MTPR

John Floridis

Host and Producer

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time from household names like B.B. King, Alison Krauss and Lyle Lovett, to Montana musicians such as Eden Atwood, Darko Butarac and Tom Catmull. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.

Ways to Connect

Shaun and Jamie Carrier of The Lucky Valentines met playing tunes at a fundraiser in Fort Benton, Montana. Cupid’s arrow pierced them and their shared love of classical music, rock ‘n roll, alt-country, blues, indie, Christian and folk music.

Carrie Schrader

Amy Ray, who is one-half of the Indigo Girls duo, has always leaned toward the rockier side of folk-rock, but neither "folk" nor "rock" fully describes the breadth of her solo work. It's infused with a Southern punk feel she likes to call "subversiveness with a smile."  On the next “Musician’s Spotlight,” Amy Ray returns to chat with host John Floridis about her most recent recording Holler, and to reflect on her decades-long career.

David McClister

Caitlin Canty is an American singer and songwriter whose music carves a line through folk, blues, and country ballads. "Motel Bouquet," Canty’s third record, was produced by Grammy-nominated Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and recorded live over three days in Nashville. Rolling Stone hails "Motel Bouquet" as “dreamy and daring” with “poetic lyrics and haunting melodies.”

For more than three decades, New York jazz drummer, composer, bandleader and teacher Allison Miller has been merrily improvising her way into new musical genres and projects. Miller, whom the DownBeat Magazine Critics' Poll named "Rising Star Drummer" and "Top 20 Jazz Drummer," is the driving force behind albums by Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco, Joey Arias, Pino Daniele, Erin McKeown and many others.

Just two years after he'd taken up the bass guitar, sixteen-year-old Nathan East found himself on the road with Barry White. The next time the phone rang, Quincy Jones was on the line. The calls kept coming, and for more than forty years, East has been holding down the bass on hit songs with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk.

Marina Chavez

Suzanne Santo, the fiddling, banjo-playing frontwoman for the duo HoneyHoney, lays out genre-crossing, self-penned songs on her first solo recording, “Ruby Red.” A reviewer described HoneyHoney’s first album as “taking its cue from Appalachian folk, country ballads, jazz and Quentin Tarantino films.”

John Floridis profiles the roster of musicians playing the 2018 Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in Bigfork, Montana, August 28 - September 1.  Listen to Montana Public Radio at 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 31st for highlights from the festival's Thursday performance featuring Poco with Rusty Young, Justin Townes Earle, and Guthrie Brown.

In August 2017, on his way to Missoula's River City Roots Festival, Malcolm Holcombe, a troubadour of "hill-country high poetry," stopped by MTPR to record a few tunes and visit with host John Floridis.

Kevin Porto

Erica von Kleist graduated from Julliard in 2004 with a jazz degree, and spent the next ten years in New York City working as a pianist, saxophonist and flautist, a bandleader, a theater music director, a composer, and an arranger. She collaborated with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra,  Chris Potter, Broadway star Eric Michael Krop, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Rufus Reid, and Anne Hampton Callaway, among many others.

Lindsey Byrnes

Solo musicians Sara Watkins, Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz discovered a strong musical bond while jamming onstage at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and after follow-up group appearances, they formed a band called I’m With Her.

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