folk music

As we flap our wings into the summer, live music has been returning across the country. Thankfully, there is no shortage of great bands bustin' a hub for tour dates across our region and beyond.

Just as the seasons are rapidly changing, so is the modern age. Thankfully, we have some guidance on how best to deal with our future-forward present from Texas-based, folk-rock songwriter Vanessa Peters . On her new album, Modern Age, she explores the pressures of living in a difficult "now." Though normally based in Dallas, this album was recorded in Italy where she and her band were located throughout the pandemic.

This Friday night, we’ll all get to tip our communal cowboy hat to the South Plains as Texas Tech University hosts the 6th annual Lubbock Lights concert, an evening celebrating the musical heritage of the region. And this year, they’re welcoming home some hometown heroes to take the virtual stage: Flatland Cavalry.

Last week on High Plains Morning, I had the supreme honor of speaking with a beloved Texas songwriter that features heavily on our station: Jaimee Harris. From needing roadside assistance to a cozy Zoom room, our chat took a fun turn from concept to execution. Thankfully, the Waco-native/Nashville-émigré buckled in for roller-coaster ride of a conversation, covering everything from her latest acoustic EP, The Congress House Sessions to her beloved andogynous, bovine plush. (#Horns&Udders) Over the course of her career, Harris has developed an impressive and lengthy résumé as an accomplished singer-songwriter, as well as a musical collaborator. So we also mined her extensive knowledge of some HPPR favorites like Jimmy LaFave, Gretchen Peters, Malcolm Holcombe, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard & more. Plus, listen in to hear her slay my ridiculous lightning round (which I"m SO glad i didn't edit down for time).Hear the full interview on the link below, and check out The Congress House Sessions online.  

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

After the year we’ve all had, there's nothing better than anticipating some down-home Christmas cheer and celebration. For those in Oklahoma, mark your calendars for the 28th Annual Chickasha Festival Of Light, which runs now through December 31st in Chickasha, OK. This year, the festivities will also feature music from regional folk duo The Imaginaries.

Saying it’s been a rough year for regional artists might qualify for understatement of the century, but High Plains Morning was grateful to see that we have some regional music on the horizon from a folk favorite, The Annie Oakley. Identical twin sisters, Jo and Sophia Babb, have owned their lockdown with nonstop music composition, creation, innovation (and more than a few colorful, coated candies).

Image courtesy of

A few weeks ago on SONGBIRDS, I reached a magical milestone: an interview with one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Ron PopeWe talked about his new project, "The Builder." As the world of a Nashville-based artist shifts through the rubble-- both from the tornado and a pandemic-- Ron has found a way to rebuild community through his music. (The best part: he gets to wear sweatpants!) 

If you tuned in to High Plains Morning today, you got to hear my phone chat with a beloved folk music mensch and High Plains-adjacent neighbor often showcased on our station and at our Living Room Concert series: David Berkeley. He had a wild adventure at the onset of the international lockdown that led to a collection of raw, optimistic new songs that are all featured on his latest release, Oh Quiet World.

So it seems not EVERY folk show has been cancelled! Thanks so some serious dedication to the arts, the fine folks at Starlight Canyon Bed & Breakfast (100 Brentwood Rd., Amarillo) have secured a regional folksinger, Longriver, to take the trek up from Austin and play a show in the Panhandle this Sunday night at 7pm.

Things are weird right now. You don’t have to be a musician to know that, but singer-songwriters are having a particularly strange time of it. This week, High Plains Morning checked in with Austin-based artist Ali Holder about her new album, Uncomfortable Truths.  Hear our full interview on the link below.

OH, and you can see Ali perform LIVE on her Facebook stream at 7pm CT on 6/27, 7/18, and 8/22.

Music for the Thinkin' Man: Corb Lund, Live in Amarillo

Mar 10, 2020

On assignment from High Plains Public Radio's Music Director, Jenny Inzerillo, I was asked to stand in as a reporter for the Corb Lund show at Hoot’s Pub in Amarillo on Friday night. Since my date couldn’t make it, I brought along a philosopher. (It’s a strategy for seeing Corb Lund that I would highly recommend.)

Even though we're in a basement, today a northerly wind blew in as Sofia Talvik took the mic during High Plains Morning. The celebrated, Swedish-born, folk-Americana singer-songwriter—wow, that's a lot of hyphens—landed at HPPR Studios in Amarillo on her way to Pampa, TX for her show tonight at the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center

Thanks so much to Emily Burns (vocals, guitar) and Aaron Markovitz (vocals, mandolin, guitar), also known as the folk duo Escaping Pavement, for stopping by High Plains Morning today. They played a house concert at Aoudad Ranch in Amarillo on Sunday, and we were thrilled they had some time to play a few tunes for the good people of the High Plains. Here’s the full interview and in-studio set:

HPPR's 2020 Living Room Concert Series commences with a double dose of fresh folk/Americana! Two dynamic duos are hitting Amarillo on Friday, February 7th, performing live at Chalice Abbey (2717 Stanley St.). 

THIS SUNDAY NIGHT, come to the church of FOLK MUSIC with your friends at HPPR as we present The Brother Brothers, LIVE IN CONCERT! This show will benefit HPPR's live music programming during out October Membership Campaign. 

Missed the show? Hear their LIVE, IN-STUDIO performance on High Plains Morning, recorded after their show! 


The Brother Brothers—LIVE IN AMARILLO

Today, Portland based soul/Americana artist Karyn Ann stopped by High Plains Morning with her friend, accompanist and producer, Mark Bowden. (A few months ago, friend of the station, Beth Wood, sent Karyn our way—and we’re so glad she did.) She’s playing in Amarillo at Starlight Canyon Bed and Breakfast (100 Brentwood Rd.) this Wednesday night, Sept. 25th; doors open at 6:30p, and the music begins at 7:00p.

After coming across an intriguing folk compilation entitled Working-Class Heroes: A History of Struggle and Song, I reached out to the artists who released this project: Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore. I was thrilled when Mat offered some time to chat with High Plains Morning and share some insights from the album, the accompanying book (which is out this month), and the deep

Garden City! Don't miss this summertime HPPR Living Room Concert featuring Minnesota folky-tonk duo, Pushing Chain! This will be a foot-stomping fun show, with a little bit of country, some bluegrass, ballads, Americana, roots, folk, and gospel—so bring your friends for this LIVE MUSIC CELEBRATION!


HPPR Studios—Garden City (210 N. 7th St.)

Show at 7:00p CT

Suggested Donation: $15

“Ho! Ho! and up she rises / Early in the morning.” So goes the old sea shanty, “Drunken Sailor,” and so go us all on High Plains Morning. Today, we all caught a swift breeze in our sail as folk duo Son of Town Hall docked in HPPR’s main port in Amarillo. We’re so grateful for their time, sharing their story and song with everyone in our listener region.

In case you missed it, High Plains Morning got Ordinary Elephant on the phone from the mean streets of Georgia.

Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp, celebrated road warriors & folkmasters hailing from North Carolina, return to the High Plains for TWO SHOWS (in Amarillo & Garden City) the first weekend in May. Nikki & Jason's live set is incredible. These two have it all: expertly crafted melodies and lyrics, cloud-crushing vocals and harmonies, and excellent guitar and banjo pickin'. PLEASE TELL EVERYONE, and come out to support LIVE MUSIC on the High Plains. 

HPPR's Living Room Concert Series still cannot quite believe we get to hear this band TWICE on the High Plains in March. Don't miss ANNIE OAKLEY, an enchanting folk trio from Oklahoma City. You will adore their sound, so please SPREAD THE WORD! These shows will be spectacular!

HPPR listeners, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC on the High Plains!

Don't miss the Incendiary Kid, Dana Cooper, LIVE IN AMARILLO. This High Plains favorite is back in the USA after a couple of months in Canada and Ireland, and HPPR's Living Room Concert Series is thrilled to have him back in our region for a fabulous night of folk music and storytelling.