Kristen Westhoven does a highly creative radio show on Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight on WUNH-FM, up in Durham, New Hampshire. You can also listen online and find archived broadcasts on wunh.org, and you can find her audio archives here. On every show I hear, she tips me to something interesting that I hadn't heard before.
Joel Forrester may be the most original pianist working in New York. He has composed over 1,500 tunes, he has a specialty in accompanying silent movies, he plays month-long stints in Paris every summer, and he is one of the few musicians to have studied directly with Thelonious Monk. As if that weren't enough, he is the co-leader of the mind-boggling Microscopic Septet, and he plays gospel music at a Baptist church in the Bronx every Sunday. Joel is a bon vivant and ranconteur par excellence. I'm privileged to count him as a friend, and you should know him too.
This is how I spent the 1980s: Playing bass guitar in the Boston band Rods and Cones. Those are memories I would not trade for their weight in gold. That was another place and another time, but thanks to Thomas Edison's miracle of recorded sound, you can hear some of what it was all about. And I can hardly believe this as I'm saying it: We're starting to play again.
One Saturday night in 1979, I saw the Elliot Mouser Blues Band play in the basement of the notorious Red House in Newton, Mass., and they blew my mind. And lo, all these years later, I'm playing some gigs with them. This is the jammingest jam band, formed long before jam bands ever existed. This is the genuine article.
Lance Doss is a natural-born guitar player from Birmingham, Ala., who also happens to sing like a bird. Sometimes he is called upon to travel the world and perform in front of large audiences, alongside famous rock stars. When he's not doing that, you can catch him singing and playing in the New York area, or playing guitar and lap steel in the Jim Duffy Combo. For this I am grateful.
For many years, my pal Dennis Diken an artist on the drumkit, has toured the world as beatkeeper for the Smithereens. For most people, that would be enough, but Dennis has made it known that he's also a mastermind pop conceptualist. His album "Late Music," credited to Dennis Diken and Bell Sound, produced in conjunction with his partner Dave Amels, contains world-beating songwriting, singing, rocking and sheer sound. This record will transport you. Visit his site, and don't miss his Photo of the Day!