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Blues Music: The Professor’s Picks for December 2015

Wow, the holidays really sneaked up on us, didn’t they? We’re almost to the end of 2015, and looking at what we all hope will be a great 2016. Before you know it, we’ll (hopefully) be back at this point and wondering just where all that time flew off to. (Okay, I know that last sentence was improperly written, but give me a break, I’m a blues guy, sometimes grammar gets in the way of what I’m trying to say.)

Friends, Food & Frivolity!

Tis' the season for Friends, Fun and Frivolity, which is good because that's sort of the theme for this week's World Music Show (12/5). But it's also the season for hectic comings and goings, and with that in mind, here's a brief rundown: We'll groove to some Malian guitar work courtesy of Ali Farka Toure, and dance to some Cumbia tunes from Chico Trujillo. Plus, we'll hear new roots-reggae music from Cas Haley as well as some Bi-lingual Latin love songs from the singer Carrie Rodriguez.

In Your Ear Episode 40: The Church Sisters

Sarah and Savannah Church were born twenty minutes apart, almost twenty years ago in Norton in far southwest Virginia. They grew up singing around the house and later, naturally, in church and for community events until it became clear that they had something truly special…that undeniable blood harmony. They’ve spent the last few years perfecting their singular gift and touring with one of the most tasteful bunch of young instrumentalists on the circuit today, including Spencer Strickland on mandolin, Josh Pickett on guitar, Jacob Eller on bass and Rusty Grubbs on percussion.

In Your Ear Episode 39: Birds of Chicago

JT Nero is a product of the Windy City. His wife Allison Russell is a native of Montreal. His rough-as-a-cob soulful snarl is perfectly complemented by her soaring, like-butter vocals. In 2012, JT and Allison forged their music and their lives together forming the band Birds of Chicago, that strives to take a thoughtful and poetic look at love and life. They hit the road with their baby daughter Ida and a fine band including Michelle McGrath on guitar and vocals and Chris Merrill on bass, and never looked back. Much to the critics delight, and ours.

In Your Ear Episode 38: Malpass Brothers/Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones

This edition of In Your Ear is a double dose of authenticity starting with a captivating brother duet who not only look but sound like they could be contemporaries of honky tonk heroes like Ernest Tubb, Faron Young and Webb Pierce. Their retro persona is way more than just an act…it’s an earnest and loving effort to preserve an era of country music that for many people defines it. Down to earth authenticity not part of today’s mainstream commercial country.

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