Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode Seventy-Seven

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode Seventy Seven

We’ll keep it very brief with the show’s description, except to say LISTEN TO THIS ONE!  This episode is simply FUN and JOYFUL.  Guaranteed – you will feel good after listening to Jon and Rob do that thing.

Yet another reason to never miss an instalment of Radio City…  it’s the perfect elixir to lift up your spirits.

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode Seventy Seven


The podcast will be on the site as well as for subscription via iTunes and other podcast aggregators. Subscribe and let people know about Radio City, as well as Popdose’s other great podcasts David Medsker’s Dizzy Heights and In:Sound with Michael Parr and Zack Stiegler.

Popdose Exclusive Song Premiere: Kevin Harrison & True North, “If Today I Should Die”

Popdose once again brings you something brand new in a summer filled with interesting, fresh sounds.  This time, we present Americana-driven Kevin Harrison & True North, hailing from New York, New York and a track from their upcoming E.P., Howl.

Recorded in the Catskill Mountain of New York, Kevin Harrison & True North enlisted the expertise of acclaimed producer Simone Felice (The Lumineers) for the EP Howl. Five days of barn sessions and campfires produced a collection of five songs that illustrates a band that is as comfortable playing heavy rock – like lead track “Practice What You Preach” – as it is playing acoustic ballads, entirely unplugged, such as “Lost In The Snow”, with its haunting piano melody (courtesy of band friend Sloan Marshall).

Close your eyes and give this a listen.  Then tell us what you think – or feel.

Howl E.P. will be released on Friday, September 7th, 2018.

http://www.kevinharrisonmusic.com

A Fan’s Notes: Newport Jazz Festival 2018

To view individual photos or a slideshow, click below. All photos ©2018 Nikki Vee.
[See image gallery at popdose.com]

Louis Armstrong once famously said, and I paraphrase, that all music is folk music because all music is made by folk. The 2018 Newport Jazz Festival, presented by Natixis Investment Managers, apparently set out to determine whether all music is jazz too. The weekend’s offerings as chosen by Artistic Director Christian McBride were wildly diverse and wildly successful in blurring lines that separate musical genres.

Before I begin I must offer the usual disclaimer about how it’s impossible to see all the acts over the course of the three-day festival. I saw what I could and my failure to mention any artist in particular is not a commentary on their performance. Friends tell me that I managed to miss some great stuff. But that’s alright because I heard some great stuff too.

Let’s begin at the beginning, on Friday. Attending Nate Chinen’s presentation on the 1958 film Jazz on a Summer’s Day, much of which was shot at that year’s Newport Jazz Festival, was both interesting and informative and proved to be a nice way to ease into the weekend.

It didn’t take long for it to become apparent that this year’s festival was going to push the boundaries of jazz. Two of the acts I saw on Friday afternoon had no bass player but they did have tabla players. Rudresh Mahanthappa, who turned in a scorching set of Charlie Parker-inspired “Bird Calls” at the festival a few years ago was back with his Indo-Pak Coalition. Mahanthappa featured on alto sax in a group that also included a guitar player and the aforementioned tabla player. The music they made was clearly influenced by the sounds of Indian and other near Eastern music. As always, the Newport crowd proved not only accepting but appreciative of music that was outside of the mainstream.

Charles Lloyd is celebrating his 80th birthday this year and the celebration included three sets, with three different groups, on the three days of the festival. On Friday, Lloyd was featured with his group Sangam. He started the set on piano, moved over the drums, and eventually picked up his saxophone and flute for another set that was very much influenced by world music and once again featured the sounds of the tabla as played by Zakir Hussain. Eric Hartland provided solid support on drums.

In between the two world music sets was a crowd-pleasing solo piano set from Michel Camilo. The pianist delighted the audience with his fiery take on Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” and a lovely rendition of his own “Sandra’s Serenade” which he dedicated to his wife.

The day ended for me with Living Colour on the main stage. Living Colour you say? Yes indeed. Remember what I said about pushing the boundaries. The hard rock band played nothing that you would normally think of as jazz, and I’m sure that some of the more conservative festival-goers were a bit taken aback, but for the most part, the succeeded admirably in winning the crowd over. The band was something of a fish out of water but we were reminded of where we were by lead singer Cory Glover’s exclamation — “Jazz!” — at the end of several pounding rock songs.

The Friday night concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame is always an interesting affair. I could be wrong but it seems that very few people who come to the tennis stadium on Friday night come to Fort Adams for the daytime shows and vice-versa. That’s a shame because people are missing some great music. This year, the Friday night show featured a scintillating set of guitar music from Pat Metheny. As great as Metheny’s band is, I was most taken with his solo acoustic work.

José James has made several appearances at the festival in recent years. His set has always included a delightful Bill Withers medley. This year James took it to another level with an entire set of Withers covers and it was thrilling. All of the hits you would want to hear were there including thrilling takes on “Grandma’s Hands,” and “Who Is He (and What is He to You).” James is a hugely talented young performer and I look forward to following his career, including his Don Was-produced album of Withers covers that will come out in the fall, going forward.

On Saturday there was a deluge. What was acceptable to me in terms of weather during the Woodstock era was not so acceptable today. I can tell you that the show went on without me and included both Metheny and James reprising their Friday night sets as well as performances from Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd’s New Quartet, Laurie Anderson & Christian McBride, Andra Day, and Jon Batiste.

Thankfully, Sunday’s weather was more clement, if a bit warm. It was a fine day to close out this year’s festival and I was there early to catch the Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio on the Quad stage. Lopez is based in Havana and his group includes his younger brother Ruy López-Nussa on drums. The trio, with Lopez leading on piano, played a scorching set of Afro-Cuban jazz that had the audience leaping to their feet in appreciation.

Acclaimed drummer Nate Smith had accompanied José James on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and he returned with his own group, Kinfolk, on Sunday. Naturally, the drummer-led group focused on rhythm but there was more than enough melody to go around too. Kinfolk strong improvisational skills from all of its players and together with the solid rhythmic basis that Smith laid down it added up to a powerful set of music.

Charles Lloyd’s final appearance of the weekend took place on the main stage on Sunday and was billed as Charles Lloyd & Friends. The friends included Lucinda Williams who may have seemed like an unlikely choice to many but proved to be a great one as she shined on songs like “Dust” and “Ventura” that the pair had recorded together for the Vanished Gardens album.

Gregory Porter is another artist who has made several festival appearances in recent years. Porter always brings his smooth as silk delivery to the proceedings but this year he took it up a notch by adding some fire to the mix. He is simply one of the finest singers we have these days and his powerful Newport set included splendid renditions of “Liquid Spirit,” and “Musical Genocide.”

Before I knew it, the weekend was nearly over but there was one last act to play out on the main stage and it was an act that I looked forward to indeed. As you might expect if you’ve ever had the chance to see them live, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic did not disappoint. Clinton, who has announced that this is his final tour, performed like he could go on another 20 years. Gone was the multi-colored hair but still there were hits like “Flashlight” and beloved characters like Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk. The tradition of scorching guitar work as established by players like Eddie Hazel, Garry Shider, and Glen Goins continues in the person of DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight. There is no indication that Clinton’s retirement means the end of P-Funk. Long may they run.

And there you have it, my Newport Jazz Festival 2018. Prior to the festival, it was announced by the RI Governor Gina Raimondo and festival impresario George Wein that the festival will remain at its current location (which is a state park) for 40 more years. Good news indeed. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Exit Lines: Flights of Fancy

New wine is being poured into old bottles on and Off Broadway. I’m not sure when Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, written sometime before Manhattan was a thing, was last tackled on our stages, but here it is again–in somewhat revised form. Taking top billing this incarnation is the supergroup The Go-Gos, whose hits from the 80s, when New Wave was a thing, give Head Over Heels its backbone. This is one of the more out-there concepts for a jukebox musical, a form that’s hard to get right (for every Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys that hits, there’s a Lennon, Ring of Fire, The Times They Are A-Changin’, etc., that doesn’t), but amidst an unusually robust summer for Broadway openings it mostly works as breezy entertainment.

After a convoluted production history that started at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival three years ago (and lost original adaptor Jeff Whitty, of Avenue Q famein the process) what’s playing at the Hudson is the work of Spring Awakening personnel including director Michael Mayer, choreographer Spencer Liff, lighting designer Kevin Adams, and some of the cast. The shows are similar, in that we get some form of the original story as book, interspersed with rockin’ tunes that bring the text up to date. The seams do show from time to time: for dramatic reasons Sir Philip could not have envisioned, one character, the romantically frustrated Mopsa (Taylor Iman Jones), goes on vacation, cueing, what else, “Vacation.” Narrative poems are hard; jukebox musicals, harder still.

Mopsa’s just one of the characters with a “lust to love” in Head Over Heels. Taking my cue from the show, which just goes with it, I’ll keep the plot summary brief. The kingdom of Arcadia, you see, runs on “the beat,” which is being siphoned off by Pythio, the Oracle of Delphi (played by Peppermint, the first transgender woman to headline a Broadway show). Pythio has their reasons, which the king, Basilius (Jeremy Kushnier), must divine, or forfeit the land. Everyone else has heartache: the lonely queen, Gynecia (Rachel York), their daughters, plumply entitled Pamela (Bonnie Milligan) and shyly beautiful Philoclea (Alexandra Socha); viceroy Dametas (Tom Alan Robbins) and his daughter, Mopsa, Pamela’s handmaiden. A handsome if befuddled shepherd, Musidorus (Andrew Durand), winds up getting everyone’s goat, as relationships across the rainbow are forged in an open-minded, musical-comedy way. Go-Gos diehards who blame her for the group’s fall will be appalled that the show has raided Belinda Carlisle’s catalog as well, but Head Over Heels must assure us that “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”

Or at least, the Hudson Theatre, for a couple of blissfully silly hours. It’s hard to believe that Kushnier, the Ren of the Footloose musical, is now running a kingdom, but he and York, musical theatre royalty, got the beat. So does Durand, a pleasantly goofy hunk for his co-stars to fall for, and fall over. There’s not a weak link in the entire cast, even if Peppermint’s part, that of the magical LGBTQ person of color, is fairly stock (see also Kinky Boots). Give Head Over Heels a chance to woo you (the finger-snapping choreography and fairytale sets are part of its charm offensive) and you’re sure to “Get up and Go.” Sir Philip Sidney might even approve.

Three more nights to see Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park, so line up. The ninety-minute distillation of a play that makes Head Over Heels look like a model of narrative clarity is a genuine NYC happening, the happiest night I spent this summer. All credit due its fast-rising composer (and Feste), Shaina Taub, who, with co-directors Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis, has conceived of a truly delirious Illyria, bursting with zydeco, blues, and show tunes. Tony winners Nikki M. James (Viola) and Shuler Hensley (Sir Toby Belch) lead the ensemble, with a marvelous Malvolio (Andrew Kober) bringing down the house with the show’s equivalent of Jesus Christ Superstar‘s “King Herod’s Song.”

But the true star of the show, breathing new life into Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identities and dueling agendas, is New York, via the company’s Public Works program. The Public has been engaging with community groups like the Brownsville Recreation Center, Military Resilience Foundation, and Children’s Aid for several years, and here they all are, onstage at the Delacorte, harmonizing with the Bard and some of the city’s great musical theater talents. This Twelfth Night is a romp, but it’s also a testament to the spirit of my fellow residents, and I was completely moved by its spectacle of kinship. Play on!

Speaking of musicals: Pretty Woman, the last of the summer openers, now on Broadway.

Dizzy Heights #45: The Alliteration Show

No talkie bits this week. First day of school for the kids, birthday celebrations, picking the boy up at camp, blah blah blah.

This idea is definitely a one-shot thing, at least in its current form. I went after song titles that were two words, each starting with the same letter. And I went A to Z, almost literally (with apologies to the letters Q and X). Of course, I broke my own rules twice, when I used a song with an ampersand (hey, it was the letter U, I got desperate), and in one instance, I used a title that was the same word twice, which is not alliteration but repetition (again, letter Y, got desperate).

Multiple people asked me to use “Disco Duck.” And believe me, I thought about it, then thought better of it.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week: Ben Folds (solo), Burning Sensations, Elvis Costello (WHAT), The Go-Betweens, The Go-Go’s, Guided by Voices, k.d. lang, The Kinks (this cannot be happening), Neurotic Outsiders, Stone Poneys, Tasmin Archer, and Tom Petty. Seriously, thank goodness for Tom Petty, or I don’t have a ‘Z’ song.

Bands coming back for another tour of duty: Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand, The Housemartins, The Jezabels, Joe Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda, The Rolling Stones, Squeeze, The Ting Tings, The Trashcan Sinatras, and Tribe. Speaking of Tribe, I pull a segue that my 1993 self would high five.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Live Music: Newport Folk Festival 2018

To view individual photos or a slideshow, click below. All Photos ©2018 Nikki Vee.
[See image gallery at popdose.com]

Folk Festival weekend has come and gone here in Newport, RI and in keeping with tradition, the festival offers an array of artists who continue to carry the torch for traditional folk music. But over recent years the Newport Folk Festival has evolved to include a mixture of modern and traditional folk, roots, and blues music while seeking to expand the scope of “folk.” The Folk Festival of today, while it does have its share of fantastic folk and Americana roots bands, also includes the sounds of soul, funk, and rock and roll. The crowd is younger and the torch has been passed. This festival has become so popular it has gained the reputation of a quick sell-out before the acts are even announced, up to nine months before the event. When I say “quick,” I mean in just a few short hours. So if you’re thinking about making the trip one of these years, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open around about November so you don’t miss the initial ticket sales.

This year there were 78 bands, plus an open mic at the start of each of the three days. If I wrote about all of them you would be reading this until next year’s festival. So instead I’ll give you a rundown of my favorites from this year.

I have a musical bias and it’s very real. I am a fan of alternative, funky, and soulful sounds. But my musical tastes are eclectic and I love live shows so I’m in my element at Newport. Festivals give us the special opportunity to check out a large number of bands we may never have known existed and I love a band that brings something for my eyes as well as my ears. Stage clothes, costumes, lighting, the deliberate presentation. This year’s festival wasn’t short of acts that can bring that package. They included St. Vincent, Lucius, Fantastic Negrito, Tank and the Bangas, Khruangbin, and Valerie June just to name a few. 

Fantastic Negrito brought his special blend of blues, neo-soul, and psychedelic rock to the main stage. His 2017 album The Last Days of Oakland made a fan of Bernie Sanders with its message about capitalism. His music could be the soundtrack for us all at a time when a powerful resistance movement is underway in this country. Google Negrito some time, he’s got an interesting story.

Moses Sumney was an act I thought I didn’t have time for but since I had been running back to the Quad stage for Glorietta, I had to pass Harbor stage where Moses had just begun his set. Things happen for a reason and I’m glad I made the stop because he brought something special to the festival with his Baroque Pop. I enjoyed his set so much I was late to the Quad. I still got there for the rocking Glorietta, the “supergroup” of folk which includes members of Deer Tick, Middle Brother, Delta Spirit, and Dawes.

Believe it or not, I had never heard Sturgill Simpson despite his previous appearances at the festival. With 78 acts spread over three days sometimes you just can’t make it to every stage for every act but this year I made it a point to catch him on the main stage. He brought a raucous set of his unique brand of alternative country and roots rock. He performed to a very large enthusiastic crowd who knew how to make him feel welcome. 

The wonderfully talented Jason Isbell from Muscle Shoals Alabama and his wife, the lovely and talented Amanda Shires (who also made a solo appearance at this year’s festival), shared their magic with an enthusiastic crowd as they closed out the first day of the festival on the main stage. I’ve seen Isbell a few times and he’s always had the talent but it seems that since his recovery he has soared to new heights helped along by his marriage, the birth of a child, and his amazing band, the 400 Unit. Isbell just gets better and better as time goes on.

Day two brought American soul singer Curtis Harding to the main stage. His flavor of soul is a contemporary fusion of blues, gospel, psychedelia, R&B, and rock. It was a perfect stew to satisfy my craving. 

Tank and the Bangas hail from New Orleans and they brought a big show with high energy funky soul. If you aren’t moving at their show you must be in a coma. Hip-hop and spoken word are injected to make it even more interesting than it already is. The band was formed in 2011 by Tarriona “Tank” Bell. They’re tight, organic, and they don’t play by your typical New Orleans jazz rules. Bell reminds me of a female version of George Clinton. I loved the performance and it was hard to take my eyes off her. The audience was off the hook and just about brought that tent down.

Jenny Lewis and Courtney Barnett both brought their own brand of indie rock to the stage in much different fashion. Courtney Barnett brought a hard-driving, energetic set of rock and roll and it’s no mystery that she is a crowd pleaser. She is a natural on stage. One-time actress Lewis (formerly of Rilo Kiley) adds folk and alt-country into her sound. Besides, she wore a wicked cool outfit and played a unicorn guitar.

Day three began with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and it was a great way to start the day. Their set put everyone in a great mood for the day to come. It was a day that also included reggae legends Toots and the Maytals, and Gary Clark Jr. so it leaves just enough room to tell you about two acts I’d never heard of or seen before: Jen Cloher, and a band called Khruangbin (say THAT three times fast.) Cloher plays straight-ahead folk rock and she does it hard. Courtney Barnett joined her on stage and the duo created quite a dynamic presence. The take no prisoners attitude of their performance was appreciated by the crowd at the Harbor stage.

I saw myself in my past life when bassist Laura Lee of Khruangbin took the stage in all her costumed glory. The bass has always been my favorite instrument and when it’s played by a woman in calculated stage attire, well those are the ingredients that light my fire. This one was a real treat for me as this band is a psychedelic rock band which injects funk into their sound to make it extra special. Together, they are heavily influenced by the music of the Middle East and Thailand and you could say their style is instrumental-soulful-psychedelic funk. But I won’t put a label on it because this band enjoys challenging conventional genres.

The day and weekend came to a close with Jon Batiste, who performed with the Dap-Kings. The assembled group led a rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” for the finale of the festival. Many of the artists who performed over the weekend joined Batiste on stage including Nicole Atkins, Preservation Hall Band, Brandi Carlisle, Hiss Golden Messenger, and there was a  surprise appearance by Leon Bridges. When Mavis Staples arrived, the crowd of musicians on stage parted the way and made room for the Queen and a blistering civil rights-themed set ensued. Often, fans sour at an artist’s political commentary during a show but this time it was deemed necessary and was welcomed by the crowd.

As the sun set on the hot and humid weekend it was apparent that everyone had forgotten about the physical discomfort of the weather and had joined together for a weekend of unity and love. 

Newport Folk Festival 2018

To view individual photos or a slideshow, click below. All Photos ©2018 Nikki Vee.
[See image gallery at popdose.com]

Folk Festival weekend has come and gone here in Newport, RI and in keeping with tradition, the festival offers an array of artists who continue to carry the torch for traditional folk music. But over recent years the Newport Folk Festival has evolved to include a mixture of modern and traditional folk, roots, and blues music while seeking to expand the scope of “folk.” The Folk Festival of today, while it does have its share of fantastic folk and Americana roots bands, also includes the sounds of soul, funk, and rock and roll. The crowd is younger and the torch has been passed. This festival has become so popular it has gained the reputation of a quick sell-out before the acts are even announced, up to nine months before the event. When I say “quick,” I mean in just a few short hours. So if you’re thinking about making the trip one of these years, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open around about November so you don’t miss the initial ticket sales.

This year there were 78 bands, plus an open mic at the start of each of the three days. If I wrote about all of them you would be reading this until next year’s festival. So instead I’ll give you a rundown of my favorites from this year.

I have a musical bias and it’s very real. I am a fan of alternative, funky, and soulful sounds. But my musical tastes are eclectic and I love live shows so I’m in my element at Newport. Festivals give us the special opportunity to check out a large number of bands we may never have known existed and I love a band that brings something for my eyes as well as my ears. Stage clothes, costumes, lighting, the deliberate presentation. This year’s festival wasn’t short of acts that can bring that package. They included St. Vincent, Lucius, Fantastic Negrito, Tank and the Bangas, Khruangbin, and Valerie June just to name a few. 

Fantastic Negrito brought his special blend of blues, neo-soul, and psychedelic rock to the main stage. His 2017 album The Last Days of Oakland made a fan of Bernie Sanders with its message about capitalism. His music could be the soundtrack for us all at a time when a powerful resistance movement is underway in this country. Google Negrito some time, he’s got an interesting story.

Moses Sumney was an act I thought I didn’t have time for but since I had been running back to the Quad stage for Glorietta, I had to pass Harbor stage where Moses had just begun his set. Things happen for a reason and I’m glad I made the stop because he brought something special to the festival with his Baroque Pop. I enjoyed his set so much I was late to the Quad. I still got there for the rocking Glorietta, the “supergroup” of folk which includes members of Deer Tick, Middle Brother, Delta Spirit, and Dawes.

Believe it or not, I had never heard Sturgill Simpson despite his previous appearances at the festival. With 78 acts spread over three days sometimes you just can’t make it to every stage for every act but this year I made it a point to catch him on the main stage. He brought a raucous set of his unique brand of alternative country and roots rock. He performed to a very large enthusiastic crowd who knew how to make him feel welcome. 

The wonderfully talented Jason Isbell from Muscle Shoals Alabama and his wife, the lovely and talented Amanda Shires (who also made a solo appearance at this year’s festival), shared their magic with an enthusiastic crowd as they closed out the first day of the festival on the main stage. I’ve seen Isbell a few times and he’s always had the talent but it seems that since his recovery he has soared to new heights helped along by his marriage, the birth of a child, and his amazing band, the 400 Unit. Isbell just gets better and better as time goes on.

Day two brought American soul singer Curtis Harding to the main stage. His flavor of soul is a contemporary fusion of blues, gospel, psychedelia, R&B, and rock. It was a perfect stew to satisfy my craving. 

Tank and the Bangas hail from New Orleans and they brought a big show with high energy funky soul. If you aren’t moving at their show you must be in a coma. Hip-hop and spoken word are injected to make it even more interesting than it already is. The band was formed in 2011 by Tarriona “Tank” Bell. They’re tight, organic, and they don’t play by your typical New Orleans jazz rules. Bell reminds me of a female version of George Clinton. I loved the performance and it was hard to take my eyes off her. The audience was off the hook and just about brought that tent down.

Jenny Lewis and Courtney Barnett both brought their own brand of indie rock to the stage in much different fashion. Courtney Barnett brought a hard-driving, energetic set of rock and roll and it’s no mystery that she is a crowd pleaser. She is a natural on stage. One-time actress Lewis (formerly of Rilo Kiley) adds folk and alt-country into her sound. Besides, she wore a wicked cool outfit and played a unicorn guitar.

Day three began with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and it was a great way to start the day. Their set put everyone in a great mood for the day to come. It was a day that also included reggae legends Toots and the Maytals, and Gary Clark Jr. so it leaves just enough room to tell you about two acts I’d never heard of or seen before: Jen Cloher, and a band called Khruangbin (say THAT three times fast.) Cloher plays straight-ahead folk rock and she does it hard. Courtney Barnett joined her on stage and the duo created quite a dynamic presence. The take no prisoners attitude of their performance was appreciated by the crowd at the Harbor stage.

I saw myself in my past life when bassist Laura Lee of Khruangbin took the stage in all her costumed glory. The bass has always been my favorite instrument and when it’s played by a woman in calculated stage attire, well those are the ingredients that light my fire. This one was a real treat for me as this band is a psychedelic rock band which injects funk into their sound to make it extra special. Together, they are heavily influenced by the music of the Middle East and Thailand and you could say their style is instrumental-soulful-psychedelic funk. But I won’t put a label on it because this band enjoys challenging conventional genres.

The day and weekend came to a close with Jon Batiste, who performed with the Dap-Kings. The assembled group led a rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” for the finale of the festival. Many of the artists who performed over the weekend joined Batiste on stage including Nicole Atkins, Preservation Hall Band, Brandi Carlisle, Hiss Golden Messenger, and there was a  surprise appearance by Leon Bridges. When Mavis Staples arrived, the crowd of musicians on stage parted the way and made room for the Queen and a blistering civil rights-themed set ensued. Often, fans sour at an artist’s political commentary during a show but this time it was deemed necessary and was welcomed by the crowd.

As the sun set on the hot and humid weekend it was apparent that everyone had forgotten about the physical discomfort of the weather and had joined together for a weekend of unity and love. 

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode Seventy-Six

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode Seventy Six

THIS one is a “very special episode” – it was exactly five years to the day Rob first appeared on Jon’s old CBS Radio show, “Overnight America With Jon Grayson” and not only a great radio partnership began but an even better friendship blossomed.

So hear the actual story of why and how Rob wound up on “Overnight America…”; the boys talk about local “incidents” that have far reaching effects; more on the ups-and-downs of working with “publicists”; Rob talks about the new Chris Bell biography by Rich Tupica, “In Our Heads” and a great deal more.

This is one of the most enjoyable shows Jon and Rob have done and you can tell, as soon as you start listening. So do just that – listen and celebrate with them!

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode Seventy Six


The podcast will be on the site as well as for subscription via iTunes and other podcast aggregators. Subscribe and let people know about Radio City, as well as Popdose’s other great podcasts David Medsker’s Dizzy Heights and In:Sound with Michael Parr and Zack Stiegler.