MTPR

Beth Anne Austein

Host and Producer

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Judy Collins

This edition of Musician's Spotlight features one of the linchpins of late 20th-century American popular and folk music, the singer who popularized classic songs by writers both beloved and unknown: Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, Ian Tyson, Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill -- and "trad. arr. Collins."  Starting with 1961's "Maid of Constant Sorrow" all the way up to 2017's "Everybody Knows" (with Stephen Stills) and into the present, her recording and performing career has thrived alongside a passion for social justice.  Judy Collins is John Floridis's guest.

Courtesy of Kristin Korb

There aren't many jazz bassists who can sing with such ease, skill and style that you forget they're also playing bass. Ten recordings and several world tours into her performing career, Montanan Kristin Korb wields her double bass and woos audiences with romantic, danceable tunes that reflect her reverence for melody - like the songs of Johnny Mercer, whose unpublished "orphaned" texts Korb set to music and recorded on "Beyond the Moon."  Korb teaches widely and performs and records with the likes of Llew Matthews, Kim Richmond, Pete Christlieb, Jeff Hamilton, Alex Riel and Jan Lundgren. Any given summer, you might find her playing a jazz society in California, a Rhône River cruise in France - or the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, Montana.

Tom Beetz (CC-BY-2.0)

Pat Martino had been playing jazz guitar professionally for nineteen years in 1980 when a severe brain aneurysm sent him into life-saving surgery - and then into life-altering amnesia. He barely recognized his own parents, let alone his guitar, and felt as if he had been "dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed... naked." Martino's long journey back from that musical erasure began with his father playing back his own recordings for him. Slowly, he taught himself how to play again. By the early Nineties, Martino had returned to the soul-jazz, post-bop and jazz-rock fusion scene.

Complete this sentence: "Béla Fleck is to the banjo as ______ is to the _______." Louis Armstrong to the trumpet?  Jimi Hendrix to the guitar? Clara Rockmore to the theremin? Among North American banjo players, only Earl Scruggs is as legendary (to diehard fans of bluegrass) for pioneering new techniques on this instrument.  From his early tutelage with Tony Trischka and nine years with the New Grass Revival to inventions within Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and with masters of other genres - as well as his duo with partner Abigail Washburn - Fleck's reinvention of the banjo goes beyond virtuosity. He's a banjo visionary.

In 2007, Zach Lupetin posted a Craigslist ad in search of fellow Angelitos who loved playing brass and string band music. With trumpet and trombone, mandolin and fiddle, wah-wah pedals and bull fiddle, The Dustbowl Revival's sound melds the Great Depression with the Great Recession, the Stax catalog with the post-fire streets of Chicago. Join host John Floridis in conversation with The Dustbowl Revival founder, Zach Lupetin.

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