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Etown is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations. Every etown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today's top musical artists as well as conversations and information about the world around us. At etown, we build community through music.

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From Red Rocks to eTown Hall – This week’s broadcast

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 02:08

As a kid, I can remember it very clearly. My brother and I spent quite a bit of time staying with our grandparents, who lived only a few miles away from my parent’s house. We’d hang out in the attic apartment in the house, where there were two beds, a bathroom, and a wall that we were allowed to draw on. My brother had a boom box and we’d listen to all of his tapes, over and over. One in particular always caught my ear. It was U2’s (now legendary) concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. At the time, I’d never been to Red Rocks, or even Colorado for that matter. That didn’t matter. You could hear how special the place was – even if you were listening to a cassette of a concert recorded there from an attic in Tennessee, more than 2,000 miles away.   Twenty years later, on a road trip to Colorado (before I moved here permanently) I would finally behold the beauty of Red Rocks. We drove to the park on an off day in the spring. There was melting snow on the ground, and it was a bluebird day. I remember peering over the top rail, down into the amphitheater and all of my daydreaming was confirmed. It was no doubt a magical place. I ran down the steps to the bottom, stood on the stage, and yelled “This is Red Rocks…This is The Edge!!!!”  – A reference almost anyone in my age group would immediately recognize.

The Luimneers perform at Red Rocks on Sept 15, 2013Red Rocks has become a right of passage for aspiring artists around the globe. When you finally reach that stage, it signifies something massive. We’ve done several eTown tapings at Red Rocks over the years, and it is always an amazing experience. I’m pretty sure that for any musician that gets to play on that stage, it is a dream come true. This week, we are bringing you yet another very special episode that was recorded (mostly) at this legendary venue. Denver-based band, The Lumineers, share the Red Rocks stage with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra – adding a gigantic sound to a band that skyrocketed to success in a very short time, on account of their hit song “Ho Hey.” The Colorado Symphony Orchestra has been taking on projects like this quite a lot over the last few years. They’ve collaborated with other local groups like DeVotchKa as well, and the result is always pretty amazing. When you listen to this week’s episode, close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful place you could ever see a concert. Are you with us?? This is Red Rocks…and this week, this is eTown!

ZoeK_banner_29-23Also with us in the other half of the show is the incredibly talented cello player and composer Zoë Keating. Born in Canada, and now residing in San Francisco, Zoë stops in our solar-powered musical performance hall and production facility to share some of her mind blowing solo compositions on the cello. Zoë mixes in modern technology such as a laptop, and loop pedals to create incredibly beautiful soundscapes in her musical explorations. The result is stunning, and we know you are going to love what you hear!

For our eChievement Award story this week, we check in with the folks at Conscious Alliance. They are a great organization based right here in Colorado, that is finding a way to feed the hungry by partnering with musicians, artists and athletes at large scale concerts and sporting events.

It’s eTown ‘On The Road’ and at home at eTown Hall – all in this week’s episode. Be sure to tune in or podcast! It’s a good one!

– Zack

The post From Red Rocks to eTown Hall – This week’s broadcast appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 03:19

This week in eTown, we dip into the archives from the last couple of years to bring back a great show with two up-and-coming artists and an excellent eChievement Award story to boot.

DSC_6023First up is the Santa Cruz-based trio The Devil Makes Three. While being born and raised in the Northeast, the three members made their way to Santa Cruz for college, and ended up sticking around. If you’ve ever spent much time in Santa Cruz, it’s not hard to tell that the characteristics of the area have found its way into the band’s music. If you were to judge based on photographic images of the band alone, it would be easy to make the assumption that this trio leans in the bluegrass direction. Their instrumentation might very well lead you to believe that. This, however, is nowhere near the case. While The Devil Makes Three uses traditional string instruments such as a banjo and upright bass, their sound is far from traditional. The sound is dark, and unique. If you threw a few skateboards into the mix of an old time group, you’d be closer to hitting the mark with their sound. It’s original, and really dang good!

DSC_6310Also with us this week is bluesy singer/songwriter Parker Millsap, who was making his first visit to eTown when this episode was originally recorded. Again, don’t let the exterior appearance fool you here (as it did most of the taping audience when Parker walked onto the stage). Parker is the embodiment of the old saying – “Big things come in small packages.” He is almost way too young to have the huge, seasoned voice and songwriting chops he laid on us all, but somehow he pulls it off with full insistence. We were blown away by his music, and stage presence. I’m pretty sure you will be blown away too!

DSC_6069Along with all of the great music and conversation with our musical guests this week, we also have another touching eChievement Award story in store for you. This time, we draw our ears to hear about the Mosaic Project, an excellent organization that was brought to our attention by our long-time friend and musical guest, Brett Dennen.

It’s a great hour of entertainment and information for you this week. Be sure to tune in or podcast!

– Zack

The post Looks Can Be Deceiving appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

An Established Legend and One Soon To Be

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 00:57

What a week it has been here in eTown. If the first few weeks of 2015 are any indication, we are in for a great (and busy) year here in the world of eTown. Last week we had two great tapings, followed by a very special event for this year’s high school participants in our Handmade Songs Series. It’s a very cool program that mentors talented high school-aged aspiring musicians from performance through the recording process. It’s pretty amazing to see and hear how talented these young folks are in the early stages of their musical exploration. You can check out their music, and watch videos of each student over in the Handmade Songs section of our site, HERE.

This week’s eTown broadcast/podcast is no slouch either. This week we have a musical legend, paired with an up-and-coming singer/songwriter that is already making huge strides with her unique voice and cinematic music.
IMG-1013_BruceFirst up, our friend and long-time eTowner, Bruce Cockburn makes another stop in eTown to catch up, share some classics from his bottomless library of music and fill us in on his brand new memoir – Rumours Of Glory. While I personally was less up to speed on Bruce’s vast catalog as our enthusiastic taping audience was, I really enjoyed getting to hear Bruce sing, play and share stories about a few of songs that have touched lives for decades. Bruce is a master at his craft, with equal parts technique, heart and soul. He is also has one of the most interesting approaches to fashion I have seen among eTown’s many guests. I know Bruce’s fans are so dedicated. He bleeds conviction in his music, and that kind of dedication makes a joyful noise – Especially in our little, acoustically-design musical clubhouse.

IMG-1043Also with us this week is New York City-based (with Austin origins) singer/songwriter Kat Edmonson. Kat was with us once before, and she blew me away back then. She was on the show with Dr. Jane Goodall, and I remember how captivated the audience was with her music. This time she was even better! One of my favorite things in music is the concept of space. To me that is the most musical thing you can throw at a song. Nothing. Just empty space. Kat’s sparse music is the perfect backdrop for her lyrical delivery. It gives you chills. Check out the video below for her song All The Way, and you’ll see what I mean.
IMG-1124_awardAlong with the great music this week, we have a very nice, in-person eChievement Award story focusing on a man who found a way to make a difference tackling Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Be sure to check out his organization and help out where you can.


Enjoy the show!


– Zack

The post An Established Legend and One Soon To Be appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

A Legend Among Us This Week

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 01:12

I remember walking in to the hall during setup for this week’s taping. It was just like any other taping day. Audio guys were running mic cables across the stage, cases were being rolled to the back of the room, and others from the production staff were making their best versions of Turkey and Hummus sandwiches down in the green room. There was nothing special about it, except for the magnificently crazy looking white piano on the stage. There are very few living folks out there that could sit behind a piano like that and pull it off. I could probably count them on one hand – Elton John, Dr. John, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Lee Lewis – and LEON RUSSELL. That’s when Leon emerged from behind the curtain, sat down at the piano and started warming up. It was a surreal musical moment for me, having just been listening to Leon’s “Carney” album on my turntable a few days earlier, and fascinating myself with the back cover photography of him painted from head to toe and hanging out in a trailer in the middle of nowhere.

DSC_4297Leon is a living legend, and best of all, he can still sing and play like a master. In this week’s episode, you’’ll hear him cover lots of musical territory from his career, and the razor sharp wit he delivers during his interview with Nick is not to be missed. Wait legendary producer does he refer to as a “tiny murderer”? You’ll have to tune in or podcast to find out.

DSC_4265Also with us is singer/songwriter Caitlin Rose who brings her tasteful band and strong songs to the eTown stage for her first visit. It was the first time I had heard her, and she was really great!

You won’t want to miss this week’s eChievement Award story either. Got an hour? Tune or podcast this week! Check out the videos below for more behind-the-scenes action.

– Zack

The post A Legend Among Us This Week appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town