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Celebrating Macca's 73rd And Remembering A Chicago Giant

Thursday, June 11 

Released in 2008 Episodes was the third album from Spirit of the Stairs and an unusual one at that. It saw the band growing from a quartet to a sextet (plus the addition of keyboardist Georgia Andersen on the recording sessions), introducing members and compositions from the band You’ll Be A Torso into the fold. It remains one of the group’s best recordings, one of the reasons we’ll spotlight it on this episode of the show, along with selections from the new Yes boxed set Progeny

Friday, June 12

Since emerging from Los Angeles in the early 1970s Sparks has never found firm footing in the American commercial market. But the group’s following outside this country has been virtually unbreakable. Over the last few years Ron and Russell Mael (the creative duo behind Sparks) has collaborated with members of the Scottish band Franz Ferdinand. Mixing elements of dance music with the over-the-top hilarity of Sparks, the collaborative result, called FFS, is destined to be one of the most memorable musical projects of this decade. We’ll hear selections from that release on this episode of the show as well as several key tracks from Sparks.

Saturday, June 13

Keyboardist Mike Garson has recorded and/or toured with David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and others but he’s also a gifted pianist capable of turns into jazz, ambient and experimental music. On his 2011 album The Bowie Variations, he demonstrates his abilities as a diverse player and brilliant arranger as he tackles several classics from Bowie’s songbook. We’ll hear from that recording as well as from Dylan Howe’s Subterraneans: New Designs on Bowie’s Berlin, a collection that reimagines pieces from Bowie’s Berlin period as jazz standards.

Monday, June 15 

Comfortable in a variety of styles—from blues to zydeco and country—Sonny Landreth has been turning heads with his guitar playing since the 1970s. His latest album, Bound By The Blues, is just out. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from the new expanded edition of the Rolling Stones’ classic Sticky Fingers.

Tuesday, June 16

All Your Favorite Bands is the fourth album from the Los Angeles-based group Dawes. The band attempted to capture a more stripped-down sound in the studio that emphasizes the folk rock act's abilities as a live band. Listen for selections from that album as well as from Euphoria, the latest from Chris Stamey.

Wednesday, June 17

Since his tragic death in 1978 Terry Kath’s contributions to the electric guitar have often been overlooked as the band he co-founded, Chicago, moved toward an increasingly commercial pop direction in the years following Kath’s passing. But interest in his work has renewed and 2015 will see the release of Searching For Terry: Discovering A Guitar Legend, a documentary directed by Kath’s daughter Michelle. We’ll hear some of Kath’s most impressive work with the band Chicago on this episode of the show as well as selections from I.O.U., the 1982 album by innovative guitarist Allan Holdsworth.

Thursday, June 18

We celebrate the 73rd birthday of Paul McCartney with selections from his work with The Beatles, as a solo artist and some other unusual developments in his career, including his unexpected emergence as a member of the dance music project The Fireman.

Friday, June 19 

Twenty years into his career, guitarist Dale Watson continues to impress audiences with his unique playing and songwriting, especially on his new album Call Me Insane, which examines matters of the heart, the healing nature of music, and Watson’s love of country legend George Jones. Listen for selections from that recording as well as music from Roy Buchanan’s 1975 release Live Stock.

Saturday, June 20 

Having recorded a number of albums in the 1970s and 1980s Danny Gatton’s breakthrough album came in 1991 with 88 Elmira St.. On this recording Gatton demonstrates why many referred to him as the “Telemaster” for his prowess on the Fender Telecaster. Gatton died a few years after this recording appeared but his legacy remains as strong today as ever. We’ll hear from that recording as well as music from Gatton’s fellow Telecaster master, Albert Lee.

Monday, June 22 

By the time that Primus issued its third album, Sailing The Seas of Cheese, in 1991 the San Francisco Bay Area band was considered one of the most unique bands to emerge from the rock music scene in years. With bassist Les Claypool’s aggressive style and guitarist Larry LaLonde’s interest in dissonant guitar lines, the band quickly became a favorite in the burgeoning “alternative” music scene of the early 1990s. We’ll hear selections from Sailing The Seas of Cheese as well as from the 1995 self-titled album by Clutch.

Tuesday, June 23 

Brian May is one of the most singular voices in rock guitar. His homemade guitar, the “Red Special” and his use of a sixpence rather than a guitar pick are cited as two of the key ingredients to his sound. No matter what he’s using, his playing remains instantly recognizable and often underrated. We’ll hear selections from a Queen archival release, Rainbow ‘74 that spotlights some of May’s most interesting playing on this episode and also hear from On Stage, the 1977 live album from Rainbow, featuring former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and (then) future Black Sabbath vocalist and solo artist Ronnie James Dio.

Wednesday, June 24 

We'll celebrate guitar legend Jeff Beck's 71st birthday with selections from his time with The Yardbirds, as well as a solo and guest artist, including his work with Rod Stewart. We'll also hear tributes to Beck from Cozy Powell and Roy Buchanan. 

Thursday, June 25

Although he was known primarily for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman was also an in-demand session musician during his time in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. We’ll hear some of the work he did with artists such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and others plus music from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and The Dominos, featuring Allman and Eric Clapton.