Author Archives: KC Cafe

FAR-West 2017: Venues Choice Concert

KC Cafe Radio’s microphones were there for the kickoff concert at the 2017 Folk Alliance Region-West music conference in Bellevue, Washington, with the Venues Choice Concert.  Five venues from around the FAR-West region, dedicated to presenting acoustic music, each presented an artists of their choice. 

Here are the archived recordings of the performances:

The Triple Door Presents Lydia Ramsey

Lydia RamseyHer songs convey both the wildness and free nature of the great northwest and are steeped in the fingerpick-guitar rudiments of folk music. A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Lydia Ramsey has been praised for the almost vintage quality of her voice. Her songs feature ancient music making devices in unique arrangements to back up her beautiful voice.

Listen to Lydia’s performance here:

Download the performance here: The Triple Door Presents Lydia Ramsey

Sisters Folk Festival presents Jeffrey Martin

Jeffery MartinJeffrey Martin‘s music is not widely known, which is a shame, because he might be the best songwriter in Portland. With lyrics that read like Raymond Carver stories and a voice that’s one breath away from breaking completely apart, Martin’s songs are beautiful, sparse, and utterly devastating. . . . If there is any justice in the world, Martin’s music will soon reach a wider audience and inflict devastation on a much larger scale.

Listen to Jeffrey’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Sisters Folk Festival Presents Jeffrey Martin

Mission Folk Festival Presents Early Spirit

Early SpiritThis band is a hot example of Celtic music and jazz fused together by superb musicians. The group is centered around violinist Gabriel Dubeuil, a well-established session player, who has recorded on dozens of pop, jazz and rock albums and music videos with local and international bands.

Listen to Early Spirit’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Mission Folk Festival Presents Early Spirit

Olalla Community Club & Americana Festival Presents Leroy Bell

Sometimes a songwriter has to take the plunge and express what’s really on his mind. In these turbulent times the emotions of the moment can overwhelm you … and then we witness a natural cycle of renewal. Leroy Bell is a songwriter who brings the optimistic part of our humanity to the center stage.

Listen to Leroy’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Olalla Community Club & Americana Festival Presents Leroy Bell

The Royal Room Presents Led to Sea

Alex Guy (as Led to Sea) is one of those artists, like St. Vincent or Andrew Bird, who approaches pop music with the eye of a classical composer, breaking down and rebuilding pop tropes into something resembling fine art. It’s a constant balancing act, combining classical and pop. Her layered viola melodies coupled with an incredible voice are enough to hold any audience in thrall.

Listen to Led to Sea’s performance here:

Download the performance here: The Royal Room Presents Led To Sea

FAR-West 2017: Friday Night Showcase

Here are the archived recordings from the Friday night Official Showcase performances at the 2017 FAR-West Music Conference in Bellevue, Washington.  The first of two nights of juried showcase performances included the talents of Larry Murante, The Singer And The Songwriter, Rupert Wates, Alice Howe, The Talbott Brothers, The Wardens, and Nathaniel Talbot

Larry Murante (Washington)

Beautifully woven stories set the stage for a truly amazing artist who writes and sings about everyday folks, combining compassionate, socially conscious lyrics and an upbeat, joyful, folk/rock style.  Larry is known for his soaring, mellifluous tenor, a strong rhythmic guitar style and an engaging stage presence.  He was a Grand Prize Winner in the International John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Listen to Larry’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Larry Murante

The Singer and the Songwriter (California)

Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran create music as vibrant and diverse as their multiracial backgrounds.  Their music and melodies cut across decades of classic American song forms, bending and blending genres to produce a unique sound with a fresh, clever and distinct approach to the classic traditions of American folk, jazz and blues.

Listen to The Singer And The Songwriter’s performance here:

Download the performance here:The Singer and The Songwriter

Rupert Wates (New York)

This marvelous musician combines lyrics that are rich with social commentary, accented by phenomenal guitar work.  He blends provocative lyrics with unforgettable melodies, wrapped around captivating stories.  He writes from the heart about life, love, sorrow and sweetness.  His songs are built on the foundation of fluid finger picking that are quietly powerful.

Listen to Rupert Wates performance here:

Download the performance here: Rupert Wates

Alice Howe (Massachusetts)

At once timeless and original, this Boston-based singer/songwriter combines a soulful, impeccably tuned voice with crafted poetry.  A lifelong songwriter, Alice’s musical sensibility lies in ’60s folk and ’70s Southern California songwriters, with comparisons drawn to the pure, distilled sounds of Joan Baez and Kate Wolf.  Her 2017 EP You’ve Been Away So Long features the original song Homeland Blues, #1 on the April Folk Radio Chart.

Download Alice’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Alice Howe

 The Talbott Brothers (Oregon)

Balanced harmonies from this exciting folk/rock act ignite an amazing sound that is both optimistic and captivating.  The Portland-based brothers blend guitars, mandolin, harmonicas and percussion to perfection.  This talented duo is driven by warm, melodic vocals, diverse instrumentation and authentic storytelling.  They are known for charming and energetic performances that blend singer/songwriter styles with folk, rock and pop.

Listen to The Talbott Brothers performance here:

Download the performance here: The Talbot Brothers

The Wardens (Alberta, Canada)

These master musicians are a Banff National Park-based trio whose music and stories emanate from the very land they’ve protected for decades.  Blending folk, roots and western styles, The Wardens reflect the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.  Their music drips with Canadian authenticity, depicting a rich depth of truthfulness and stems from a life lived in the deep wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.

Listen to The Wardens Performance here:

Download the performance here: The Wardens

Nathaniel Talbot

He is a singer, songwriter and organic farmer, whose music has ‘dirt under its fingernails,’ the product of decades of hard work and crafting – retuning, replanting, and retelling musical stories.  He truly embraces the crafts of songwriting and guitar playing.  His style is true American roots music, combining the soulful edge of tradition with the Pacific Nortwest’s legacy of freedom and innovation.


Listen to Nathaniel’s performance here:

Download the performance here: Nathaniel Talbot

New Music on KC Cafe Radio: August 29, 2017

Monet9 - Bandwidth 11 Monet9 – Bandwidth 11

  • Pop Rock

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Ivar Sigurbergsson (singles) Ivar Sigurbergsson (singles) ~New Artist~

  • Rock

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Bittersweet Highway -It All Falls Away Bittersweet Highway -It All Falls Away

  • Folk

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Come Back Calamity - Six Shots Later Come Back Calamity – Six Shots Later ~New Artist~

  • Alt Folk

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Evan Silva - Ain't No Two Ways About It Evan Silva – Ain’t No Two Ways About It

  • Soul Blues

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Evan Silva - Chance & Time Evan Silva – Chance & Time

  • Latin Jazz

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The Tearaways (singles) The Tearaways (singles)

  • Rock

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Lucas Rabel - Western Amber Skies Lucas Rabel – Western Amber Skies ~New Artist~

  • Country/Rock

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Ryan Totten - Underneath The Sky Ryan Totten – Underneath The Sky

  • Rock

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Dustin Hovermale (singles) Dustin Hovermale (singles) ~New Artist~

  • Country

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Synners of Truth- It's Going To Change Synners of Truth- It’s Going To Change ~New Artist~

  • Alt Rock

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JJ's Music Retaliation - Many More Years With you JJ’s Music Retaliation – Many More Years With you ~New Artist~

  • Rock

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Surreal Realm - Winter Dreams of Spring (single) Surreal Realm – Winter Dreams of Spring (single)

  • Instrumental

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Paul Arnoldi - Let's Go (Testing, Hear, We're Goin' Down) Paul Arnoldi – Let’s Go (Testing, Hear, We’re Goin’ Down)

  • Folk

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Art Podell - Blame it on the Russians Art Podell – Blame it on the Russians (single)

  • Singer/Songwriter

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Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour Joins the KC Cafe Radio Lineup

KC Cafe Radio is pleased to announce the addition of Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour to the KC Cafe Radio schedule.  The one-hour live-recorded show airs Sunday mornings at 9 (Central Time).

For nearly 20 years, WoodSongs has brought together a community of musicians and music fans to a virtual “front porch” that celebrates the spirit of the American experience through song.  Over those 20 years, that front porch has evolved from a small studio that could only seat about 20 people, to the 540-seat historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky.  Globally, WoodSongs has evolved from a single radio station in Georgetown, Kentucky, to an international TV and radio network including 515 American public radio stations, access to nearly 96 million American homes through public television, and to 173 countries through the Armed Forces Radio Network.   Earlier this month, WoodSongs announced its affiliation with the American cable television channel RFD-TV, adding nearly 50 million households to its audience.

WoodSongs host Michael Johnathon

WoodSongs host Michael Johnathon has a long-standing career in the arts as a songwriter, playwright, and composer of the opera, Woody: For the People. He grew up in upstate New York along the shores of the Hudson River. At 19 years old, he moved to the Mexican border town of Laredo, Texas and found a job working as the late night DJ on a small radio station. One night, he played ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ by Roger McGuinn and The Byrds. As the song played, he recalled seeing the songs writer, his former neighbor Pete Seeger, performing in his Dutchess County hometown in New York. By the time the song had ended, he decided to pursue a career as a folksinger.

Two months later, he bought a guitar and a banjo and settled into the isolated mountain hamlet of Mousie, Kentucky. For the next three years, he traveled up and down the hollers of the Appalachian mountains knocking on doors and learning the music of the mountain people. Soon enough, he began performing concerts at hundreds of colleges, schools and fairs. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with twelve released albums, three published books and several national projects.

Recently, Michael helped organize the national WoodSongs Front Porch Association to help organize rural and community music and a massive educational program. Members of the WFPA are called “SongFarmers,” which is also the title of his recent album, the very first national CD release to be completely recorded on an iPhone. His new 176-page book WoodSongs III is being released September 2017.

In addition to his albums, books, concerts and other projects the Martin Guitar Company recently introduced the Michael Johnathon signature model 0000-28s “WoodSongs Quad” guitar.

He lives in a log cabin on a hill surrounded by meadows, streams and woods outside of Lexington, Kentucky with his wife Melissa and family.

Community of volunteers

WoodSongs is an all-volunteer-driven operation.  From its host, to the stagehands, technicians, engineers and even camera operators, everyone works collectively to produce a weekly program that, through its very core mission, is a living, breathing and outstanding example of community.

Perhaps the best example of this community effort is the educational component that WoodSongs produces, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky. Together, they provide educational classroom lesson plans and materials that revolve around the subjects of language, history and the arts, all while encouraging creativity.  Each episode of the show features a WoodSongs Kid, who, through creative inspiration, shares his or her passion and talent.

Sunday mornings at 9 (Central Time)

For nearly 10 years, KC Cafe Radio has provided a rare link to original music and the people who write and perform that music.  We are pleased that we are now also a part of the unique community that represents the WoodSongs values and passion. We encourage you to tune in join us every Sunday morning!