WUMB April Program Guide

From the Studio


jritAs I sit here shoveling down hot oatmeal on a cold evening, that duality about the cold comes to mind.  There is the shivering chill that makes you pile on another coat in the house (while also living in fear of the heating bill).  Then you have the outside cold air we call “crisp,” which feels invigorating.  Sometimes that invigoration brings out a pro-active sensibility in us.  Call it the excitement or adventure of coming change.  That could be something as simple as the change of season.  Or as profound as a major change you’ve been building towards (a move, new job, marriage, new purchase…).  Like Bilbo Baggins suddenly feeling the flame of adventure well up inside him as he leaves The Shire in The Hobbit, that “invigorating” crisp air can encourage us to embrace life’s ventures more…proactively.

Of course, I could probably put this better if I were, say, a good songwriter.  And as we take your votes for WUMB’s Album Of the Year (up to December 15th), that leads me to one of my Songs Of the Year. Read More…


Every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM, things begin to swing at WUMB when Jackie Brush takes The A Train to bring you the very best of jazz, blues and R&B:  “My love of tearl-hineshis music is in my DNA, a natural born radio brat – I grew up listening to great Jazz my Dad played on the radio.  Fortunately for me my Dad took his job home with him.  In our house if the radio wasn’t on the record player was.  Jack Brush got his start as a DJ down south.  He’d tell tales of meeting Louis Armstrong, Earl “Fatha” Hines,  Ella Fitzgerald and so many more.”
Read More…

Traditional Folk

If you like your folk music old-time, with a bit of swing and a country twang, be sure to tune in to Traditional Folk on Sunday nights from 9:00pm to midnight.  Each week Jon Gersh spins a wide variety of songs that he has gathered under a big tent he calls “Mondo hillbilly… vintage blues, bluegrass, old time country, country and western, western and swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly, truck driving and drinking songs.”  Other weekly features include Jon’s Worst Country Song, new album previews, and special features on all kinds of vintage and modern old-time and traditional country music. Read More…

It’s a Big Ol’ Goofy World

I am happy to report that I have not turned into a ginger plant.
Between the week I battled a nasty virus and the following ten days – which was our Fall Fundraiser – I seemed to subsist on hand sanitizer and ginger tea. Does anyone have nightmares of morphing into a ginger plant? Just getting that thought must be an indication that Halloween remains in the air…

At this time we do find ourselves steadily traversing the orange brick road between Halloween and Thanksgiving. On that road, we will no doubt encounter reminders of songs we associate with certain times, episodes, and even specific people. Funny how music does that, eh? A bunch of those connections came at me very unexpectedly on October 25th… Read More…

Changes in the Air(waves) at WUMB!

WUMB 91.9 FM, UMass Boston’s full-format folk, roots and world music radio station, is very pleased to announce some changes in its Fall programming line-up.   There will be a new voice on air, and a familiar voice at a new time. Read More…

Return of the Night Owl

Thank you, Willie Nelson, writer of “The Night Life.”

Summer ended for me with a sudden return to “The Night Life”.  With wacky work schedules over the years, I have not had a night life in recent memory.  Buoyed by the pleasant warmth of late summer nights, this was like a burst of ice cream after a period of austere dieting.

More specifically, it was a return to the (Night) Club Life.  This started with one night that began at a paid show at Johnny D’s in Somerville; from there I walked to a cover-free Toad in neighboring Cambridge, then stopped in at The Burren pub in Somerville while walking back to where I’d started.  The spirited live music kept my own spirits elevated.  And who knows, maybe that “benefits of light exercise” thing was also at work, thanks to these three venues being within a 20 minute walk.  The next day my quad’s were complaining–what, do I have to stretch before taking a walk?  But the rest of me wanted more live music.  So I went out another couple of nights that week.  Thankfully, there are music clubs open past Midnight and bands doing later sets.  This is important when you work until 10 or 11pm!    Read More…

The WUMB Music Meeting

There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t get numerous questions from WUMB Members sent my way.  It usually ends up being the proverbial Whitman’s Sampler of questions like “What year did that song come out?”, “who was the singer in the background?”, or “I’ve never heard that song…where do I find it?”  All of course are excellent questions and I never mind answering them…but one of the most popular questions I get is “How do you select your music?”.  So with that, I figured maybe pulling back the curtain and explaining how we select our music might be an interesting topic. Read More…

Local Coffeehouses

As school starts and the weather, hopefully, cools, it is an opportune time to remind you what a great entertainment value your local coffeehouse is.
For little more than the price of a movie ticket you get a full concert and you’re seldom more than six or eight rows from the stage. It’s an up close and personal experience with a world class artist and at intermission you can, for a couple dollars more enjoy coffee or tea and home baked treats. After the show you can take advantage of the opportunity to chat with the artist, and may be even buy a CD as a memento of the evening. What other genera of music offers that kind of access to the performer.

No matter where you live in Eastern New England there’s a coffeehouse near you. They are usually held in a church hall or basement and they are all volunteer run. This is what keeps the ticket prices so low. Most of the region’s coffeehouses belong to the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association and you can find not only where your local coffeehouse is but get listing for venues all over the region by visiting http://www.bostoncoffeehouses.org/. For more concert and club listings visit http://wumb.org/calendar/musiccalendar.php.


Have a great fall and I’ll see you at the coffeehouse!

-Dave Palmater

Dylan Goes Electric!

Evolution or revolution? Much like the question of nature vs. nurture, it is often hard to tell for sure. Often it is some of each. That is certainly the case with the subject of Elijah Wald’s new book: Dylan’s electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival fifty years ago. Was it a masterstroke by a visionary poet/singer or was it the natural evolution of both Dylan as an artist and the Newport Folk Festival itself. Read More…