A Service of Saddleback College and
California State University, Northridge

Music Director Picks #18: Mavis Staples, Kevin Morby, The Way Down Wanderers

885 music director picks FB35

88.5 FM receives so much music on a daily basis... CDs, downloads, reissues, box sets, cassette tapes, vinyl records and more. Songs are generally chosen by committee at the station, but it's the job of the music director to go through the stacks and stacks with a fine tooth comb. This blog may include major label releases, independent artists, even random submissions for your listening pleasure. 

Music Director Picks #18


Hailing from Peoria, Illinois, this group comes from the heartland of America. According to singer Austin Krause-Thompson, “Traditional Bluegrass fans definitely don’t consider us a bluegrass band. We’re really more about the songwriting and the song itself. When we write a tune, we let the music and the instruments move our melodic ideas and lyrics forward and lift them up. So you’ve got some pop, some Americana, some bluegrass, and even a bit of spoken word as well.” 



A living legend. "Change" by Mavis Staples from the album We Get BY available May 10th. The entire record features 11 tracks Written and produced by Ben Harper. "These songs are delivering such a strong message,” Staples said. “We truly need to make a change if we want this world to be better.” The release of We Get By will also align with three shows commemorating her 80th birthday. LA's Theatre at Ace Hotel hosts the SoCal show. ‘Mavis & Friends: Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples’ will feature Mavis and new special guests each night. 



Here's Kevin Morby's "Halo" from the album Oh My God out Apr 26 on Dead Oceans. We first took notice of Kevin Morby's musical vision and prowess after the release of his records Singing Saw and then City Music. There are previous releases as well. Kevin has a knack for drawing from his past experiences, however lyrics sometimes come off cryptic, making fascinating art. Some of his guitar work and instrumentation is reminiscent of Television's breathtaking 1977 Marquee Moon record, walking on the fringes of punk, yet more poetic and technically sound than your average punk rocker. “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” Morby said. “It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting.”