WTMD is listener-supported radio from the campus of Towson University.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Spearheads Benefit Single

New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band is no stranger to charity partnerships. Earlier this year, they teamed up with artists such as Ani Difranco, Del McCoury, Paolo Nutini and Jim James to release a two-disc collection of classic jazz songs under the header Preservation: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program.

The band spent the spring on the road with My Morning Jacket. And if you arrived late to the May 1st show at Merriweather Post Pavilion, you missed a master class in New Orleans jazz.

Now Preservation Hall has its sights set on a new cause: addressing the environmental disaster afflicting the Gulf Coast. As The Gulf Aid Allstars, they've enlisted the help of Trombone Shorty, Tim Robbins, Lenny Kravitz and Mos Def for an update on "It Ain't My Fault."  Amid the vibrant, swinging jazz passages, Mos Def delivers a variations on what "BP" might stand for.

The track was released on iTunes this week with proceeds being distributed by the Gulf Relief Foundation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tift Merritt Returns to WTMD

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt stopped by WTMD this afternoon during our summer fund drive. In addition to recording a full performance for Morning Sessions--which we'll air at 9 a.m. Friday, June 25--she treated our staff, volunteers and listeners to a live performance of "Mixtape," a standout single from her new album See You On The Moon. (View more photos, courtesy of volunteer Cindi Jansohn, on our Facebook page.)

Tift is an incredible artist and her new work is in the good hands of Tucker Matine, whom we last heard playing and producing Laura Veirs' July Flame.

Tift's relationship to WTMD dates back to her amazing set during our 5th Birthday Party. We're thrilled to have Tift back at WTMD--and we can't wait to share the complete performance next week.

If you value this type of programming on WTMD, pledge your support by calling 410-704-8970 or making a secure online donation

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Thursday Concert with Joshua James and Paul Masson

Kick off the Fourth of July weekend by joining thousands of music lovers for the next installment in WTMD's free First Thursday Concert Series at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1st, in West Mt. Vernon Park.

Joshua James is a rising star on the Americana scene. His 2009 album, Build Me This, landed on numerous year-end, best-of lists on the strength of standout tracks like "Coal War" and "Magazine." James has developed a captivating live show while touring with artists such as John Mayer, David Gray and Ani Difranco, and he's coming to perform for you on July 1st.

Baltimore's own Paul Masson kicks off the show at 5:30 p.m. The singer-songwriter has spent much of 2010 on the road, making a name for himself throughout the northeast. His vocal stylings and intensity have garnered comparisons to Ray LaMontagne. And his songwriting harkens back to the era of Neil Young's Harvest.

Masson shared the bill with Joshua James during a memorable show at the 8 x 10 in October 2009.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Perfects on Baltimore Unsigned

Tune in at 8 p.m. Tuesday (with a rebroadcast at 9 a.m. Saturday) as Baltimore Unsigned welcomes The Perfects to WTMD. The brainchild of vocalist and songwriter Ric Peters, the band continues the tradition of brooding synth-fused rock of artists such as Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails.

Their upcoming full-length, New Life, arrives later this year. It features multiple producers, including Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails), remixing a batch of older songs and working on several new tracks.

"I have moments where I'll write three songs real quick and then won't write anything for a few months and then go back," says Peters. "I don't force it. There was one song where I was folding laundry and then boom it hit me."

The Perfects perform at Bourbon Street on August 2nd.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

CD of the Week: Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows

Next year marks the fortieth anniversary of legendary singer-songwriter John Prine's self-titled debut, featuring "Six O'Clock News"  and "Angel from Montgomery." These standout tracks have stood the test of time--and Prine's work has often taken on a life of its own with artists as diverse as John Denver, Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper and Susan Tedeschi covering "Angel."

Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine
Old Crow Medicine Show delivers its own distinctive take on "Angel" as part of the new tribute Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows. The collection also includes contributions by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band ("Wedding Day in Funeralville"), Josh Ritter ("Mexican Home"), The Avett Brothers ("Spanish Pipedream"), and Drive-By Truckers ("Daddy's Little Pumpkin").

Longtime Prine fans are in for a treat--and newcomers can trace Prine's influence on this new batch of songwriters.