WUMB May Program Guide

From the Studio

Oh Well….Just Start Over…

It’s only the second time in many years this happened. It certainly wasn’t planned to end that way.
It started as kind of a maintenance project…then went out of control. When that happens, that’s when you throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care and say, “oh well, just start over.”

I wonder how many album projects have developed like that. There’s Greg Brown’s album, Freak Flag, that started as a different record – one that was all digitally ready to go on the hard drive when a lightning strike hit the studio and wiped nearly all of it out. Talk about “the warmth of recording to analog tape” by contrast… Well, it’s hard to duplicate your own inspiration. And rather than try to re-create his, Brown came up with ten new songs.  Oh well, just start over.

Mark Charles Heidinger of the group Vandaveer had written a new album he was keen on. He brought it to his band-mate, singer Rose Guerin, and producer Duane Lundy. They were not into the same approach. Along with the extra musicians brought in for the album, they brought in different ideas. Significant gears were changed in the approach.  And the album – this year’s The Wild Mercury – came out in ways different from Heidinger’s initial vision. But an album you like is an album you like…even if you got there opposite of the way you expected to.

Maybe that’s even so with your list of Top Ten favorite new songs or albums of the year. Could you have some that started off doing nothing for you; but then maybe you heard them in a different setting or in a different context, and then…the magic happened? I know it wouldn’t be the first time for me.

Either way, I hope you heard many new songs on WUMB this year that connect you to a feeling or experience.

–Perry Persoff.

Oh, that thing I mentioned at the top of the article that hadn’t happened much in years? The last time I traveled I forgot to pack a shaving blade. After a few days my mustache took on the appearance of a wild tumbleweed. When at last I got a pair of shears and a blade, I hacked off too much stuff…and so for only the second time since I was 14, I simply shaved off the mustache. SIGH…
“Oh well, just start over.”

2016 Album of the Year!

2016 has seen new releases from Lake Street Dive, Bonnie Raitt, Andrew Bird, Dawes, Wilco, Amos Lee, Bob Weir, Aoife O’Donovan, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams and so many others. We were also impressed by collaborations from KD Lang/Neko Case/Laura Veirs, Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, and Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle just to name a few. We’re asking YOU to choose your 5 favorite albums of 2016. We’ll tally your votes and do a countdown on-air as the year comes to an end!  Keep an eye on your email, and on WUMB.ORG for more information on how to cast your vote!

WUMB Live At the Burren – Samantha Farrell

Our series of LIVE broadcasts from The Burren in Somerville continued last week with singer/songwriter Samantha Farrell. Sam is a local artist whose voice drips with soul and emotion…she truly draws you in with her unique sound. I got a chance to talk to her before she took the stage, and I was excited to learn more about her latest album, September Sun. Turns out she bought a quality microphone and recorded a lot of it in her shoe closet! She also told me that the album was directly inspired by autumn in New England, so it makes sense that it’s got the perfect vibe for this time of year. Sam had a bunch of killer local musicians join her on stage to recreate her new songs, and she threw in some fun tunes from her earlier albums too.

For me, it felt like another night of live radio magic…complete with a mad dash to make it to the venue on time in the traffic and the rain! Big thanks to Tom Bianchi for making things happen at The Burren, I know he’s just as excited about these live broadcasts as we are. Props to Jay Moberg for making it sound flawless back at the station, and to our engineer Grady Moates for making the technical setup so streamlined and problem-free.

We’ve got more to come!

Thursday, November 17th with Ian Fitzgerald
Thursday, December 15th with Miss Tess and the Talkbacks

Hope you can join us at The Burren or tune in as it happens!

Lunchtime Special

Now that I’ve been doing it for a little over a year, I should probably explain the concept behind the Lunchtime Special. Or should I say concepts, as each weekday has a different one. Read More…

Behind the Scenes on Guest Mix

Back when I first started at WUMB, we used to re-broadcast old Guest Mix shows once a week in the 5am hour, just before the morning show began.  The shows sounded like so much fun.  Dick Pleasants was the host and had an easy rapport with the artists who would pick the music.

Well, after lots of listener feedback – that’s you, by the way – and help from improved fundraising support from you, we brought the show back last May.  Dave Palmater hosts, and has Dave ever not had an easy rapport with artists he interviews in-studio?  I am not a scenester” but whenever I hear Dave interview a musician, I feel like I’m friends with the “in” crowd just by listening (cue the Ramsey Lewis…).  Thank you for that, Dave!  But back to “Guest Mix.”  It’s really been a labor of love to produce those sessions.  With production assistance from Jordan Wuth, who also works behind the scenes on Scott Alarik’s “Folk Tales”, and editing the sessions myself as well, I have to say that the conversations and the musical selections from the artists are very entertaining, and often revealing.  The shows can be a great way to pick up information and background about the artists without taking time to scour the internet.  Read More…

Folk Tales with Scott Alarik

Folk Tales with Scott Alarik

Wherever you are as you’re reading this…I hope you’re doing well and enjoying Autumn officially!  The Summer has been so busy around WUMB for many reasons, and one of them is finally coming to fruition this Saturday!  Folk Tales with Scott Alarik premieres on September 24th at 7am.

WUMB has and will always be focused on sharing our love of all things Folk/Roots and this show will focus on those connections.  “Why is Pete Seeger still important?”, “Who was Bessie Smith?”, and “Was Robert Johnson really that influential?”.  These types of questions and of course many, many more will be answered during this show.  Read More…

Joan Baez

We’ve all had a long standing love affair with Joan Baez, haven’t we. For some of us it has been going on for 50 years or more. She is the young woman, standing barefoot on the stage of Club 47 (back when it was at 47 Mt. Auburn St.) in that iconic image that so represents the early days of the folk revival in Cambridge. We admired her stand against the Viet Nam War, and her fearless support of draft resistors. We appreciated the fact that, over the years, she’s introduced us to so many great songwriters. People like Dar Williams and Richard Shindell, who she took on tour with her in addition to recording their songs. Read More…

The Spirit In the Subway

A once girlfriend of mine once complained about musicians in the subways, saying the city should not allow buskers. As you might guess – me being somewhat of a music fan, right? – that was a red flag…
Well, just the other day I slumped through the subway on the way home from a long day. Walking on the upper platform heading to the exit, I heard the slight tinkle of an old guitar. As I got to the other end of the subway, I looked down and sure enough, there were two musicians. It was a fiddle player and a singer playing an old mini-guitar. She had a sweet voice and was singing some 1920’s to ‘40’s songs of…uhm…bawdy spirit. It was Amy Kucharik, who I have seen playing in and around the area for a while. I stayed for four songs. Read More…

Summer Reading with Dave Palmater

Really, how many Danielle Steele novels can you read in one summer? If you’re looking for some light, but educational, late summer reading, I have some suggestions. And cheap ones, because, I’ll admit it, I haunt the book racks in the Dollar Stores, Under 5s and Job Lot stores of all varieties. You probably know that books, once they leave the shelves of your local book store, hit the remainder table. Their next stop, before becoming recycling, or door stops, or something, is the Dollar Store. There, for a buck or so, you can find some enjoyable reading now that you’ve consumed that stack of paperbacks that you’ve been toting from beach to beach. Here are a few of my favorite “cheapo” finds. Read More…

That’s Right, I’m Not From Texas

As I’m not on the air on a regular basis, doing a show is more fun than it used to be. Work on the air on my birthday? Sure. Come back from a trip and go on the air the first day back? OK. Because I’m on the air sharing music and stories that are enjoyable to pass along.

Recently a small portion of my brain – probably stemming from exposure to celebrity gossip magazines and “Reality” TV – has wondered if I’m a little cursed on the air. Now, I’m a rational guy, but I did happen to notice that when I went away in January, three entertainers died that week (David Bowie most notably). In late April I was filling in on the air. Fifteen minutes before going on, I was checking the internet for any information tidbits that might be useful for the show…and I saw that Prince had passed away. Two minutes after going on the air the phone rings. A listener asks, “did you hear about Prince, is it true?” Read More…