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Copyright © & Ⓟ Sandra Boynton 2013

Connecticut resident Sandra Boynton is hard to label. She's arguably one of America's most popular children's book authors. She's an artist whose whimsical greeting cards are wildly popular. She's also a music composer who's produced five albums and been nominated for a Grammy.

Alterna2, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Bolton has reinvented himself many times. A few years ago, he cut off his trademark hair.  He put out an album of opera arias and another of American Songbook Standards. But probably his biggest challenge was dealing with his image as a romantic icon so permanently rooted in the dead center of the mainstream that poking fun at him became an easy way for people who really weren't all that cool to prove they were at least cool enough to reject Michael Bolton.

Sean Spellman of Quiet Life

Aug 30, 2013
Chion Wolf

If Sean Spellman’s life was captured in a TV show, it’d be Portlandia. He’s a bearded guy - whose rootsy, folky rock band Quiet Life tours the country in a van powered by used vegetable oil.  And yeah, they’re based in Portland.

But get beneath the surface a bit, and Spellman’s an east coast guy - raised in New London CT and the Jersey shore, he wears his complicated love for New England on his sleeve, and has a spot in is heart for Springsteen, like any good Jersey guy would.

Flickr Creative Commons, kodomut

Through the lens of time, the anti-disco backlash looks a little ugly. What was disco, really? It started as an underground dance movement propelled by blacks, gays, and Puerto Ricans. It was a liberating and hedonistic music of the oppressed, and people from those groups gathered and mixed in the early downtown clubs.

Flickr Creative Commons, petercruise

Chet Baker was a troubled soul, who had one of the most unique and haunting voices in jazz. Joni Mitchell  is a complex artist who has stayed away from the spotlight, letting her music tell her story. We explore these two iconic artists on Where We Live.

Remembering Powder Ridge

Aug 2, 2013

July 31 marks the 43rd anniversary of the Powder Ridge Rock Festival—or would if the festival had gone off as planned. Instead, it marks the 43rd anniversary of the intersection of 30,000 young people, no food or entertainment, and lots of hallucinogenic drugs.

Justin Townes Earle has marinated in outlaw country music his whole life: The son of Steve Earle, named for the legendary Townes Van Zandt, was born to be an iconoclast.

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have spent the last decade or so singing sweetly, rowdily anthemic folk-country music together, most recently under the name Shovels & Rope. But the South Carolina husband-and-wife duo has only recently begun to take off on a national scale, thanks to a string of fantastically stirring live performances and a fi

When they perform onstage as The Milk Carton Kids, Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are half Simon & Garfunkel, half Smothers Brothers: Their melancholic harmonies intertwine beautifully, while their playful, deadpan banter is worth the price of admission on its own.

The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. The group just followed its dynamite 2012 album Look Out Mama with a Kickstarter-funded collection of covers (and two originals) called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor.

In the hands of John McCauley — who initially founded the group Deer Tick as a solo project — playing rowdy, free-wheeling rock 'n' roll is a feat free of self-importance.

It always rains at least one day at the Newport Folk Festival, and because Newport started a whole day earlier this year, we got the downpour out of the way first. But that didn't stop folks from dancing and singing along to The Mountain Goats, JD McPherson, Blake Mills and many more.

Raised in Alabama and based in Brooklyn, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck makes moody, searching, raggedly pretty music that reflects the sounds of both his respective homes. But there's also a wise, homesick weariness to Houck's voice that transcends time and place: Listen at just the right time, and a Phosphorescent record feels like a warm conversation with a friend who understands loneliness.

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles makes some of the most good-natured chamber-pop music around, led by the unmistakably kind voice of Matt Bishop. Naturally, given the band's size, Hey Marseilles gets to make the most of a wide array of warm sounds, from cello and viola to horns and accordions, but those ingredients are all wisely wrapped around songwriting that exudes sweet, hooky sunshine.

JD McPherson provides a refreshing reminder that retro roots music isn't timid: His debut album, Signs & Signifiers, synthesizes blues and rockabilly and old-school rock 'n' roll with an unmistakable punk spirit. Throughout the record, he finds the delicate balance between a classic, traditionalist sound and the understanding that the styles he's emulating are rooted in rebellion, menace and even danger.

The Boston band Kingsley Flood has spent the last few years polishing, refining and expanding its folk-rock sound, in the process incorporating horns, more strings and ever-brighter production. The sextet sounds more confident than ever on its new album, Battles, which continues to explore some of Kingsley Flood's favorite subject matter: the balance of hopes and dreams, expectations and the everyday.

In The Mood For Some New Summer Music?

Jul 24, 2013
Glenn Hall

Been searching for that new band? Or a cool summer song you can blast while driving on I-84 with your windows down? Well, we got your back ...

Today, The Colin McEnroe Show welcomed their seasonal panel of music mavens. Their picks were good. Like really good. If you asked me to name a couple of my favorites, I'd suggest Jason Isbell (who will play at the Arch Street Tavern in Hartford on Sunday, Aug. 4), Colorway (a band from Northampton), and the fantastic psych-rock 12 string guitar on "Shelter Song" by Temples, a UK-based quartet.

Chion Wolf

You know who needs this show today?

Me.

I'm having a musically starved summer, at least in terms of modern recorded music. I've made it out to some live shows, but I really have no idea what's being released these days.

I can sum up my relation to music his summer in the following way: I was going to order the new Laura Marling CD, but I didn't. That's it. Meanwhile to force myself to do bicycle training runs every night, I've been playing an obscure 1978 Todd Rundgren song called "Determination." Sad, really.

Chion Wolf

You know who needs this show today? Me. I'm having a musically starved summer, at least in terms of modern recorded music. I've made it out to some live shows, but I really have no idea what's being released these days.

I can sum up my relation to music his summer in the following way: I was going to order the new Laura Marling CD, but I didn't. That's it. Meanwhile to force myself to do bicycle training runs every night, I've been playing an obscure 1978 Todd Rundgren song called "Determination."  Sad, really.

Catching Up With Jackson Browne

Jul 3, 2013
Roundkids Photography / Flickr/Creative Commons

Roundkids Photography on Flickr Creative Commons

Jangle Pop and Techno Beats

Jun 26, 2013

This week on the Needle Drop, we're spinning new tracks from BADBADNOTGOOD and Lee Bannon. We'll also be sampling a bit of music from the new Darkside remix album that takes on tracks from Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. The latest full-lengths from Jon Hopkins and Smith Westerns will be explored as well.

Jangle Pop and Techno Beats

Jun 26, 2013

This week on the Needle Drop, we're spinning new tracks from BADBADNOTGOOD and Lee Bannon. We'll also be sampling a bit of music from the new Darkside remix album that takes on tracks from Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. The latest full-lengths from Jon Hopkins and Smith Westerns will be explored as well.

Hop On Board The Caravan of Thieves

Jun 13, 2013
Chion Wolf

The music of Caravan of Thieves is just about what you'd expect from a band with that name.

Their gypsy-rock hybrid has won them legions of fans around the country - a community they lovingly call "Freaks." And they’re back home, playing in Stafford Springs tomorrow night at the Palace Theater.

Today, we'll talk to this Connecticut-based band that's fronted by husband and wife duo Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni.

What Music Are You Listening To?

Jun 7, 2013
Chion Wolf

The weather is heating up, the car windows are rolling down and the summer music season is upon us.

If you’re getting bored with that album that is sooooo 2012, or maybe even 1992, then you’ll want to hear some recommendations from our guests today.

Anthony Fantano from WNPR’s The Needle Drop and Rick Sinkiewicz, the co-owner of Red Scroll Records join us in-studio to share what they’ve been listening to and what they think you should check out as well.

Chion Wolf

What can you say about the Blues? Maybe more than any other musical form, it exists to explore the ineffable -- and to guide us almost wordlessly along that corridor connecting sorrow to joy.

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