High Plains Morning

Weekdays from 9:00 AM to noon CT on HPPR

High Plains Morning is a long-standing tradition at HPPR. A daily mix of singer-songwriters, folk, jazz, Americana, world, reggae, bluegrass, rock and just about anything else that you can think of. Add a few live in-studio performances, interviews with community partners, and news from NPR + regional weather at the top of every hour, and you have a great way to move through your morning!

If you'd like to submit music for consideration, please mail a CD and one-sheet to: Jenny Inzerillo, Music Director, High Plains Public Radio, 104 SW 6th Ave., Suite B4, Amarillo, TX, 79101. (Please allow one month for processing, and then feel free to check the status of your submission by emailing music@hppr.org.)

Scroll down to view program playlists!

Thanks so much to Bradley Behrmann, the Director of the new WTAMU Theatre Department's performance of  The Theory of Relativity, a musical song cycle that's opening this Friday online. If you're brain is longing for some arts, culture, and live performance, this will be a welcome addition to your weekend plans. The show streams at 7:30 pm on Friday , Oct.

Now is a time of self-isolation to keep communities safe and healthy, so what better time to resurrect the reliable companionship of a pop-culture icon that embodies both a houseplant and a pet? That’s right: “ch-ch-ch-chia” plants are back in style. (Those who remember the iconic commercials surely have the jingle in their heads right now.

When life gets heavy, as it has been this year, turning to poetry can be a welcome catharsis, allowing us to view life through another's experience. For those of you yearning for some raw human connection, tonight will be a treat.

Get ready, because today’s Growing on the High Plains is on fire! In fact, we might even call it “Burning on the High Plains.” As you’ve surely noticed, autumn temperatures are descending across our region. It takes me back to memories of enjoying the brisk outdoors with my grandmother – a woman who thrilled at the prospect of lighting a warming bonfire. For what it’s worth, I seem to have inherited her “firebug” gene, though I’ve learned caution the hard way after a few close calls with careless burn piles. But now I have a tidy solution: my chimenea—an upright, clay patio fireplace that’s both front-loading and features a vertical smoke vent. This oblong oven allows for a well-positioned, safely-contained, and on-demand fire show. And as the evening glow grows dimmer, it keeps your outdoor relaxation station toasty and lit.

High Plains Morning doesn’t often delve into ethnobotany, but when we do, we make sure the sources are straight out of KANSAS! HPPR thanks teacher, researcher, and writer Aubrey Streit Krug, Director of Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute in Salina, KS, for her time and insight regarding her work with perennial native plants and their potential as sustainable crops on the High Plains.

HPPR welcomed Beth Duke into the studio–masked up and distanced for safety–to share some exciting news about some upcoming events in downtown Amarillo, thanks to Center City. She joined me on High Plains Morning to remind music lovers of the Texas Panhandle that Jazztober starts TONIGHT and runs from 6:00-7:30 pm. The Martinis kick off the series, but it also features Austin Brazille, Esquire Jazz Band, and Ruth Ellen Lynch in coming weeks.

If you're ready for some homegrown teen drama, you've got a treat coming at you, Amarillo. A new performance will make its world premiere at Amarillo Little Theatre's Adventure Space this weekend, and it was written by a local playwright. The Ten (Thousand) Problems of a Teenage Girl, penned by Amarillo-based writer Carrie Huckabay, will take you through the high, the lows, the struggles, and the triumphs of becoming a modern young woman.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had a chat with David Waddle, the new host for HPPR’s latest regional music program, Western Swing Radio Rambler. The show premieres this weekend, hitting the airwaves on Saturday at 2:00 PM Central.

Today’s Growing on the High Plains will line up some facts about the energy and environmental benefits of planting a windbreak on your landscape. If you’re not sure what a “windbreak” is, perhaps you know it as a “shelterbelt”—those tightly-spaced rows of trees or shrubs that you might notice up and down the High Plains region. They provide shade in the summer and reduce the blasts from our High Plains wind on your abode throughout the year. But they also offer a lot of energy benefits.

We have great news, High Plains! StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs, will utilize a new virtual platform to record remote interviews across the High Plains Public Radio listener region from October 28th through November 25th as part of its Mobile Tour.

Now that we've tied off our deep dig on weeds, invasive plants, and other garden irritations, I'd like to take this week to discuss a smart, simple solution for keeping your veggies going strong well into the Fall. As the weather cools across the High Plains, I know many of us have a hard time saying goodbye to the summer bounty. But I recently read about an easy way to grow greens, root vegetables, and other autumn-friendly edibles in a bag. It's easy to move so it stays situated in the sun, and it's small enough to perch on a bench or table so it's easy on the back.

Despite the many challenges posed, our High Plains arts community has certainly NOT shut down during the pandemic. This weekend, West Texas A&M University's Departmetn of Theatre has a treat for vintage radio lovers across the region.

Today's Growing on the High Plains continues our series on garden headaches—hearty residents like weeds, invasive vines, and other pains-in-the-grasses. Now it's time to talk about the beguiling presence of pests that masquerade as benevelont with their pretty blooms. Don't  be fooled by wild poinsettia, "devil's claw," or chinese lantern plants! They may look fetching on the edge of your growing space, but trust me: they're up to NO good.

Tomorrow night, that’s  Thursday, Sept. 17, join the Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) for its fourth annual Forgotten Frontera event: “Art, Activism, Community.” The event will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) and be held online via Zoom video conferencing.

Click here to register. Registrants will be emailed the Zoom link the day of the event. To hear our full interview, click the link below:

As of today, Election Day is JUST 49 DAYS AWAY: on Tuesday, November 3rd! HPPR wants to be sure that our listeners keep this date on the forefront of their minds, as voting this year might feel a little bit different than in elections past.

While we all hunker down in our present pandemic reality, some High Plains writers have been working hard to secure the future of their Kansas-based literature community. Today I spoke with Ronda Miller, who represents the Kansas Authors Club—the oldest literary club in the US, founded in 1904.

These last few weeks, Growing on the High Plains sure has been annoying! Well, that's the aim as we continue our series on garden gremlins. Today, we'll be poking at some of the spikiest inhabitants in High Plains horticulture. Living in our region means we have to endure a full quiver of prairie shrapnel that might find its way onto our shoes, socks, jeans, and pets. But if you know what to avoid, you can make your time outside much less painful. Listen now for a crash course in thorns, stickers, prickles, punctures, burrs, and witchy weeds.    

Last month, public radio stations across the country bid farewell to Live from Here with Chris Thile, which ceased production and was therefore no longer available. This program will indeed be missed on the High Plains, but there’s a bright side: new shows on the schedule! Here’s how HPPR will be switching things up for September and beyond, so mark your calendars:

Saturdays:    

NPR’s Alt.Latino (5:00 – 5:30p) 

Today's Growing on the High Plains continues the exploration of our deep-rooted frustration with hearty High Plains weeds. While we've previously poked at their peskiness, I thought it was time to ingest some info about how very edible some of them are. From the more common dandelion wine and greens to sheepshire, lamb's quarter, and bindweed, there are a lot of reasons to give them a try. Sure, advocating a meal made of foraged weeds might sound hard to swallow, but the flavors vary from sour to savory and many are quite rich in nutrients.

In the wake of public radio’s loss of Live from Here with Chris Thile, which recently ceased production and is no longer available to air on our station, High Plains Public Radio is pleased to welcome two of the most notoriously excellent music shows available on public radio. Starting this Saturday, September 5th, you can enjoy NPR’s Alt.Latino and All Songs Considered back-to-back from 5 to 6pm CT.

"Without gospel music there never would have been an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Aretha Franklin." —ANN POWERS, AUTHOR & MUSIC JOURNALIST  

While we've all heard about unemployment on the rise, there are still employers looking for help. I chatted with Karl Kimsey of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. He's the Employer Relations Coordinator at WT’s Career Services and wants to encourage degree-seeking or degree-holding applicants looking for a job or internship check out the FALL 2020 VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR happening soon over the magic of the internet.

Art lovers of Finney County, take note! This month, you can enjoy another edition of  the First Fridays Art Walk presented by Garden City Arts. It runs from 5-7p CT this Friday, Sept. 4th and will feature exhibits at four downtown locations.

Thanks so much to Daniel Margolis, contributing editor at Downbeat Magazine, for chatting with High Plains Morning today. He shared details about two informative articles he just released regarding the pandemically-retooled 2020 Record Store Day, the annual celebration of the "culture of the independently-owned record store.  You can check out his pieces on the links below, which include a rundown of what's coming out and when.

To continue my series on things that irk the High Plains gardener, I'll be weilding a blade at the terrible grasses that pester even the most persistent green thumbs. Today's Growing on the High Plains will offer a snapshot of some of the grasses that have bothered my space—some known, and some that began as a mystery. I'll provide tips on how to best the beasts, tame the tails, and starve the stalks.

On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll continue our series on garden irritations with a look at the spiny, viney scourge of spreading weeds. Even the most attentive gardeners have to be diligent to battle back some of the more ambitious weeds common to the High Plains. We'll take a look at some of the most common, including the bane of my green space: spurge weed! 

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

“Equal suffrage, we beg for thee/ May we hide our wrongs in thee./May the ballot men have stole/ From their soiled hands be removed;/ If polluted, here’s the cure;/ Equal suffrage’ll make it pure./ ‘Vote for women’ is our cry;/ We will scream it till we die./ When we pass this earthly pale,/We may go to heaven or- well,/ Matters not our lot may be-/ Equal suffrage makes us free.”  

What makes a weed? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some have a lot in common with wildflowers, but good luck beating them back if you choose to introduce them into your space. Today's Growing on the High Plains regards the eternally pesky presence of weeds. We'll dig in on some of our region's most common weeds, like dandelions, loosestrife, Johnson grass, and more. The coming weeks will bring more discussion of gardening challenges, so stay tuned. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly here.  

Today on High Plains Morning, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Helbert, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate English Studies at West Texas A & M University’s Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, in advance of tonight’s Great Books Discussion Series, happening online at 7p CT.

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