Category Archives: Artist Interviews

Interviews with KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists

David Hakan Sings to the Heart in Stone and Steel

David HakanSometimes the winds of change blow hard on a C harp, wail at the corporate towers and shake the roots of rock ’n’ roll.

Singer/songwriter David Hakan has lived through a lot of that change, and continues to sing about it to this day.  Along the way, he has skilfully crafted his refinement of the song and songwriting into something he now shares with others… Not just fans of his music, but other musicians as well.

A native of Kansas City, David grew up with music as an integral part of life.  His mother played piano, and exposed the family to all sorts of music. “You never knew if you were going to get opera or ‘Lovin’ Spoonful’.”  His older brothers were also quite musical, playing guitar and singing covers of Peter, Paul and Mary songs.  David fit right in, singing along with his brothers, and eventually on his own.

After years of performing his original songs in coffee houses, at folk festivals and other venues, David would go on to share his passion and experience with other musicians.  He formed the Kansas City Songwriters Circle in 1992, and has mentored many successful singer/songwriters in the Kansas City area.

David recently retired from teaching, allowing him to focus all of his time on his music.  The latest product of this change in his life is reflected in his new album, Stone and Steel.  David is also taking to touring, and plans on forming a band in the near future.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with David via Skype.  David talks about growing up in a musical family, performing on the “coffee shop circuit,” and the importance of music in our world and the impact it has on society.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: David Hakan 7/11/2016

Music by David Hakan on KC Cafe Radio:

Lee Sims Sings From Deep Within the Heart

lee_simsSince childhood, music has been in Lee Sim’s blood.  As early as age five, at the encouragement of his parents, Lee was singing.  “As a youngster I would listen to my Mom and Dad’s record collection of Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, and Tennessee Ernie Ford …” Lee said.  “When I was eight years old my Dad would take me to local music jam sessions, and I experienced the thrill of performing live. It was an incredibly exhilarating and humbling experience.”

It didn’t take long for Lee to begin his performing career.  Lee’s first “real gig” was at a Junior High school talent show, and within a month he founded his own band and was performing professionally.   From his home base in Colorado, Lee and his grass-roots accompaniment, The Platte River Band, have performed across the United States and Canada.

Lee’s authoritative voice has also attracted the attention of radio commercial and television show producers. As a result, his voice has been a staple with Colorado radio listeners for decades.  Additionally, Lee has performed on a laundry list of demos for songwriters, attracting the attention of producers in Nashville, where he was a finalist on the You Can Be a Star! television show.  Lee’s credits also include performing with numerous Country Music stars including Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Buck Owens, and George Strait.

Lee has earned the distinction of being Nashville’s 3-time Golden Award Winner in 2001, Colorado’s Entertainer of the Year in 2001, and Colorado’s Country Music Hall of Fame Entertainer of the Year in 2003.

Lee’s latest album, Deep In The Heart of Me represents a culmination of Lee’s musical career and influences, with nine original songs, world-class musicians, and Nashville production.  It has already rocketed to the top of the music charts, hitting #1 on the New Music Weekly Chart (Blues on Parade) and #7 on the Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 True Country Album Chart.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Lee.  He shares his memories of growing up in the performing spotlight under the encouragement of his parents, as well as his experiences performing along with some of country music’s greatest talent.  We also get a peek into what Lee has in store for the future, with some news of his upcoming projects slated for release later this year.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Lee Sims 5/25/2016

Music by Lee Sims on KC Cafe Radio:

Susie Glaze: Not That Kind of Girl

Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band - Not That Kind of GirlFor the past several years, we have had the pleasure of playing Susie Glaze and the HIlonesome Band’s album, White Swan.  Last year, Susie and the boys released their newest album, Not That Kind of Girl.  In it’s first few months of release, it has already received critical acclaim as well as the top spot on the charts.

Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band make their home in Southern California, but their music travels the globe with the sounds of the Blue Ridge mountains, Texas Honkytonks, and the Celtic sea.

Recently KC Cafe Radio’s Music Director Kathy Forste caught up with Susie via Skype.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Susie Glaze 5/20/2016

Music by Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band on KC Cafe Radio:

Joellen Lapidus: Pioneer of Contemporary Dulcimer

joellen_lapidusJoellen Lapidus is one of the pioneers of contemporary mountain dulcimer playing, songwriting, and instrument construction and is the author of the dulcimer instruction book “Lapidus on Dulcimer”. Joellen blends the Appalachian, Indian, Arabic, jazz, classical, and pop musical styles to give the dulcimer a new range of rhythmic, melodic, and tuning possibilities.

As a dulcimer maker, her work influenced many of the dulcimer builders of the 70’s and 80’s. Her instruments were known for their innovative shapes and exquisite soundhole and peghead inlay work. She introduced the dulcimer to Joni Mitchell and made three instruments for her between 1968 and 1976. She has also made instruments for David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Wendy Waldman and Garth Hudson. The March 2004 concert, recorded on her album, Joellen Lapidus In Concert, marked her first performance in over 10 years.

Joellen teaches dulcimer in West Los Angeles. She has also returned to her original musical loves – the clarinet and the accordion. She performs with the band “Extreme Klezmer Makeover” and with violinist Yvette Devereaux.  Joellen’s newest album is called Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Joellen, about her unique dulcimer influences, her musical upbringing living in New York, and how her musical horizons broadened as she traveled across the United States.  They also talk at length about her unique dulcimer instrument creations, and the inspiration behind Pelican Ballet.

Listen To the Interview Here:

Downlad the interview here: Interview: Joellen Lapidus, 5/10/2016.

Music from Joellen Lapidus on KC Cafe Radio:

Hali Hammer: Ringmaster of her own Eclectic Circus

Hali Hahali_hammermmer has lived a life that is as eclectic as her music. She grew up in New York surrounded by music.  “My mother and father were always singing,” she recollected. “My mother always had the record player on, and she would sing me to sleep at night.”  In college, Hali was wowed by the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Peter Paul and Mary.  This was during the Vietnam war, and the words and songs she heard during that time would go on to play a significant role, not only in her music, but in her “public voice” as well.

Hali joined her first band in 1968 while she attended Queens College, and went on to play both with other musicians and as a solo act. She was a member of Citizens to Save Minnewaska in upstate New York, and had the inspiration for and helped produce the compilation album Save the Mountain in 1981 which aided in funding the legal fight. The property is now Minnewaska Lake State Park.

Hali later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and joined Freedom Song Network in 1985. She was a member of the chorus that sang onstage behind Nelson Mandela at the Oakland Coliseum. Her song Bottom of the Ninth was aired on KNBR-San Francisco preceding the first game of the 1989 Bay Bridge World Series. She became active in the San Francisco Folk Music Club (she is currently the Vice President) and was the coordinator of the 2003 Berkeley Free Folk Festival. Hali created and produced Sing Out for Earth Day, a video montage of 33 groups across the nation singing This Land Is Your Land on April 22, 2012, in the same key (D) and at the same time (noon Pacific, 1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern). It debuted at a screening in San Francisco that July 14th, the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birthday. She has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

Hali’s latest album, Eclectic Circus is preceded by three other albums, I Refuse To Believe, Gypsy-O, and The Best of Hali Hammer. Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste visited with Hali via Skype. They talk about her various political and musical causes, her upbringing, and the significance of the “voice” behind the music.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview: download_icon

Music by Hali Hammer on KC Cafe Radio: