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Best Music of 2014

  Music hosts Jedd Beaudoin, Chris Heim, Carla Eckels and Bill Pearce run down the best in music for 2014 - including selections for world, rock, local music, jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, rockumentaries and books about music.

Join KMUW's music hosts throughout January on Global Village, Strange Currency, Night Train, Crossroads, Soulsations and Straight No Chaser for a month-long feature of the Best of 2014. See individual show pages for more information on upcoming shows and to listen to past shows through the streaming archive.

Global Village

Join us weeknights at 7 p.m. for a musical adventure with Global Village. Host Chris Heim presents a wide range of world music along with artists and songs that have world influences, and everything from classic recordings to the best in new releases.

Global Village: Best of 2014

  1. Grand Fatilla - Global Shuffle (Grand Fatilla)
  2. Sia Tolno - African Woman (LusAfrica)
  3. Various - Haiti Direct (Strut)
  4. Djessou Mory Kante - River Strings (Sterns Music)
  5. Aurelio - Landini (RealWorld)

See the rest of the list: Global Village - Best of 2014.

And see, also, Chris Heim's Best Music Books of 2014.

Strange Currency

Strange Currency airs six nights a week from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on KMUW, bringing you new releases, old favorites and forgotten classics. We spotlight local and regional acts, including guests on Currency Exchange, our live in-the-studio program recorded at the KMUW studios.

This is the sound of your host, Jedd Beaudoin, opening the cabinet of his personal music collection. Because the unexamined record collection is not worth having.

  Strange Currency: Best of 2014

  1. Fantastic Guitars—Reeves Gabrels/Bill Nelson
  2. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music—Sturgill Simpson
  3. lullaby and …  The Ceaseless Roar—Robert Plant
  4. Holy Ghost—Marc Ford
  5. Family—Thompson

See the rest of the list: Strange Currency - Best of 2014.

Local/regional releases

  1. This Bluebird Wants Me Dead—Vehicles
  2. Where The Woodbine Twineth—Elliot Road
  3. Brook Blanche—Brook Blanche
  4. Mathmagicians—Japanese Game Show
  5. Postboy—Postboy

See the rest of the list: Strange Currency - Best of 2014 (local/regional releases).

Music DVDs:

  1. Looking For Johnny
  2. Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All
  3. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Reissue)
  4. Super Duper Alice Cooper
  5. The Past Is A Grotesque Animal

See also Jedd's list for Best Music Books of 2014.


Crossroads is KMUW’s contemporary blues and soul show. It airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Hosted by Chris Heim, the program highlights blues, R&B and soul from the post-war era to the present, from classic recordings to new releases, and from mainstream sounds to a diverse and wide-ranging collection of artists and recordings with roots in the blues and branches in nearly every other musical genre.

  Crossroads: Best of 2014

  1. Alexis P. Suter Band - Love the Way You Roll (American Showplace Music)
  2. Billy Boy Arnold - The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold (Stony Plain)
  3. Andy T-Nick Nixon Band - Livin' It Up (Delta Groove)
  4. Eric Bibb - Blues People (Stony Plain)
  5. Otis Clay/Johnny Rawls - Soul Brothers (Catfood)

See the rest of the list: Crossroads - Best of 2014.


Night Train

Monday through Thursday nights, it’s the best in jazz on Night Train, hosted by KMUW’s Chris Heim. From classic artists and recordings to today’s emerging artists and most intriguing new releases - along with specials, in-depth features, jazz concert highlights and more - Night Train will take you to the best of “America’s classical music.”

Night Train: Best of 2014

  1. Bob Stewart - Connections: Mind the Gap (Sunnyside)
  2. Kenny Barron/Dave Holland - The Art of Conversation (Impulse)
  3. Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden - Last Dance (ECM)
  4. Craig Handy & Second Line Smith (OKeh)
  5. Ted Rosenthal - Rhapsody in Gershwin (Playscape)

See the rest of the list: Night Train - Best of 2014.


Straight No Chaser

On Sunday nights, Straight No Chaser features mostly instrumental jazz, from early music to recent recordings.

Important Note: This list is not in any particular order. 

  • Questioned Answer - Brian Lynch and Emmet Cohen (Hollistic Music Works)
  • Salutes Woody Herman - Depaul University Jazz Ensemble (Jazzed Media)
  • Afro Physicist - Theo Croker (Okeh)
  • Enjoy The View - Bobby Hutcherson, David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco and Billy Hart (Blue Note)
  • I Love Music - Mike LeDonne Quartet (Savant)

See the rest of the list: Straight No Chaser - Best of 2014.



Soulsations takes listeners on an engaging musical journey of R&B and Gospel music. Join Carla Eckels Sunday evenings for an hour of pure musical enjoyment.

Important Note: This list is not in any particular order. 

  • Kem- Promise To Love 
  • Afro Elements – Out of the Centre  
  • Tim Bowman – I’m Good (Single)
  • Naturally 7 – Hidden In Plain Sight
  • Cameo Profit- Speak To Your Day

See the rest of the list: Soulsations - Best of 2014.

Bill Pearce was the host and producer of KMUW’s Straight No Chaser, a music program featuring mostly instrumental jazz, from early music to recent recordings. We’ll miss Bill, and his Sunday night show Straight No Chaser.
Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.
Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.
Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.