JD McPherson, who performs on 'A Prairie Home Companion' on July 4, frequently wears a 'Smith Fabrication' shirt while onstage. It turns out the namesake of the shirt is TK Smith, a California-based guitar builder and craftsman. 'All the stuff I build is all technology that was available in the late 1940s to the mid-50s," Smith says. 'They used to make things so much better back then.'
Ben Brockway was thinking of closing up shop for the day, and then his phone rang. JD McPherson bassist Jimmy Sutton was going onstage at Rock the Garden in less than two hours and needed a repair to his upright bass. 'He saved the day,' Sutton says of Brockway's last-minute work.
Following the news of composer James Horner's death, Twin Cities' NBC affiliate KARE 11 spoke to Classical MPR's Lynne Warfel -- host of Saturday Cinema and Flicks in Five -- about the work of the late composer.
'Boys in the Street', a single off singer-songwriter Greg Holden's album, 'Chase the Sun', made its debut on The Current on April 30, 2015. Holden debuted the video for 'Boys in the Street' on Tuesday, June 17. Watch it here.
Singer-songwriter JD McPherson and his band demonstrate a work ethic befitting musicians and music that comes from America's less mythologized, more salt-of-the-earth places. 'We're playing a lot of shows,' McPherson says, 'but you know what? It's all good.' JD McPherson plays Rock the Garden on Sunday, June 21. Before then, get to know a bit more about this hard-working singer-songwriter.
Bobb Bruno of Best Coast explains how he came to play an Eastman T386, enjoying the feel and sound of the guitar so much that he made it one of his go-to instruments in Best Coast's live set. Bruno also describes some of the main effects he employs when playing live.
The Who's Pete Townshend, committed to getting his works arranged for orchestra for sheet music, has released an orchestral version of his 1973 album 'Quadrophenia'. Townshend hopes the newly arranged work will 'bring in people who might not otherwise go to see a symphony orchestra perform.'
Margaret Juntwait, the voice of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts heard on Classical Minnesota Public Radio and on other stations nationwide, has died at age 58 due to complications from ovarian cancer.
Reached by telephone, VocalEssence Artistic Director Philip Brunelle describes how the ensemble was chosen to perform with the Rolling Stones on Wednesday, June 3. Brunelle also describes the mood of the choir members as they prepare for the gig with the rock legends. 'They're very excited about the opportunity,' Brunelle says.
Classical MPR's Choral Initiatives Manager Tesfa Wondemagegnehu visited with KARE 11's Diana Pierce to describe Harmony in the Park, which happens in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 4, and in Duluth, Minn., on Sunday, June 28.
After Jose Gonzalez played a live set in The Current's studio, he stopped to talk about the Spanish classical guitars he enjoys playing. He also explains why, even though he's right-hand dominant, he prefers to bowl left-handed.
Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, London, since 2007, Andrew Carwood has been conducting choirs since he was 16 years old. He recently described what it's like to sing at St. Paul's Cathedral and the music program he oversees there. "It's very exciting for me," he says. "I like to encourage the boys to sing as well as they possibly can."
For George Ezra, it was love at first sight -- for his guitar, that is. When he walked into a guitar shop in London's fabled Denmark Street, a 1959 Gretsch hollow-body instantly caught his eye, and he was also glad to see it was missing something. George Ezra tells us about his hollow-body guitar in the latest addition to The Current's Guitar Collection.
The longtime writer and actor on Conan O'Brien's late-night shows is a huge music fan. 'Bands like the Replacements and R.E.M. were as influential to me when it comes to comedy as a lot of my favorite comedians were,' he says. Read more about Brian Stack and the music that moves him.
Rob Grote and Pat Cassidy of The Districts have an equal stake in their Gibson Les Paul Recording II guitar: Rob owns it, and Pat plays it. But after all their gear and their van were stolen, it's lucky they even have it at all. Rob and Pat tell the story.