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KMUW's Best Music Of 2018


Music hosts JeddBeaudoin, Carla Eckels, Chris Heim, and Bill Pearce run down the best in music for 2018 - 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 2018. 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 2018

  1. Samurai Accordion — Te (Visage Music)
  2. Dancas Ocultas — Dentro Desse Mar (Sony/Galileo Music)
  3. Sonido Gallo Negro — Mambo Cosmico (Glitterbeat)
  4. Malagasy Guitar Masters — Volo Hazo (Buda Musique)
  5. Svang — Svang Plays Tango (Galileo)

See the rest of the list: Global Village - Best of 2018.

And see also Chris Heim's Best Music Books of 2018.

Strange Currency

Strange Currency, hosted by Jedd Beaudoin, airs six nights a week from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on KMUW, bringing you new releases, old favorites and forgotten classics. 

In addition to his overall "Best of 2018" list, Jedd offers several "best of" categories this year, including reissues, local/regional releases, and EPs.

  Strange Currency: Best of 2018

  1. Tami Neilson — SASSAFRASS! 
  2. Kamsasi Washington — Heaven and Earth
  3. Low Cut Donnie — Dirty Pictures Pt.2
  4. Jesse Ainslie — Only In The Dark
  5. Lake Street Drive — Free Yourself Up

See more...


  1. David Bowie — Never Let Me Down (2018)
  2. The Beatles — The Beatles (White Album, 50th Anniversary Boxed Set)
  3. Fastball — All the Pain Money Can Buy
  4. The Posies — Frosting On The Beater
  5. Holger Czukay— Cinema

See more...

Best Local/Regional Releases:

  1. David Lord — Forest Standards Vol.1 
  2. Sunshine Dreamers — Stand Still
  3. MariaElena — Hollow Bones
  4. Shane Marler — One Stop
  5. Gooding — Building The Sun

See more...


  1. Jenny Wood — Truth Has Legs
  2. Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy — Gnosis 
  3. Remains To Be Seen — LVRS
  4. Yasmin Nur — Girl Anthem
  5. The Wichita Flag — We Are Wichita

See more...

And here are Jedd's favorite music books of 2018.


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 2018

  1. Shemekia Copeland – America’s Child (Alligator)
  2. Sue Foley – The Ice Queen (Stony Plain)
  3. Colin James – Miles to Go (Stony Plain)
  4. Kevin Burt – Heartland and Soul (Little Village Foundation)
  5. Various artists – Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin’ Music)

See the rest of the list: Crossroads - Best of 2018.


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 2018

  1. Ben Allison – Quiet Revolution (Sonic Camera)
  2. Aaron Goldberg – At the Edge of the World (Sunnyside)
  3. Stefon Harris + Blackout – Sonic Creed (Motema)
  4. Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads the Constitution (Nonesuch)
  5. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette – After the Fall (ECM)

See the rest of the list: Night Train - Best of 2018.


Straight No Chaser

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

Best of 2018: Coming soon.


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.

  Soulsations: Best of 2018

  1. MF Robots — Scary Monster
  2. Raul Midon — Pick Somebody Up
  3. Anthony David — Kissing My Love
  4. Change — Hit or Miss
  5. P.J. Morton — First Began

See the rest of the list: Soulsations - Best of 2018.

Bill Pearce is the host and producer of KMUW’s Straight No Chaser. The music program features mostly instrumental jazz, from early music to recent recordings and airs every Sunday at 9 p.m.
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.