A Musical Life

KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin interviews Wichitans who live a musical life... as a full-time vocation or a part-time passion.

A Musical Life is also available through Apple Podcasts.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Benton is the primary composer in the band Sunshine Dreamers. The band’s latest album is Stand Still.

Trevor Stewart is a frequent performer in Wichita. His latest project is a collection called In The Hearts of Others and features Andrew Feldman and Mark Thorstenberg. Stewart’s primary instrument is the Chapman Stick.

“A Chapman Stick is an instrument that comes from California, invented in the late ‘60s. You play it just by tapping the strings. You don’t have to strum or pick the strings. You just tap right on ‘em. It has two six-string guitars on one big fretboard. There’s no body like on an electric guitar.

courtesy photo

Alex Thomas is the former vocalist of the band Ophil and current vocalist of Monterey Jack. Additionally, he is owner of Lucky’s Everyday, co-owner of Kirby’s Beer Store and Barleycorn’s as well as co-owner and operator of The Cotillion Ballroom.

courtesy: Jack Chase

Jack Chase is a carpenter, luthier, guitarist, mandolinist, budding vibraphonist and public radio enthusiast who lives in Wichita, Kansas.

“I always wanted to tear stuff apart, when I was a kid, and try to make it better. I rarely made it better but I did tear a lot of stuff apart. At some point, I started thinking, ‘Maybe I should learn how to build a guitar.’

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

I was born to play music that heals and soothes people. Took me a while to come to that irrevocable conclusion but I’m really blessed.

Billy Carr is a Wichita-based musician who has played drums in a number of bands including the country music band Sunshine Trucking. He is also the singer-songwriter behind the project Big Plans For Tomorrow.

“In the apartment days of my twenties, which were not very good days for being a drummer, I went to a pawn shop and bought a cheap acoustic just so I had something around the house to work on. Then I slowly started upgrading my equipment and slowly getting more involved in songwriting.

Carla Venable is a guitarist and vocalist and founding member of Women Without Purses, a band that she has been with since the early 1990s. Along the way group has issued three CDs and performed numerous live shows, including an opening slot for Janis Ian.

Erick Riedell

Erick Riedell is a lifelong record collector and music enthusiast in addition to being co-host of the podcast Voodoo8ball with Aaron Cross. Riedell lives with his family in Wichita.

Libby Wiseman

Matthew Wiseman is a Wichita musician who has played with Ricky Fitts, You’ll Be A Torso, Polar Opposite Bear, Powerlifter, Money Badger, Divorce Corpse and, now, Milkwave.

“The way I always describe it is a box. You put yourself in a box or you let people put you in a box. People only know me as a guitar player and they’re, like, ‘Oh, you are this guy.’ But, when I was 19 and I only Ibanez Talmans through a big solid state half stack and I only played as loud as I can is not the same musician I am today.

Aaron Rogers

Billy Bloomquist performs under the name William Bloom. His most recent recording is Keys With No Teeth.

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