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.)

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High Plains Public Radio has an exciting new perk for our station's members!

Spring is upon us across the High Plains, and surely all your veggie cultivators have been busy in your beds—garden beds, that is. Today’s Growing on the High Plains take a look at an easy-to-grow root vegetable that, despite its name, is neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke. While alternate names like “sunroot,” “sunchoke,” and “earth apple” often get used in lieu of “Jerusalem artichoke,” it’s one of those tubers that you won’t easily forget once you’ve eaten it. They look a bit like a ginger root, though their texture and flavor is more like a potato or water chestnut.

Discovering one’s identity has never been not a simple task. Emerging singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza has been using her voice since 2015 to express internal conflicts that many face—conflicts that are worldwide. The New York native, now living in Los Angeles, uses her music to showcase the struggles inherent in embracing one’s identity, as well as speaking for aggrieved people and giving them the courage to take a stand.

This Spring weather certainly keeps residents of the High Plains on our toes. Some evoke lions and lambs, but it seems our recent Aprils have brought forth entirely different menageries. First it's cold, and then it's hot, but then there's a blizzard that melts in the summery sunshine...and soon rain, wind, and repeat. Thankfully, most of us longtime "Plainspeople" have adapted to these fickle fluctuations and accept it as normal. Today's Growing on the High Plains will explore some of the poetic musings on this time of year, whatever it might bring.

The High Plains has always been populated by generous, community-minded people that look after one another in good times and bad. So this week we welcomed representatives from two of Amarillo’s most prominent service organizations in the barrio neighborhood on our city’s north side.

Today on High Plains Morning, we took some time to unwind and reflect with Samantha Crain, an HPPR favorite and Oklahoma native. The Choctaw-American songwriter, singer, composer, producer, videographer, and all-around High Plains hero shared some reflections of her recent work, including the new single "Bloomsday" (which is out now).

Today is a really big deal for Oklahoma folk duo The Imaginaries—something they’ve been dreaming of for a long, long time. Both Maggie McClure (piano, keyboard, vocals) & Shane Henry (guitar, vocals) have been awaiting the release of their debut, self-titled album, The Imaginaries, since well before the pandemic.

Today we welcomed curator Alex Gregory back to High Plains Morning for a chat about what's going on at Amarillo Museum of Art.

Today's Growing on the High Plains continues our look at the most exciting time for gardeners experiencing a bit of Spring fever. As the mail is delivered in March, it often means seed catalogs find their way into our eager hands. Today we'll discuss a couple that I've enjoyed for years: my Vermont Bean Seed booklet and the Jung Seed Company, which handles nine catalogs of tried-and-true seeds and has been in business since 1907.

Art lovers of the High Plains, this one’s for you! This Sunday, March 28th, head out to The Art Center (1810 S. Dumas Ave., on Hwy. 287) in Dumas, TX from 2:00 to 4:00 pm CT for the opening reception of a new art exhibit showcasing work by the Amarillo Art Institute’s students, teachers, and partners.

This week on High Plains Morning, we talked to Amarillo artist (and newly-appointed early education instructor) Kegan Hollis about his forthcoming exhibit, “Invisible Iconography” at the Invisible Genie Gallery (321 SW 7th Ave., Amarillo) on Friday, April 2nd from 8:00 to 11:00 pm CT.

As the months of 2021 unfurl, and we all setting in to the realization that the coronavirus is still with us, it's nice to know there is a timely distraction available for anyone looking forward to the Spring planting season. Those who have cultivated their gardening obsession over the years know what I'm talking about: seed catalogs! We've covered this topic in the past, but this year's crop of new publications has resulted in some real delight.

It’s been almost two years since guitarist and Amarillo-native Hayden Pedigo launched his bizarre  announcement for his run for Place One on the Amarillo City Council, which urged local head scratching as well as national attention.

Thanks to Karen Deal, one of the Coordinators at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, for sharing some time and insight about this weekend’s virtual workshops happening March 20th & 21st for musicians and songwriters across our region. The deadline for registration is Tuesday, March 16th at 11:59 am CT, so check it out if you want in on the fun.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had Jami Cowart, the Voter Registration Coordinator at the Amarillo League of Women Voters on the air to discuss the upcoming elections in the Texas panhandle. However, keeping on top of voter registration status is something EVERY HPPR LISTENER should be doing—so check out our conversation on the link below.

As we move into a new year and a new season, HPPR continues to get a lot of new music. One of these emerging artists, Veronica Lewis, joined me for a conversation about her new album, You Ain't Unlucky. This 17-year old boogie-woogie piano player and songwriter blasted to #2 on the Billboard Blues Album Sales Chart the first week of March, which is quite an accomplishment for an artist so young.

Pucker up for this one, HPPR, because today's Growing on the High Plains stalks the basics of a vegetable (that's also a fruit) and tastes like nothing else on earth. That's right: I'm talking about rhubarb. While it's never flashed its pink tones in my own garden, it's a beloved summertime staple for many—but have something sweet on standby to mix into the recipe, or you're in for a tart surprise!

Throughout the month of March, High Plains Public Radio and HPPR Connect will feature one-of-a-kind programming that celebrates women, their contributions, their history, and their current landscape of fighting for equality. Check out the full schedule of programming, which appears on both our main signal and HPPR Connect, by scrolling through the slide show above. Questions?

As things warm up across the High Plains, and as the vaccination roll-out rolls on, many organizations are kickin’ up the community outreach with educational programming, entertainment, and fundraising get-togethers. Today, we had Executive Director Steve Quakenbush of the Finney County Historical Museum to share information about their upcoming events, lectures, exhibits, and presentations. There’s a LOT to digest, so see below for the rundown.

Today on High Plains Morning, we caught up with Stephanie Price and Heather Friemel, both of whom are now heading up the Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle, a new organization formed that will join forces of two established entities in our region: the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which is best known for the production of the TEXAS Outdoor Musica

Poets of the High Plains, get your pens ready! Seward County Community College’s English department is accepting entries for its annual poetry contest, and the deadline is 12:00 a.m. CT on WEDNESDAY, March 10th! I caught up with Dr. Lori Muntz, English instructor at SCCC, and student poet Dulce Perez. They shared more info about the contest, it’s history, and we even got a poem.

For the sixth year in a row, the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association has honored Amarillo Public Library with its Award of Excellence. Only 56 of Texas’ 568 public library systems earned this distinction for 2020, placing APL in the top 10% of all public libraries in the state.

Five years ago today, the world lost Bridget Patricia Albright (Foody), a beloved grandmother to percussionist, composer, and HPPR-showcase artist Julian Loida. We asked him to join us on High Plains Morning today to discuss his latest project, “My Gentle Harp.” It launches today as a short video documentary, featuring choreography by Kieran Jordan, as well as the audio compositions of the piece.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." —Robert Louis Stevenson 

 To be a successful gardener, one must remain resilient despite disappointments. For me, the wily carrot has been a point of contention. There have been some victories, but this root vegetable has indeed been a challenge in my experience. So today's Growing on the High Plains will root down deep on how to make a pleasant bed for a nice carrot harvest. From soil tips to little-known facts about "baby carrots," this edition should inspire you to take a crack at these ancient root vegetables available in all the colors of the rainbow. Plus, an old friend make an appearance as a likely, iconic spokes-rabbit. (At age 80, he looks as spry as the day he hit the big screen. Must be the carrots!) 

Thanks to Beth Duke of Center City of Amarillo for stopping by HPPR studios to share information about the forthcoming 2021 Amarillo Community Market. Vendor applications are now open for submission, so check it out if you wanted to have a booth at the weekly market—which is now in its 6th season! Deadline for applications is April 30, 2021; you can apply online here.

This week, High Plains Morning caught up with Sophia Britto, one of four students at West Texas A&M University taking part in the 2021 Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition.

Attending academic discussions seems to be one of the few things that became more accessible during the pandemic. Thanks to West Texas A&M University’s Distinguished Lecture Series, listeners across the High Plains can enjoy live presentations by nationally-recognized scholars covering topics of interest to people of our region. Tomorrow night, March 2nd at 7:00 pm CT, you’re invited to join the latest lecture featuring Dr. Bryan M. Santin as he discusses “the rise of modern conservatism through a literary lens.”

We have all seen the national coverage of power outages across the US as a result of Winter Storm Uri, especially how it affected families across Texas. Today, we invited Wes Reeves, Senior Media Relations Representative at Xcel Energy, into the studio to unpack some of the complicated logistics of the power grids of the Lone Star state.

Trees tend to be few and far between in many parts of our region.But knowing how practical they are when it comes to providing a wind shield, I knew I wanted to curate a one-of-a-kind shelter belt on our property. Among the mix of many, I selected the great honey locust as a primary player. These thorn-thronged, bean-laden beauties have some upsides and downsides. So today's Growing on the High Plains will take a look at some of the perks and pitfalls of the mighty honey locust. 

On today's edition of Growing on the High Plains, I'd like to reminisce about my experience with a peculiar plant I've known since childhood. It's one of those plants that's considered a "noxious weed." Some called it "witch's shoelaces," others called it "dodder," but we always called it "love weed." This odd vampire has no roots, no leaves, and hardly any green chlorophyll. And while it's true that loveweed is not very nice to other plants, it has a loving folklore attached to it. I wish a Happy Valentine's Day to all of our HPPR listeners!