in 2003.  In addition to records under his own name, Gonzalez has collaborated with a number of musicians, worked on different musical projects, and most notably has been a member of the band Junip.  The new Vestiges & Claws features his de-tuned classical guitar work and thoughtful lyrics.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" join host Ben Kieffer while he chats with Colorado-based bluegrass band, Head for the Hills.

It seems fitting that JD McPherson grew up in rural Oklahoma.  It was in that down-to-earth environment that he started playing guitar at age 13, and later began writing his own songs.  He went on to study, and eventually teach, visual art.  Musically, McPherson had been drawn to 1950's rock and roll, and he decided to pursue a career in music.  His debut album was released in 2010, and now comes the follow-up Let The Good Times Roll.  JD McPherson draws upon R & B, rockabilly and roots rock traditions for his own contemporary take on rock and roll. 

Facebook: Tinder Box

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota band The Tinder Box are touring around the Midwest.  Stops include Chicago, Lincoln, Madison, La Crosse, Burlington (Wisconsin), Morris (Minnesota) and...Cedar Falls.  I'll be hosting the band for a free performance in IPR's Cedar Falls studios, on Monday, March 9.  With their roots in the southeastern South Dakota soil, The Tinder Box play their own blend of folk-rock, Americana and self-described "BlueSgrass."  They have a new release out titled The Attic Sessions:  Volume 1.  ​You'll hear songs from that album and more on Monday night.

Facebook: Canby

What's it look like when I host a Studio One show?  You can find out this Thursday, March 5 at The Basement (901 Cherry Street) in Des Moines!  IPR is excited to be taking Studio One out on the road for the first time, partnering with the Des Moines Social Club for the entire 7-10 pm show.  I'll be playing new indie rock, singer-songwriters and roots-rock, plus a sprinkling of great older tracks.  It will be just like our usual great mix, except that I'll be spinning the discs live with an audience of Basement patrons.

Summer Osborne is out to change the world one soul at a time with her music.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" join host Ben Kieffer as he chats with the Illinois-based spiritual artist.

Emma Tillman/Courtesy of the artist via

Rockville, Maryland native Joshua Tillman has been recording music for over ten years under his given name, as well as J. Tillman, and most recently as Father John Misty.  He was also a member of Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012.  It was after leaving Fleet Foxes that Tillman began releasing albums as Father John Misty, for the Sub Pop label.  I Love You, Honeybear is his second full-length under that moniker.  Tillman is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with a distinct narrative voice.  He has described the new record as a concept album about himself.   

Who doesn’t love a good jam? Fire Sale certainly does.

Live At A Flamingo Hotel is the new live record from the Philadelphia band, Dr. Dog.  The group has been around since 1999, but this is their first official live album.  The performances are spirited, with 19 songs spanning Dr. Dog's career.  The material was recorded during the six-piece band's 2014 tour, drawn from shows in different cities, with devoted and enthusiastic Dr. Dog fans in the audiences.  You may have seen Dr. Dog last July in Des Moines- their 80/35 set was a highlight of the festival!   

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Iowa City trio Milk Duct Tape played an energetic live set for Studio One on Feb. 17, in IPR's Cedar Falls studios.  In the great rock tradition of guitar/bass/drums, the band played songs from their new release Styrofoam Tombstone and more.  Milk Duct Tape describe their music as "grunge rock from the Iowa desert."  Have a listen and find out what that means!