Tag Archives: songwriter

Susie Glaze: A Unique Musician With A Unique Sound

Susie Glaze

Photo by Patricia Van Over

Singer/Songwriter Susie Glaze  did not grow up in a “musical” family.  Her father and mother met and married just prior to World War II in St. Louis, and following the war, the family moved to the mid-south, and Susie’s interests gravitated toward the theater.  All the while, however, her world was serenaded by the likes of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Flatt & Scruggs, and other country and bluegrass  musicians that later would play a critical role in her creative life.

Glaze studied drama at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and obtained her union card while still a student.  It wasn’t long that she was appearing on Broadway, performing mostly musical roles.  Her most notable performance was in Roger Miller’s Big River, playing the part of Mary Jane Wilkes.  It was during this time she began immersing herself in the music she had heard growing up.  It didn’t take long for her to figure out that her creative path did not lie in acting.

Glaze moved to Los Angeles, and found a musical home playing along with The Eight Hand String Band, as well as solo performances and recordings, and eventually formed The Hilonesome Band in 2003.  She describes the group as “A Newgrass Americana Folk Fusion Quintet” that embodies the traditional sounds of the Appalachian, bluegrass, folk and country influences she grew up with, while at the same time introducing a contemporary take on the traditional sound.  The band’s most recent album, White Swan is a work that must be heard in its entirety in order to be appreciated.

KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste recently spoke with Glaze via Skype, from her southern California home.  They talked in detail about the band’s unique sound, defining the term “Newgrass” in the scope of the music.  She shares her journey from growing up as a “mid-westerner,” through her years on broadway, and her transition into music.  She also talked about the people who have, and continue to influence her musical creativity today.

Listen To The Interview Here:

Music By Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band On KC Cafe Radio:

Video: “Harlan County Boys”


KC Cafe Radio House Concert: Sky Smeed

KC Cafe Radio House Concert - Sky SmeedJune 28, 2013 – Friends and visitors to Whistle Stop Antiques in Belton, Missouri were treated to an entertaining evening of story and song, as singer/songwriter Sky Smeed offered up his unique program of original music.

Born and raised outside Chanute, Kansas, Smeed grew up surrounded by the playlist of small town America: Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Van Morrison and Merle Haggard.  Before he took to the stage, Smeed talked with KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste about that upbringing, and how those songs, and songs like them, continues to influence his talent to this day.

Smeed then put those influences to work, entertaining the crowd with original music from his self-released albums, as well as a few yet-to-be-released originals.  His performance exuded as much character and charm as the collection of antiques that surrounded everyone.

Listen to the entire performance here:

Pictures from the event:

 Music By Sky Smeed On KC Cafe Rado:

KC Cafe House Concert: J.R. Byrd

J.R. ByrdMarch 11, 2013 – Attendees of KC Cafe Radio’s most recent House Concert was treated to an acoustic treat on March 1, when Texas singer/songwriter J.R. Byrd entertained with a program of original tunes.

Originally from the Seattle area, Byrd relocated to Denver as a youth, and eventually ended up in Texas, where he now calls Denton, Texas home.  Byrd’s unique style of songwriting comes out of his experience living in diverse parts of the country, as well as inspiration from his family and his observations and musings on life.

We invite you to relive this fun and entertaining evening with J.R. Byrd here!

Listen To The Entire Performance Here:

Music By J.R. Byrd On KC Cafe Radio:

Robert Morgan Fisher: A Narrative Engineer

Robert Morgan Fisher When you visit Robert Morgan Fisher’s website, the first thing you see is a simple message: “Please don’t pigeonhole him.”  And once you click to enter his site, you understand.  A screenwriter, novelist, voiceover artist, and musician; many would consider him to be an artistic “jack of all trades.”  Yet Fisher sums it all up rather eloquently by calling himself a “Narrative Engineer.” Indeed, many of his interests and talents come together in the works he produces, especially between writing and music.

Fisher hails from Austin, Texas, however life as the son of a Naval Flight Officer meant a lot of moving from place-to-place, including California, Washington State, Ohio, Virginia and Florida.  Eventually he would return to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where he would earn a Broadcasting And Film degree, while performing at local bars and coffeehouses.  Following college, he moved to Los Angeles, where he would become involved in television and film production, scriptwriting, announcing, and education.  Through it all, however, Fisher had his “roots” firmly planted in music. “I have one foot firmly in fiction, the other in screenwriting and my heart in music.”

His latest album, Notes For A Novel, is not only a demonstration of how various aspects of Robert Morgan Fisher’s talents come together, it is also a window into the musician himself.  And he has no problem sharing with you his own view out that window, onto the world.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste spoke with Fisher via Skype about his career.  They talk at length about the people that have influenced his life and career, and that unique connection that exists between his writing and his music.  He shares the stories behind making albums like Notes For A Novel, and how being in the right place at the right time can really make a difference.  You will also hear him talk about attending the 2012 Hollywood Music In Media Awards ceremony.  A few days following the recording of our interview, Fischer’s album Notes For A Novel was awarded Best Folk/Acoustic Category at that event.

Along with the main interview are two “bonus” clips.  In the first clip recorded prior to the interview, Robert introduces Kathy to his 1985 Martin D28S3 Guitar.  The second clip, recorded after the interview, Robert talks about his work with LA’s Writer’s Boot Camp.

Listen To The Interview Here:

Music By Robert Morgan Fisher On KC Cafe Radio:

Lucy Billings Travels The Other Road

Lucy BillingsLucy Billings can honestly be called the “genuine cowgirl.”  Growing up in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona and spending her summers on a Wyoming ranch provided her plenty of experience, and eventually inspiration for her music.

Today, that inspiration comes to life in Lucy’s second album, No Other Road.  In it, we discover a storyteller like no other, delivered in a way that allows her memories to become connected to our own.  In it, you will discover genuine friendships in songs like “My Caballo,” and a rather unique perspective on her father in “Daddy’s Last Drive.”

In a recent conversation with Lucy via Skype, KC Cafe Music Director Kathy Forste asked her about her years growing up with ranching and music.  They also talked about No Other Road, and her work with producer John Jennings, and her plans for her next album, to be released next summer.

Listen To The Interview Here:

Music By Lucy Billings On KC Cafe Radio: