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!

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! 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, here are the two links for the two HPPR Showcases we presented for Folk Alliance International's "Folk Unlocked!" Thanks to all the artists who contributed, and thanks to the Texas Music Office for sponsoring the "Texas Room."

***HPPR Showcase: 2/22 (8p-12a)

***Texas Room: 2/23 (6a-10a)

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While parts of the High Plains aren't exactly known for having an abundance of trees, Growing on the High Plains has been spending these last few, frigid weeks cycling through the state trees of HPPR's listener region and nearby territories. Today, we'll pop out in a purple haze with the Eastern redbud—which Oklahoma designated as the official state tree in 1937. Related to the pea family, redbud tree flowers are also edible; some use them in baked goods and on top of salads, and Native American tribes used them extensively in their diets.

Throughout the month of February, High Plains Public Radio & HPPR Connect will celebrate Black History Month with special programming that amplifies Black voices and perspectives. From profiles of cultural icons to a showcase of musical talent, don’t miss these unique stories, podcasts, and features that honor the contributions of Black thought leaders throughout time.

Pinyon? Pinion? Piñon? However you spell it (or say it), today’s Growing on the High Plains concerns another regional state tree. New Mexico lays claim to the pleasant pinyon pine, a fairly small evergreen that thrives across the Southwest. Because these hearty trees don’t need a lot of moisture, the pinyon tends to do well in xeriscaped spaces across the High Plains. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the aromatic wood of the pinyon around a campfire, or a pinch of pine nuts as a snack? Though the pinyon bears many gifts, they don’t come easy.

We've been keeping warm these past few weeks of winter by leafing through the various state trees of our High Plains region. Today's Growing on the High Plains take a peek at the mighty pecan tree, a beloved fixture of my Oklahoma childhood and a prominent producer of nut crops in Texas. While the name "pecan" has a handful of regional pronunciations, the shells also come in both hard and soft-shell varieties.

As the stacks of new music piled up throughout a  tense and trying 2020, High Plains Morning did its best to sprint through the bulk of our regional artists and get them in rotation for all you morning music lovers. However, the sheer volume of album submissions meant a LONG road to catching up!

After a record-breaking year helping families in need across the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo-based High Plains Food Bank continues churning out food boxes around the clock. Today, we spoke with Tina Brohlin, HPFB’s Director of Development, about their organization’s need for volunteers in their warehouse facility, primarily assembling food boxes for expedited delivery. “Due to the increased demand and distribution, we critically need volunteer support to get food out to individuals and families across the Texas Panhandle,” Brohlin said.

Some folk albums come at us like a Roman candle, bouncing through tracks of different shades and various trajectories, illuminating briefly and finally fading out. Others, however, approach like a slow-motion silhouette—back-lit, mysterious and menacing (and headed right for us). While I quite enjoy passing through both extremes as a listener, I fear the latter feels far more fitting these days.

To continue our series of honoring state trees of the High Plains, today Growing on the High Plains has a tidy two-fer in the Eastern Cottonwood, which holds the title for both Kansas and Nebraska. A symbol of survival, these gentle giants often signified the hope of nearby water, a bounty of firewood, and potential wildlife in the area. Today, most are familiar with the cottonwood as a source of fluffy white floaters from the female trees, downy puffs clogging up curbs and tickling our noses.

As the weather continues to chill our bones, I thought we might take a moment to appreciate one of the prettiest sights on our High Plains winter landscape. Whatever the variety, the Colorado Blue Spruce remains among the more striking trees in our region. On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll look at this slow-growing conifer, which is also the state tree of Colorado. It serves as a welcoming home for many winged creatures across the High Plains due to its wide growing range and adaptability across a range of different types of soil.

Today on High Plains Morning, we heard from Rachel Flores, Executive Director at the Amarillo Art Institute (AAI), about two upcoming exhibits in the Texas Panhandle this Spring. So if you’re an artist and want to submit your work, mark your calendar! There will be an exhibit hosted by The Art Center in Dumas, Texas in March. The works on display will be from students, members, and instructors of AAI. The deadline to submit is March 5 at 5:00 p.m.

The City of Amarillo Public Health Department is currently administering COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals identified in the State of Texas Phase 1A and 1B Vaccine Allocation Plan.

--Phase 1A: Includes front-line healthcare workers, staff, and residents of long-term care facilities.

As we have all seen, it’s not easy keeping communities connected throughout a pandemic—especially when the groups with whom you work already have a possible language barrier and cultural differences that make socializing a challenge. Today on High Plains Morning, we talked to Ryan Pennington, the Executive Director of Refugee Language Project in Amarillo, TX. He’s presenting the first-ever Amarillo Refugee State of the Union on Tuesday, January 12th at 7:00 p.m.

Today's Growing on the High Plains takes us on a page-flipping trip through one of my favorite seed catalogs: R. H. Shumway's. Rather than spoil it, just take a listen. It's been around since the 19th century, and the produce sold within still manages to delight modern patrons with its lively images, racy naming, and a variety of options to rouse the hearts of even the most seasoned gardeners.

It’s a new year, which means a new semester for students. At higher-education institutions across the region, administrators are gearing up for the graduating class to hit the job market. Today we spoke to Karl Kimsey at West Texas A&M University.

Every year's end marks the beginning of planning season for gardeners that enjoy making cold winters a study in preparation for the Spring planting to come. I'm no exception, and today's Growing on the High Plains will let you in on a little tradition I have as the calendar flips from one year to the next. Perusing the impressive variety of seed catalogs offers a spark of excitement of what's to come. What strange fruits might make the cut in the coming year's garden? How will I honor the  memories of gardens past  as I plot the layout for Spring?

Whether this Spanish winter melon goes by the name Santa Claus, Piel de Sapo (or “Toad Skin”), cucumis melo, or Christmas melon,  it’s one of the few that are sweet as honey that “dew” well in the colder seasons. Today’s Growing on the High Plains shares my experience with cold-weather melons, while peeling back the shiny, blotched skin of this rare treat.

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