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

Ellis Marsalis, Jr. is regarded by many as New Orleans’s premier modern jazz pianist. He’s been performing professionally for over fifty years, recording almost twenty albums of his own and guesting on many others, but primarily, Marsalis has focused on education, teaching at the University of New Orleans, Xavier University in Louisiana, and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.

Luke Dowler writes songs that blend indie rock, pop and soul into a hard-to-pigeonhole style. Onstage solo, he live-loops and tells stories. With the group The Savage Gentlemen, Luke indulges his love of punk rock and blues. Following his debut solo recording in 2012, he's back for his second visit to "Musician’s Spotlight" with John Floridis.

Rose Osborne

Combine potent song lyrics, soulful vocals and piercing guitar work and you've got the sound of New Orleans’s musical treasure, Anders Osborne, whom Guitar Player Magazine has called “the poet laureate of Louisiana’s fertile roots music scene.” Join host John Floridis for a conversation with Osborne about keeping a long musical career fresh and in synch with the musician’s own process of maturation.

Over forty years ago, as part of the David Grisman Quintet, multi-instrumentalist Darol Anger became a young founding father of "Dawg Grass," an influential melding of bluegrass, newgrass, classical and jazz. He has continued breaking musical ground ever since, with the Turtle Island String Quartet, Montreux, Fiddlers Four, Psychograss, the Republic of Strings, Mike Marshall,  Barbara Higbie, Scott Nygaard, Phil Aaberg and many others. He's a professor at the Berklee College of Music and an instructor at fiddle camps around the world.

The songs on "White Noise," the latest recording from Seattle singer, guitarist and songwriter Noah Gundersen, draw comparisons to Jackson Browne, Neil Young and Iron & Wine. Fellow Seattleite Nancy Wilson of Heart raved, in 2011: “Noah Gundersen is my favorite new singer-songwriter. Music like this will never become dated. His timeless songs are full of true humanity and longing. Just what the soul doctor ordered.”

Bernard Benant

Originally from the reggae capitol of Kingston, Jamaica, composer, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Clinton Fearon found a new home for his music in 1987 in Seattle - and since 2007, a unique connection with Butte, Montana. Whether it's the songs he wrote in the 1970s with the legendary band The Gladiators, or those written for his present group, The Boogie Brown Band, Clinton says: "Each one is a strong message coming from the heart of a man who dedicates his life to help a better world to come."

Learn more from Fearon on this episode of "Musician's Spotlight."

24-year-old Oklahoma native Parker Millsap is quickly making a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound, and character-driven song narratives. He wrapped up a banner 2017, which included his network television debut on "Conan," an invitation to play with Elton John at the Apple Music Festival, an "Austin City Limits" taping and an Americana Music Association nomination for Album of the Year.

David Casey returns to "Musician’s Spotlight," this time with his wife and partner in music, Deidre Casey. The couple met in college in Helena, Montana in 1991, forming Happy Cactus with Colin Meloy of The Decemberists and drummer Mark Schummer. Multi-instrumentalist David has recorded seven other albums, both as part of Watercarvers Guild, and as a solo artist. "Little Fox, Little Bird" is Deidre and David's third recording together.

Missoula recording artist Andrea Harsell is in the spotlight to discuss her album, “Something For The Pain,” and the ways she’s carved out a unique niche in the Montana music scene.

Join host John Floridis as he chats with singer-songwriter Andrea Harsell in this encore episode of "Musician's Spotlight." 

It’s been thirty years since the release of “The Trinity Sessions,” and a little less time since Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock legends The Cowboy Junkies first visited with “Musician’s Spotlight” host, John Floridis. For over three decades, siblings Michael, Margo and Peter Timmins, along with Alan Anton and Jeff Bird have toured their quiet, spare songs around the globe, releasing early albums on major labels, but more recently on their own Latent Recordings.

Pages