MTPR

Musician's Spotlight

Thursday 7:30 -8:00 PM

Today's most talented and compelling musicians visit Musician's Spotlight to "talk shop" and give you a deeper insight into their music. Host and producer John Floridis brings his own musical expertise  along with over a decade and a half of experience conducting interviews.

Guests on the show have included legendary musicians like B.B King; Alison Krauss; Lyle Lovett; Wilco; Brandi Carlile; Daryl Jones of the Rolling Stones; The Cowboy Junkies; Richard Thompson; Mary Chapin Carpenter; Bruce Cockburn; Shawn Colvin; and Chris Hillman of the Byrds; along with talented Montana artists like Jeni Flemming, Tom Catmull, Martha Scanlan, John Dunnigan, Jenn Adams, Jack Gladstone and Eden Atwood.

Musician's Spotlight archive on iTunes

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audiences with romantic, danceable tunes that reflect her reverence for melody - like the songs of Johnny Mercer, whose unpublished "orphaned" texts Korb set to music and recorded on "Beyond the Moon."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.

Singer songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman.
Courtesy Beth Nielsen Chapman

Singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman has carved out a career of over two-and-a-half decades, writing hit songs for artists like Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride and Bette Midler, while creating a niche for her own recordings and performances  - and simultaneously overcoming significant life challenges and losses.

But that only scratches the surface of this dynamo of creativity. "Musician's Spotlight" host John Floridis says one of the biggest challenges of this interview is to convey the real depth of Chapman's fascinating musical career.

Learn more about Beth Nielsen Chapman on this episode of  "Musician's Spotlight."

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.

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