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Susan Salidor is an award-winning children’s music composer and performer and with the heart of a teacher. Her newest recording, Come and Make a Circle 3: Even More Terrific Tunes for Children and Those Who Love Them, is the third in the Circle series and was recently honored with a Parents’ Choice Award in November, 2013. CMC3 has 18 tracks of brand new, original songs written for and inspired by young children, along with one cover tune, “We’re Building a Better World,” by Peter and Ellen Allard. Accompanying herself on ukulele and autoharp, Susan is joined by long-time collaborators Matt Yanny-Tillar and Peter Buttitta. CMC3 was recorded, mixed and mastered by Victor Sanders of Lakeside Media, Chicago, who contributed substantial bass and guitar parts. Karen Horwitz (piano), John Williams (accordion) and Nathan Inserra-Mousin (percussion) round out the fine band of musicians on Susan’s eighth album.
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Andy Daly is the star of the upcoming Comedy Central series Review. He has appeared in such films as Semi-Pro, Yogi Bear, The Informant! and Transformers 3 and television shows such as Eastbound & Down, The Office, Modern Family, Comedy Bang Bang, Drunk History, Delocated, The Life and Times of Tim, Reno 911, Crossballs and MADtv.
He has appeared as a guest on many comedy podcasts, notably Comedy Bang Bang, Improv4Humans and Dead Authors, and now hosts his own, The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project, on the Earwolf podcast network.
What We Say: “I was a scrawny, dopey kid – the worst athlete on the face of the planet,” says Wakey!Wakey! frontman Mike Grubbs. “You know tee ball? I got to first base one time.”
Good thing Grubbs had a burgundy baby grand to wail on instead, the centerpiece of a Partridge-like music room that also housed a French horn, clarinet, violin and autoharp. Grubbs started climbing scales and chords here when he was 5. Back then, his mother – a longtime piano teacher and choir director – would ask the kids to sight read songs before they could even think of eating cereal. And homework, why, that was something you did simply to score more bench time.
“For every subject done,” he says, “I could play the piano for an hour. It was almost like video games for me.” The games got a bit more complicated in high school, as Grubbs stumbled upon the songbooks of Billy Joel and Elton John. Not to mention the arena-ready anthems of Led Zeppelin. That unholy trinity, combined with the three B’s – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms – was enough to steer Grubbs away from the church music he was forced to focus on from an early age.
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Mr. Mayor and the Highballers performing raucous and high-energy versions of folk and blues songs of the 30s and 40s, as well as original tunes and more modern numbers with a jug band twist. They've hooted, hollered, and delivered "old time music at jug band prices" at venues all over Chicago including The Empty Bottle, Reggie's Rock Club, and The Old Town School of Folk Music.
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Thematically, a lot of the new Wilderness of Manitoba album, Island of Echoes, is about the past year or so and all of the songs come from that timeframe. There wasn’t a lot of downtime for the Toronto-based band as they were on tour, primarily in the United States and England. Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Will Whitwham reflects, “For me personally, a lot of my songwriting was done on the road because it had to be. So, whenever I was home, I'd have a week or two to record demos and then be back at the drawing board again in a van or hotel room.” The constant touring, the ever-changing geography, playing larger venues and working the new songs into the live sets, all had a profound influence on both the band and the new album. Whitwham started playing electric guitars and the sound became more expansive to fill the halls they were playing. “This also carried over into writing the new songs as we had fuller band arrangements in mind”, adds Whitwham.